Monday 10 August 2020
38 Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”
We are continuing this mini series of talks aimed to enable you to re-imagine what church can be as we find our way to our new normal. It highly likely our new normal will see more employment, more need for foodbanks and other immediate support and also less government money to be able to meet every need, and that’s just in our country! The needs of other nations that were already high but now face scales of need never experienced, so many charities and aid agencies also will need help. So many opportunities for the church to arise and shine.
The first Christians focused on very simple things that the Holy Spirit brought to life in them. This week will be drawing from the bible the principle of generous living and then inviting you to re-imagining how we can continue to live that in the months and years ahead. All through scripture we are encouraged to live in a generous way towards others and especially the poor.
The Science of Generosity
Some social scientists are uncovering the benefits of generous living. Christian Smith and Hilary Davidson, authors of a book called The Paradox of Generosity, note, “By giving ourselves away, we ourselves move toward flourishing. This is not only a philosophical or religious teaching; it is a sociological fact.” Those who give money away, who volunteer their time, and are relationally generous are more likely than others to report being very happy. would seem to have has health benefits. How great that people have discovered what the bible has been saying for centuries! No wonder the Bible says God loves a cheerful giver. Many of you I’m sure will have experienced that great Joy as you have generously given to and helped others.
A few years ago I was privileged to go to the Philippines to work for a few weeks with a street children’s Charity. Every meal time the team sat and enjoyed the most fantastic meals and hospitality, we noticed after a few days that none of the staff ate with us, and we later found out they would only eat after they had made sure that we had the first helping even if it meant far less or nothing for them. Many of you who have worked in other countries may also of had this experience of generosity, I also noticed that they seemed to have far more joy and happiness than we did.
So how can we continue to live a generous Life? The simple answer is look to Jesus, as we understand His work on the cross to save us, we see the generosity of God towards us as sinners, and as we experience the richness of His GRACE, (undeserved favour), we should be then filled with gratitude at what is being done for us receiving freedom, forgiveness, new life, hope and so much more. Our response then is also to do unto others in the same way, with the same love the same grace and the same unending generosity.
Acts 2 v 44-45, Luke 6 v 31-40
“You have not lived today until you have done something for someone who can never repay you.”