Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Boundless Generosity.

Boundless Generosity- Congrats!

Our church started a new sermon series last Sunday, and I personally love it! The message on Sunday really spoke to me. Here are the verses it was based on from 1 Timothy 6:17-19:

17 Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment.18 Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. 19 In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life.

I really liked these verses. Don't be arrogant. Material wealth is uncertain. God is the One who richly provides. Be rich in good deeds. Be willing to share. Treasure up things for a firm foundation. Take hold of the life that is truly life.

It's extremely sad how discontent people are with their lives and possessions. We always want more. The "If I could just have____, then I would be happy," mentality is far to present and consuming in our world, and it NEVER SATISFIES. The second you get whatever your fill in the blank thing is, it is usually just replaced with something else. 

Generosity is not thought of very highly or exercised often in today's world, especially in the United States. Here, it's valued to think for yourself, be driven, be first, be successful, to be the "top dog." Most people, myself included, get sucked into the "I deserve this" or "I deserve good things" attitude. 

That is so wrong. God never ever promised an easy or abundant life on earth, filled with material possessions. He does promise abundant life IN HIM, but that looks different than what the world thinks abundant means. 

There were a lot of statistics in the message, which were very convicting. In the last century, the square footage of homes has doubled while family size has been cut in half. I think he said that if you make $48,000 a year, you are in the top 4% of the entire world. That's a handful to take in. In the United States, $48,000 isn't that much- basically an entry level salary to some. A percentage that's way too high suffer from anorexia, while a percentage that's much higher than that don't have enough food to eat everyday. The poverty line in the US is around $20,000 for a small family. $20,000- that's extreme wealth to the majority of the world!

It's far too easy to allow myself to get sucked into the trap that "I don't have any money right now, so I can be generous later when we make more." But generosity isn't all about money. Generosity should be a lifestyle. If you aren't generous now with your time, efforts, talents, and money, then you probably won't be later either. 

I really like the word "boundless" in front of generosity. I think that's what God calls us to be. There's never a time where we are generous enough, but the majority tend do to as little as they can to "get by" on the generosity scale and check it off their list. I want that statement to be more influential in my life- I'm never generous enough. There is ALWAYS something more that I could do. Not that God calls us to extend ourselves out on limbs that are unhealthy and drain ourselves empty, but far too often I settle for generosity that's mediocre or shamefully small.

I want to be more generous. I want to use what money we do have to bless others. For instance, in January our church did an underwear drive for people in the community who don't have underwear. So, we don't have tons of money (we have way more school debt than we do actual money), but that's not an excuse. We can afford to buy a few packs of underwear, so I did. I want to do a better job of taking advantage of practical opportunities like that.

I want to do a better job of being generous with my time, efforts, talents, and home. I want to use my free time in ways that serve. I want to open our apartment for people to come, be encouraged, and know Him more deeply when they leave. Not only do I want to do these things, I want to have a servant's heart and a good attitude while I do them.

I want to be more generous. Boundlessly generous.


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