Learn to Live Generously
by Abiding Love
So we urged Titus, just as he had earlier made a beginning, to bring also to completion this act of grace on your part. 7 But since you excel in everything—in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in complete earnestness, and in the love we have kindled in you—see that you also excel in this grace of giving. (2 Corinthians 8:6-7)
“The church is always talking about money!” Have you ever heard that complaint? It’s not true. In fact, we probably do not talk about money often enough. That’s because what we really like to talk about is Jesus!
We shouldn’t be ashamed to talk about money in the church. Jesus often did. About one in seven statements Jesus made is about money or material possessions. Jesus knew that money and material possessions are something that our sinful nature likes to think about a lot. He does us a tremendous favor by putting our money in the right context. We don’t worship money. We use money—for our good and for God’s glory.
One of the reasons Paul wrote this letter was to remind the Corinthians to bring this offering for the saints to completion. They needed a little encouragement, so Titus was sent to encourage them and Paul wrote the letter. He wanted them to “excel in this grace of giving.” He wanted them to find joy in using what they had for the great purpose of glorifying God and serving others.
Just stop for a moment and consider — where have you learned about money — its importance, how to use it, how to save it? If most of what we have learned comes from the world, what kind of worldly motives or behaviors may have infiltrated our attitudes? This sinful world doesn’t have a great track record leading us in paths of righteousness, so why would we trust our understanding to only what the world says.
Instead, consider coming to take part in a three week course at Abiding Love Lutheran Chruch entitled “Joyful Generosity”. It starts this Sunday in both worship and especially in Bible class.
When we start talking about money, what will you hear? You will hear a message less about dollars and more about your heart, God’s grace, God’s promises, your purpose, your freedom to be generous because of how abundantly God has blessed you. God-willing you will leave encouraged that it doesn’t hurt to be generous. Compelled by Christ’s love and inspired to be a part of his mission, living generously is actually fun and joy-filled.
Heavenly Father, all that I have I have received from you. You have been gracious and generous to me in so many different ways. Forgive me when I look at money as my money and not your money. Give me a joyful and generous heart that I might honor you with all that I have. Amen.
Peace in Jesus,
Pastor John Gensmer
January 23, 2019
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