Generosity is a Response

 I love Seacoast church, and the more I've gone there and followed them, the more good things I see. I came across this sermon series about money, The Elephant in the Room. Here's the first sermon in the series by Josh Walters. This one didn't really blow me away, but the rest of the series picks up:

If you get the chance, read those verses on the Zacchaeus link and the Rich Guy links below (they're short). Ray Vander Laan has a really great sermon on Zacchaeus that is somewhere here. Unfortunately, I don't know which one (so you'll have to listen to all of them!), but if you scan my old posts you may find it, should you have the time.

I highlighted a statement below: "when Jesus is Lord, God is your provider." If you really take hold of that, imagine the matter what happens in your life, you'll be okay because God is taking care of you. Jesus tells us this in Matthew 6:25-34. In 1 Kings, the first lesson God teaches Elijah is that He will provide. When that provision goes away, God sends him somewhere else to provide for him, as well as for the family through which he had allocated that provision!

God is a provider. It takes faith and a lot of trust to give your financial life over to God (which is funny, because we so easily trust Him with those parts of life that are eternal), but as we get deeper into following Jesus and knowing God, I think that this is one of the big lessons we have to learn. After all, if God can't provide for our material means, then how can we expect Him to show up in bigger ways, like miracles and changing lives?

It makes sense that this is the first lesson God teaches Elijah before his ministry really kicks in, because otherwise, he may have not had the faith to become such an amazing conduit for God's acts on earth. I doubt that our lives/ ministries are any different.

Notes from the sermon:
  • God is a giver, not a taker
  • Generosity is something God wants for me, not from me
    • When we cling to money as our god, we ultimate rob ourselves of life
  •  2 stories: Zacchaeus, a tax collector, and a rich guy who asked Jesus how to get eternal life and Jesus told him to sell everythinghe had:
    • Two responses
    • Two outcomes = two stories
    • Generosity is a response
      • It exposes the posture of my heart
        •  The rich guy wanted to know the minimum he could do to get life
        • Our readiness or refusal to respond in generosity reveals the condition of our hearts
      • It reveals the size of my God
        •  One asks Jesus to speak into his life, the other gives his life to Jesus
      • It changes the outcome of my story
    • Jesus loved both men
      • Both are invited to relationship
  • When Jesus is Lord, God is your provider
    • Makes it easier to be generous
  • Generosity produces life in us

*Some of the stuff I wrote above is derived from a Jamie Winship sermon, which I also cannot locate, but if you scan previous posts, you'll find it.