As I mentioned in my birthday weekend post, the sermon at University Baptist Church this past Sunday was on generosity. I don't normally love sermons on money and tithing, but I do need to hear about the importance of generosity, as it is a major part of the person who I strive to be.
I come from a long line of extremely generous people on both sides. My paternal grandfather worked his way up from basically nothing to earn a very good living for his family. He believed, as my father passed down to me, that with great privilege comes great responsibility, because what we have is not ours, but God's. God has entrusted us with this abundance to do what's right and good and to help those who are less fortunate. My paternal grandfather started many scholarships at Georgia Southern University, and my father and I started one at Auburn University. There are other ways to be generous, however. My maternal grandfather hasn't always had the means to be extremely generous monetarily, but has been exceptionally generous with his time and with his talents as a Minister of Music as well as meeting the needs of his family and community. With that said, I also strive to be a generous person as I know that's what God wants us to be. He has given us many blessings, and it is our job to share these blessings with those less fortunate.
Steve touched on three main points about generosity in his sermon:
I. Generosity is a by-product of believing that everything you have comes from God.
16 Don’t be deceived, my dear brothers and sisters. 17 Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.
*if we believe that everything that we have comes from God, then we shouldn't have a problem giving back to God's purpose and mission.
II. Generosity is a by-product of the compassion of Christ residing within you.
*we want to give to others, because we want to strive to be like Christ.
III. Generosity is a by-product of being Eternally minded.
For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
*when we leave this Earth, we cannot take anything with us. Why then, should we need to hold onto anything other that what we need to survive. Of course luxury items are fun to have (I will be the first to admit that it would be hard for me to give up some of these luxuries!), but we should also give to those who do not have the necessities to survive.
I think Sunday's message was a great one, and I hope that it can change the way you think about generosity and giving a little!