2 Corinthians 9:11 NIV- You will be made rich in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God.
SELFISHNESS - devoted to or caring only for oneself; concerned primarily with one’s own interests, benefits, welfare, etc., regardless of others
There’s 2 types of people: #1 People who are selfish & consume & always want to know what’s in it for them, #2 People who are selfless & contribute & always want to know what they can do for somebody else. We need more #2′s
John D Rockefeller said, “I believe that the rendering of useful service is the common duty of mankind, and that only in purifying fire of sacrifice is the dross of selfishness consumed and the greatness of the human soul set free.”
Mark 8:35 NLT – “If you try to keep your life for yourself, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake and for the sake of the Good News, you will find true life.”
•Over 800 verses in the Bible about the subject of Money. It’s addressed more than heaven and hell. 16 of 38 stories Jesus told were about money and man.
The story is told that one day a beggar by the roadside asked for alms from Alexander the Great as he passed by. The man was poor and wretched and had no claim upon the ruler, no right to even life a solicitous hand. Yet the Emperor threw him several gold coins. A courtier was astonished at his generosity and commented, “Sir, copper coins would adequately meet a beggar’s need. Why give him gold?”
Alexander responded in royal fashion “Copper would suit the beggar’s need, but gold coins suit Alexander’s giving.”
Very few people these days, have “the Great” added to their names. When we think of Alexander the Great, most people think of the historical figure, who was young, eccentric, a brilliant military strategist with blond hair and bulging muscles and looks like Colin Farrell. However, one of the secrets of all greatness is revealed through generosity.
He didn’t have to prove anything to anyone. But his way of thinking challenged the thinking of not just the courier, but everyone who had the privilege of being in the presence of greatness. He just didn’t subdued kingdoms with superior military strategy, but conquered mediocrity through his generous life.
“Your standard of giving reflects your standard of living”
•We find meaning by giving our lives away
Acts 20:35 It is more blessed to give than to receive. (God’s concept)
•THE KEY TO A Selfless LIFE IS A HEART OF GENEROSITY.
Proverbs 11:24-25 NIV 24 One man gives freely, yet gains even more; another withholds unduly, but comes to poverty. 25 A generous man will prosper; he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed.
•Generosity doesn’t start when you have a lot, it starts when you have little!
• Your giving and generosity should be directly tied to what God allows to come into your life.
2 Corinthians 9:6-8, NIV 6 Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. 7 Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. 8 And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work…
Generosity is quality of heart and mind opposed to meanness
•What is Generosity? It’s literally “Freedom from meanness or smallness of mind and character. Meanness is born out of selfishness and selfishness is born out of self preservation.
•Generosity: A courageous disposition full of the Spirit, that is evidenced by:
•A quality of heart and mind opposed to meanness
•A nobleness of soul that is empowered to bestow favor
•A bountiful disposition that is free to give with bold liberality
When you are generous, you are free from the smallness of your own mind. Smallness of mind is when you are focused on you and what you need, not the needs of others.
Generosity goes against our nature. Andy Stanley said it best when he said, “by nature the concept of generosity is in direct conflict with the concept of self preservation”
Luke 16:9 NLT – 9 Here’s the lesson: Use your worldly resources to benefit others and make friends. Then, when your earthly possessions are gone, they will welcome you to an eternal home. (In this way, your generosity stores up a reward for you in heaven)
•”There’s no reason to be the richest man in the cemetery. You can’t do any business from there” Col. Sanders (he gave $2 million to the AG missions prior to his death)
•”Generosity is a good criterion of a person’s mental health. Generous people are rarely mentally ill people” Dr. Karl Menninger
How can you begin to develop a generous spirit that leads to a generous life?
Philippians 4:8 (NIV) 8 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.
Noble – One who because of elevation of mind (think), becomes heroic (be) by doing deeds “uncommonly” well with excellence as the standard (do)
“When you elevate your thinking, you elevate your life”
Generosity is not just meeting the needs of “Beggars” or need people so that we feel better about ourselves. It’s a way of thinking, being, and doing life that becomes heroic by approaching life with an extravagant God-like excellence.
God’s desire for us is to think….be…do life like Him. We elevate our thinking when we put God first with our time, talent, and treasure.
The Result of Generosity
Everything you need will be added unto you
Matthew 6:33 (NIV) But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.
Your Children will be Blessed
Psalm 37:25-26 NIV- I have never seen the righteous forsaken or their children begging for bread. They are always generous…their children will be blessed.
Good will come to you (The Favor of God)
Psalm 112:5 NIV Good will come to those who are generous and lend freely, who conduct their affairs with justice.
You will prosper and be refreshed
Proverbs 11:24-25 NIV One man gives freely, yet gains even more (gets larger and larger); another withholds unduly, but comes to poverty. 25 A generous man will prosper; he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed.
another translation – “The world of the generous gets larger and larger; the world of the stingy gets smaller and smaller. The one who blesses others is abundantly blessed. Those who help others are helped.”
BONUS – Treasures in Heaven
a. I Timothy 6:18-19 “Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. In this way they will lay up treasures.”
God has called us to a generous life, because the world needs to see a generous God! I want to challenge you to be generous. Love generously, give generously and live generously!
Our Generosity is a reflection of the generosity of God!
Love always finds a way: selfishness always finds an excuse!
God calls you to a service far beyond anything you could ever imagine. You were put on Earth to make a contribution.
You weren’t created just to consume resources – to eat, breath, and take up space. God designed you to make a difference with your life. God wants to you to give something back!
•There’s a clever young guy named Somebody Else, There’s nothing this guy cannot do. He is busy from morning till way late at night, Just substituting for you.
You’re asked to do this or you’re asked to do that And what is your reply?
Get Somebody Else to do that job, He’ll do it much better than I.
So much to do in this weary old world, So much and workers so few,
And Somebody Else, all weary and worn, Is still substituting for you.
Are you content to let Somebody Else serve & give?
•”Do all the good you can, In all the ways you can, To all the souls you can, In every place you can, At all the times you can, with all the zeal you can, As long as you can.” John Wesley
Generosity Brings absolute fulfillment
Matthew 25:21 – “Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things so; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!”