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Living Generously - How Does God Measure Generosity?, Part 2

Living on the Edge / Chip Ingram
The Truth Network Radio
September 30, 2020 6:00 am

Living Generously - How Does God Measure Generosity?, Part 2

Living on the Edge / Chip Ingram

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September 30, 2020 6:00 am

Wouldn’t it be great to enjoy the "Christmas Spirit” 365 days a year? In this message, Chip shares how you can cultivate that winsome spirit of Christmas in your heart 24/7.

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God blesses generous. Let me repeat that absolute principle from Scripture, God bless as he causes his paper is less to be upon people that are generous.

Here's the problem we often think were generous, but he measures at different today. Learn how God measures generosity.

Thanks for joining us for this Edition of Living on the Edge drift.

Your finger Living on the Edges of discipleship ministry the Bible teaching of Chip Ingram individual reps of the series living generously with an amazing reveal God's generosity. Every aspect of the Christmas story. Lest you think it's not Christmas when we talking about Christmas trip explains, is that everything about the Christmas story model for how we can live generously 365 days a year. So let's join them for part two of his message. How does God measure generosity for most of you, not for all. For most of your times more valuable money when we talk about generosity. Please don't think writing a check is good and wonderful. That is, is that my question would be how are you doing in your growth of generosity of giving your time.

I want you to know money is the training wheels.

When you begin to say God I want to give you the best of my time. I don't know what that looks like for you is the early morning for me.

I want to give the best of my time and if you're like me, you can get a call from someone and it shows up on your phone and I have about three people in my life when their name comes up. It's like this is not a short conversation, it's never short conversation. In fact, it's a conversation where I can ask one or two questions in 45 minutes later I'm I'm not sure if I hung up, they would know it. You know what I've realized is Jesus loves unlovely people. Jesus make time for people that most of us don't want to make time for and what I'm really saying see what generosity is. It breaks your pride, generosity, says this person were this dysfunction with this conversation with this baggage matters to God so they matter to me because he lives inside of me and getting my money is a pretty high control.

I can do it on my terms.

I give my time, it gets messy.

The shepherds left work. It's one thing to write a check, but I mean to leave work to not work so much to give time to family or a friend or to minister or to open your home in a small group all I have to leave work early and other people get ahead.

Why fix faith doesn't your start to see time is way more valuable, but it goes beyond that the Christmas story then introduces a new character in we get Joseph who's engaged in as you read this engagement. In the Jewish culture is you.

The families would be involved in the families would agree this is the right man. This is the right girl and in this culture would be a semi-arranged marriage. And then there will be what's called the betrothal and so you would get engaged and then you have up to. Sometimes a year and I am within get the house ready and get financially responsible and where they gonna live in the betrothal.

Was very official. I mean it wasn't like today when you engage and say hey you not I'm not sure this is really right but break engagement. The only way to break an engagement then was habitable. Now listen to Joseph story and and and think of what it would be like, especially guys think of this as your girlfriend and you hear the story about her. Matthew chapter 1. Beginning verse 18 says this is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about his mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together she was found to be with child to the Holy Spirit because Joseph her husband was a righteous man.

He didn't want to expose her to public disgrace, but he had in mind to divorce her quietly, but after he considered this, an angel of the Lord that that phrase often angel the Lord is the pre-incarnate Christ the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your life because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son. You will given his name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins at all this took place to fulfill what the Lord said to the prophet, the virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son and will call him Immanuel, which means God is with us.

When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and he took Mary home to be his wife. Not just you talk about your reputation. All right guys, those of you that think about way way back for some of you when you were engaged in. Your girlfriend comes to you and says hey I just want you to know I've never been with another man, but a pregnant and you say well how can this be an and she says well it's God all really yeah it's got angel told me yeah okay so so let's get now you have an angelic visit. In this angel. Literally I mean in the middle the night. Give this dream and he speaks to you and says it's okay and then he says this is the Savior of the world, the Messiah's coming, Mary told you the truth. This is the real deal.

I want you to do it. Sometimes read his Bible stories, like Joseph, some wind up religious robot. Oh yes, God set it up do a God set it up, dude. He's a guy he's taken away a second. I mean this is this is when the sexual mores are way different than they are now. You can get stoned for adultery. You have babies out of wedlock. So now Joseph is going to marry a girl that's pregnant. One of the guys down at the bargain essay Joseph you full Joseph, you idiot. Can you believe that all of his life. The suspect, the suspicion power the world could any man marry some woman who's pregnant with someone else's kid in that day his reputation gone. Let me ask you when you start thinking about money or time reputation. What's the most valuable what's the hardest to give. I'm going to guess group this size, we have people that probably give your money faithfully and I bet there's people in this room that actually are pretty willing to give you time, but I bet there's some of us that as relatives come in, or when a topic comes up at work and it's one of those black and white issues. And you know the Bible says this and it's really clear in your personal convictions are here, but you know if you would fly your flag and verbalize that they would think you're one of those Bible thumping anti-intellectual evangelical weirdos and you know what you do anything is what people think of you matters more than what God thinks of you and how you appear and it might impact your career might impact the future right you tell people you go to church here, they look at you like so you just not smart or what you not a thinking person, your you're not intellectual.

Are you willing to give God your reputation.

Are you willing to come go out there on the lemon so you know Lord and by the way, I don't mean be stupid. I don't mean the argumentative but I mean there's a lot of Christians that please you know act in ways that actually hurt God's reputation.

I'm talking about, you know those areas. When the spirit of God is prompting you to step up and verbalize and model what you really believe all this pressure that you are so afraid of what people think generous people Joseph gave his reputation for Mary, it was beyond reputation. I mean, her reputation was ruined, but she gave her future with the story up in Luke chapter 1 hits in the six month God sent the not notice the angel Gabriel. He's the great messenger of God, who is announces the greatest announcements in Scripture. Gabriel goes to Nazareth to the town of Galilee, to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, the son of David. The virgin's name was Mary and angel went to her and said, greetings your highly favored.

The Lord is with you. Me I just I don't know how or where this happened, but I just picture it had been a private place, and you know maybe Mary was just getting ready for bad.

Or maybe she couldn't sleep that night and and all the sudden angels in the room on the light emanating out of him.

He starts to speak to her responses. Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be when you but the angel said to not be afraid, Mary, you found favor with God.

You will be with child and give birth to a son, and your to give him his name Jesus. This is really good because at least Joseph gets a dream that says Jesus's name and Mary gets a visit to Jesus's name. So when they talk together there on the same page. The notice he will be great and we called the son of the most high, the Lord God will give him the throne of David and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and his kingdom will never end.

Mary understood what was going on here. The throne of David, his kingdom later in the same book. She has this prayer. This magnificent prayer and she talks about how God is faithful to the humble and she quotes 12 to 15 different parts of Old Testament passages.

This young girl was godly, maybe 15, 16 years old new God love God found favor with those words the throne of David shall be called the son of God. She understood the long awaited Messiah God, visiting the earth, fully God and fully man is going to take up residence inside my body and I will give physical birth to the son of God, and I will be the mother of the Messiah, but she sorta had a methodology question and so her responses. How can this be, since I'm a virgin.

The angel said the Holy Spirit will come upon you and the power of the most high will overshadow you, so that the holy one to be born will be called the son of God.

And then, almost as though can you magical 1516-year-old girl trying to take all this in and it's like the angels that you know by the way limit the me give you little touch of reality. You know, Elizabeth. Your aunt yeah you know that the old lady who can't have kids yeah mean way past childbearing.

Yeah right now she's six months pregnant and what we find is after this, the Mary goes and visits her and I think it was a great encouragement to her faith, especially when she walked in the room and John the Baptist would leap inside of Elizabeth. In recognition of this is the mother, the Savior of the world and he says for nothing is impossible with God and that I love her response because now I will talk to ladies and I don't know much about this except I have one daughter and one wife and I talked my wife a lot about the dream she had some day what the wedding would look like in the sky that she was going to marry in the kind of person he would be in may begin of two or three kids are you when you're young girl don't you have dreams about your future wife to look like and who we might be in you know where you can live in. You know back then. I don't think they had white picket fences. But you know Mary gave her future way her life was never normal in her response was I am the servant of the Lord, be it unto me according to your word. Here's here's what you gotta grab God who actually made all that there is wants to do things in you and through you beyond your wildest imagination, but he doesn't have your heart and can't start to guide you into you can demonstrate you trust him and you say Lord will trust you with the training wheels of of my money and then and then you begin to say, I'll give you the best of my time and then it's your reputation, and then here's a lot of people get there and what they say is now God, here's what I want you know inside this box for my future as long as I work at this kind of job married this kind of person never get geographically beyond where I am. I just want you know inside this box, you can do whatever you want with my life I knew what God does with most people's lives. He does exactly what you led into inside that little box and you can go to church and you can write your first check to the Lord, and you can read your Bible and you can go to little Bible study now and then and even share your faith now and then and feel like but but God's been tapping on your shoulders to your future without your future you willing to go anywhere. 80% of all the people in America have a job they hate.

But they won't leave it because the economic income is greater than doing what they were made to do. I mean it's a scary you're starting to get generous news I got I wanted to with your future. Anything you want done in my future and that usually require some sort a step of faith. And then people that we interviewer people that you know that have the sort of winsome attractive love for God that oozes out of them is the kind of Christians will someday come to want to be.

I will tell you what they given their future to God and their doing some things and experiencing same. Never dreamed whatever happened they thought only happened quote really spiritual people really smart people really holy people. What I will tell you that the Bible is filled with only ordinary people through whom God does extraordinary things, and the prerequisite isn't gift or talent or smarts or heritage or background. The prerequisite is trust and availability. And that's why the Christmas story is a graduate-level and generosity because it's un-likely people who God does improbable impossible amazing things as increasing levels of generosity and she gives her future and then Jesus does what he gives his life.

Mark 1045 frame the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and give his life for many, the word for their means in the place of. It's a substitute for, and you can kind of see I, I, I, sort of picture you know down here that they see a star little bit of Revelation respond to it. They get an angelic visit over here while he gets a dream with an angel of the Lord, she gets a visit from Gabriel Jesus before the foundations of the earth looks through the portals of time in the eternal now and who for the joy, not reluctantly, who for the joy wasn't hard.

Yes, the anguish in his soul. Yes, was it in the garden. Was it a struggle completely. I like that because it is for me to, but when he gave his life.

It wasn't a reluctant it was, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, offering himself so he could pay for you and you and me and you and you and whosoever would believe the father goes beyond that, the father gave his son in that window in that moment of time when Jesus hung up on the cross for the first time in eternity, the father would turn away from the sun and the just wrath of God. Your sin and my sin and the sins of all people of all time would be placed on him of the sin offering and so he would cry, my God, my God, why have you forsaken me, and he would take on your sin and mine in the father would give in for some of us. As you learn to become generous and God uses you theirs and Isaac in your life. That's why the pictures in the Old Testament there's been times when one of my kids is been an idol in my life and God. Are you willing to let them loosen go away in pursue this career that I thought is never to make any money. He's never can have a life and is probably not gonna work out and is a long way from here. Yes, Lord, let your kid go to a mission field. There's another time in my life when my wife was an idol and she would tell you now, that's one of the hardest most difficult times, but what God did in and then through what precious possession what you hang on to the guy just wants to pry your little fingers also so he could let you experience his love last night at the end of the service was a guy waiting around for quite a while and he thought, what's up, and he said I just came here to thank you said what for.

He said Robin kind involved in ministry and 29 years old I'm in a graduate program now and I do some teaching in my church and I've told people all kind of stuff for lots of years, but in the last two weeks through the biggest things happen. The just shattered my life and he said you know something. There were two or three things I've always held back, even those involved in ministry and read the Bible with two or three things that were distant in God and not trusting those and I for the first time in my life told God, I'm all in and I surrendered my life. I'm not been a Christian for years, but I surrendered all that I am all that I have God I want you to know I'm afraid, but I believe that your good and the kind your son, and to shield you give grace and glory you won't withhold any good thing, but now I'm taking that step, except I just can't tell you what's happened in my life, my heart of the Christian most all my life, but the power in the experience of God and the love of God that I've heard about but never experience came because I gave why what Scripture teach give in to be given good measure, pressed down, shaken together, run over back into your lap's not about money. Money is the training wheels get when you give you the time, same reputation, future life precious possession. There's three little things I want you to fill in.

I've shared these but I want to just jot down three observations about the Christmas story and graduate-level generosity number one generosity is not so much a virtuous act as it is a virtuous response each time it was got God put the star God sent the Angels, God was in the dream. God appeared to Mary.

He loves you. He's reaching he's drawing you so generosity has something great. You do you respond second God doesn't measure generosity by the size of a gift, but the size of your sacrifice and I would just ask you to begin to ponder what would it look like to go from the step that I'm on to the next step on this journey, where I would but there's there's a there's a sacrifice, but not as a some legalistic I've earn God's favor, but I want to respond to God's love at a deeper level of love and finally increasing levels of generosity bring increasing levels of reward and blessing me each time the blessing is greater greater greater greater greater because you give God always you know before we do anything I want to stop right now and what you think about what you've heard, I mean the Scripture completely redefines generosity me. There's the there's the training wheels of of money but reputation future life.

And then God is the most generous being in the universe he gave his son and as you listen today. I'm sure you had the lens of generosity, but if you ever received the most generous gift that a human being could ever receive the forgiveness of your sins, not based on your merit not working to sort again God's approval, but to realize that Jesus hung upon the cross to pay for your sin in your place, and that all you need to do is turn from your sin with the empty hands of faith and cry out. Oh God, I have fallen short.

I have sand.

I need you, I believe today that Jesus died to pay for my sin. I ask you Lord Jesus come into my life. Forgive me, cleanse me, make me your son make me your daughter. I believe you paid the price and you rose from the dead, and I want to follow you, receive your gift. If you've never done that. Do it right now in your own words. Just tell God you're sorry for your sin, ask Christ to come into your life and accept the forgiveness that you already have and for many of you who are thinking to yourself, you know. I remember when I did that I ask you, are you generous the way Jesus is you given him your future. Have you given him your reputation does your time and your finances reflect that your surrendered that you're all in.

Give all that you have to God, that he might take it, turn it around and give back to you the life the truly life if you prayed with Chip. I hope you'll take a minute and call us at AAA 83336003. We'd love to hear your story and get a free resource in your hands that'll help you understand the significance of your decision and then give you a couple of next steps on your journey about same resources available if you tap special offers on the up or go to the new believers tab on our website

We just want to help you get started and say welcome to the family while Chip what if Davis is been great. I have to tell you that teaching on money and wealth and work and the kind of things were teaching on is at the core of discipleship and transform people's lives. I'm thrilled that I got to teach on this and I can tell you people will be realigning their priorities their lives in the finances because were ever there money goes according to Jesus, their heart will follow.

So thank you very much for your support financially in this ministry that allows us to teach those kind of truths. So if you're looking for a place to invest in ministry that will really make a difference. Living on the Edge might be a great opportunity was Living on the Edges ministering to want to be part of ministering to others across America and all around the world today would be a great day to join the team to give a gift online just go to or if you prefer, give us a call at AAA 83336003 app listeners tap the donate button on behalf of Chip and everyone here. Thanks in advance for your prayers and your support. Well I hope will be with us again next time. Until then, this is Dave saying thanks for joining us for this Edition of Living on the Edge

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