Multiplication of Generosity

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26 September, 2021Pastor Mark SchultzAuthentic Generosity

The 4WD “all-terrain” vehicle…It has become the car of the pandemic. Four of the top five “searched for” vehicles are in that category. If you have a good one for sale, second hand prices are up 30%. Designed to be taken off road, over obstacles & through terrain conventional vehicles can’t manage, 4WD’s give traction when other transport falters. They move when everything else stops.

Generosity is just like that. It creates momentum, traction, forward progress when everything else wants to slow you down, drag you back, put you back where it seems safe, secure, stable… and stuck.

Paul gives the Corinthian church the keys to the 4WD of discipleship: generosity. It’s not an owner’s manual of guidelines, rules & tips, but the power of God who enlists us in his work of transforming hearts and lives by the abundant gift of Jesus Christ working through us.  Paul knows God’s abundance to us is only limited by his abundance through us and as we open our hands and hearts more widely, more freely and more generously, we find the Father refilling our lives and taking us on off-road adventures where there is an oversupply of joy, praise, thanksgiving & glory. It’s a life where we see the multiplication of generosity bringing exponential blessing to others.

#4 in series: Authentic Generosity

2 Corinthians 9:6-15

6 Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. 8 And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. As it is written:

“They have freely scattered their gifts to the poor; their righteousness endures forever.”

10 Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness.

11 You will be enriched in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God. 12 This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of the Lord’s people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God. 13 Because of the service by which you have proved yourselves, others will praise God for the obedience that accompanies your confession of the gospel of Christ, and for your generosity in sharing with them and with everyone else. 14 And in their prayers for you their hearts will go out to you, because of the surpassing grace God has given you. 15 Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!

Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. 2 Corinthians 9:7-8

Generosity is the 4WD of discipleship that gives traction in every situation, taking you on an exhilarating, scary and life transforming adventure of trust in God.

1. When it comes to life, do you like off-road adventures or sealed road experiences? Explain.

2  On a scale of 1-10 where would you put your attitude to giving at the present time

   1….Reluctantly (the least I can get away with and still be Christian) to 10. Cheerfully (Stoked to be able to contribute and bless others.)

3. What do you imagine the church is unable to do right now but would be able to do if everyone gave generously? How can you be a part of giving that idea traction through your generosity?

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Administration of Generosity

19 September, 2021 Pastor Mark Schultz

In our world of conflicting arguments and competing narratives, of fake news & conspiracy theories…Whom do you trust?

I’ll trust a pilot to get me from A to B on time & in 1 piece. I’ll trust a Doctor, dentist, hair stylist once…sometimes I have no choice. But if I really have skin in the game…I want to know who I am dealing with. Trust is personal. Trust is hard to earn and easy to lose.

So when Paul encourages the disciples of Jesus in Corinth to give generously toward helping people they’ve never met and from whom they are unlikely to receive a return, he wants to make sure they trust his motives and his mission. Trust is personal.

Paul assures the Corinthians they can rely on his integrity and those chosen to assist in his ministry. They can count on the gifts they give reaching the destination he has promised. They can trust Paul, because they’ve been entrusted by God with rich blessings, and an eternal promise.

Living generously is not a spur of the moment, spontaneous, off the cuff reactive impulse to a pressure situation. It’s a well-planned, wisely administered proactive lifestyle that arises out of the deep convictions you have about God’s love for you and his commission to demonstrate that love to others. The careful, transparent, spiritual administration of the grace of generosity is critical to seeing generosity flow where God wants it to have the most transforming influence. So join us for this deep lesson of discipleship as we explore the administration of generosity.

#3 in series: Authentic Generosity