Life Track was not just another sermon series. Life Track is a pathway to discipleship. It is not over… we’ve only just begun! The next step in the pathway to discipleship is Generosity. You cannot serve people and leave a legacy apart from a life of generosity. Nothing brings more joy on earth and more blessing in heaven than being generous. For all the skeptics who say the church is just after money, let me be clear that this is NOT a campaign. We have done campaigns and God used them, but this is not a campaign. We are not wanting something from you, but we want something for you. We want you to take the next step on your spiritual journey. We are not raising money, we are raising disciples.
Did you know that in the Bible the word “believe” is mentioned 272 times? We read the word “pray” 371 times and the word “love” 714 times. The word “give,” however, is mentioned 2161 times! That is who God is. For God so loved the world that He gave. Our theme passage is 1 Timothy 6:17-19: “Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life.” God gives everything to us to be enjoyed. Think of all you enjoy! You will enjoy forever what you invest in heaven.
In 2 Corinthians we read about an offering that Paul is going to collect. In 2 Corinthians 9:5, we read that the gift was planned. Every person has to decide to give. Make up your mind and settle in your heart that you are going to give. We also read that the gift wasn’t given grudgingly. Your decision to give shouldn’t be based on pressure or appeal. The filter is always eternity. At the end of the day, the reason why we give is to be more like God. God never stops giving, so let’s start.
2 Corinthians 9:7 says that God loves a cheerful giver. Everyone will be known for something. We want Liberty to be known as a generous people. When the community talks about us, we don’t want it to be about worship style or our position on any given issue, but instead about how we love the community. No matter what you have going on in your life, you can still be generous. When Paul talked about the Macedonian churches, he said, “In the midst of a very severe trial, their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity” (2 Cor. 8:2). In God’s economy, trial and joy can co-exist. Poverty and generosity co-exist. If anyone got a pass, the Macedonian church did. But they begged to give! They gave financially, but they also gave of themselves. Generosity is not just about giving money. It is giving hugs, kisses, encouragement, service, love; it’s giving of yourself.
1 Corinthians 16:1-2 says, “Now about the collection for the Lord’s people: Do what I told the Galatian churches to do. On the first day of every week, each one of you should set aside a sum of money in keeping with your income….” If you’ve already started giving, I encourage you to become a steady giver. Give regularly. Let it be part of your lifestyle. Give something on a regular basis as you would other monthly expenses – rent, utilities, groceries, etc.
There are so many ways we can give! Give of your time, talent, and treasure. You can send an encouraging email, text a friend, give a book, send a handwritten card, take food, leave a generous tip, be kind to your server, welcome a new neighbor, pay for someone’s groceries, and so much more! God never stops giving to us… so let’s start!