Thursday Announcements with Pastor Will
Wednesday Devotion with Bob Kohari
Today, I’d like to share some thoughts about generosity. These are really tough times across the USA and in our own church as we are faced with an ongoing health pandemic, a devastating economic crisis not envisioned, and an uncertain future based on a presidential election next month and our own General Conference next year.
I am reminded of Paul’s strong encouragement to the new believers in Corinth regarding the Macedonian churches in 1st Corinthians 8: 1-5: “And now brothers, we want you to know about the grace that God has given the Macedonian churches. Out of the most severe trial, their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity. For I testify that they gave as much as they were able, and even beyond their ability. Entirely on their own, they urgently pleaded with us for the privilege of sharing in this service to the saints. And they did not do as we expected, but gave themselves first to the Lord and then to us in keeping with God’s will.”
Even in this time of closed businesses, churches that cannot physically meet and worship in person, lost jobs, and uncertain futures, there are still many people who have so much. Our relationship with our “stuff” as I call it, always affects our relationship with God. I believe the gift of generosity, requires us to FIRST give ourselves to God, and then with the Holy Spirit’s work within our hearts, to deepen our relationship with God, and then through our generosity we will be able to impact others in a life-changing, transformative way. It is about God FIRST, then our hearts, and then about sharing abundantly.
Think about what might happen if, by God’s grace, our desire to gain or save more could be transformed into an intentional, heartfelt desire to give more through our church to others. Or if in a spirit of generosity, we spent more time figuring out ways to give back to God than we spend figuring out how to earn, keep and save.
Here are three questions to ponder regarding our “spirit of generosity”
1. When we think about being generous, do we operate from a spirit of fear or from a spirit of trust (in God)?
2. Can you recall a time when you were particularly generous? What did it feel like to give something that made a significant difference in someone’s life?
3. Do what we give in terms of time, talent, treasure, and service reflect a “heartfelt spirit of generosity"?
Are we really being generous with all the gifts our heavenly Father has given us?
Let us pray together: Father, thank you for all of the gifts you have freely given us. Forgive us for being more concerned about how much we earn, have, and keep, instead of being thankful for all you have given us. Help us not to worry about what we don’t have and to focus more on being truly grateful to You and abundantly generous to others. In Jesus’ name, Amen.