A Good Church is Generous

March 3, 2024   /   Faith Alliance Church

A Good Church is Generous

A Good Church / 2 Corinthians 9:6–15

 

I think everyone wants to contribute. One of the normative desires of people is that they want to be part of something and want to offer a meaningful contribution to it. That if I show up to an event or help with something, that the outcome of that thing is better because of what I did. This is not inherently selfish, in fact it points back to the created meaning each one of us has.

We are always being generous

› the issue I want to cover is that you are being generous somewhere, are you aware of where it is and is it where you want it to be?

We are always reaching out

We are always reaching out to another. This is how we know who we are and what we are. We develop from our relationships to others and the world around us. You were made to reach out, you were made for generosity.

Our generosity is bent

Because this is where our generosity is a little bent, or sometimes a lot bent. We take the ability for us to give of ourselves for another’s advantage and we bend it so that we get the greatest advantage. So we are generous, but only to ourselves.

By the end of this message you should know:

Generosity is the most normative of human actions, that has been bent through fear. Jesus shows us and offers us a different kind of life, marked by generosity.

What for:

So that you: can experience God’s generosity and live generously in the world.

Generosity is the Christ-offered ability to live from the self not for the self. It is the opportunity for possibility.

The point is this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work.

Scarce and abundance mentality

We have believed that the call for the good life is to hold onto as much as possible. But the good life is much more the opposite of that. We have captured this idea of the good life as getting as much as possible from a scarcity mentality. If you track that idea back, it comes from the fear that there will not be enough. That there will never be enough.

With generosity we don’t use our resources or stuff to define or protect ourselves. This is good because generosity is automatically an act of sincerity (same word) because it removes protection of self from the equation.

If you have been tracking here, the characteristics of a good church as really just the characteristics of a good God.
Let’s discuss how the church has talked about generosity in the culture in the past.

The church in the past have abused it. They have used the concept of generosity in order to benefit one person. The pastor. Or to grow a bigger church. To build a bigger building. But depending on which way you torun generosity depends on whether it is sincerity or greed.

God’s Action in the world always begins with generosity. It is how He interacts with people. The church is called to reflect that.

Romans 2:4 ESV

Or do you presume on the riches of his kindness and forbearance and patience, not knowing that God’s kindness is meant to lead you to repentance?

He moves in the world generously. The church is called to be Gods mechanism in the world. His work of generosity. The church is Gods work of generosity.

10 He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness. 11 You will be enriched in every way to be generous in every way, which through us will produce thanksgiving to God. 12 For the ministry of this service is not only supplying the needs of the saints but is also overflowing in many thanksgivings to God.

Every outcome we want to see in the lives of others, in the lives of those we love, in the people we live next to.

We want them to experience the goodness of God

To find salvation in Christ

To experience the compassion of the church

to find meaning

to find community

All of these outcomes happen through the activity of generosity. If you have experienced God at all you have experienced generosity, every end in Christ is found through generosity.

If we are going to act generously in the world, to offer to others more than they have now, it will take all of us. Generosity is the invitation to lean in, to be a part. To give to serve to act, all from who you are.

 

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