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Generosity (3 of 4)

Mike Connell

Summary Notes

1. Introduction
· Mt. 6:24 “No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and Mammon”.
· There is a battle for your heart over the issue of money. It is a daily on-going battle.
· We need to bring our finances into position of divine blessing by honouring the Lord first.
· Mt.5:17 “Do not think that I came to destroy the Law of the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfil (reveal their true intent and application).
· Jesus raised the standard – He revealed the true intent and application.
· V21 e.g. OT = You shall not murder – but I say that whosever is angry …
e.g. OT = You shall not commit adultery – But I say to you whosever looks at women to lust …
e.g. OT = circumcise children – NT circumcision is of the heart (Rom.2:29)
e.g. OT = tithing – give 1/10th – NT Generosity 2 Cor. 9:5-11
You can tithe and not be generous – generosity is an issue of the heart.

2. Generosity is a Heart Issue
· Jn.12:1-8 “The house was filled with the fragrance of the oil”.
· Definition = Generous = liberal in giving or sharing, unselfish, free from meanness or
smallness.
= willing to give of money, time, resources.
· Opposite = Selfish = mean, miserable, stingy, reluctant to give, tight, withholding.
· Generosity and selfishness are a daily battle.
· We are not born generous – we are born selfish e.g. children – “mine, mine”
· Selfishness originated with Satan and was imparted into the human race.
· Generosity exposes and reveals selfishness.
· Vs5-6 Why was this fragrant oil not sold for 300 denarii and given to the poor?
· Judas became agitated, critical, judgemental – “ought to give to the poor”.
· He manifested heart attitude of greed, selfishness, envy, jealousy. He did not care for the poor – he cared for himself.
· Selfishness always criticizes the generosity or blessings of others to conceal “itself”. Selfishness – cares for self, protects self, and provides excuses not to be generous.
· V6 He was a thief – and had the money box (entrusted with Jesus finances). He was unfaithful in unrighteous mammon – lacked generosity.
(Eph.4:28 “Let him that stole steal no more – rather work with his hands what is good that he may have something to give to him that is in need”.)

3. Generosity is Extravagant
· Jn.12:3-5 very costly oil – 300 denarii cf Mk. 14:4
· Extravagant = exceeds the bounds of reason, goes beyond what is deserved.
· Generosity is never a waste! It is an issue of heart – expressing the nature of God.
· It is not the amount given that counts but what is in your heart as you give:
e.g. Mary: 1 denarii = 1x days wage – gave 1x years wages
David: 3000 talents of gold 7000 talents of silver – 6+ billion dollars
(1 talent = 1050 per oz) (1 Chron.29:2-5)
· Solomon (1 K. 4:3-13) 1000 burnt offerings (God’s response - ??
· Widow’s meal (1 K. 7:13) Widow gave her last meal.
· Widow’s mite (Mt. 12:47) Gave more than all.
· Abraham (Gen.22:2) Gave his only son.
· Jesus (Jn.3:16) Gave His life for the world.

4. Generosity flows from Gratitude
· Jn.12:1 “Lazarus who had been dead, whom He raised from the dead”.
· Mary’s perspective totally altered by the resurrection from the dead of her brother.
· Heart was filled with gratitude and appreciation and honour for Jesus.
· (v7) When you give to God you do not know the impact it will have, how God uses.
· God always has a purpose for the gift that you give.
· Generosity to the Lord and people is the overflow of a grateful heart.
2 Cor. 9:7-8
· David was grateful – gave
· Solomon was grateful - gave

5. Generosity is Rewarded
· Mk.4:6 “Leave her alone – what she has done will be told as a memorial to her”.
She did not give to be rewarded – but she was rewarded.
· Lk.6:31-35 “Your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High”.
- Jesus teaches on giving with no hidden agenda of personal gain.
- World: operates on trading – buy and sell – I give you and I expect from you.
- Kingdom: operates on giving and receiving – I give to you without any expectations from you.
· This is what astonishes people – when we give without expecting return.
· It is contrary to the trading they experience in the world – “giving with hooks”.
· Will we be rewarded? Certainly – God sees to that in His time and way.
· Is.32:8 “The generous man devises generous things and by his generosity he will stand” NKJ
· Good men will be generous to others and will be blessed of God for all they do” LIVING BIBLE.
· How intentional are you in planning to be generous?
· How could you grow in generosity with money? Time? Resources?
· How readily available are you and your resources for the Kingdom of God?