Generosity (3 of 4)

Mike Connell

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Generosity (3 of 4) We have seen many people that have had much money and yet they didn't have what money seemed to promise, health and prosperity and every good thing. It seems like it still eludes them, so we looked at that and saw that Jesus taught very specifically about us placing God first. To be generous is to be liberal. It's an attitude of heart that shows up in every area of your life including finances. Generosity exposes selfishness!
I want to speak today on Generosity. I've been learning as I've been going, you know, I haven't spoken on money for years really; and yet Jesus spoke on it so much, so many times.

A large percentage of what Jesus taught and spoke about was stewardship, and managing natural things; but when we start to talk money, immediately people tend to freeze up.

So let's go back where we started in Matthew 6:24; and it's talking about laying up treasures in heaven. “No one can serve two masters. He will hate one and love the other; or he'll be loyal to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and Mammon”.

So we see God is a spirit, Mammon is a spiritual power, and we looked through and talked that money itself doesn't have power, but the spirit behind it does.

So the Bible's very clear, in Jesus teaching, that it's impossible to serve both; but that doesn't mean you shouldn't have money. In fact actually, you could be a great blessing if you have money.

You can have a lot of money, and be no blessing to anyone; or you can have very little money, and be a great blessing to people. It's not the amount of money; it always has to do with the heart.

As we learn about the spirit of Mammon, we saw that there is a battle, a spiritual battle, for your heart. There is a conflict between money, and the values placed on money, and what money seems to be able to do.

We saw that that is like an illusion; because we have seen many people that have had much money, and yet they didn't have what money seemed to promised: health and prosperity, and every good thing. It seems like it still eludes them; so we looked at that, and saw that Jesus taught very specifically about us placing God First.

Last session we talked about seeking first the kingdom of God; putting God first in our money; and that as we honour God first in our finances, then the rest is set apart.

Matthew 5:17 - Jesus said: “Do not think I came to destroy the Law, or the Prophets. I didn't come to destroy, but fulfil”.

So Jesus is saying to people, who thought He was going to do away with the Old Testament (do away with the Bible), and He's saying: don't think that I'm going to do away with it.

He said: I'm not going to destroy what was in the Old Testament. There are many things in the Old Testament, but He said: what I'm going to do is - I'm going to fulfil them.

He's saying this: you have the Old Testament. I'm not going to take it away. I'm going to teach you, and show you what it's true intent was; and I'm going to show you how you work it out in your life, so you don't live under law, but you live in a new realm of the spirit - under the grace and favor of God.

Now the dilemma for us, as Christians, of course is: we tend to pick up a bit of the law, and the bits that suit us; and we'll apply it and say: I'm going to live under that; but we're called to live in a different dimension now, we're in the new covenant.

For example Jesus didn't do away with law. He said, notice His statement: “I come, not to do away with it, but to fulfil it”.

Then He begins to talk. In verse 21 He says: “you have heard it said to those of old: you shall not murder” - so don't kill, or don't murder was an Old Testament commandment.

How many people have killed someone here? Okay, so we're doing pretty well, but Jesus said: I want you to understand that it's not a matter of the letter of this thing. Actually there's a heart motive behind it.

He said: I'm raising the standard; I'm telling you what this really means: it's not about whether you've murdered someone; it's a matter whether you keep your heart free of anger and hate against people. He said: I want to lift you to a different dimension.

Then He talked about the area of Adultery, verse 27 - Adultery of the heart, He's talking about. “You've heard it said to those of old: you shall not commit adultery…”

One of the Ten Commandments: “Do not commit adultery”. I won't put that question out, because there may be one or two have; but He's talking about the act of adultery.