Soulnet 2015 – session 3

31 Jan

Mike reminds us that the Bible talks a lot about generosity, particularly about giving financially.
He is very clear that it is not talking about the “prosperity gospel” teaching, but that of giving because of faith, not because of what we are going to get back. But this same message of generosity also speaks about a God who gives generously to those who love Him.
Mike tells us a story of how he used to be dependent upon having money saved in case the worst might happen and tells us how God showed him how he was putting his trust in the wrong things, when his trust should be in God.
Mike tells us that either we believe the promises God makes, both in the Bible and to us personally, or we don’t. But we need to remember to be cheerful givers. Don’t give out of duty, give out of a desire and a love to give.

2 Corinthians 9
Now concerning the ministering to the saints, it is superfluous for me to write to you; for I know your willingness, about which I boast of you to the Macedonians, that Achaia was ready a year ago; and your zeal has stirred up the majority. Yet I have sent the brethren, lest our boasting of you should be in vain in this respect, that, as I said, you may be ready; lest if some Macedonians come with me and find you unprepared, we (not to mention you!) should be ashamed of this confident boasting. Therefore I thought it necessary to exhort the brethren to go to you ahead of time, and prepare your generous gift beforehand, which you had previously promised, that it may be ready as a matter of generosity and not as a grudging obligation.
But this I say: He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work. As it is written:
“He has dispersed abroad,
He has given to the poor;
His righteousness endures forever.”

Now may He who supplies seed to the sower, and bread for food, supply and multiply the seed you have sown and increase the fruits of your righteousness, while you are enriched in everything for all liberality, which causes thanksgiving through us to God. For the administration of this service not only supplies the needs of the saints, but also is abounding through many thanksgivings to God, while, through the proof of this ministry, they glorify God for the obedience of your confession to the gospel of Christ, and for your liberal sharing with them and all men, and by their prayer for you, who long for you because of the exceeding grace of God in you. Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!

Mike reminds us that generosity is not just about money. It is about every aspect of our lives. It includes our time. It includes our resources. It includes people in our churches.

There are 2 kinds of giving. There is strategic or planned giving.
But there is also “random” giving, giving as if on a whim, just for fun. Giving to reflect who God is, not for how the receiver reacts.

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Archbishop Cranmer

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