Masters Plan

Go Therefore and Make Disciples

GIVING GENEROUSLY

Life In This World

GIVING GENEROUSLY

“No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other.  You cannot serve God and wealth.”       Matthew 6:24

“I commend to you God and to the word of His grace…Remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He Himself said: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’”   Acts 20:32-35 

Summed up, Paul’s final words to the elders at the church of Ephesus were, “Remember the Gospel and remember to give.”  What might appear to be two separate words of advice or encouragement is really one thought.  Giving, or living generously, is a result of our coming to grips with God’s grace in our lives.  Randy Alcorn, author of The Treasure Principle, puts it this way—“God’s grace is the lightning and our giving is the thunder.  As thunder follows lightning, giving follows grace.  When God’s grace touches you, you can’t help but respond with generous giving.”

If giving is the natural response to God’s grace in our lives, why is it so challenging to give and live a generous life?  The answer, in a word, is greed.  Greed can best be defined as excess concern for, worry about, love of, or need for money and possessions.  Jesus often warns us to guard ourselves against greed, and to watch out for greed.  The reason for this warning is that greed is often the one sin we don’t know we are committing.  Greed blinds us.  We are convinced that if we give we won’t have enough to meet our perceived needs.  We have a way of rationalizing our greed.  We know folks who have so much more than we have and we compare our giving to those around us.  We live in a world that worships the accumulation of money and possessions.  We live as though we believe that by hanging onto our stuff we will be happy.  If I can just get a little more, then I will have enough and then I will be generous.  Unfortunately, we always need just a little bit more and enough never comes.  Greed and scarcity go hand and hand, yet we worship a God of abundance.

Generosity is the perfect antidote for greed.  God calls us to live generous lives not because he has a need for our money.  The Bible clearly states that it is all God’s to begin with.  Psalm 24:1—The earth is the Lord’s and all it contains, the world and those who dwell in it.  Haggai 2:8—”The silver is Mine and the gold is Mine,” declares the Lord of hosts.  Matthew 6:21 reminds us that, if we are investing in things of this world, that is where our heart will be, “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”  Our hearts follow our resources.  By giving and living generous lives, God allows us to take part in healing the world.  When we live generous lives we take our eyes off of ourselves and focus on God.  We live for eternity instead of our temporary home here on earth.  Paul says it best in 1 Timothy 6:19, by living generously we may take hold of life that is truly life.

 

My sense of freedom always increases when I give because giving is a declaration that my security rests someplace other than the bank. Giving is an act of confidence in God.

                                         John Ortberg, When the Game Is Over It All Goes Back In The Box

HMMM {QUESTIONS}

  • Describe a time when God (or someone on this earth) was gracious/generous towards you.
  • When you give, does it frighten you or excite you?  Why?
  • What typically motivates your giving?  Guilt, duty, expectation of God’s blessing or thankfulness?
  • How will you apply the truths in this topic to your life this week?  Be specific.

Additional Quotes

Many of us, though, face a new poverty.  We are not living on the streets, but we are stuck in a rut.  We are in danger of gaining the whole world and losing our souls.  What we have received from God has taken preeminence over the God who has received us.  His gifts are for us to enjoy, but not for us to worship.  If what He has given us now stands between us, we must once again lay it at His feet.  No matter how rich we become, we must always remain poor.  We must ensure that while we celebrate the goodness of God, we do not neglect the purpose of God.   Erwin McManus-Chasing Daylight

Half the world is starving; the other half is on a diet.  We are not privileged because we deserve to be.  Privilege accepted should mean responsibility accepted.    Madeleine L'Engle

The only safe rule is to give more than we can spare.  Our charities should pinch and hamper us.  If we live at the same level of affluence as other people who have our level of income, we are probably giving away too little.     C.S. Lewis

More Video Illustrations

Blessed Are Those Who Give

GIVE from Sevenly on Vimeo.

verses related to this topic

  • Deuteronomy 16:17

    Deuteronomy 16:17

    Every man shall give as he is able, according to the blessing of the Lord your God which He has given you.

  • Psalm 24:1

    Psalm 24:1

    The earth is the Lord's, and all it contains, the world, and those who dwell in it.

  • Proverbs 3:9-10

    Proverbs 3:9-10

    Honor the Lord from your wealth and from the first of all your produce; so your barns will be filled with plenty and your vats will overflow with new wine.

  • Psalm 49:10

    Psalm 49:10

    For he sees that even wise men die; the stupid and the senseless alike perish and leave their wealth to others.

  • Proverbs 11:24-25

    Proverbs 11:24-25

    There is one who scatters, and yet increases all the more, and there is one who withholds what is justly due, and yet it results only in want. The generous man will be prosperous, and he who waters will himself be watered.

  • Proverbs 23:25

    Proverbs 23:25

    Let your father and your mother be glad, and let her rejoice who gave birth to you.

  • Proverbs 27:24

    Proverbs 27:24

    For riches are not forever, nor does a crown endure to all generations.

  • Jeremiah 17:11

    Jeremiah 17:11

    As a partridge that hatches eggs which it has not laid, so is he who makes a fortune, but unjustly; in the midst of his days it will forsake him, and in the end he will be a fool."

  • Haggai 2:8

    Haggai 2:8

    The silver is Mine and the gold is Mine,' declares the Lord of hosts.

  • Malachi 3:10

    Malachi 3:10

    “Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, so that there may be food in My house, and test Me now in this,” says the Lord of hosts, “if I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you a blessing until it overflows.”

  • Matthew 6:24

    Matthew 6:24

    “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth.”

  • Luke 12:15

    Luke 12:15

    Then He said to them, “Beware, and be on your guard against every form of greed; for not even when one has an abundance does his life consist of his possessions.”

  • Luke 16:11

    Luke 16:11

    “Therefore if you have not been faithful in the use of unrighteous wealth, who will entrust the true riches to you?”

  • Romans 12:8

    Romans 12:8

    or he who exhorts, in his exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness.

  • 2 Corinthians 8:8-9

    2 Corinthians 8:8-9

    I am not speaking this as a command, but as proving through the earnestness of others the sincerity of your love also. For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sake He became poor, so that you through His poverty might become rich.

  • 2 Corinthians 9:6-7

    2 Corinthians 9:6-7

    Now this I say, he who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each one must do just as he has purposed in his heart, not grudgingly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.

  • 1 Timothy 6:7-11

    1 Timothy 6:7-11

    For we have brought nothing into the world, so we cannot take anything out of it either. If we have food and covering, with these we shall be content. But those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a snare and many foolish and harmful desires which plunge men into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all sorts of evil, and some by longing for it have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs. But flee from these things, you man of God, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, perseverance and gentleness.

  • 1 Timothy 6:17-19

    1 Timothy 6:17-19

    Instruct those who are rich in this present world not to be conceited or to fix their hope on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly supplies us with all things to enjoy. Instruct them to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, storing up for themselves the treasure of a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is life indeed.

books related to this topic

  • Money, Sex and Power

    Money, Sex and Power

    Foster puts money into a godly perspective for the sincere follower of Christ. He deals with the underlying issues of greed and control that we seek through the wrong use of money and the freedom that is ours when we learn to live frugally and give generously.

  • Giving Wisely

    Giving Wisely

    In this unique book on the subject of giving, Jonathan Martin documents from Scripture and experience the importance of using our resources to facilitate sustainable programs and works. Martin offers practical suggestions on how we can incorporate this new way of thinking into our giving.

  • Doing Well and Doing Good

    Doing Well and Doing Good

    Guinness delves into the big ideas that shaped the unique western tradition of giving and caring by examining selected writings from some of the most influential thinkers of Western society. The issues of money, giving, and caring are vital themes that stand at the crossroads of many issues in contemporary society.

  • The Treasure Principle

    The Treasure Principle

    In Randy Alcorns’s The Treasure Principle, you’ll unearth a radical teaching of Jesus—a secret wrapped up in giving. Once you discover this secret, life will never look the same.

  • When the Game Is Over, It All Goes Back in the Box

    When the Game Is Over, It All Goes Back in the Box

    John Ortberg points out that being the Master of the Board is not the point; being rich toward God is. Winning the game of life on Earth is a temporary victory; loving God and other people with all our hearts is an eternal one.

  • Chasing Daylight

    Chasing Daylight

    We all have dreams, hopes and aspirations. Why, then, do some of us realize our dreams and advance forward while others watch timidly from a distance and hope for a break? Author Edwin McManus reveals the direct relationship between passion and initiative. Chasing Daylight is a call to live life of blazing urgency. We have but one life.

feedback on this topic

For comments/suggestions on this topic please email . Be sure to reference this topic in your email.

 
Design Xero