Radical Generosity – Part 2
Pastor Mike Hayes
September 10, 2017
Main Idea – Christian, radical generosity develops through three steps: radical revelation, radical obedience, and radical discipline.
Radical Christians give the most
- Statistics show wealthy, devoted Christians give – by far – more money to their churches and to charity than any other group of people in the United States. (see the book God and Money – How We Discovered True Riches at Harvard Business School – by John Cortines and Gregory Baumer)
- This indicates if “radical” Christians receive finances, they will give finances to help others.
- In other words, if devoted Christians have it, they will give it.
- There is a divine connection between seeking God - and putting Him first – and receiving earthly blessings. Psalm 112: 1-3 – Praise the Lord! Blessed is the man who fears the Lord, who delights greatly in His commandments. His descendants will be mighty on earth; the generation of the upright will be blessed, wealth and riches will be in his house, and his righteousness endures forever.
- If we seek God, earthly possessions will follow. We should not seek earthly riches first, and then plan to later seek God. “Stuff” will not make us happy. We should begin by first seeking God. Matthew 6:33 – But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.
- The reason we give to God is because He has brought us “out of the world” and has given us eternal life in Heaven. Exodus 13: 11-14 – And it shall be, when the Lord brings you into the land of the Canaanites, as He swore to you and your fathers, and gives it to you, that you shall set apart to the Lord all that open the womb, that is, every firstborn that comes from an animal which you have; the males shall be the Lord’s. But every firstborn of a donkey you shall redeem with a lamb; and if you will not redeem it, then you shall break its neck. And all the firstborn of man among your sons you shall redeem. So it shall be, when your son asks you in time to come, saying, ‘What is this?’ that you shall say to him, ‘By strength of hand the Lord brought us out of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.
Radical obedience and discipline
- God doesn’t need our money. But, He does know human nature; that we need to be regulated so we can continuously demonstrate He is the first of everything: the most important thing in our own lives.
- Exodus 13: 1-2 – Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “Consecrate to Me all the firstborn, whatever opens the womb among the children of Israel, both of man and beast; it is Mine.”
- Numbers 18: 15,17 – Everything that first opens the womb of all flesh, which they bring to the Lord, whether man or beast, shall be yours; nevertheless the firstborn of man you shall surely redeem, and the firstborn of unclean animals you shall redeem. . . But the firstborn of a cow, the firstborn of a sheep, or the firstborn of a goat you shall not redeem; they are holy. You shall sprinkle their blood on the altar, and burn their fat as an offering made by fire for a sweet aroma to the Lord
- Just as the Old Testament system included the principle of redeeming a donkey with the sacrifice of a lamb, God redeemed each of us with the sacrifice of Jesus. God follows His own laws.
- When we tithe the first 10% of our increase/earnings, we are doing something similar to what God did when He sacrificed Jesus on the cross.
- If we follow God’s system of giving the first 10% of our increase, then we will also remember how God redeemed us. Each of us is reminded of from where He brought each of us in life.
- When we put God first with our tithe, He gives us power to earn even more. Deuteronomy 8:18 – And you shall remember the Lord your God, for it is He who gives you power to get wealth, that He may establish His covenant which He swore to your fathers, as it is this day.
- When we tithe, it goes to two places. Obviously, it goes into a church bank account for the ministry of the church. But - much more importantly - before it even hits the church’s bank account it has first been received by Jesus in Heaven. Hebrews 7: 8 – Here mortal men receive tithes, but there he receives them, of whom it is witnessed that he lives.
- Because Jesus first receives our tithe in Heaven, God then blesses us.
- This blessing is to God’s glory, and enables us to give even more to help those in need and to the ministry of the Church.
Reflective Questions for Radical Generosity – Part 2
- How did you feel when you saw the statistic about the large amount of money that wealthy, devoted Christians give to charity and to their churches? What do you think are the reasons this particular group of people gives so much more than other groups of people?
- Pastor Mike said one of the reasons God instituted the practice of tithing is because He knows human nature. What do you think Pastor Mike meant by that statement? Does that reason apply to you, too?
- If you are practicing correct tithing procedure, why is it important to write your tithe check before spending any other money from your earnings/increase?
- If you have been a first fruits tither, do you have a testimony for others of how God has blessed you in return because of your willing obedience and discipline?