Generosity (2)

9 September 2012

1.   Introduction (Review)

Jn.12:1-7 “Mary took a pound of very costly oil of Spikenard, anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped His feet with her hair.  And the house was filled with the fragrance of the oil”.

·       Generosity is unlimited – you choose how generous you are.

·       Generosity that is extravagant is like a sweet fragrance – very noticeable.

·       Generosity flows out of a heart of gratitude – Mary grateful Lazarus is alive.

·       Generosity exposes greed (vs5-6)

·       Generosity is rewarded in unexpected ways (Mt.26:13 – a memorial to her).


2.   Generosity is the Practical Expression of being Right with God

·      Ps.112:9 “..He has given to the poor, his righteousness endures forever”

·      Ps.37:21 “…The righteous shows mercy and gives (Also vs 25-26)

·      Mt.25:31-40 “Come you blessed of thy Father … for I was hungry and you gave me food”.

·      Wikipedia Definition

·      Tzedek = righteous

·      Tzedakah = charity, generosity to the poor

·      Shane Willard (Hebrew meanings)

Tsidag = righteous Tsidagah = generous ‘h = to reveal

Righteousness revealed = generosity

·      Hebrews considered that your resources/finances all belonged to God who entrusts you with it – your responsibility is to steward and be generous.

·      1 Jn.4:17 “Whoever has this world’s goods and sees his brother in need and shuts up his heart from him, how does the love of God abide in him?”

·      The practical outworking of being in right relationship with God is generosity – especially to the poor. (Jm.1:27 – Pure Religion)


3.   Generosity is a Lifestyle

·      God intends that generosity overflow from our life continually.

·      Generosity is both intentional (you plan it) and spontaneous.


OT Examples

(a)  Dt. 24:19-22 – Law of Harvesting

-       The people were agricultural based; the fields were their source of income.

-       Consumerism – pressures people to spend more on themselves.

-       God is against consumerism – selfishness and greed

·         Don’t consume everything – create margins in life for compassion to the poor.

·         Set aside : Money – time – talents for the benefit of others.

·         No quantity specified – it is the principle of intentional generosity.

·         Give to the stranger (unsaved/gospel), fatherless and the widow.

·         Note:           Motive v 22 – Gratitude

Re3ward v 19 – God will bless you in every work of your hand.

(b)  Dt.14:28-29 – At end of every third year – a tithe for stranger, fatherless and widows within your gates

·         Principle of intentional generosity setting aside 1/3 >1/10 = 1/30th


(c)  2 Cor.9:5 – Prepare your generous gift beforehand - generosity

·         Principle of intentional generosity – not grudging obligation.

·         Plan to set aside a portion intentionally so have provision to give.


4.   Generosity has no Selfish Agenda

·       Lk.6:38 “Give and it shall be given to you”.

·       Most people focus on getting – the motive is to get something for self.

·       God’s desire is for us to love being a giver, being generous without an agenda.

·       Lk.6:30-38 Context of giving – Grace

-       People assume Jesus on speaking about money

-       Jesus also speaking about mercy, judgement, condemnation, forgiveness.

-       He is talking about the principle of giving and its motivation.

-       God weighs the heart motives Prov.16:2

-       Principle: whatever you give will come back to you increased.

-       World system = trading – I give you something and I expect in return.

e.g. (v32-33) (i) repay someone                     ) What grace is on your life?

            (v34) (ii) hoping for personal gain       ) This is just trading

·      There is no evidence of grace (true generosity) when give with agendas


5.   Generosity is rewarded

·      Jesus Directive: Love, do good, lend with no personal agenda of gain.

·      Outcome:         (i) You establish your identity – son of God. (righteous revealed)

Lk.6:35,38          (ii) You receive great reward from God. (This promise removes fear or

regret in giving).

·      God is generous and will ensure a return that is generous.  May come in unexpected form, may be delayed, and may be in eternity.

·      Example Acts10:2 Cornelius – gave alms generously and rewarded by God.

·      Example Acts 4:36 Barnabus – gave generously = apostle.