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Generosity (4 of 4)

Mike Connell

Page 8 of 10
Notice that this was actually scheduled into the lifestyle of the people of God (in the OT). Why would it not be in the New Testament? It would be even more in the New Testament, wouldn't you think? It would be even larger, in the New Testament?

2 Corinthians 9:5; and it's the same sort of principle: Intentional! “I thought it necessary to exhort you, to go ahead of time, to prepare your generous gift beforehand, which you had previously undertaken to give, that it may be ready as a matter of generosity, not some kind of duty or obligation”.

He's saying: I don't want to come up and take up an offering, and have you under emotional pressure. I want you just to have a think about how God is speaking to you, and how generous you want to be.

An interesting thing with generosity: there's no limit to generosity. You can choose how generous you are. It's something you choose to become.

Of course, you can also hear the voice of God; and you can also be moved by compassion; so I've found that for us, the movers (motivation) that we have, when it comes to generosity, are very simple:

#1, we Hear the Voice of God. Whenever we have anything big, we always hear the voice of God; and here's the one thing I know: I don't hear the Lord clearly on a lot of matters, but when it comes to giving, we just click like that. Joy and I both get the same amount every time - every time!

#2, Compassion; sometimes I just see someone, and I feel my heart move. If I feel my heart move, I don't need any more.

Now I'm not foolish in that, because I remember the Lord speaking to me one time, when I was overseas, about: professional beggars, and the manipulation of emotions; and He said: “in those situations, you need to hear from Me” - so I learnt how to say: no; as well as say: yes.

So one is: hearing the voice of God; and then the other is: the decision to practice generosity, to practice enlarging. If you have a meal, put an extra bit out, and have someone else in; it’s really quite simple. If you have a celebration, bring a few extra people in; have a barbeque, put a few more sausages in, and bring some more people in.

If you go to the beach, then get someone in your car with you. That's why we always have big cars: big family; but we could always bring someone with us as well. Jam them in!

In those days you didn't need all these car seats; however can't do that today. It's a bit more difficult. We used to just jam them - jam them in! It was loaded with people!

So #1, it's a practical expression of being right with God. #2, it's a lifestyle. #3, it has no selfish agenda.

Luke 6:38 – “Give, and it shall be given to you! Pressed down; shaken together; and running over; will be put in your bosom. Same as you use, it'll be measured back to you”.

Often this is preached in the area of money; but actually it's not just referring to money; and secondly, it's not referring to: doing something, so you can get something.

God wants us to understand that generosity is to be a part of our life. Generosity is the evidence of God's grace on your life. Grace is goodness, His love, His empowerment, His blessing.

Just before that one, in Luke 6:31 – “As you want men to do to you, do likewise to them”. Treat people as you'd like to be treated.

“If you love those who love you, what credit…” Now the word ‘credit’ is a poor translation. The word is grace. If you love those who love you, then what grace is on your life? If you're good to those who do good to you, what grace is on your life?