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Generosity (4 of 4)

Mike Connell

Summary Notes

1. Introduction (Review)
Jn.12:1-7 “Mary took a pound of very costly oil of Spikenard, anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped His feet with her hair. And the house was filled with the fragrance of the oil”.
· Generosity is unlimited – you choose how generous you are.
· Generosity that is extravagant is like a sweet fragrance – very noticeable.
· Generosity flows out of a heart of gratitude – Mary grateful Lazarus is alive.
· Generosity exposes greed (vs5-6)
· Generosity is rewarded in unexpected ways (Mt.26:13 – a memorial to her).

2. Generosity is the Practical Expression of being Right with God
· Ps.112:9 “..He has given to the poor, his righteousness endures forever”
· Ps.37:21 “…The righteous shows mercy and gives (Also vs 25-26)
· Mt.25:31-40 “Come you blessed of thy Father … for I was hungry and you gave me food”.
· Wikipedia Definition
· Tzedek = righteous
· Tzedakah = charity, generosity to the poor
· Shane Willard (Hebrew meanings)
Tsidag = righteous Tsidagah = generous ‘h = to reveal
Righteousness revealed = generosity
· Hebrews considered that your resources/finances all belonged to God who entrusts you with it – your responsibility is to steward and be generous.
· 1 Jn.4:17 “Whoever has this world’s goods and sees his brother in need and shuts up his heart from him, how does the love of God abide in him?”
· The practical outworking of being in right relationship with God is generosity – especially to the poor. (Jm.1:27 – Pure Religion)

3. Generosity is a Lifestyle
· God intends that generosity overflow from our life continually.
· Generosity is both intentional (you plan it) and spontaneous.

OT Examples
(a) Dt. 24:19-22 – Law of Harvesting
- The people were agricultural based; the fields were their source of income.
- Consumerism – pressures people to spend more on themselves.
- God is against consumerism – selfishness and greed
· Don’t consume everything – create margins in life for compassion to the poor.
· Set aside : Money – time – talents for the benefit of others.
· No quantity specified – it is the principle of intentional generosity.
· Give to the stranger (unsaved/gospel), fatherless and the widow.
· Note: Motive v 22 – Gratitude
Re3ward v 19 – God will bless you in every work of your hand.
(b) Dt.14:28-29 – At end of every third year – a tithe for stranger, fatherless and widows within your gates
· Principle of intentional generosity setting aside 1/3 >1/10 = 1/30th

(c) 2 Cor.9:5 – Prepare your generous gift beforehand - generosity
· Principle of intentional generosity – not grudging obligation.
· Plan to set aside a portion intentionally so have provision to give.

4. Generosity has no Selfish Agenda
· Lk.6:38 “Give and it shall be given to you”.
· Most people focus on getting – the motive is to get something for self.
· God’s desire is for us to love being a giver, being generous without an agenda.
· Lk.6:30-38 Context of giving – Grace
- People assume Jesus on speaking about money
- Jesus also speaking about mercy, judgement, condemnation, forgiveness.
- He is talking about the principle of giving and its motivation.
- God weighs the heart motives Prov.16:2
- Principle: whatever you give will come back to you increased.
- World system = trading – I give you something and I expect in return.
e.g. (v32-33) (i) repay someone ) What grace is on your life?
(v34) (ii) hoping for personal gain ) This is just trading
· There is no evidence of grace (true generosity) when give with agendas

5. Generosity is rewarded
· Jesus Directive: Love, do good, lend with no personal agenda of gain.
· Outcome: (i) You establish your identity – son of God. (righteous revealed)
Lk.6:35,38 (ii) You receive great reward from God. (This promise removes fear or
regret in giving).
· God is generous and will ensure a return that is generous. May come in unexpected form, may be delayed, and may be in eternity.
· Example Acts10:2 Cornelius – gave alms generously and rewarded by God.
· Example Acts 4:36 Barnabus – gave generously = apostle.