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Generosity (3 of 4)

Mike Connell

Page 7 of 10
Have a look in Luke 6:31. It's interesting when Judas and the others (not only Judas, but the others too), all bothered Mary. They all were critical of her - it says in Mark's version of that same story; and Jesus said: leave her alone, leave her alone.

He said you know what? You're all having a whinge about generosity. He said: I'm going to make sure that when the gospels are written, her name is recorded - what she did, and how much she gave - so everyone everywhere can read it.

That's not very many times in the Bible that someone's name, and what they gave is recorded, so everyone reading could read it.

She's rewarded with true riches. She's given honour by Jesus, which extends into every nation of the earth, wherever the gospel's preached. In every nation, it'll be proclaimed: this was a great woman with a great heart, and a generous heart - and Jesus liked what she did. Not only that, He was not impressed with the miserable thief!

Luke 6:31, in Jesus' teaching, there's the Parables of the Kingdom. He's teaching the Sermon on the Mount, about how the kingdom operates. Now look at this, just watch this.

He said: “and just as you want men to do to you, do also to them likewise”. Just as you want people to do to you, you do that to them. We call that the golden rule.

Let me ask you this: do you want people to give to you - and they've got a hidden hook in it, so that after they've given, you're now manipulated and have to give something back?

Is that what you want? Nobody likes that! You feel ripped off. You thought it was a gift, but then it turns out it was a trade. The world system operates on trading: I give you something, you give me something back; and hopefully it's better than what I had, or at least it's worth the same amount.

So the world system works on trading. The world system is so embedded in trading, that if you were to operate on a different system, and say: “I want to give to you”; the first thing you would say is: “what's in it for you?”

Now if I say to him: “nothing”, he says: “it can't be true”. There must be something in it for you. Now why is he talking like that, and saying it like that? Because he's so filled with the world system - that no one gives anything for nothing, there's always a reason and a motive and an agenda.

That's called trading. Trading: you give one thing; and you receive something back. The kingdom principle, as Jesus demonstrates, is very simple.

He said: you wouldn't like people to do that for you. Do you think God likes it, when it's done that way?

I'm going to be nice to you today, and pray… because I need something. That's not relationship; it's mean, selfish, and manipulative.

I remember someone I knew, and once in a while this person would come and give us a gift. In the end I cottoned on, because always two days after the gift, was a request which I couldn't turn down.

I didn't twig to it, because I never give with that kind of expectation. It kind of caught me by surprise - and every time I'd get caught. I'd think: that's nice, so kind of you, thank you very much.

What I thought was just a gift, she was thinking was a trade: I'll give you this, but tomorrow I'll be back for something, and you'll have to do for me.

What can you do? Now you're kind of - ooh. You feel that manipulative thing get around your soul. It's horrible, I hate it. I've learnt now to say no.

Here's the principle: if you love those who love you, what grace is upon you? Sinners love those who love them.

He's saying: if the only people you extend love and kindness to, are those who've already given it to you - then there's no grace; no kingdom life on that. An unsaved person will do that.

The second thing He tells us then: “If you do good to those who do good to you, what credit (or grace) is that to you? For even sinners do the same.

What He's saying is: if you do good, but you only do good to the people who are doing good to you (or you want to get something back), there's no grace in that. There's no kingdom in that.