Due to technical issues, our service was not recorded last Sunday. So sorry for any inconvenience! I would like to share with you an overview of our service last week so that we can all move forward in a coordinated stride.
Carrie led Communal Prayer. She offered to us direction for how we are praying moving into 2019. More to come on that this Sunday.
Our Sermon Series for the Month is called: In-a-Word: Generosity. This study is about getting a better grip on meaningful words in the Bible. We started by looking at some of the over-arching facts of the word:
Defined as: (of a person) showing a readiness to give more of something, as money or time, than is strictly necessary or expected. Origin: a word characteristic of nobility or courageousness (Google).
The word generosity is used 27 times in the Bible (Holman Christian Standard Bible). It is also used as ‘generous’ and ‘generously’. It is generally used as to explain the motivation behind giving both from the Lord and man. It is used to explain matters of disposition.
I then offered my personal journey with this word. I reflected on how the Lord has been working to mature me. Here is the overview:
Generosity is a word I studied because I lacked it greatly 3 years ago. It was at that time that Carrie wanted to discuss with me our tithing and giving. She wanted us to give more money out of our budget to the church and to other ministries.
My initial response to her asking to give more money was one of fear and anxiety. I was unsure as to why I reacted that way. I always thought of myself as a generous person. Using Scripture, I began evaluating my heart and this word (God’s Response: Psalm 112:5-8). In light of this passage, I could not understand the root cause of my fear.
Realizing that 1 Timothy 3 states: Church leaders ‘cannot be greedy or lovers of money', I was then questioning how to move forward. After reflecting, it remained clear to me that money was not an object of my affection. However, while I was not greedy for money, what made me feel fearful was my need to feel safe from money. Her request to be more generous threatened my personal feeling of safety that money seemed to be providing for me. My sense of personal safety was the object of my affection.
For me, fear served me as a mirror. It reflected my truest convictions and affections. Upon Carrie’s request, I feared not having enough money, therefore I gripped onto it for dear life. I idolized the feeling of safety money provided me (God’s Response: Psalm 37:25-29). I now find great rest in this passage referenced that, at the time, pricked me deeply.
We then closed our time of gathering around God’s Word by looking at this developing theory from Scripture:
Growth can lend itself toward toward Greed.
In essence, the need for (fill in the blank) growth has a natural bent toward becoming self-indulgent. Case in point: “My growth is threatened by meeting the need of another…” Even if the growth is good for us, perhaps it came at the cost of the good of another.
Generosity can lend itself toward Cultivation.
Cultivation is the imparting of our strength and resources in order to gain a result from which many benefit. The Gospel refashions our disposition toward being and becoming more and more generous, which results in our cultivation. As the Lord matures us, we then see the fruitfulness that flows out of our generosity. More to come tomorrow. I am looking forward to seeing you!
I love you,