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The Heart of Generosity

25 Oct

Over the past few weeks, we have been studying the topic of generosity, seeking to understand what Scripture says about money and giving. We have examined passages in the Old Testament (Proverbs 3:9-10; Malachi 3:10-12; 1 Chronicles 29:10-22) and the New Testament (Mark 12:41-44; 1 Corinthians 16:1-4; 2 Corinthians 9:6-15; Matthew 25:14-30).

We have gleaned several principles from our study:

  • It all belongs to God (1 Chronicles 29:11-12)
  • We give back to God what he has given us (1 Chronicles 29:14-16)
  • We worship God with our first and best (Proverbs 3:9-10)
  • Promise—If we give, God will meet our needs (Proverbs 3:9‑10; Malachi 3:10-12; 2 Corinthians 9:6-15)
  • Sequence—We give to God first, then God meets our needs (Proverbs 3:9-10; Malachi 3:10-12; 2 Corinthians 9:6-15)
  • Challenge—Give generously and see what God does (Proverbs 3:9-10; Malachi 3:10-12; 2 Corinthians 9:6-15)
  • Rather than tithing (giving 10%), the New Testament teaches generosity (2 Corinthians 9:6-15)
  • While tithing may not be a requirement, it is a good guideline, since it was the pattern of godly people before the Law was given (Genesis 14:17-20; 28:10-22)
  • Our giving should be periodic, personal, planned, proportionate, and properly protected (1 Corinthians 16:1-4)
  • Generosity is best determined by what we give when we have little, not when we have much (Mark 12:41-44)
  • We have been blessed in order to be a blessing (2 Corinthians 9:6-15)
  • Use all you are and all you have for God’s glory (Matthew 25:14-30)

As we wrap up this series, we will compare and contrast a couple that was not generous and several churches that were generous.

Ananias & Sapphira

Acts 5:1-11

Churches in Macedonia

2 Corinthians 8:1-5

Influenced by Satan (3)

Inspired by grace (1)

Lived in great affluence (1)

Lived in great affliction (2)

Gave out of their surplus (2)

Gave out of their poverty (2)

Told self-centered lies (3)

Gave with a sense of joy (2)

Kept as much as possible (3)

Gave as much as possible (3)

Reactive—caught up with the emotion of the crowd      (4:32-5:1)

Proactive—they initiated the gift (3)

Felt an obligation to give (4:32-5:1)

Begged for the privilege to give (4)

Concerned for the opinion of others (4)

Concerned for the needs of others (4)

Met expectations

Exceeded expectations (5)

Gave their money (2)

Gave themselves (5)

Appearance of worship (2)

Authentic worship (5)

Revealed a phony faith (2-4)

Confirmed a real faith (5)

Condemned (5, 10)

Commended (1)

A frightening example to avoid (5, 11)

An encouraging example to follow (1)

God doesn’t want our time, talents, and/or treasures. God wants our heart. When he has that, we willingly give him everything else. The heart of the matter is the matter of the heart.

Excel in the grace of giving (2 Corinthians 8:7)

This is the synopsis of a sermon preached at First Central Baptist Church in Chicopee, MA, on October 25, 2015. It is the final sermon in a series on Generosity. Please click on the link to download a copy of the sermon notes.

 

 

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