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Generosity (4 of 4)

Mike Connell

Page 5 of 10
#2, Generosity is a lifestyle.

Generosity is not just: well it was great, we had an offering, took up some money, and there it is, I've done my bit. No, actually the church has done amazingly.

A couple of Sundays ago, God put it in our heart, when I preached on generosity, to demonstrate generosity; and it wasn't church money - it was our personal money, which we had put aside.

Some of it we put aside for this purpose, some of it we hadn't put aside - it was just our money, full stop; but God gave the amount, and so I wanted to demonstrate that when we listen to God in the handling of resources, you can't just talk about it without living it out. You just have to live it out.

So I felt the Lord give me a specific sum, and a specific thing to talk to people about. I made an undertaking that we would pray for and bless people.

Now it took humility for people to come forward. It's not easy to do that; and there were others in need, that didn't come forward. I know that, because they had money left over.

It's just because we couldn't admit that we really did have a need. It's real hard to do that - it takes humility; and so what happened was, Ian stood up and encouraged the church; because we could sense that just God was suddenly coming in. His presence just filled the place when we did that, in an extraordinary way.

I always notice what brings God's presence: that suddenly in a moment of time, all the worship, the intensity, when we started to give to people in need, was far greater than anything we had right through the service. Notice that? I thought: ooh, God liked our worship; but boy, He loved the giving even more - He came even stronger!

The church just suddenly responded, and I am very, very, very delighted to be able to say that over $6,000 came up to bless those people!

Come on, give yourself a clap, that was amazing. Who has that kind of money? I had to go specially to get some, so I'd have some. Usually if I have some - it's gone, you know?

Find someone in need, and bless them with it; but this was just brilliant. Our giving needs to be a test; so that was a one-off thing, but actually generosity is a lifestyle, and God has always intended it be a lifestyle.

Deuteronomy 24:18. “But you shall remember that you were a slave in Egypt, and the Lord your God redeemed you from there; therefore I command you to do this thing”.

You were in bondage to sin, and God redeemed you. Do you remember what it was like, when your life was miserable in sin, and you were tormented and troubled, down and wretched, and then God redeemed?

God generously paid the price to get you free. It cost you nothing, because it cost Him everything. Then he said: “therefore I command you to do this”

He said: remember what it was like to be unsaved, when your life was in turmoil? Remember how God paid the price to get you free. He says: now I command you to do this. Why? Out of gratitude! Whenever God gives a command in the Old Testament, it's because He knows we tend to forget it; but it's a principle that'll bring success in life.

“When you reap the harvest of your field…” They were an agricultural community, so to ‘reap the harvest of your field’, meant they were getting their income for the year out of their harvest; and they'd have a harvest in certain seasons. They'd get an income at that time.

For us today, we're not out there harvesting the fields; we go to work and we receive a wage. So when it says: “when you harvest your field”, today's equivalent would be: when you get a wage; an income; something coming in.