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Generosity (4 of 4)

Mike Connell

Page 4 of 10
That means we can be generous at any time, because we pre-plan generosity, according to: this is how a righteous man lives.

We have a portion of our resources, which I consider to be ‘not mine’. I call that the tithe, that doesn't belong to me; I can't spend it on me, or mine. I believe that it ‘belongs to God’, and therefore I should put it for whatever the Lord directs me to - into the house of God; into the work of God; into advancing the kingdom of God.

We've got another part that doesn't belong to us either: the part set aside for people who are poor. It's God's provision for them; that's why it's not mine. I'm free to: be a steward of it; and I can just give it to myself; or I can give it to people who are poor.

It's just a choice; so all of us have a choice with the resources we have, how we manage them; and it's all to do with: what you believe about it, and how you handle it. Now I'm not getting into legalism of how much, and any of these things; but this is always an issue of the heart. My wife and I find it a huge joy to be able to be generous, because a righteous person is a generous person.

1 John 3:16 – “By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren”.

Because of the example of Jesus, and our gratitude, the outworking of that is we give ourselves to people.

“Now whoever has this world's goods…” (its not talking to the poor, but to someone who's got something) “…and sees his brother in need…” So it's talking about you having some provision, for when you see someone in need.

What you could do, is say: well - the church ought to do something about that! The Government ought to do something about that! No, actually you're the one who ought to do something; because you've got the goods, and you saw the need - simple.

And so he said: “…who sees his brother in need, and he shuts up his heart from him…” How can you say the love of God is in that person?

He said: “however, let us not love in word nor in tongue, but in deed, and in truth”.

That's how you know you're of the truth, and that's how your heart becomes assured. Why? Because when you see people in need, there's a sense of feeling moved to want to help; and then getting engaged in helping - that's how you can assure your heart that you are in the love of God, and walking with God; because you're a person of generosity and compassion and kindness, and you give where there's needs.

It's your lifestyle, and if I want to abide in the love of God, I've got to abide in loving people. You see if we try to separate that: I just have a stand with God; but no responsibilities to live my life; I become just religiously disconnected from everything that is really important to God.

If I think that I can love God, but have no expression to people I can see, I'm actually fooling myself. The outworking of my love of God is an overflow towards people.

The people next to you, you can see; God, you can't see; so the overflow of loving God, is that when I meet people in need, my heart is moved with compassion to reach them. In reaching them, I am demonstrating the love of God, and staying in the flow of the love of God.

#1, generosity is a practical way you express that you're right with God.

If you want to know how to express that you're right with God - make a decision, and begin to put into practice generosity to people in need - in every kind of way, and you'll find yourself walking with God. You can't help but find yourself walking with God. God always seems to be on it somehow. He's just on generosity somehow.