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Generosity (4 of 4)

Mike Connell

Page 9 of 10
Many people give because they feel they have an obligation to: someone's done something for them, and now they've got to do something back, so they give out of obligation. There's no grace when there's obligation.

“…but if you lend to those, from whom you receive nothing back (and you hope to receive something back) - what grace is on your life? Even sinners do that.

Sinners lend to sinners; do good to sinners; and love those who love them. He says: look, there's no grace.

We're not under law, we're under grace; the goodness, the kindness, the generosity, the abundant extravagance of God. Oh, how we need grace. You need so much grace; because without that, you live under laws.

God wants you to understand the fullness of His grace. He's saying: if I just give, and I want something back out of that; then I'm giving, expecting in return. He said: there's no generosity or grace on your life for that. Sinners will do that.

“If I lend, and I want to get something back…” He said: there's something in this for me, a self-centered agenda; there's no grace when there's a selfish agenda.

There's no grace, when there's duty or obligation. If you do it because you have to (which the law requires), you have no grace on your life. So you've got to make a decision: whatever giving I give; whatever good I'm doing; and whatever else I'm doing; I've got to make a decision inside, about my heart in doing this thing.

Either do it, and do it gladly, and do it 110%; or don't do it at all. Funny thing, when I tell people that, they often say: “I won't do it at all then”, because their heart wasn't right in the first place.

I think it's still better to do good (and then let God help you on your motivation); than to not do good (and have a bad motivation) - but it's better if we have a great motivation.

I've just learned, if you're going to give: give and put your heart into it - put 110% into it; then the 10% extra you put in, is what brings grace into it.

That's why He said: “if they tell you to go a mile, go two miles”. Why? The one mile was required by the law; the second mile (the Roman soldiers were not to make you go a second mile, so if you went a second mile), you are now putting them in debt to you.

Grace was in it, so if someone makes you do something for this much, do a little extra, and the grace has gone into it now, and you're totally empowered, because you have put something in that wasn't required.

Ever notice how, when you ask someone to do something, and they do it reluctantly, they only do about 80% of it? The way to change 80%, into 110% is: put in a little bit extra, that you weren't required to do; now you are fully empowered, and you've become a generous giver. It's a matter of decision; so Jesus, very clearly, He reinforced this much into giving.

It’s not only about money. Notice here - He extends it. He says: Give mercy to people! Didn't God give you some mercy? Give mercy to people.

Don't judge them. If they said: don't judge; He said: don't condemn people. Now it's clear: show mercy to people; don't judge them, condemn them, put them down, write them off, speak about them, criticise them… don't do those things!

Forgive people. Sow out mercy and forgiveness; get over all this stuff of looking at what's wrong in people's lives. In other words: be a generous person.

A generous person gives when people don't deserve it - that's what makes it generous. If you deserved it, then you've worked for it, you're entitled to it; but if you don't deserve it, and you get it - that's what grace is.