Wednesday, September 23, 2020

What Does the Bible Say About Being Easily Offended?

The world is offended.  Seriously, some days I feel like everyone is offended over any given number of offenses.  Small offenses or bigger ones, it really doesn't matter.  All that seems to matter is everyone's opinions and everyone is right.  Everyone suddenly becomes an expert over any given number of topics and if anyone doesn't agree with them, then "anyone" is wrong.  But I have a confession to make.  I'm easily offended.  I'm not so much offended over differing opinions or views.  That's just life.  Everyone is unique with differing God-given skills and talents.  That's the way God created us.  I'm not offended over the uniqueness that God created in all of us.  I'm easily offended when someone criticizes ME or something I've said or done.  It has been often said that I can't take a joke.  Well, I can as long as the said joke doesn't criticize a person's character.  In my personal case, I'm easily offended when someone brings to my attention that I have acted in error or performed a task that doesn't measure up to my criticizer's standards.  I carry my heart on my sleeve.  I don't like criticism even if it is intended as constructive criticism.  This is a serious problem for me because this character flaw (one of many) causes me to react negatively instead of responding positively.  Sometimes my reactions cause rifts in my relationships with others, especially those closest to me who always endure the "privilege" of hearing my said reactions.

What does the Bible say about being easily offended.
What does the Bible say about being easily offended.
As a result of my very recent reaction to the criticism of something I did, I did something I should have done a long time ago.  I went to God's Word to explore what the Bible says about being easily offended.  I know what God says about being easily offended in general, but I wanted a list of Bible verses to turn to when I become easily offended in the future.  It will happen again and "truth be told," it will happen to you too.  No one really likes to hear someone else bring to our attention a character flaw (we all have them) or criticize something we have said or done.  

I've been working on a prayer strategy like I learned about in the movie, War Room.  I will soon have a war room (part of a closet) in my home.  I also bought an ammo box that will become my battle box.  My prayer requests will be attached to my closet wall much like Clara's closet in War Room.  My battle box will be geared more toward my growth in my relationship with Jesus.  I've decided that these verses about being easily offended will be placed in my battle box.  Whenever I feel offended, I'll go to my battle box.  I'll go to war against Satan and his intention to destroy my relationship with my Lord and with the people around me.  

 Now, let's get to those verses.

What does the Bible say about being easily offended?

Do not take to heart all the things that people say, lest you hear your servant cursing you. Your heart knows that many times you yourself have cursed others. - Ecclesiastes 7:21-22                               (Wow, this one stepped on my toes.  How often have I been critical of others?  Probably more than I realize.)

And the Lord's servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil. - 2 Timothy 2:24

The Lord will fight for you, and you have only to be silent. - Exodus 14:14

The Lord is with you.  You need only to be still.  Exodus 14:14
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The vexation of a fool is known at once, but the prudent ignores an insult. - Proverbs - 22:16

Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. - 1 Peter 5:8

Do not speak in the hearing of a fool, for he will despise the good sense of your words. - Proverbs 23:9 (Let's not be fools and despise the wise words of others.) 

A fool gives full vent to his spirit, but a wise man quietly holds it back. - Proverbs 29:11

For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride in possessions—is not from the Father but is from the world. - 1 John 2:16

For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it. - Hebrews 12:11

But take care that this right of yours does not somehow become a stumbling block to the weak. - 1 Corinthians 8:9

You shall be hidden from the lash of the tongue, and shall not fear destruction when it comes. - Job 5:21

A stone is heavy, and sand is weighty, but a fool's provocation is heavier than both. Wrath is cruel, anger is overwhelming, but who can stand before jealousy? Better is open rebuke than hidden love. Faithful are the wounds of a friend; profuse are the kisses of an enemy. - Proverbs 27:3-6

Good sense makes one slow to anger, and it is his glory to overlook an offense. - Proverbs 19:11

Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger. - James 1:19

Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him. - James 1:12

A brother offended is more unyielding than a strong city, and quarreling is like the bars of a castle. - Proverbs 18:19

Now let's take this one step further.  When we are criticized by others, whether it was meant to be harmful or not, we have to learn to forgive others when they have committed an offense against us.  The said offense might have been words alone or perhaps the hurtful words were attached to a hurtful action.  Either way, forgiveness is a vital part of our spiritual growth.  Forgiveness is sometimes hard for me (another character flaw -  I have many), but the Bible has a lot to say about forgiveness.  Come back soon for a list of Bible verses about the topic of forgiveness.  In the meantime, consider checking out the following resources about forgiveness.

What does the Bible say about being easily offended.
What does the Bible say about being easily offended?

Sunday, September 20, 2020

Jesus Was Baptized (Jesus Habits Series): 5 Reasons for Baptism

We are continuing our series titled "Jesus Habits."  We all develop habits.  Some are good and some are not so good.  Some habits are down right bad.  As Christ followers, we should try to follow the example of Jesus as closely as possible.  Today's habit topic is baptism.  Jesus was baptized.

Jesus Was Baptized.  5 Reasons for Baptism

The following are my Bible study notes based on my pastor's sermon.  You are invited to watch, listen, and worship with us here.

Jesus Was Baptized

Then Jesus arrived from Galilee at the Jordan, coming to John to be baptized by him. 14 But John tried to prevent Him, saying, “I have the need to be baptized by You, and yet You are coming to me?” 15 But Jesus, answering, said to him, “Allow it at this time; for in this way it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.” Then he allowed Him. 16 After He was baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending as a dove and settling on Him, 17 and behold, a voice from the heavens said, “This is My beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.” - Matthew 3:13-17

Baptism is not a sacrament. Baptism is a Biblical command.   

So then, those who had received his word were baptized; and that day there were added about three thousand souls. - Acts 2:41

But when they believed Philip as he was preaching the good news about the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, both men and women were being baptized. - Acts 8:12

Crispus, the leader of the synagogue, believed in the Lord together with his entire household; and many of the Corinthians, as they listened to Paul, were believing and being baptized. - Acts 18:8

Now why do you delay? Get up and be baptized, and wash away your sins by calling on His name. - Acts 22:16

The Biblical order is this:  Faith first, then baptism.

Baptism doesn't save you.  Faith saves you.  You can go to Heaven without baptism, but you can't go to Heaven without faith.

Jesus Was Baptized (Jesus Habits Series):  5 Reasons for Baptism
The Beautiful Word Coloring Bible is available here.

Reasons for Baptism

1.  Jesus was baptized.  We should follow His example.

Jesus was not a sinner.  He was baptized to fulfill all righteousness.  He was an example for us. 

Now why do you call Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say? - Luke 6:46

Surrendered obedience is the mark of true belief.

2.  Baptism gives you an opportunity to identify publicly with Jesus.

Baptism is an expression of faith to the world.

3.  Baptism allows you to experience cleansing of sin.

Only faith can cleanse, but baptism is the public symbol of what has already happened.  Only the shed blood of Jesus can cleanse you.

4.  Baptism marks a new beginning in your life.

What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin so that grace may increase? 2 Far from it! How shall we who died to sin still live in it? Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death? Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too may walk in newness of life. - Romans 6:1-4
5.  Baptism bands believers together as Christ followers.  

Baptism is an act of obedience in response to faith in Christ Jesus. 

The one who has believed and has been baptized will be saved; but the one who has not believed will be condemned. - Mark 16:16

Jesus Was Baptized.  5 Reasons for Baptism
Jesus was baptized.  5 Reasons for Baptism

Thursday, September 17, 2020

Learning from Home with Usborne - Preschool

*Update:  Since the time of this post, Usborne has rebranded.  They are now Paperpie.  I no longer sell Usborne books so all the links have been changed to my Amazon affiliate links.  This means that any purchases you make on this page will result in a small commission for me at no additional cost to you.  See my full disclosure here.

Many families across the country (and perhaps the world) are suddenly educating their children at home.  If you are one of these families, Usborne is here to help.  They have just added a new category called Learning from Home.  Under the umbrella of Learning from Home, you'll find a wealth of resources to help you through this journey with your kids.  As a former public school teacher, private school teacher, and a homeschool mom, my best advice for you right now is to allow yourself and your children lots of grace during these uncertain times.  Someone recently and wisely said that Home-Schooling and Crisis-Schooling are not the same thing.  You will be OK.  Your kids will be OK.  You are not going to mess this up for them.  The most important things your kids need right now are their parents loving arms, age appropriate answers to their questions, a firm foundation of faith, and a good book to read with you.  If they have these things, then the other things will eventually fall into place.

As far as books go, I've got you covered.  Of course the first book I recommend for you and your kids is the Bible.  All answers to all things are found in the Bible.  If your kids are old enough for a real complete Bible, I recommend The Illustrated Holy Bible for Kids

Learning from Home
The Illustrated Holy Bible for Kids

The Illustrated Holy Bible for Kids is a full Bible for children.  It's not a merely a children's book containing a few summaries of a few popular Bible stories.  According to Zondervan, it is written at the 3rd grade level but is recommended for children between 4 and 8 years old.  It is written in the new NIrV version which is a variation of the NIV version for adults.  The text is simplified from the NIV version to make it easier for children to read and understand on their own.  You can read my full review of this Bible here.

If your children are younger and not quiet ready for a full version of the Bible, a good Bible story book will help you begin to instill within your child a foundation of faith that will see him or her through life's many challenges.  They are never too early to learn who God is and the reason we all need Jesus.  We enjoyed Baby's First Bible - A Carry-Along Treasury by Tommy Nelson.  You can read more about that Baby's First Bible here.

Learning at Home with Usborne - Preschool
Learning from Home with Usborne - Preschool

Now we can consider other books to add to your child's learning from home library.  The following books are recommended for children at the preschool level.

Learning from Home - Preschool

123 Counting

123 Counting

Gently introduce numbers with 1 2 3 Counting, a fold-out, stand-up book, perfect for tummy time!

Series: First Focus Frieze
First Focus Frieze titles for babies are filled with panels of recognizable, high-contrast black and white images and patterns to aid visual development in the early stages. Gently introduce your babies to numbers and first words with these fold-out, stand-up books, perfect for tummy time!

Alfie and Bet's ABC

Alfie and Bet's ABC
Alfie and Bet are off on a quest to discover the letter they like the best … but they just can’t seem to agree!

With colorful characters, pop-ups on every page, a repeating panel with both upper and lowercase letters throughout and tons of alliterative enthusiasm, Maddie Frost’s Alfie and Bet's ABC is a pop-up alphabet adventure readers won’t soon forget! (And they’ll learn their letters, too!) 

Join Dotty and Dash as they race through the pages, discovering numbers galore in this colorful pop-up extravaganza!

Illustrated by Greek illustrator Sophia Toulliatou (Big Book of Colors), this book takes readers on a colorful whirlwind tour through the world of numbers, from one full moon to a hundred twinkling stars. There are number patterns, picture puzzles, and lots of extra things to spot along the way. A double gatefold at the end opens to reveal an impressive array of 100 stars.

 I Can Do It

There are five different fastenings to practice, together with step-by-step illustrated instructions, in this fabulous book designed to teach children how to tie their shoelaces, button their clothes, and more.

I Want to Be an Astronaut

What do you want to be when you grow up? These oversized board books for our littlest learners perfectly illustrate that the possibilities are endless!

What do you want to be when you grow up? A deep-sea diver? A stuntman? An astronaut? When you grow up, you can be anything you want to be!

Series: I Want to be…
What do you want to be when you grow up? A dog walker? A deep-sea diver? A stuntman? An astronaut? A vet? A lion tamer? When you grow up, you can be anything you want to be!

Why Do Tigers Have Stripes?

Lift the Flap First Questions and Answers

A playful, informative look at why animals (and a few plants) are the way they are and do what they do, broken into 5 topics - camouflage, food storage, protection, movement, construction - plus a general spread. Quirky scenes, simple text, and friendly flaps answer lots of pressing questions.

Series: Lift-the-Flap First Questions and Answers
These stylish, highly illustrated, interactive books are perfect for sharing with young children, and they introduce science concepts using a friendly lift-the-flap format.

Learning from Home with Usborne - Lift the Flap Numbers
Lift the Flap Numbers

With over 90 flaps to lift, this charming book helps children learn about numbers in a fun way. There are counting, matching, ordering, sequencing and adding activities, and lots for pre-readers to talk about too.

Series: Lift-the-Flap Series
Each page has an illustrated scene full of things to spot and talk about, even for pre-readers.

Learning from Home with Usborne - Little Children's Drawing Book
Learning at Home with Usborne - Little Children's Drawing Book

Introduce little ones to drawing and pen control with this charming activity book. Children can learn how to draw squiggles, wiggles, spots, stripes, curly lines, straight lines, and lots more, with the help of the friendly animal characters throughout the book.

Series: Little Children's Art Books

Little Lift and Look Under the Sea
Follow a little turtle as it explores a coral reef and discover all kinds of sweet creatures that live under the sea. Meet a sleepy shark, a big octopus, some colorful seahorses, and much more.

Series: Little Lift and Look Board Books
This series is perfect for younger children and babies, with chunky gate-fold flaps and peek -throughs for little hands to discover. 
Learning at Home with Usborne - Little Stickers Jungle
Learning at Home with Usborne - Little Stickers Jungle

Add stickers to bring the rainforest scenes to life. Fill the branches with bright bugs, brilliant birds, swinging monkeys, and lazing tigers, while leopards prowl, elephants parade, and crocodiles lurk in the undergrowth, pools, and creeks below. This book is ideal for keeping children entertained on weekends, on journeys, or during summer vacation.

Series: Little Sticker Books
Add a little bit of fun to each scene with lots of reusable stickers. You can create your own scenes again
and again in these charming sticker books! 
Nibbles Numbers - Preschool
Nibbles:  Numbers - Preschool

Look out! Nibbles the book monster has munched his way through this book of numbers! Count along with him as he chomps his way from one to ten… but wherever will he go next? 

Wind Up Plane Book
Wind-Up Plane Book
Wind up the plane and watch it whiz around the tracks in this delightful interactive book.

Series: Wind-Up Books
Read the stories, then wind up the vehicle and watch it whiz around the different tracks. 
WARNING - CHOKING HAZARD:  This book contains small parts.  It is not recommended for children under the age of three years.   
Learning at Home with Usborne - Preschool - Pinterest
Learning from Home with Usborne

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Answers in Genesis Announces Truth Traveler, Their New Virtual Reality Experience

Truth Traveler, a Virtual Reality Experience
Truth Traveler, A Virtual Reality Experience

Truth Traveler, A Virtual Reality Experience at the Ark Encounter

Have you ever wished you could go back in time?  I have.  I love history.  When I'm reading about historical events, I often wish I could be there to personally experience them.  I would love to have personally watched and listened as Abraham Lincoln delivered the Gettysburg Address or walk the streets of various cities to experience the celebrations following the end of WWII.  When I read the Bible, I often wish I could have been there to personally speak with Biblical characters or watch certain events take place.  Today, we can virtually experience some things due to the advances in virtual reality technology.  Several months back, my husband brought home a set of virtual reality goggles similar to the ones in the photo above.  When I put them on, I was quiet surprised!  I was walking by a virtual river.  It felt so real that I began to walk toward the water to wade.  Haha!  My husband stopped me before I fell over the coffee table in front of me.  It was an amazing experience.  Well, the awesome people at the Ark Encounter museum have announced Truth Traveler.  Truth Traveler is their new virtual reality experience.  

Truth Traveler Virtual Reality Experience
Image Credit:  Answers in Genesis
Visitors to the Ark Encounter who choose to experience Truth Traveler will enjoy today's most advanced technology as they sit in interactive seats and wear virtual reality glasses.  Truth Traveler will take you back 4300 years to the time of Noah.  You'll see Noah building the Ark and watch the animals coming to it.  You'll virtually experience flood waters but don't worry.  You'll survive.  :)  The seats move backward, forward, and sideways.  The combination of moving seats and virtual reality glasses is sure to give you quiet a rides as you time travel back to the Biblical days of Noah's Ark.  I can't wait for my chance to go!

Enjoy the following trailer featuring the Truth Traveler experience.

If you are just learning about the Ark Encounter Museum, you might be interested in reading my post about our experience there a few years ago.  You'll want to check out the Creation Museum while you are there.  My family has visited both museums but the great folks at Answers in Genesis are always adding more to experience so we will be going back from time to time to check out the new attractions.   I most certainly want to check out Truth Traveler and when I do, I'll be sure to come back to tell you about my personal experience.

If you have already experienced Truth Traveler, we would love to hear from you.  In the comments, tell us about your experience!  

I first learned about the Truth Traveler experience when I read about it in my Answers Insider magazine.  

Answers Insider Magazine
Answers Insider Magazine from Answers in Genesis

When you visit the Answers in Genesis website.  Be sure to sign up for one of their many magazine options.  Choose to get magazines in the mail, in your email inbox, or both.

Help spread the news about this awesome new virtual reality experience!


Truth Traveler Pinterest
Pin this image and help spread the news about Truth Traveler!

Sunday, September 13, 2020

Jesus Was Missional (Jesus Habits Series)

Jesus Was Missional.  How to Be Missional Like Jesus Was
Jesus was missional.  We should be missional like Jesus was.
For the past few weeks at my church, we've been talking about habits.  Habits can determine the course of our lives.  Bad habits will lead us down a destructive path.  Good habits will improve our quality of life.  There is no way human beings can live a life filled with nothing but good habits.  Truth be told, we all have bad habits we need to change.  However, there was one man who lived a perfect life.  He had no bad habits at all.  His name was and is Jesus.  As Christ followers, we should desire to copy the habits of Jesus (we are calling them Jesus habits).  We have learned that Jesus prayed.  Jesus worshiped.  Jesus was relational.  Jesus was generous.  Today, we learn that Jesus was missional.  

The following are my Bible study notes based on my pastor's sermon.  You are invited to watch, listen, and worship with us here.

Jesus Was Missional

If your life is overcome with bad habits, you don't have to stay that way.  The gospel of Jesus is powerful enough to change your bad habits.  When the gospel changes your habits, your whole life changes. 

Our pastor mentions in the video above that one bad habit is wasting time.  One reason for wasting time is not knowing your life's mission or purpose.  Sometimes we know our life's mission or purpose, but we are afraid to take that step. 
I'm not afraid of failure; I'm afraid of succeeding at things that don't matter. - William Carey
Jesus never wasted time.  Jesus rested, slept, enjoyed meals, and spent time with friends, but He wasted no time fulfilling His mission.  Jesus was missional.

What was Jesus' mission?
For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost. - Luke 19:10
Jesus never strayed from His mission.

As followers of Jesus, His mission is our mission. 
So Jesus said to them again, “Peace be to you; just as the Father has sent Me, I also send you." - John 20:21
Are you a follower of Jesus?  If your answer is "yes," then His mission is your mission.  If your answer is "no," then learn more about how you can have a relationship with Jesus here.
Let's take a look at Luke 19:1-10.
Jesus entered Jericho and was passing through. And there was a man called by the name f Zaccheus; he was a chief tax collector and he was rich. Zaccheus was trying to see who Jesus was, and he was unable due to the crowd, because he was short in stature. So he ran on ahead and climbed up a sycamore tree in order to see Him, because He was about to pass through that way. And when Jesus came to the place, He looked up and said to him, “Zaccheus, hurry and come down, for today I must stay at your house.” And he hurried and came down, and received Him joyfully. When the people saw this, they all began to complain, saying, “He has gone in to be the guest of a man who is a sinner!” But Zaccheus stopped and said to the Lord, “Behold, Lord, half of my possessions I am giving to the poor, and if I have extorted anything from anyone, I am giving back four times as much.” And Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because he, too, is a son of Abraham. 10 For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.” - Luke 19:1-10
Take not of three missional words at the end of the above passage:  Seek, Save, Lost.

Have you ever been lost?  You can be lost and not look like you are lost.  Zacchaeus did not look lost, but he was.  He thought he was somebody important, but there was a void in his life.  Zacchaeus fell short of the glory of God.  We are told in Romans 3:23 that we ALL fall short of the glory of God.
For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. - Romans 3:23
Like Zacchaeus, many of us think we are "OK with God" or that we are "righteous enough."  Like Zacchaeus, we might appear to "have it all," but instead be empty.  
Guess what?  You might think you are seeking Jesus, but Jesus is seeking you.  Like Christ came to Zacchaeus, He comes to you.  God wants to spend time with you. 

When Jesus saves you, He changes everything about you.

Zacchaeus received Jesus with joy.  Salvation is a relationship with Jesus.  When we receive His love, forgiveness, joy, and peace, our hearts change.

Do you need a change in your heart?  Do you need new good habits?  Jesus' mission was to seek and save the lost.  His mission is to seek and save you.

If you are already a Christ follower, then you have been found so that you can find others.  You have been loved so that you can love others.  You have been changed so that you can become a change agent in the lives of others. 

Jesus was missional.  How to Be Missional Like Jesus Was
How to Be Missional Like Jesus Was

Jesus Was Generous (Jesus Habits Series)

Jesus was generous.  We should develop the habit of living generously.  The following are my Bible study notes based on my pastor's sermon titled "Jesus Habits:  Generosity."

Jesus was generous.
Jesus was generous.
You are invited to watch, listen, and worship with us here.

What does it mean to be generous?  Generosity is defined as being intentional in life by offering yourself and resources to others in the name of Jesus.  We are never more like Jesus than when we are generous.  Generosity is a foundational Jesus habit.

Jesus Habits:  Generosity

Generosity was a habit in the life of Jesus.  

Jesus gave healing to those who were hurting.

Moved with compassion, Jesus stretched out His hand and touched him, and said to him, “I am willing; be cleansed.” - Mark 1:41

As Jesus went on from there, two blind men followed Him, crying out, “Have mercy on us, Son of David!”  When He entered the house, the blind men came up to Him, and Jesus said to them, “Do you believe that I am able to do this?” They said to Him, “Yes, Lord.”  Then He touched their eyes, saying, “It shall be done to you according to your faith.” - Matthew 9:27-29

A man was there who had been ill for thirty-eight years.  When Jesus saw him lying there, and knew that he had already been a long time in that condition, He said to him, “Do you wish to get well?”  The sick man answered Him, “Sir, I have no man to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up, but while I am coming, another steps down before me.”  Jesus said to him, “Get up, pick up your pallet and walk.”  Immediately the man became well, and picked up his pallet and began to walk. - John 5:5-9

At that very time He cured many people of diseases and afflictions and evil spirits; and He gave sight to many who were blind.   And He answered and said to them, “Go and report to John what you have seen and heard: the blind receive sight, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, the poor have the gospel preached to them. - Luke 7:21-22

If you are hurting, Jesus is willing to heal you.

Beautiful Word Coloring Bible
This item is available here.

Jesus was generous with His time. 

Then some children were brought to Him so that He might lay His hands on them and pray; and the disciples rebuked them.  But Jesus said, “Let the children alone, and do not hinder them from coming to Me; for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” - Matthew 19:13-14 
Jesus said, "Let the little children come to me."  Matthew 19:14
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Jesus always made time for those who were hurting.

Jesus was generous to His enemies.

Now he who was betraying Him gave them a sign, saying, “Whomever I kiss, He is the one; seize Him.”  Immediately Judas went to Jesus and said, “Hail, Rabbi!” and kissed Him.  And Jesus said to him, “Friend, do what you have come for.” Then they came and laid hands on Jesus and seized Him. - Matthew 26:48-50

But Jesus responded and said, “Stop! No more of this.” And He touched his ear and healed him. - Luke 22:51

34 But Jesus was saying, “Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.” And they cast lots, dividing His garments among themselves. - Luke 23:34

For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. - Romans 5:10

And you were dead in your offenses and sins, in which you previously walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience. Among them we too all previously lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the rest. But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our wrongdoings, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved). - Ephesians 2:1-5

Jesus gave Himself to us.

16 “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish, but have eternal life. - John 3:16

Jesus was generous.  John 3:16
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But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name. - John 1:12

Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility consider one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others. Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, as He already existed in the form of God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but emptied Himself by taking the form of a bond-servant and being born in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death: death on a cross. - Philippians 2:3-8

When we see how much we have been given, it is easy to give. 

What does the habit of generosity look like in our lives?

The biggest lie Satan wants you to believe is that you have to already have a lot in order to be generous.  Not true!  Let's read the parable of the talents in Matthew 25.

14 “For it is just like a man about to go on a journey, who called his own slaves and entrusted his possessions to them. 15 To one he gave five talents, to another, two, and to another, one, each according to his own ability; and he went on his journey. 16 The one who had received the five talents immediately went and did business with them, and earned five more talents. 17 In the same way the one who had received the two talents earned two more. 18 But he who received the one talent went away and dug a hole in the ground, and hid his master’s money.

19 “Now after a long time the master of those slaves came and settled accounts with them. 20 The one who had received the five talents came up and brought five more talents, saying, ‘Master, you entrusted five talents to me. See, I have earned five more talents.’ 21 His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful slave. You were faithful with a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter the joy of your master.’

22 “Also the one who had received the two talents came up and said, ‘Master, you entrusted two talents to me. See, I have earned two more talents.’ 23 His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful slave. You were faithful with a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter the joy of your master.’ - Matthew 25:14-23

God has given each of us a "measure of talents" to be used to invest in God's kingdom.  Some of have 5 and some of us have 2.  The "talents" we are given are to be used as Jesus commands and that is to love Him and love others.  How do we love others?  We follow Jesus' example.  We are to be generous to others. 

We do not need a lot to be generous.  We only need a changed heart.

There is a boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish; but what are these for so many people?” 10 Jesus said, “Have the people recline to eat.” Now there was plenty of grass in the place. So the men reclined, about five thousand in number. 11 Jesus then took the loaves, and after giving thanks He distributed them to those who were reclining; likewise also of the fish, as much as they wanted. - John 6:9-11

Generosity is not just and act.  It is an attitude of the heart.

Generosity is not just a feeling.  It is a lifestyle choice.

We don't always feel like being generous.  Sometimes we don't want to be generous because we feel the other person doesn't deserve our generosity.  Well, generosity is not based on how we feel or whether or not the receiver deserves our generosity.  Our generosity is based on who we are in Christ Jesus.

How can you be generous?

Be generous with your words.

Be generous in prayer.

Be generous with your time.

Be generous with your money.

Be generous with your home.

When we embrace the Jesus habit of generosity, our lives become transformed.  We become others-centered.

How is God calling you to be generous today?  


Jesus was generous.  Jesus Habits Series
Jesus was generous.

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Verse of the Day from Bible Gateway