Last week, we started a new Series titled: This is how we do it. We put God first!
The premise of this new series is to explore ways to be contagious Christians. It is not enough to be a Christian in the outskirts of our everyday life, we must be contagious in our approach! Not only contagious but also deliberate with how we show up when others choose to go with the flow. You shouldn’t have to make excuses for being a Christian! Even with many doing it wrong, you can be a loud voice to show how it’s done right. The first area we are focusing on is generosity.
We rarely talk about generosity since we don’t want anyone ever to feel pressure to give but rather understand how we should be leading the way with irrational generosity!
At UPC, do at least one charitable event every month. And this month we are planning two!
We have done over 40 I love my city projects. Here, at UP Church, we aren’t interested in teaching anyone to give, we are interested in teaching you how to be irrationally generous. We will be feeding people on Thanksgiving who have no place to go and providing meals to families in need and we are so excited!
Most people think they are generous because they give but giving and being generous are two different things.
Most Americans don’t feel rich and we are. We have a House, Car, etc. Most Americans think we are generous and we really aren’t.
The average American gives 2.8% if their income.
The number one reason why we don’t give is because we have a scarcity mentality.
And scarcity is a cycle that is really hard to break!
It goes like this: God Supplies: We consume. We lack. We fear. We consume again.
The scarcity mentality is one that says: “I can’t never get ahead…” “I always have to struggle…” “I wish I could give more…” Or we just start cringing when the pastor starts talking about generosity, even if it’s not often.
THIS IS HOW WE DO IT:
WE GIVE GENEROUSLY.
7 You must each decide in your heart how much to give. And don’t give reluctantly or in response to pressure. “For God loves a person who gives cheerfully.” 8 And God will generously provide all you need. Then you will always have everything you need and plenty left over to share with others. 9 As the Scriptures say, “They share freely and give generously to the poor. Their good deeds will be remembered forever.” 2 Cor 9:7-9 NLT
This is how we do it!
THIS IS HOW GOD DOES IT:
GOD MULTIPLIES ABUNDANTLY.
10 For God is the one who provides seed for the farmer and then bread to eat. In the same way, he will provide and increase your resources and then produce a great harvest of generosity in you. 11 Yes, you will be enriched in every way so that you can always be generous. And when we take your gifts to those who need them, they will thank God.2 Cor 9:10-11
We give. God multiplies. Faith kicks in. We give again.
Here’s the difference: God doesn’t give, God is generous. And God is calling us to be like Him. He is calling us to not settle for good enough, but to be great and stretch our faith to be more like Him… Being more like God is being generous.
Giving is ordinary, generosity is extraordinary.
Giving is what I do when I have an overabundance of something, generous is what I do when I want to test my faith.
3 Ways To Foster Generosity:
• Spiritual Growth -> Know the source (GOD) -> Trust the source -> Be blessed by the source.
• Active faith is actually stretching our giving to foster generosity. It’s not giving what is conformable, but rather, giving what will stretch your faith.
• Confidence in God: You are confident, not waiting, but confident that God will supply your every needs.
Most people stay outside the bounds of spiritual growth. Spiritual growth is what determines the level of generosity, or the lack thereof.
How come we like to listen to the Holy Spirit in every other area of our life but not in the area of generosity? After all, aren’t we stealing from God?? If God is saying this is what obedience looks like… Give your tithes and offering and you can test me in this… And we are like… Ummm…. Nah… That’s alright.
This is not about coursing or manipulating anyone to give but rather to teach people to listen to the Holy Spirit, because the Holy Spirit is always right! The Holy Spirit is an unstoppable force that will tell you to go to the bible so the bible can give you practical lessons on generosity. One way God is calling us to be generous is to test him with our tithes:
TITHING BREAKS THE CYCLE OF SCARCITY AND CREATES A NEW CYCLE OF SUPPLY.
First 10% of everything we receive—belongs to God.
THE POWER OF THE TITHE
1) THE TITHE TEACHES US PUT GOD FIRST.
The purpose of tithing is to teach you to always put God first in your lives. Deut. 14:23 TLB
For me to do that—I’d have to rearrange my whole life—YES.
I’d have to give up something—YES.
This would stretch my faith—YES!
It takes faith to give first. It doesn’t take faith to give last.
2) THE TITHE BUILDS OUR FAITH.
10 Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the Lord Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it. Mal 3:10-11
Give me your first and best, I’ll bless the rest!
90% with God’s blessings goes further than 100% without.
3) THE TITHE PROVIDES FOR THE WORK OF GOD’S CHURCH.
10 Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Mal 3:10
Last Sunday we gave food and provided services to the community with our Harvest Fest without charging them a penny… That was due to our generosity.
We have dreams and visions (God-given vision) such as starting new services to reach more people, starting an online campus and more!
We can either advance the work of God through our generosity or a keep things stuck. Think about all the lives that are going to know Jesus Christ through our every effort of being radically generous.
This is what WE do. We put God first! In our generosity and every area.
Join us Sunday for the next segment of This is How We Do It! Bring a friend and come worship and fellowship with us!