Today we are in part three, the final week, of a message series called This Is What We Do. Today, I want to talk to you about the blessings of generosity. When I think about it, I wonder how many of you would love to blessed with a massive blessing of being able to be obedient God and it impacts someone else’s life because we really believe it is more blessed to give than to receive. How many would love to be blessed like that? This is what we do. Because of what Jesus did, we lead the way with irrational generosity. As Jesus followers, this is just what we do. It may not be what everybody does, but it is what we do. We recognize that giving and being generous are actually two different things, right? Everyone gives but to live from a heart, a posture, of irrational generosity, that is different from just giving. In fact, if you’re taking notes, we say it this way. Giving and being generous, they are two different things.
I believe that our God knows that the number one thing competing for your heart is money, and stuff. So we could not, if this is what we do, we are open handed people. We want to be influential, we want to be generous, we could not be talking about a more important topic today.
So here’s how the scarcity cycle works. God supplies, we begin to consume what God supplies. Then, after a while, we start lacking because we’ve been consuming. After we’ve been lacking, that brings us into a place of fear and anxiety, and so what do we do with that fear? We medicate it by more consumption. And the cycle goes on an on and on. This week I want to just take this topic just a little bit deeper, and so if you’re taking notes I want you to write this thought down. The scarcity cycle starts in the mind, not in the wallet.
When I look around, here at Mt. Zion Church, I truly do see some of the most amazing, crazy, passionate, generous people.
We’re going to do everything we can to make a difference with what God has blessed us with, and I celebrate the generosity of so many of you. It’s truly, truly amazing. It’s God inspiring, and it makes a big difference in this world.
Unfortunately, if we can just call it what it is, a lot of people get uncomfortable when you talk about generosity, and the truth is, tragically in our country, many people are not that generous. If you ask them, are they generous? Many people are going to say, “Yeah, I’m pretty generous.” And the reason is because they give something, but we need to understand that giving and being generous, they’re actually two different things. This week, we begin our brand new series with, “More Abundantly”
This whole series that we’re in brings a lot of reaction and a lot of emotion. Let me describe. I’ve gotten a lot of feedback from a lot of different places. Here’s some of it okay? Some people are like, pastor, this is awesome. I’ve been waiting for you to step up and preach like this, this is fantastic. I love it, kind of stirring me up to get back into the work of the Holy Spirit in my life.
Others of you are like, you know pastor this is really weird to me, but I’ve taken some steps. When you encourage us to lift our hands, I did that for the first time. I prayed out loud. You don’t understand the background I come from. Prayed out loud is something I just never did, so I prayed out loud and wow that was a major victory for me. I’m still trying to figure the rest of it out, but I’m taking steps, I have momentum. That’s exciting reaction.
Some of what I’ve heard back is, I’m really confused by this. I’m not sure I agree with this. Can we talk further? I grew up in a background where this was never talked about, or I was told this was not biblical so I’m struggling through some of this stuff and I’m a little worried. We’re going to talk a little bit further about it today, because there’s still some questions that we have to address. We’re going to talk about some of those things in the message today.
I think a lot of the reason why this is one of those topics that causes a reaction is because when the Holy Spirit works in anybody’s life the power of the Holy Spirit is released when we respond to him.
You see, this is the partnership that happens.