Imitating God: Living Generously
The Big Idea
With the speed at which our world moves and our “all about me” culture, we often over-look the generosity of God. When you stop to think about it, everything – nature, medicine, technology, life – is a gift that God has given us out of love. Once we understand the generosity of God – what he has given us, what he has done for us – we can’t help but share that joy with others.
In this series, we’ll recognize and thank God for the gifts He has lavished on us. We’ll examine what God’s Word says about generosity, understand that we are called to imitate God’s generosity through our offerings and actions, and learn some practical ways we can demonstrate generosity in our lives. We find joy in acknowledging the gifts God gives to us and sharing these gifts with those around us.
“Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.” (Ephesians 5:1)
Overview of the Series
October 28, 2018: Absurdity of Generosity
Imagine the world around you without God. Having a hard time doing this? That’s be-cause it’s impossible. In this introduction to the series, we’ll recognize the unmatched generosity that God shows to us, which sets the groundwork for why we give to others. We are called to be generous because our Father in Heaven spares nothing for our good. God is the first and most generous giver.
Scripture: Malachi 3:6-12
Sermon Text: Exodus 34:6-7
November 4, 2018: Generosity in Compassion
God calls us to take care of those around us, because “even the least of these” are our brothers and sisters in Christ. Through contributions of time, talents, and money, we show the love of Jesus to the sick and needy in our midst. After all, Jesus demonstrated His compassion for all of us, who would be dead in our sin without His sacrifice. Generosity is not what we DO; generous is who we ARE.
Sermon Text: Matthew 25:34-36, 40
November 11, 2018: Generosity in Invitations
The purpose of an invitation is to provide someone with an opportunity to build community and get to know about you. When we invite our friends and family to church, we invite them to build a relationship with our church family and with God. For guests, accepting an invitation of any kind takes courage, particularly when the invite is to church. Church may be a foreign place, full of new people and focused on a God whom they may not know. However, with thoughtfulness, persistence, and the work of the Holy Spirit, we can help our guests feel comfortable at church and start on their path to victory.
Scriptures: Acts 17:22-28
Sermon Text: Matthew 9:9-12
November 18, 2018: Generosity in Hospitality
Maslow’s hierarchy of needs explains that humans need to have physical needs met, feel safe, and have a sense of belonging to ready themselves for learning and engaging in activities that benefit others. This is exactly why hospitality is so important. Hospitality includes greetings, food, drink, and conversation. But it’s much more than that. The most important aspect of hospitality is how guests feel and what they take away when they leave. We show hospitality to others through serving them at church and in our community because of Christ’s example of hospitality in our own lives.
Scriptures: 3 John 1:8
Sermon Text: Hebrews 13:12
November 21, 2018 (Thanksgiving Eve): Generosity in Forgiveness
Sermon Text: Micah 6:8
November 25, 2018: Generosity in Sacrifice
Jesus sacrificed everything for us. Because of his death and resurrection, we are assured forgiveness of sin and eternity in Heaven. Worship is our opportunity to thank God for His sacrifice for us. God doesn’t need your money, but He wants your heart. We don’t give to God because we feel guilty or because of a mandate; we give to God out of thankfulness and appreciation for all He has done for us. Giving money and time to God is worship.
Scriptures: Psalm 20:5-6
Sermon Text: Romans 12:1-2
December 2, 2018: Generosity in Mission
Our building is an important aspect of our church; we use our facilities to worship and grow in faith with one another. But, our mission doesn’t stop at the end of our driveway. God calls us to take care of the lost – those who do not know Him. Because of God’s generosity to us, we can’t help ourselves but to show generosity to others in our local and global community.
Sermon Text: Luke 19:10