God gave up His Son, Jesus so He could have us. He gave everything He had with the hope that we would one day say yes to Jesus and enter into an intimate relationship with Him; and even after He delivered Jesus into the hands of man, God continued to pour Himself out upon us by calling the Holy Spirit to not only live in us, but also flow through us for the purpose of seeing His peace, mercy, righteousness, power and wisdom revealed in our lives. In God’s generosity, He revealed His desire and longing to supply all of our needs according to His riches and glory. He established He would do anything to see our lives reflect the beauty and majesty of heaven. He proved His unfailing nature as a good Father. Through His selflessness, God demonstrated Heaven’s culture and nature are that of generosity – a culture and nature He’s called us to cooperate with if we are going to see Heaven invade our earth. In Pastor Tracy’s message, The Kingdom is Generous, she unravels the heart behind God’s desire for us to be generous, while examining how we can give through the different avenues of our lives.
God’s treasure is in His people; He died for His people. So while the world may tell us our treasure is found in the riches of gold, money and status, God’s sacrifice reveals our treasure is not to be found in the riches of this world, but rather in His sons and daughters. Our treasure is found in the influence and impact we make in the lives of those around us as we give what we’ve been given. Yet many times we limit ourselves from living a generous life because our fear of not having enough and/or not being able to have what we want overwhelms our desire to make a difference in the lives of others. We hold onto the idea that our treasure is found in our money, time, purpose and gifts, ultimately blinding ourselves from seeing our treasure is truly found in the opportunities to lead others closer to Jesus. Still, God’s word promises us that as we seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, all the things we need will be added to our lives and that as we give we will be blessed and rewarded (Matthew 6:33, Proverbs 22:9). They are promises that abolish our fear of lack and poverty. They are promises that free us to take a stance of generosity and give with the same heart God gave to us, a stance that allows God to get things to us, so He can get things through us.
We seek God’s Kingdom through generosity and adopt His giving heart as we give through four main areas of our lives: our time, gifts and talents, finances and resources, and love. Submitting our agenda to God’s shifts our focus from what we want to do towards what God created us to do. In giving our time, we abandon our selfish ambition and acknowledge God’s greater plan for our lives, which in turn direct our steps to the glory He’s called us to walk in – a glory which is also revealed in the gifts and talents He’s uniquely given each one of us. God didn’t create us the same. He fearfully and wonderfully made us to be unique, giving us different gifts and talents (Psalm 139:14). When we are generous with our gifts and talents we express the specific nature of God that He placed within us. Whether our gift is in teaching, drawing, public speaking, accounting or counseling, our lives reflect more of the Kingdom of God, when we give ourselves to the collective purpose of our community. God’s desire for us to give out of our finances and resources isn’t due to His lack of love for money. He wants us to enjoy our money, but knows the destruction we face when we worship it. Giving our finances not only positions our heart to remind ourselves God is the one who will supply our needs, but also supplies those around us with the opportunity to walk in the calling God has in their lives. Very few things in this world can be built and grow without money. Being generous with our finances illustrates the belief and confidence we have in others as they chase their purpose in the Kingdom. It enables the church to be fully revealed. Lastly, God asks that we give our love, simply because it is the love He gave which gives us access to all He is. When we are generous with our love, when we forgive when we don’t think others deserve it, when we are non-judgmental and accepting rather than condemning, we draw those around us to the heart and kindness of a Father who brings eternal life and true life transformation. God’s desire is that through our generosity, the fullness of His love, creativity and glory would be revealed to the world around us.
- What fears may you be holding onto that limit your from being generous? What causes those fears? How can you step through those fears and begin to give?
- How does limiting God from giving to you affect what He wants to do through you? What things can you do to make sure you are accountable in being an open vessel that releases what God has given you?
- What acts of generosity have you experienced that resulted in a life being changed? How did that moment of giving draw you closer to God? How did it impact your heart?
- When it comes to your time, how can/do you give your time to God’s purposes? If you don’t feel like you have enough time to give, what things in your schedule could be removed in order to free up your time?
- What specific gifts and talents has God placed inside of you? What do you currently do to give those talents and gifts to others? How can you increase the impact you’re making through your gifts and talents? What are you doing to properly steward and grow that gifts God has given you?
- What stops you from giving your finances? How can you continue to grow in your trust that God will provide you with your needs as you sacrifice your finances for His purposes? How can you be generous with your finances and resources?
- What may stop you from giving love to others? How does loving others, even when they don’t deserve it reflect the nature of God? How can you love others better throughout your daily life?
Praise God for giving all He had in His Son, Jesus for the sake of calling you into a personal relationship with Him. Thank Him for giving you all you need according to His riches and glory. Pray that God would give you a generous heart. Ask God to reveal any barriers in your heart that may be limiting you from being generous and receiving more from God. Praise God for giving you the steps to overcome those barriers. Thank God for making you a blessing. Ask God to reveal how you can give your time, talents, resources and love to those around you. Praise God for His anointing to fall on your generosity. Pray His nature and kindness would be so clearly revealed to those you give to. Praise God for giving more to you so He can get more through you.
Encourage your group members that each of them have been created to be a blessing and reflect God’s glory. Lead your group members to scripture that speaks against their fears of lack and poverty. Help uncover ways your group members can begin to give their talents, time, resources and love. For those who already give, help lead them to ways they can increase their impact through their generosity. Encourage your group members to ask God to make them a blessing each day.