“Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously.” (2 Corinthians 9:6)
“For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich.” (2 Corinthians 8:9)
"it is more blessed to give than to receive" (Acts 20:35)
“No one ever became poor by giving” (Anne Frank)
Jesus talked about money more than almost anything else. He talked about it more than heaven and hell combined. He talked about it more than the love of God! He knew something that we true 2000 years ago and is still true today: money is God's biggest competitor for our affections.
Having money is not a sin, so we're not called to make vows of poverty necessarily. But if we don't follow the teachings of Jesus, we may find ourselves in a place where the power of money over our lives threatens to destroy us.
What's the solution? According to Jesus, one of the ways that we liberate ourselves from the controlling power of money is to practice radical generosity. That is, learning to liberally give our money away, rather than hording it all to ourselves.
If you want to grow in the practice of generosity, consider the following first steps:
1. Do a survey of Jesus' teachings about money, and consider how your life does or doesn't align with those teachings. Examples of scriptures to read: Matthew 6:1-4, 19-34; 19:16-26; 25:14-30; Mark 12:13-17; Luke 12:13-34; 16:1-15.
2. Start working your way toward tithing (10%) your income to your church. Tithing was an Old Testament command, which New Testament believers continued to follow; not as a legsalistic requirement, but as a guideline. God promises that it leads to blessing (Malachi 3:10). If going from 0% to 10% seems impossible, just start somewhere and work your way to 10% over time.
3. Intentionally make room in your budget (starting small) for 1) giving to your church, 2) giving to charity, 3) helping a friend or neighbour when you hear they have a financial challenge. When we live on less than we make, we make room for generosity when opportunities present themselves.
4. Do an inventory of your possessions and consider whether or not you could sell some of them (giving the money away), and/or give some of those possessions away to those who may need them more than you (see Luke 3:11).
The following sermons and sermon series' teach what the Bible says about money and generosity. Listen to them for further teaching and advice.
This sermon explained how Jesus' teachings radicaly change the way we view, make and use money.
This sermon explained how consumerism tells a story, which if believed will shape us. But the gospel tells a different story, which if believed will make us more like Jesus.
This series explained how generosity is a part of God's own character, and how we become more like him as we pracitce generosity.
This sermon provided a challenge toward greater generosity as a means to promote the gospel.
This sermon explained the power that materialism has over our lives, the anxiety that comes with our obssession with it, and how to experience freedom.
This series explaned the basic principles of Christian generosity.