Generosity (3 of 4)

Mike Connell

Page 5 of 10
Now what would you think if someone gave a whole year's wages to the Lord? You'd [inhales sharply] – “you shouldn't do that!” But you see: she had a heart that was just abounding in generosity, and gratitude to the Lord. No one told her to do it - she just did it, because she wanted to express her love. She was extravagant.

Now when you look through the Bible, you'd be surprised how many extravagant people there are in the Bible, for example David. In 1 Chronicles 29, it says that when David came to prepare for the house of God, out of his own money, his own purse, he gave 3,000 talents of gold; and he gave 7,000 talents of silver.

A talent of gold is just over a thousand ounces of gold; and gold today is just over $2,000 an ounce. So he gave: 3,000(oz) * 1,000(oz/talent) * $2,000 (per/oz) = $6 billion!

So we're talking big money here, billions of dollars, out of his own wealth, he gave to the house of God; and he said: “of your own, we have given to you”.

Now here's a man who walked in grace. There's no tithing thing for him. He's a man of generosity, a man of a big heart, a man who knew God - he had in his heart to build God a house.

You know what? God didn't even tell him to build the house. God said: you're not even going to build it. He said: nevertheless, I did so great, I've got to do something - and he gave. He gave billions to the work of God.

What about Solomon (his son), at the dedication of the temple. The required offering was one oxen. Instead he gave a thousand oxen.

You can imagine people saying: what! The law only requires one. How come you gave more than one? Oh, I am so glad - bring a thousand of these bullocks on! Bring it all on! I'm going to give God the greatest offering! He asked for one, you watch this. I've given Him a thousand, because I can't out-give God. Look at what He's given me.

That that same night, God appeared, and said: “ask what you want, and I'll give it to you”.

Now if he was like a lot of Christians, he'll probably say: well, I've given to God, now I've got to get something back. I gave him a 1,000, let's see… a hundredfold? Ok, 100,000 oxen back.

No, he didn't do anything like that. He said: “I want a hearing heart; and an understanding heart; and the ability with wisdom to lead people”. And heaven was silent, because his value is on true riches.

Then God spoke. He said: “because you've asked this thing, I'll give you not only that, I'll add to you all the riches, all the wealth that you could ever possibly want”.

So his heart was set on true riches, and it was revealed by his generosity. God just said: oh, I just can't help it, I've got to add all this stuff in. Remember what it says, seek first the kingdom of God, and the rest is added in? It frees the life from anxiety, and stress, and law and how much is... We don't want to get into that kind of thing.

Of course there are heaps of other people. There's the widow in 1 Kings 17, who gave the last meal. Now that would make a great story for the media wouldn't it aye? A prophet come and asked the last meal of this poor widow. How horrible!

But God had already given her direction, and as a result of her responding prophetically to what God said, she came into an abundant supply for a whole year, so it goes on.

Think about Abraham, who gave up his only son. Can you imagine what that meant? Imagine giving up your only son. I mean he's nearly a hundred years old; he's given up his own son; but he had faith and confidence in God. He gave, because God spoke to him about that giving; and he doesn't speak to us that way, not like that.

What about Jesus? God gave His own Son. God so loved the world. You can hardly love the person next to you, let alone love the world.

In India, you look at the millions of people; you see the crowd, and hope they'll all go by; but God says: every one, I know them by name. I love them.

God is so generous - what's the best thing I could give in heaven? So I know what, I'll send a legion of angels to save the world. No, no, no, no, that may not be enough. I'll send a few more angels. No, no, I know what I'll do: I send what's the most precious and dear to me. I'll give the most extravagant, expensive gift, My Son.