Sunday, February 21, 2021

Discipling Generosity - Reflecting the Heart of God

Discipling Generosity
Discipling Generosity

Generosity is more about what God wants for you than from you.  This is a phrase we've been saying a lot at our church as we have been studying the topic of generosity.  Today, we are talking about discipling generosity.  

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

Generosity is an invitation and an opportunity.  Don't miss out.

Remember when you were a child, and your teacher gave you a pot and a seed.  It was time for you to learn how to plant seeds and grow plants.  You planted the seed.  Then you nurtured the seed and waited patiently for a sprout.  Then you nurtured the sprout.  Finally, the sprout became a nice plant, and you thought, "Wow, look what I did!  The truth is that the seed was not yours.  Your teacher gave you the seeds.  You reaped the harvest of a seed that didn't belong to you.  This is an example, a picture of the generosity of God.

In the beginning, God created everything in a generous act of love.
Then God said, “Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the surface of all the earth, and every tree which has fruit yielding seed; it shall be food for you. - Genesis 1:29
Is Genesis History - Answers in Genesis
This item is available here.

God created things to exist and the potential for everything else to exist. The seeds of His creation were an entire orchard waiting to bloom.

In 2 Corinthians, Paul is challenging the church at Corinth to excel in generosity.
Therefore I urge you to reaffirm your love for him. For to this end I also wrote, so that I might put you to the test, whether you are obedient in all things. - 2 Corinthians 2:8-9
Generosity is part of discipleship, growing in godliness.  When we are generous, we are reflecting the heart of God.

2 Ways Paul is Discipling Generosity

1.  See generosity as a seed to sow.

Now I say this: the one who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and the one who sows generously will also reap generously. - 2 Corinthians 9:6
We reap in proportion to what we sow.  Sow a little.  Get little.  So a lot.  Get a lot.  We cannot expect to reap a harvest in places where we have sown no seeds.  We reap what we sow.
Each one must do just as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. - 2 Corinthians 9:7
The heart is central to the practice of generosity. Grateful hearts give willingly.  It is a response of love.  You can give without loving but you can never love without giving. This sowing and reaping is true for spiritual things as well as it is for material things.
Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a person sows, this he will also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will reap destruction from the flesh, but the one who sows to the Spirit will reap eternal life from the Spirit. - Galatians 6:7-8
The seed and the harvest belong to God.
Now 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 everything for all liberality, which through us is producing thanksgiving to God. - 2 Corinthians 9:10-11
 God is owner.  We are manager.  God is supplier.  We are distributor.
Generosity looks like two open hands, one to receive and one to give.  
Sowing seed brings more seeds to sow.  God never runs out of generosity.

2.  See generosity as a ministry to serve.

For the ministry of this service is not only fully supplying the needs of the saints, but is also overflowing through many thanksgivings to God. - 2 Corinthians 9:12
Generosity is more than money.  It's ministry.  Generosity is reflecting and revealing God's heart to others. 
Because of the proof given by this ministry, they will glorify God for your obedience to your confession of the gospel of Christ and for the liberality of your contribution to them and to all. - 2 Corinthians 9:13
Generosity invokes worship.
While they also, by prayer on your behalf, yearn for you because of the surpassing grace of God in you. - 2 Corinthians 9:14
Discipleship is the process of becoming more like Jesus.
Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift! - 2 Corinthians 9:15

Discipling Generosity
Discipling Generosity

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