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Generosity Is Not About How Much You Give Away

Two weeks ago our church finished a teaching series on spiritual gifts by ending it with message on generosity (to listen to the message Click Here). I am convinced that while God empowers believers with gifts to accomplish his purposes while pointing to Jesus, there is also a tangible gift that we have as well: our generosity. Generosity is one of those things that churches hate to hear about and pastors abhor discussing, but it is a subject that needs to be broached over and over again. Why? Because to not place our generosity (our finances) in the realm of spiritual growth is to buy into the lie that “churches are only concerned with money.”

As I’ve prayed through, studied, taught and applied generosity to my own family and ministry, several truths emerge:

  1. Generosity is not about how much we give, but about how much we dare to keep. John Piper, one of my spiritual heroes, has a fascinating way of breaking this down and I encourage you to check it out by clicking here. The New Testament model of generosity is based on missional investment and personal obedience. Our giving is worship because we are obedient to God and dependent on him. But what is different from the Old Testament is that we go beyond worship to investment in seeing people come to Christ and serving others in the name of Christ.
  2. Generosity is a heart issue. When our hearts are not right –  greed, spiritual immaturity and excuses begin to sink in. Yet, while we yearn for the Giver to bless us we hold back from being the blessing. One of the greatest ways for God to use and work in us is to step out in generosity.
  3. Generosity is impeded by lies. Lies come in the form of “I’m too broke,” “that would be way too much money,” “all the pastor ever talks about is money,” or “how do I know its been spent well?”. Satan creeps into these “financial issues” and tears our hearts and at times our lives a part – all in the name of money. There is no wonder that the #1 reason divorce occurs is because of money. We allow the enemy to attack us in this area. (Shameless plug: we will be starting a financial seminar in August that will cover getting out of debt, budgeting, investing, etc. – don’t miss it). Kill and ignore the lie and allow God to work miracles of perspective in your life.
  4. Biblical generosity has no strings attached. Generosity, from a Biblical standpoint, should first be invested through the local church. Why? Because while other organizations meet felt needs – the church provides for the spiritual need of helping people know Jesus as well as the felt need. When we tie strings to our giving we aren’t handing over a blessing, but providing means to control it ourselves. That is not the kind of 2 Corinthians 9 giver.

My challenge is simple:

  • Commit to tithing for 90 days. If you don’t think God has blessed you (this doesn’t mean necessarily financially) or used that tithe after 90 days – River Hills will refund your money (only if you give to River Hills – just in case someone reads this other than my mother).
  • Sign up for our financial seminar. God wants you to be holistically healthy financially by managing money well  – and let’s face – most of us don’t know how to do that. Sign-ups will be available in July – don’t miss this opportunity.

Be generous this summer with the expression of your faith, time with family and friends, and resources God has provided. Do this for Him – His Glory – So That People May Know Him and We Grow Closer To Him.

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