A Culture of Generosity Toward His Mission

Bible Book: Selected Passages 
Subject: Missions; Stewardship; Money; Ministry
Introduction

When our greatest joy is in loving God, by laying aside the weight of self-preoccupation, by denying ourselves, looking unto Jesus who is our Life and giving life to others by serving them, then we will begin living life abundantly.

Our DNA:

1. Worship God

2. Love Others

3. Serve God

4. Invite Others

3 most IMPORTANT WORDS:

1. Lordship

2. Relationship

3. Stewardship

Time, talents, treasures

Jesus teaches so much about being generous to others.

Matthew 6:21

“For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”

Treasure decisions precede the heart’s location and devotion. (Where and Why)

David Carroll (Memphis Wednesday)

“I wish to give while my hands are warm.”

Otis Scruggs

“I’ve never missed anything I’ve given away.”

Adrian Rogers

“I wish to be giving while I’m living, so I will be knowing where it is going.”

Am I outward focused and inward focused as a believer? Faithful with what you have precedes generosity with what you will have.

Luke 16:10: “He who is faithful in what is least is faithful also in much; and he who is unjust in what is least is unjust also in much.”

Greed is a heart disease

Generosity is heart transformation

I. We Must Deal With Narcissism

A. DEFINED

The temptation “to be”

The term narcissism originated with Narcissus in Greek mythology who fell in love with his own image in a pool of water.

Defined - inordinate fascination of oneself; expressive self-love, vanity. It’s self-centeredness, smugness, egotism, pride.

Narcissism must be viewed in light of this life and the life to come, eternity.

Psalms 49:16-18: “Do not be afraid when one becomes rich, When the glory of his house is increased; For when he dies he shall carry nothing away; His glory shall not descend after him. Though while he lives he blesses himself (For men will praise you when you do well for yourself).”

Now note the contrast:

Psalms 49:15: “But God will redeem my soul from the power of the grave, For He shall receive me.”

“The state of your soul depends on what occupies your mind. If your self is occupying your mind, forget peace, and contentment. You don’t find those in a vacuum of needs and sinful cravings. And forget loving others. A self-preoccupied soul might like the idea of being viewed by others as loving but ends up finding others obstacles that plugs up its craving vacuum.” Jon Bloom

He goes on to say, “forget joy. The soul does not find satisfaction in the self. It’s designed to find supreme satisfaction in Someone else.”

Psalms 107:9

“For He satisfies the longing soul,

And fills the hungry soul with goodness.”

1Timothy 6:17: “Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not highminded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy.”

The soul is designed to worship, but not to worship self. The self is not glorious enough to captivate the soul.

Proverbs 14:14: “The backslider in heart will be filled with his own ways, But a good man will be satisfied from above.”

Self-preoccupation really is a sin that clings so closely. It’s hard to lay it aside. Therefore, it makes it difficult to embrace the Lord and His mission because when we’re looking at ourselves we aren’t looking to Jesus.

Hebrews 12:1-2: “Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”

Self-preoccupation leads to discouragement and despair. It’s disappointing because we never find in ourselves what we’re looking for. We are then often lured into self-centered introspection which leads us into a vicious cycle of self-improvement efforts, self-indulgence, self-disillusionment, new self resolves, etc. Remember, the very essence of being on mission with the Lord is loving and worshipping God while loving and serving others.

I want my life to count-TIME GIVEN

I want my God-given gifts to count-TALENTS GIVEN

Preach, Teach, Serve, Encourage, Listen

I want my resources to count-TREASURES

Tithe: 10% of all my gain, royalties, speaking engagements, etc.

Offering: Faith Promise, Silo, Kingdom Sat, Building Fund

Special Gifts: All the short/long term mission trips.

Haiti-poverty, education, clean water, clothing, medical attention, free lunches, bags of rice & beans - EXAMPLE: The HOPE Clinic (picture on the wall)

Ecclesiastes 5:10-20: “He who loves silver will not be satisfied with silver; Nor he who loves abundance, with increase. This also is vanity. When goods increase, They increase who eat them; So what profit have the owners Except to see them with their eyes? The sleep of a laboring man is sweet, Whether he eats little or much; But the abundance of the rich will not permit him to sleep. There is a severe evil which I have seen under the sun: Riches kept for their owner to his hurt. But those riches perish through misfortune; When he begets a son, there is nothing in his hand. As he came from his mother's womb, naked shall he return, To go as he came; And he shall take nothing from his labor Which he may carry away in his hand. And this also is a severe evil — Just exactly as he came, so shall he go. And what profit has he who has labored for the wind? All his days he also eats in darkness, And he has much sorrow and sickness and anger. Here is what I have seen: It is good and fitting for one to eat and drink, and to enjoy the good of all his labor in which he toils under the sun all the days of his life which God gives him; for it is his heritage. As for every man to whom God has given riches and wealth, and given him power to eat of it, to receive his heritage and rejoice in his labor — this is the gift of God. For he will not dwell unduly on the days of his life, because God keeps him busy with the joy of his heart.”

Note verse 20: “because God keeps him busy with the joy of his heart.”

Ecclesiastes 6:2-6: “A man to whom God has given riches and wealth and honor, so that he lacks nothing for himself of all he desires; yet God does not give him power to eat of it, but a foreigner consumes it. This is vanity, and it is an evil affliction.

If a man begets a hundred children and lives many years, so that the days of his years are many, but his soul is not satisfied with goodness, or indeed he has no burial, I say that a stillborn child is better than he —for it comes in vanity and departs in darkness, and its name is covered with darkness. Though it has not seen the sun or known anything, this has more rest than that man, even if he lives a thousand years twice — but has not seen goodness. Do not all go to one place?”

Can someone change?

Matthew 19:26:  “But Jesus looked at them and said to them, "’With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible."’ How do you lay aside the old self with its indulgence, self-preoccupation for the love of Jesus and others?

Isaiah 55:13: “ Instead of the thorn shall come up the cypress tree, And instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle tree; And it shall be to the Lord for a name, For an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off."

We are to make His name famous, not ours! His glory, His character, His name.

B. DEFEATED

1. Deny Yourself.

Matthew 16:24-25: “Then Jesus said to His disciples, "If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.”

Get your eyes off yourself. “Christian self-denial is hedonistic because you’re denying yourself of what robs life in order to gain life.” Jon Bloom

2. Look to Jesus

Hebrews 12:2: “Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”

Follow the Psalmist’s Heart

Psalms 63:1-3:

“O God, You are my God;

Early will I seek You;

My soul thirsts for You;

My flesh longs for You

In a dry and thirsty land

Where there is no water.

So I have looked for You in the sanctuary,

To see Your power and Your glory.

Because Your lovingkindness is better than life, My lips shall praise You.”

This speaks of intense love for his Lord. Written while David was in the wilderness (a dry place). Speaks of an eagerness to be with the Lord, he longs for His presence.

Here’s the place needed in my heart. John 6:68-69: “But Simon Peter answered Him, "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. Also we have come to believe and know that You are the Christ, the Son of the living God."

Practically speaking: Colossians 3:2: “Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth.”

Matthew 6:33: “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.”

3. Serve Others

Strike a blow at self-preoccupation by focusing on other’s needs and concerns. James 2:14-17: “What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him? If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, and one of you says to them, "’Depart in peace, be warmed and filled,’" but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit? Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.”

I desire to have an active faith driven by the love of God that produces compassion by serving others in my heart and life. John 13:34-35: “’A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.’"

Loving others serves as the distinguishing characteristic of discipleship. Loving others leads us to give to others.

Acts 20:35: “I have shown you in every way, by laboring like this, that you must support the weak. And remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He said, “'It is more blessed to give than to receive.'"

Who ever heard of the name Mother Teresa? She is known not for what she had but by what she gave! Why? More blessed to give than to receive!

Philippians 2:3-4: “Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.”

Matthew 26:6-13: “And when Jesus was in Bethany at the house of Simon the leper, a woman came to Him having an alabaster flask of very costly fragrant oil, and she poured it on His head as He sat at the table. But when His disciples saw it, they were indignant, saying, "’Why this waste? For this fragrant oil might have been sold for much and given to the poor.’"

But when Jesus was aware of it, He said to them, "’Why do you trouble the woman? For she has done a good work for Me. For you have the poor with you always, but Me you do not have always. For in pouring this fragrant oil on My body, she did it for My burial. Assuredly, I say to you, wherever this gospel is preached in the whole world, what this woman has done will also be told as a memorial to her.’"

Memorial - This is how she was remembered, not by what she had, but by what she gave. She lavished her love on Him

I lavish my love on Janet. I lavish my love on my girls. I lavish my love on my grand-babies.

Generosity is preceded by relationships:

With the Lord

With the Family

With our Friends

My heart is more generous because of knowing them and mostly because of knowing Him.

With others

It relates back to my relationship with Christ.

The Nations

Luke 16:9: "And I say to you, make friends for yourselves by unrighteous mammon, that when you fail, they may receive you into an everlasting home.”

Believers are to use their Master’s money (we are stewards) in a way that will accrue fruits for eternity, by investing in the Kingdom gospel that brings sinners to salvation; so that when they arrive in heaven (an everlasting home) those sinners will be there to welcome them.

II. We Need With Materialism

Lovers of money

Ecclesiastes 5:10: “He who loves silver will not be satisfied with silver; Nor he who loves abundance, with increase. This also is vanity.”

Psalms 135:13-18:“Your name, O Lord, endures forever, Your fame, O Lord, throughout all generations. For the Lord will judge His people, And He will have compassion on His servants. The idols of the nations are silver and gold, The work of men's hands.

They have mouths, but they do not speak;

Eyes they have, but they do not see;

They have ears, but they do not hear;

Nor is there any breath in their mouths.

Those who make them are like them;

So is everyone who trusts in them.”

Psalms 62:10b: “If riches increase, Do not set your heart on them.”

Psalms 16:7: “I will bless the Lord who has given me counsel; My heart also instructs me in the night seasons.”

Materialism – preoccupation with or emphasis on material objects, comforts, and consideration’s with a disinterest in or rejection of spiritual, intellectual, or culture values.

1 Timothy 6:9-10: “But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and harmful lusts which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.”

Proverbs 10:22

“The blessing of the Lord makes one rich,

And He adds no sorrow with it.”