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Generosity (4 of 4)

Mike Connell

Page 6 of 10
He says: “When you reap your harvest in your field, and forget a sheaf in the field, don't go back for the sheaf to get it. It's for the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow; that the Lord your God may bless you, in all the work of your hands.”

“When you beat your olive trees, don't go over it again. Just do it once, because the others that are left on the tree are for the stranger, the fatherless, the widow. When you gather the grapes from your vineyard, don't glean it afterwards. It'll be for the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow.”

Three times, He said that God is concerned about: firstly the stranger. The stranger is an unsaved person; so He's saying to His people: make sure you put aside resources from your life, to reach the needs of people who don't know Christ.

We'll just look at what that could mean, but it's not just money; it's more than money. He's talking about your field; in other words, He's saying: don't take everything in your field; leave the corners, leave a part of your harvest, deliberately and intentionally available for these people.

#1, the unsaved - that's the stranger; #2, the fatherless. That's the solo-parent families, people who are orphaned in various places in our nation, or in the world.

#3, “for the widows” – that’s the person who has no husband, no provider; the person in dire-straights; or under immense pressure.

God's saying: care for the widows, the fatherless and the stranger; and God has never changed. He's still concerned about the unsaved. He's concerned about those who have no father (and we live in a fatherless generation, we’ve got a whole generation like that); and He's saying to His church (to His people): be intentional about this - this is a lifestyle.

They only had two harvests a year. We get a harvest every week (of fortnight, or month); so this is, for us, all about a lifestyle of: considering unsaved people; and being willing to take what you have in some way, and show kindness to people who are unsaved.

The stranger was someone from another nation, and the reason we're to show kindness is very simple: because you yourself were a stranger once; because we're so grateful to God.

We talk about the need to go witnessing to someone, to share the gospel etc. The church has a responsibility to do that; but firstly, it needs to get the motivation.

The motivation of sharing the goodness of God, is that we have been blessed by God; so when you continue to stay in a place of gratitude and thankfulness, you can intentionally set aside some of your resources for this work of the poor, and the unsaved. What that means, effectively is: sowing into the work of evangelism; and sowing into areas of needs.

Now this could be organised by someone else, and you sow into that; it could be part of the church's work, and we sow into that. It could be something we're doing overseas; or it could be there are people around you, that you can work for and sow into.

That's where God brings strangers to you – you’re surrounded by strangers. What portion of your life is available to them?

Putting it another way: don't spend up to the max, so you've got no money left to give out, to be generous to people at appropriate times.

Don't fill up your diary and your schedule so much that you've got no time to build connections with people, and relate to them.

Don't fill up your own household with so much busyness, you've got no room to show hospitality to people and bring them into your home.