good to see you all. My name is Mike. I’m one of the pastors here. So we’re church welcome if you’re on the livestream this morning. If you’re new this morning. If you’re not new this morning, welcome the labor Day weekend. This is the day the Lord has made. We will rejoice and be glad in it and we’ll rejoice for yesterday to yesterday was a good day to, for many of us care about that secondary thing. It’s an honor to be a few today. We’re excited about working through week three of our three weeks series on simply story. It’s our three core values. Things are passionate about things we hold too dearly things that are unique to us as a church. Week one dan looked at gospel culture is an excellent message. If you missed it, you missed the big thing. You need to go back and watch that on our Youtube channel. Week one was Gospel culture. Week two is last week community culture and I had fun. I don’t know if you enjoy the time. I enjoyed the time working through community culture and what that looks like in our context And this is week three. Generosity, culture and I like every pastor who’s ever preached a sermon can give stories of God’s faithfulness, stories of how God has come through and provided in my life. I can tell stories of houses we bought, We bought four and renovated them and cars we’ve bought and cash gifts we’ve given in cash gifts we have received in God’s providence, caring for us and unexpected uncanny ways as we step down and faith. I can do that. But I’d rather tell a different story. I’d like to tell your story as a congregation as a church as we’ve embarked on this generosity journey a number of years ago, Specifically January of 2017 is when we begin this faith story, this this generosity journey as a gathered people, as a church, as a church family. And so let’s pray and I’d like to tell your story. So bow your heads with me. Let’s pray God, I thank you for today. I thank you for the men and women that you’ve brought here from a variety of places, variety of standpoints on life. God, you’ve you’ve your we’re all on a journey and the journey to you knowing you better, those of us who choose to follow. You choose to accept you in our life. We are on this generosity journey that we’re talking about. Lord, I pray that we would all understand you better today. We understand ourselves better today. I pray for people that are far from you, God who don’t know you, that they would somehow be impacted by this message today. To help them respond to you, jesus. We commit this time to you. We commit this passage to you. We commit the stories we’re telling them the look of the examples and illustrations and everything we’re attempting to do today. We committed to you. God appeared to you would squeeze all the glory you can out of our lives as people in jesus name, we pray this. Amen. I want to tell your story because your story is better than my story. Uh, sorry about God has been doing and I want to brag on you. Um, this generosity journey A couple of years ago, we had the opportunity to grandly give to Jesus and his mission as a, as a church, as a people, as a congregation and as a small church made it for primary college singles and young couples who are not known for their income. We had the opportunity to purchase a $1.2 million dollar property. This property you’re sitting in it. I think it’s worth more than that now. But that’s a lot of money, especially if you’re broke, especially if your college single broke young couple broke, your broke broke. And so we’re just buying diapers for babies and stuff back then as a church. And so buying a building seemed like a lot. And so it’s a lot. We don’t have a lot. We didn’t have enough for a down payment. We didn’t have the right correct monthly cash flow to be able to allow that kind of loan The church that was here before us was previously closed for decades or more and they were very generous to us as a church, giving us the opportunity to replant this church with our congregation. Uh they lowered the price substantially and they sold us this property for $700,000, which triggered us launching our three year building together campaign because jesus changes lives and we believe she has changed our lives and he was changing our collective lives and changing people’s lives. And this building would have been a tool that we would utilize and use for years to see people’s lives changed lives, marriages be restored, baby babies get born, people become baptized. You know, we thought this would be a tool that we can use for years in this part of the city, in this part of the neighborhood, reaching college students and young couples and young professionals and we could be a beacon of hope. We could also be a launching pad, a trampoline, so to speak for young men and women who want to serve jesus foreign and abroad. Does that make sense? And so we were excited about the opportunity and we launched the three year restore campaign because jesus is changing lives. Uh, we call it the building together campaign. And I think there’s about 90 some of us that were part of that first initial campaign, may be counting kids and we raised $400,000 which is a lot of money for anyone In my mind and it’s a lot of money for us as a church and we had a consultant that was, he retired where his last church he worked with. But he spent his whole career. He was an older gentleman. He retired after us. He said we were per person per capita per dollar, the most generous church. He’s worked with in over 30 years of capital campaigns and consulting of churches across America and that’s you as a church. And so we, after buying a building that was older than any of us in the church, we realized their secondary cost things that happened. This roof is going to be around Lord willing till jesus comes back. But that roof over there, it was very, very old and there was buckets of water and water streaming from the first floor down on the second floor. And that roof was very, very old. And so there’s also asbestos flooring and and uh sketchy murals and shag carpet in rooms and and remember the women’s bathroom, any of you in the woman’s old bathroom? It used to be the guys second bathroom, there was no heat in that bathroom and the ladies were packed in there like a husker game lined up to use the bathroom and it was a very cold bathroom, they call it the meat locker. And so we, You know where people knew people’s cars getting stuck in the mud parking lot. We used to have remember all that fun stuff. Some of you have an idea, we’re talking about, some of you have no idea we’re talking about but a lot has happened since then we finished our three year capital campaign just to buy the building and we owe uh $297,000 on this property. But that’s pretty manageable. But then we launched a one year restore campaign to restore the building. Not just have an old building but restore it. And so then we built that woman’s bathroom, remember that Taj Mahal woman’s bathroom, if you’re a lady, there’s an amazing restroom over there and that’s because of that restore campaign and we update all the kids in school and nursery things. It’s like 100 gallons of paint and contractors. We took down a wall in the middle there to make the middle lobby bigger and we redid the flooring in the lobby. I mean we made this space usable this tool, we sharpen the acts that were swinging week after week to reach people in this city to advance the cause of christ and now we’re mobilizing our efforts to update the outside. And so supposedly Lord willing fingers crossed, there’s gonna be a fence out there and for some of our property here, starting next week, God willing. And the guy who’s doing it said he might come to our church, so be nice to my friend when he comes. But but we thought we thought what are we going to do as we look forward as the church as we look at our restore campaign, we believe that God has been positioning us in a place where we can we can be a blessing to launching missionaries and church plans out of this church around Nebraska and around the globe and we are part of launching Barack and Megan Langley as missionaries to Alaska totally are accumulative that happened earlier this year. Remember totally are accumulative giving as a church counting missionaries in the cooperative fund of church planning is about 6% of our total income that comes into our churches going out for unreached, unengaged people groups for new gospel ventures as the church. And I’m excited about expanding that percentage even more as we continue to go forward in the future as a church. To be generous as a collective church with our budget to put our money where our mouth is money, where our mission is as a church. Um, as we’re finalizing the plans of our residency as a church of our first ever church planner. Coming up through the ranks of our church, God has been changing lives juices in the life changing people, changing business and he’s used your generosity time and time again church. It is amazing how God has done things in the past and it will be even more amazing how God uses you as a congregation going forward into the future. I am excited about what God is going to do going forward. Every time we step out as a faith family, God always steps through and helps us in our finances and many of you could give this sermon that I’m giving today because you’ve lived this sermon. We have all lived a lot and this concept of the generous life that we’re called to live. I want to honor your faith and I want to explain the why behind the what we’ve been doing as a church for years. I wanna explain the why we do what we do to people that are new to sober. So why do we care about generosity as a church? Why is this one of your core values? That’s not common. I’ve seen other churches in town, They have different core values. Why is that one of your three core values as a church? The dictionary defines generosity has a readiness to give more than is necessary. The Bible has a lot to say about generosity and I do not plan to unpack all of it the next 30 minutes I will do my best and I will stay at my my window here. But before we keep going, I’d like to tell you a little back story about that back story about the main passage we’re going to camp in this morning. As we unpack this generous lifestyle, Paul is completing the letter. We’re looking at his 2nd Corinthians AIDS. And Paul is completing his third missionary journey around the known world. He’s done two already. His third missionary journey is really a campaign to raise funds for the sending church in Jerusalem Paul went to the city of Jerusalem with those pastors, those elders and those funds from that church. He went out on his first campaign, came back and reported, went back out on his second campaign throughout the known Middle Eastern world And reported he’s going out on his 3rd campaign during this third campaign. The mothership Jerusalem is under intense famine. There’s intense hunger breaking out all over the whole known world, but especially in Jerusalem and the church in Jerusalem is substantially larger than these church plants. He’s at these smaller churches. And so the bigger the church, the bigger the need of humanity of hungry brothers and sisters in the mothership church in Jerusalem. And so they are suffering, they need help, they need financial help. And he’s going to these different churches and he’s raising funds for the sending church that got them started on this gospel journey. And he’s requesting for them to give a free will gift of their church to help support the church that started them as churches. It’s kind of like a reverse reverse church plan to reverse capital campaign, going out to the people you went to reach to support the people who sent you and what you’ll find if you’ve read ahead or behind this passage, you know anything about anything about your Corinthians books of the bible, it is not the ideal church, it is a struggling church that has many issues, they are not doing well, they’re struggling with division, adultery, spiritual abuse in their church. The Corinthian church is on the struggle bus. They’re not a spiritually healthy church, they’re not doing well, they are not in a good spot. Warren words be says, when a church is not spiritual, it is not generous. The church and Corinthians is, they made a pledge and first Corinthians that they would be generous and gift. And here in second Corinthians, they have not given anything in chapter eight and chapter nine is paul’s big real estate of this letter that he’s writing to them about the gift they have not given to support their brothers and sisters back in Jerusalem to think about the context of what those christians are going through, anyone ever heard of the words small town, thank you. I’m just trying to get us all on board and whatever, seeing a small town or met someone from a small town, small towns are small, they’re smaller than some sounds in Nebraska, smaller than this room of people in small town Nebraska. So, here’s an illustration, understand the context of the need. Small town Nebraska sometimes it’s dominated by one church. If it’s methodist Lutheran catholic, that church is the one church they have in town. So everyone goes to that one church in general. Um and so it’s like if you’re in a small town Nebraska and everyone is catholic and you decide to make a profession of faith and be a christian, you become isolated in an already isolated microcosm, you become in a small town that got a lot smaller because of your profession of jesus. It’s like the early church in Jerusalem when they made a profession of faith, they were abandoning their jewish faith, their jewish culture, their jewish beliefs. They’re making accepting jesus christ in their life and make a professional. What the gospel of jesus, changing their life, their world shrunk, they’re small world of a jewish culture in a roman empire Shrunk even smaller and they became ostracized by their own people, their relationships restrained or the relationships were ended and then a starvation hits of famine hits. They have no family network to lean on, no family support structure. They’re cut off from their own people because they’re no longer jewish living in a jewish culture and part of a jewish city. And paul is raising funds to care for very practical needs of people who are suffering. Paul is encouraging the Corinthian Church to make a pledge and then make a gift to care for their brothers and sisters. Let’s look at the passage together. Second Corinthians eight, picking up in verse one and says this, we want you to know brothers and sisters about the grace of God that was given to the church of Madonna Macedonia during the severe trial, brought about by affliction, their abundance droid in their extreme poverty overflowed in a wealth of generosity on their part. So just though that city, that region, he’s finding the church is given in the area of Macedonia. The churches are known as Filipe de Salonica and Maria? And of those three churches, scholars point out one particular phillipe and paul is bragging on those churches gifts, specifically phillipe. He singles out and who he talks about the duration of this passage. As we talk today, I will focus on that church later on. But the first main principle we should grab from this understanding of the generous life that we should live as christians. Generosity changes lives. I think that whole earlier story about how generosity has changed your life as a congregation, How it’s impacted other people’s lives as a congregation is a great example. But looking at this passage, the generosity of the church of Jerusalem, sending out paul and his church planning team, time and time again to reach new people is what got these people saved. In the first place I was listening to a pastor this week I enjoy. He wasn’t speaking on this concept of generosity and he talks about this concept of the grace of God. We talk about the Grace of God. You hear that in verse one, you’ll see that phrase, the grace, the grace, the grace all over again throughout these verses, we’re looking at today this passage, but the Grace of God. The illustration is that it’s an example of the thermostat of God’s grace in your life, The more grace of God you have in your life, the more generous you are to others. What does that mean? The more generosity you have in your life, it’s probably an indicator that you’ve experienced and received the gospel changing grace in your life. You’ve grown to spiritual maturity and you’re in a place of spiritual health, spiritual health and spiritual maturity are usually tied to people who’ve been transformed by the grace of God who are generous churches sending money to help meet a need in a famine or a need as a practical need that arises. That’s very common in Christianity. I got an email this morning about hurricane IDa and how churches can partner and give to help meet those needs that shouldn’t sound new to you. If you’ve been in Christianity or churches before all the time needs arise in churches rally to help care for those needs. Group of churches were partnered with when that when the river flooded and a bunch of homes were destroyed, they rallied soldiers, they rallied military help and they rallied church helped to go chainsaw and drywall, tear out houses that were impacted by the need. Disaster hits and christians rallying to help meet the practical tangible needs of caring for people that are impacted by that. And that happens because the result of the grace of God in their lives because God’s grace and impact of your life. You’re very generous and impacting and helping other people’s lives believers rally and provide relief and donation time and time again, barney research said research shows that born again adults, people who profess to be a christian who are born again have experienced the grace of God. Born again, adults remain the most generous givers in a country that is, that is acknowledged to be the most generous country on the planet. The general, the most generous demographic, the most generous givers when needs arise in America across the country as a whole is born again adults, evangelicals are the most generous people on America, which is the most wealthiest country on the planet. So the people in the room are probably more generous than any other nonprofit. You hang out with God bless animals, spayed and Neutering animals. The people the ruby with are the most generous people. You’re within the entire planet. God bless any other nonprofit you’re with that serves time and money. But bottom line, the people in this room are usually the most generous people on the planet in the country that’s not like just mike’s opinion, that’s not a hot take from a pastor that’s like that’s like nonprofits entities across America. Born again adults. Evangelical christians are the most generous demographic in the planets in the most wealthiest country in the world by his grace, by his grace. We are that way as christians by his grace because of God’s grace in our lives changing and transforming our lives to the gospel of jesus, christ. We have a hope and a chance, a glimmer of trying to impact people’s lives through our giving in our time, talent and treasure, by God’s Grace, uh theologian influencer Will smith said this, you can’t hire or by chemistry. It was it was what? What feeds your pastor’s soul? It’s not that, but it was a good line alright? You can’t hire by chemistry. And so I just unpacked Grace for some of you who don’t know what we’re talking about is Grace, that person on the young professional group. No, Grace is not just the person you knew or know Grace is something different. You can’t hire by chemistry, you can’t hire or by Grace. Grace is known as God’s Unmerited favor in our lives as christians, you can’t hire or by Grace. There’s a solar scriptures, there is by Grace alone through faith alone and christ alone, for the glory of God alone, it all begins with the Grace of God we’ve experienced and received from the Gospel of jesus christ paul starts with the Grace of God. Grace is a big theme throughout these passages this morning. Think of think of jesus talking on this idea how generosity changes lives, Jesus told a story he told many stories he told 29 parables in the four gospel accounts, this is a master storyteller and just amazing person at sharing stories and those stories have themes and subjects. Each of those stories of those 29 main parables that, you know of in your bible if I started rattling off some of them were like, oh yeah, Southern School felt board. Yes, I remember that story, those 29 parables 16 of those parables deal with a person’s relationship with money, jesus understood this the gospel. The four authors, Matthew, Mark luke and john who talked about who and what is and what he said and did one of every six verses in those four gospel accounts. In your bible talk about the subject of money. One out of every seven verses in your entire New Testament Bible, you have talks about money. Less than 500 verses in your Bible. Talk about faith. More than 500 verses talk about prayer in 2000 verses in your Bible to talk about the relationship of a person and money, jesus. The new testament authors knew this principle about generosity changes lives and there’s a, there’s a principle in there that we’d like to look at as we understand and unpack this for us. I’d like to drill down on this principle about The polls from Luke. Matthew 6 21, it says this, Jesus talking says for where your treasure is there your heart will be. Also if you want to drill down on that word treasure. There’s synonyms that go with that word treasure. It means you appreciate something, you cherish something, you prize something, you value something. While these words are true, the word treasure really means to hold in high esteem. Treasure emphasizes a jealousy, safeguarding something considered precious to you. Where your treasure is there, your heart is. So generosity changes lives. It changes your life. It changes people’s lives as your generous of what God has given you. Authentic. Generosity flows from a life that’s been impacted by the grace of God. And throughout the entire bible. You can read about patriarchs and mature godly generous believers who were generous with their life and the resources they had at their disposal to impact the cause of christ, to impact the mission to change lives. Generosity changes lives in this text of this context of this passage. It changes this one. Church is life in particular. Let’s look at that one church. The second main point we like to look at his generosity is for everyone. Generosity is for everyone. Look at Verse two, again, with me, there’s this weird partnership between four words you would not put together paul puts together in verse two, during a severe trial brought by affliction, their abundant joy. Their extreme poverty overflowed in a wealth of generosity on their part. So, who is he writing about? Mike? I don’t understand you lost me. I I lost myself to. It’s okay, so who is he writing about? I didn’t get this the first time. I had to see that as time went on, as I studied this. Authors, scholars say, he’s writing about one of those churches in particular, The church in philippi has Paula’s doing his reverse church missionary plant capital campaign raising funds for the church in Jerusalem, that’s starving. He saw one church in particular, the church in philippi and he skipped them. They hung out with them, encourage them and left and said nothing about the needs of starving brothers and sisters in Jerusalem. He skipped them because he saw how poor they were, how impoverished people they were, how much they had nothing. He said their situation is maybe worse than the people I’m raising money for. And he skipped them. And what is amazing is later on, scholars will tell you, and you’ll see us in the bible that they found out that he skipped them with the opportunity to give, to support the brothers and sisters who started their church and they raised the money on their own as poor church as a poor church. And they sent a representative to deliver the money to paul after he left their city. It’s just a wild story of poor, desperately poor, needy, poverty driven people under great persecution. They heard of a need and they wanted to be respond. They prompt, were prompted by the spirit of God to obey God and step out in faith and give boldly generosity is for everyone remember a story that will stick with me for a long time. Uh it bothers me in a convicting way. There was a couple that went into that first capital campaign to buy this building. They were, I believe, dating or engaged and as time went on as a married couple, you know, the three year campaign went on in their circumstances change? They made a pledge is a double income, no kid. They made a pledge to buy this building because they believed in jesus mission and the method of a building to use as a tool to reach people for jesus. And as time went on, as a couple happened, they had a baby and their situation changed, praise God, and then they chose that their wife would stay home and raise their child. But the thing is, they didn’t change their pledge amount. They stuck with their original pledge amount, which had severe implications on their life and you go from two incomes giving above and beyond grandly to the mission of reaching people and purchasing a building and then you lose half your income. That is a severe change of season. I didn’t know about this. To the end. It was shocking what they went through was wild. It was, it was, it was troubling to me to hear about what they went through, but they wanted a grandly give to jesus and his mission. They felt convicted and compelled that their circumstance, they wanted to give sacrificial when they had no business giving her as much as they were giving to buy this building. It is sobering and shocking to see that another example happened this last week, a brother in his church works with some inmates here in town. And he asked about if it’s possible for them to give to this church. In my mind, I’m like, what are we doing? What are you? This is what I just It just doesn’t compute in my mind. But when men and women feel compelled by God and their walk of God, that amateur in the Lord that want to give and be a part of it, generosity applies for everyone. Only the rich are generous, that is a lie. Anyone can be generous with what God has given. Look at Verse two, during a severe trial brought on by affliction. Their abundant joy and extreme poverty overflowed in a wealth of generosity on their part. Affliction, poverty, joy and generosity. Those words are oxymorons. Those do not go together, but in God’s economy, they do. Anyone can be generous. Verse three I can testify that according their ability is the Phillipe Phillipe in church and even beyond their ability of their own accord. They gave Verse four, they begged us earnestly for the privilege of sharing in the Ministry of the Saints. That is a wild situation to be in. When people that are giving heroically and grandly to jesus and his mission, it is a sobering place to be a part of They gave above and beyond their ability for a season. And that’s a private thing between them and God as the knees a road as the knees arose. They feel compelled by God to give above and beyond privately and this is all under the grace of God is what paul says. Generosity is for everyone. Let’s go back from paul, let’s go to jesus, jesus talking about one of those parables. He talked about the story of the Kingdom of God and how it looks different than the kingdom of men. Now, God’s values are different than man’s values and God takes man’s values and God’s values that he flips those two upside down and God’s upside down kingdom. It talks about this and luke. You can read about the story of the parable of the widow and how she had to to Coins that were worth less than one penny and how she gave those two coins out of her poverty. And this rich person came along and gave all kinds of coins out of their prosperity. And they dropped their coins in and made a big old Klang in the offering box, part of the jewish church experience. And everyone like, Whoa, what was that over there? Oh, it’s fred he had a good year and this, this widow through in her two little less than penny mints and didn’t hardly make any noise. But she gave out of her poverty. He gave out of his prosperity. She gave and sacrifice and heroic amounts and that got God’s attention more. Then the rich ruler giving a tiny percentage and this poor jewish synagogue God is watching the size of the sacrifice, not the size of the gift. Some give out their prosperity, others are generous, other prosperity, some give out of their prosperity. Others are generous out of their poverty. But generosity is for everyone. This is not the 1% of the world can be generous. We all can be generous of what God has given us. We have a black box in the back of the lobby, no one dropping coins in that bad boy, no one really uses that bad boy. A lot of people give online if you want to give online, you can give even quieter than the back box in the room that we don’t talk about very often. But generosity is for everyone and we don’t want to rob people. The chance to give. Anyone can give and be generous of God has given generosity. The third point where I’m trying to make this morning is generosity freeze hearts and there’s stats here on giving and church world and says, when people that make $20,000 are eight times more likely to give compared to those that make above $75,000, people that make $20,000 or eight times more likely to give Generously compared to the people that make $75,000. Because the reality is, the more you own, the more it owns, you christian, this world we live in is not our home and it’s designed to make us feel like it’s our home and I feel like we’re comforts and living this life of luxury and we feel like we are own things were owed things as time goes on. More things own you as a christian and generosity is the antidote to this world that we’re drifting into for being lulled to sleep by Verse three, let’s read again, I can testify that according to their ability and even beyond their ability and of their own accord. They begged us earnestly for the privilege of sharing in the ministry to the Saints and not just as we had hoped and said, they gave themselves first to the Lord and then to us by God’s will. What’s paul talking about here? First of the lord pastures share this math on this passage. Do you have affliction plus poverty plus grace equals joyful generosity. That doesn’t make sense. Affliction plus poverty plus the grace of God equals joyful generosity. What’s paul talking about? He’s talking about the very end there at the very last verse in verse five, he’s talking about the priority of our giving People gave themselves 1st to God. They gave themselves to the Lord. They understood the grace of God. That made sense. They did business of God and God changed and transformed their hearts and their minds with the gospel of jesus christ and then because of the grace of God in life, they freely gave to help meet the needs of other christians. These people, these people were the gift to God. They give themselves first to God. They yield their lives to God. Their gifts to God were the gifts to their fellow men were secondary. Their gift to God was the primary gift. Their lives were God’s life and he was in charge of their life. Everything else that happened in their lives with secondary. The prior to this matters because I want us to be a church that’s generous because we were transformed by the grace of God and God is laid on our hearts and grown us in this area in our life and we want to give ourselves to God first, not because of branding or marketing or human schemes or you know emotional manipulation people give. People should give because God has changed their lives took in their heart of stone and give them a heart of flesh who’s grown them to maturity and this is part of their spiritual development. Giving yourself to God 1st is what we see in that passage. Giving of your time to God. Is a secondary thing that happens when you give yourself to God first giving of your talent to God. Of all your gifting and abilities that you uniquely have that God is equipped and bless you have. So you can build up this church to be a launching pad for gospel initiatives is a unique talent and treasures and gifts you have as a person that can be leveraged after you first give yourself to God giving of your treasure time talent, treasure those little things. We remember as pastors, your treasure, that’s a secondary thing compared to you giving yourself primary to God. I’m a parent, I have kids and when my kids have spats fights usually it’s over things. And as parents we say to our kids, people are more important than the thank you guys. You really people are more important than things. The biggest asset you have is you and your more valuable to God than paper than Bitcoin than your instagram fame than your future than your career than your degree than your car than your clothes. You are the most valuable commodity there is and you are the most precious thing on this planet that God is hoping to save and bring to heaven is you. People give it yourself first to God because of the gospel, jesus christ has changed transformed your life. You can live the generous life, but first and foremost you can only live that life by giving yourself to God. I think there’s been a few older members in this church who have said to me and some of the other pastors that they’d like to set up this church is a benefactor that after they die, their assets get dispersed and they like to give a percentage of their assets to this church. And uh I’ve heard this line for my father and I’ve been saying it since we don’t want you, we want, we don’t want your money. We want you obviously that matter, we don’t want your your your inheritance. We want you because we don’t have a lot of sweet father and mother figures in our church. You’re really precious to us. And but we really people are more important than things. If God has you, he has all of you. If God has you. You don’t mind this message on generosity because you’re trying to be submitting to God and his words and your actions. And it’s just an all encompassing life pursuit because you’ve given yourself over to God. You are God’s first. But the bible says you are not your own, your beautiful price. You embrace that. The bible says, you are purchased with a price. You embrace that. The bible says, you belong to the Lord. You embrace that. You get that. Everything you do is God’s it’s not yours anymore. Your house belongs to God. Your sofa belongs to God. Your career longs to God. Your time belongs to God. Your Roth ira belongs to God. It all belongs to God. Your leisure time belongs to God. Your free time belongs to God. Your time is God’s time heard a a young man in our church. We had problems with our keys. A couple of months ago, we got new locks. And if you turn this way, it opened the door like we’re used to if you turn this way and unlocked the whole door, people would turn this way and then turn this way and then go in and the door being unlocked And for a couple of months until maybe 40 some days this young man would come through our building at night, double checking all the locks in the building and all the windows in the building and closing and locking everything at night. Because his time was God. He gave first of himself by the grace of God gave to him that he transformed his life and he gave himself back to God. He graciously gave himself up to pursue God in his time. Generosity! We freeze the heart, christians. Generosity freeze hearts. These words from GSR helpful illustration on this. And Matthew 25 21 it says this, his master said to him, jesus, talking well, done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a few things and I’ll put you in charge of many things. Share your master’s joy, share your message right? We’re stewards were under shepherds were managers of what God has given us. We’re gonna be good stewards of what God has given us. Let’s look at verse six second Corinthians eight verse six. So he urged Titus then, just as he had begun, so he should also complete among you. This act of grace. Titus is collecting the pledge that that church and Corinthians was making the care for the needs of the city of Jerusalem task completed the work of that pledge, Generosity freeze hearts, and that’s an act of Grace that have been freed by the Grace. The unmerited favor of God allows them to live the generous life. The work of God enables the Grace of God in people’s lives. And it wasn’t a work that made by human flesh. There is a work of generosity made by God. Generosity is an act of God’s grace, not an act of man. The Grace of God is done on the strength of God, not the strength of man. We can live this generous life that frees our life, freeze, generously, frees our hearts from everything in traps us by the Grace of God, verse seven, It talks more on this and unpacks this more verse seven says. Now, as you excel in everything in faith, speech knowledge and in all diligence, and in all your love for us. Excel also in this Act of Grace, paul is exhorting the Corinthians in the Church. The christians in this Corinthian Church, to just crush it in every area of your life, in your speech, in your faith, in your knowledge, in your diligence, and your love for us descending church, crush it in all those areas, but also crushed in this act of Grace, which is generosity giving to the Church that needs help this Church needs to grow up and it’s giving the Corinthian Church needs to grow up and it’s giving this Corinthian Church is called to live Excellent. All our areas of its life, including its finances. What is the Apostle paul doing in this verse? He’s lifting a high bar of generosity up there of speech and conduct in life and how you live in your finances. Because no one should know who the generous people are in this church and whose tippers and whose Tyler’s and who’s giving and who’s taking No one should know. That should be a quiet thing between you and God. I don’t know. I used to be one of the bigger givers in the church. And you all outpaced me and left me behind and that’s fine. I’m trying but there’s some, y’all are just doing doing work, that’s great. But we’re giving being on this generosity journey of trying to be a giver, trying to be a tired. They’re not a tipper is a requirement for being a member in this church. Giving is a requirement for being a leader in this church. All of our leaders are givers. All of our members are givers. That is a prerequisite to make this your church home and be a member of this church. Look at verse eight, I’m not saying this is the command rather by means of the diligence of others. I am testing the genuineness of your faith and then paul goes for the ultimate below. He pulls out verse nine here and laid out the ultimate example of giving verse nine says, for, you know, the grace of our Lord, Jesus christ though he was rich for your sake. He became poor, so that by his poverty you might become rich. When was jesus rich in Heaven with God? When did you become poor? When he went to Jerusalem, Nazareth Bethlehem, He came poor when he came here to reach you and me. Remember, we serve a God who will willingly became poor, so that we might become rich in christ. Why do we forgive others? Because he first forgave us? Why do we love others? Because he first loved us? Why do we give because he first grandly gave everything for us? He gave his life. He gave his last breath. He gave his blood. He gave everything for us. Jesus gave his life for us. Jesus went first and showed the way and how to live and how to love and how to lead and how to forgive and how to give. So we might follow his example. As christians remember, this is a broke church, A Third World Church caught up in the mission of grandly giving to jesus and his mission of caring for the needs of people. And that paul skipped them and they went on their own and raise their own funds and sent their own person to give those funds to paul. They gave generously and freely. Later on, in Chapter nine he says this. The point is this, the person who’s so sparingly will also reap sparingly. And the person who so generously will also reap generously? Each person should give? Should do as he has decided in his heart? Not reluctantly or out of compulsion since God loves a cheerful giver. Being generous means your steward of what God has given you. You’re a manager of what God has given. You. Can you be trusted of what you have now christian? Are you a good steward of what God has given you now, christian? The goals that were generous in every area of our life, here’s these areas of our lives that we are called to be generous. We’re supposed to be generous of our time. This was a steward our time. Well, it was to manage our time. Well. We’re supposed to manage our relationships of our spouse well, rules to make that a primary relationship in our life, we’re supposed to manage our property. Well, are you a good steward of the property you have? Do you care for your things? Well, do you change the oil in your car? Do you know you’re alive? Do you care for your property? Well, are you a good steward of the spiritual gifts God has given you? I’m excited about spiritual gifting and talent that God has given you as a christian. Those gifts exist for you to equip the local church to build up the church the spiritual maturity and health? Are you leveraging your gifting well? Are you keeping your weaknesses? Don’t disqualify you? And are you sharpening the acts of your spiritual gifts to be more effective at building up the local church. Do you even know what your spiritual gifts are? Talk to a community leader? Talk to the pastor email. Hello at Solar church dot com. We’d love to help you have that conversation about where you’re gifted in where you uniquely are gifted and how you can use that to build the cause of christ Do you Stuart God’s truth? Well, think of this generation of christians have more resources of Biblical teaching, theological training for free that ever existed in the history of mankind. We have more truth, our disposal. We’re giving away books in the resource library. Previous generations of christians would be jealous of men and women. You have an amazing resources at your disposal of the Word of God and resources help you understand the word of God. Are you Stewart in God’s truth in your life? Well, are you stewarding your body? Well, I am more tired now than I’ve been in a long time. I have not been stewarding my body. Well, I’m going to take a long nap this afternoon and I’m gonna try to take monday off I think and catch up on rest. There’s tired, exhausted fatigue. There’s some progression and I’m not Stewart in my body. Well, that matters. This is the temple God gave me. That’s the temple God gave you. We need a Stewart God’s temple? Well, I’ve not regretted being generous of God in any of these areas in my life. We’re called to live the generous life. Generosity changes lives. Generosity is for everyone. And generosity freeze hearts as we close. The time is coming, when we will crank up the generosity value and really beat that drum for a couple of weeks and talk about opportunities for missionaries and church plants and gospel expanding opportunities. That’s not now. We’re not launching a capital campaign. So something like, what’s he doing? Nothing, nothing is happening. We’re just telling everyone else what we’ve been up to for years privately. There’s seasons and opportunities that we hope to jump in and step through those open doors of opportunities as those arising will be needs that arise. And I’m excited about what God has done, I think they’ll be future church plants, future parking expansions, future missionary commissioning, there’s gonna be plenty of future opportunities in our our our rear view mirror of celebrate what God has done is not as glorious as the future. What God will do with you. If God could do that with 90 some people who are all in think of what God will do of all of us. It’s amazing how God can keep using us and growing up in this area. If you’re if you’re new to jesus Christianity Church. You don’t need a you need to receive receive truth, jesus and community and the gospel. You need to be in the receiving posture right now of receiving resources. Knowledge, time, investment. You need to be in the receiving posture. This isn’t for you. These are people who have experienced the grace of God. You need to experience the grace of God. You receive the gospel received christian community. If you have this church, if you have the RCC faithful to the sewer faithful, God bless you. Your time, your talent, your treasure, our gods, you’re giving is an act of worship in all areas of your life. You are a good steward of your life. You’re a good steward of your finances. Your good steward of your gifting. God bless you. We are here today because of your faithfulness and your faith in God. Your gift, you’re giving is a gift that is a precious gift to God. God bless you. You’re an example to many younger people in this room. Many younger people spiritually in this room that don’t know this whole world of generosity and being generous of your whole life. All those different areas of your life. You’re an example to many if you’re young, this is who we are. This is where we’ve been going as a people were on this generosity journey, join us and learn from an older brother or sister in the room who has been along this road farther and learn from them. God bless you. Let’s pray thank you Lord for today. Thank you for jesus and the ultimate gift and how that is transformed everything. Jesus changes everything. God I pray that you just really give us wisdom for how to live in this day. I purchased multiply. Our time helps to be found faithful or at the end of our days we commit our lives to you. Lord jesus name. We pray this. Amen.