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November 18, 2019 5:00 am
God loves all people equally, but he does not bless all people equally.
Some people he prospers for very specific you want to find out what that is. Stay with thanks for joining us for this Monday edition of Living on the Edge with Chip Ingram Living on the Edge as a discipleship ministry featuring the Bible teaching of Chip Ingram IV. Today Chip continues his series genius of generosity of ever wondered if there's some secret to receiving God's blessing triple Telus today. There is no secret. God's clear about the reason some people receive his blessings more freely and that's where chips headed now after the teaching he'll be with us to talk more about how this all works, so be sure to stay with us for that.
Okay let's get going and join Chip for his message why God prospers generous people want to begin with a little terrible that I ran across was very interesting. Imagine if you will.
The scene once there was a man lost in desert near death from thirst. He wandered aimlessly throughout the burning sand for many days growing weaker by the moment. At long last, he saw an oasis in the distance, palm trees, indicating there be water. He stumbled forward, feverishly fell beneath the shade of the trees.
Finally he might quench his thirst, but he noticed something strange about this particular oasis instead of a pool of water or a bubbling brook was odd there was a pump and next to the pump was a jar of water and next to the jar of water was a small, parchment with hand written note. The note explained that the leather gasket within the pump must be saturated with the water for the pump to work with in the jar was just enough water for this purpose. Note also warned the reader. Do not drink from the jar. Every drop must be poured down into the pump in the opening so the base of the pump can be soaked. The hard leather become softened and as the leather is softened and expanded and on limited supply of sweet water would be available the parchment's final instructions were simply to refill the jar for the next traveler man faced a dilemma.
He was dying of thirst, and there wasn't much water, but he found some probably not enough water to save his life, but it seemed like the height of folly to take a little bit of water that he had and pour it down the base of the pump and so what you do on the one hand, if the note is true and he pours it down. He has all the water that he needs.
On the other. If he drinks what he has.
He might temporarily quench his thirst, but find himself in oasis and die as I thought of this idea. Have a little jar here and has little note in us a note a lot like what he had and like you to think about this jar is your life and all the water inside this jar is all the time all the energy all the talent all the money all the opportunity. Your 401(k), your savings account your car, your house, it's all that you have and we have this ridiculous command of God that says give poured out. Trust me, don't be afraid. Don't be so tight with your time. Don't be see tight with your talent.
Don't be tight and guarded with your money. Trust me with your life and as you give it away. You will never reflect my son more than is your generous and then all the promises of Scripture how smart that is not this unit is not noble or holy or wonderful to say well I'm going to pour this down so I can have an unlimited supply. It's smart, but it requires one thing that that note. Better be true and that pump water better have water. I want to give you for airtight facts about generosity that are absolutely true. That will help you and help me begin to take the kind of steps that will allow us by faith to say it's smart, it's wise to pour out our lives. In fact, Jesus is called. He poured out his life as a drink offering Paul would use the same phrase when he talked about his life and his love for the Philippian church. So you ready for facts that I think will give us faith. Open your teaching handout if you will, let's dig in together.
Fact number one God blesses generous people, some of you been around do not get nervous as I share these verses to some of your gonna come to some you know conclusions like what's he saying is he could take in us and this just listen what I want to do.
As I read these verses, I just want you to ask and answer the question, does the Bible teach that God blesses generous people are not on got the Old Testament and New Testament, the wisest man in the world and Jesus himself followed along first acts 2035 in everything I did, Luke writes I showed you that by this kind of hard work. We must help the week remembering the words of the Lord Jesus himself is more blessed to give than to receive.
Luke 638 from the lips of Jesus. Give why, and to be given unto you will how good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be poured into your cup.
For with the measure of the size that you use, it will be measured or given back to you. Solomon the wisest man of the world.
Proverbs 22, nine a generous man will himself be blessed, for he shares his food with the poor. Are you get the drift. Pretty strong argument. Solomon Proverbs 1917. He was kind to the poor lends to the Lord. And what does God do when people are kind of the four he will reward him for what he is done. Deuteronomy Moses writes when you're out harvesting your field and you overlook a sheaf you know your harvesting your feeling all over forgot that one back there. Notice what he says do not go back and get it. Leave it for the alien for the fatherless and the widow, why so that the Lord your God may bless you in all the work of your hands. Turn the page.
If you will.
Proverbs 390 10. He says honor the Lord with what honor God. What to look like honor God with all your wealth. How with the very first fruits of your crops.
You get the first and the best what's the result then your barns will be filled with overflowing in your back to burst out with new wine. And then finally Solomon in Proverbs 1124 and five I love this one. One man gives freely. Yet gains all the more, another withhold what is justly due but comes only to poverty. A generous man will prosper, and he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed. Now listen very carefully.
This is not a gift to get and this is not the prosperity gospel. This is not a formula where you can figure all this is how God has set up life. I'm gonna figure out how to use God and somehow give so I can get more that she is being selfish. But what the Bible teaches from Jesus to Moses to Solomon, to all through Scripture is very very simple. You have limited capacity. You have limited time you have limited money you have limited opportunity you have limited energy you have limited talent and God says to you, if you will take those limitations and you will give the first and the best and trust me I have unlimited supply to help you fulfill my purpose in you and my purpose through you. The bright idea that comes out of this. Is this generous living produces emotional happiness spiritual holiness and as a general rule, material prosperity, no give to get no playing games with God. But you know people that are generous are happy there like anti-Scrooge you know when when you you just can't wait for your husband or your wife or close friend or one your kids or grandkids to open something right. You know they wanted you know they wanted you been thinking about it you check it out on the Internet you bought it you can't wait and you know what that is your maid to give and to bless others and when you do, what happens, it's more blessed to give than to receive. But God says this is a way of life.
There is an enemy to this. Left to our self and in our flesh.
I'm a selfish, greedy person. I want to appear generous but protect me right. None of your like that, but that's just left myself the only antidote to greed and selfishness and the power of money. The antidote is to give its when I give God the first. When I give him the best breaks the power of greed and that false belief that just a little bit more just a little bit more but it can produce security and it'll take care of me, and someday when I have then false belief and then finally, what you find is people that are generous with material things and generous with their time generous with town just the hand of God's blessings upon now you maybe hearing what I'm saying and thinking okay and away second fact number one is God blesses generous people and you might be saying I think I'm pretty generous, but I'm not experience neck and a blessing that God allowed that right now. I got a lot of pressure right now I don't have enough time right now and how does this really work why I did little experiment. I thought to myself I wonder if there's a difference between being truly generous and just assuming or thinking that your generous. I went to a little strip mall where there was multiple little restaurants and a Starbucks and I went from person to person. The person I said I'm trying to find 100 people. I have one question.
It's a survey I just want a yes or no answer. No explanation yes or no and I mean I had young people, old people all kind of ethnic backgrounds. I walked around and I was scared at first but got to be fun.
I said excuse me to lead you to stop. I don't want any money amuck to do anything.
It's a survey can ask this question in a cut. I secured is do you consider yourself to be a generous person yes or no. Do you consider yourself to be a generous person yes or no if I ask you that just right now you don't raise your hand.
Don't do anything but just yourself.
Talk do you consider yourself to be a generous person yes or no. Well my very unscientific survey revealed that 80% of the people at that stripmall consider themselves very quickly.
To be generous people only two people said no and SOI. I couldn't resist I had a follow-up question so you you don't think you generous know. I don't think I'm generous and I'm not trying to be generous, but he just, you know, move on, you know, get your own coffee or something. Not here's here's here's what I want to get what if all the verses I talked about art for people who think they're generous one of all that versus a me to see these the words of Jesus. The words of Solomon. What if what if God really has a standard or criteria bit if you fulfill that your generous and these promises apply to you and if you just think you generous, which I'm now learning 80% lease the people think they are. Then they really don't apply. And so, let me give you fact number two. Fact number two is that God provides clear criteria for becoming or knowing that your generous person coming right out of the Bible you know you may have said yes you may have said no but I will tell you about 10 minutes. You can know with absolute certainty from God's perspective whether he looks at you as a generous person. The first two are reviewing the last three your new characteristic number one.
Genuine generosity gives the first and the best to God. When God looks at people when they get the first crops the first of their paycheck. The first blessing the first opportunity they come to God and say I recognize all I have belongs to you.
I want to give you the first and the best people who do that God's perspective are generous.
Second, genuine generosity is systematic and regular so it's not just legally feeling or near Christmas or this person has a need and I gave him a couple hundred bucks or I help this person over here genuinely generous people on a regular, systematic basis. Give first Corinthians number 16 verse two where Paul is writing to them as is now the first day the week.
I want you to prepare yourself and I want you decide in proportion to how God has blessed you on a regular, systematic way and in the New Testament times.
Most people were paid daily or paid at the end of the day. Most of us get paid every two weeks or once a month, or by commission. So the issue is when I get paid to. I regularly and systematically give the first and the best got so that would make us generous. If I don't do that. I can feel generous, but from God's perspective. I'm not third criteria, genuine generosity is proportional to our income.
Notice that same passage first Corinthian 16 to he says let everyone decide on the first of the week, according to what according to his income limit. Let me put it this way. Let's pretend that right now I could invite one of you appear in you know you were just very bold and we learned that you earn $30,000 a year and live in the Silicon Valley and someone else was very bold and very open and vulnerable and I had them come up and they own. They they own 300 or they make $300,000 here in the Silicon Valley. Okay, a B both of them have maybe grown up in the church.
Both of them love God and both of them have learned that tithing is important, giving the first 10%, but they've been taught that that's God's part and somehow unconsciously believe the biggest lie in the church that the other 90% is there's so use give 10% to God is like one glad that Bill is taking care of but they missed generosity completely.
So let's do a little bit of math $30,000 give the first 10% is $3000. This person is going live on $27,000 in the Silicon Valley house sacrificial's $3000 is allotted. This person by God's blessing and grace make 300,000 by the way, don't don't read into good person. Bad person. These are these people both love God with all their heart.
This just person makes less.
This person makes more they tied in a gift. $30,000. The very first portion, but who's the most generous. I'm just going to I'm going on a limb. We have people from all kind of incomes undergoing a limb and a member of you would say I could squeeze by $270,000 a year consoling about me talk will have to really get a budget but I'm gonna go figure out how to make that you can understand what I want you to get is this jar represents years, but some jars are bigger than other jars for people to have small jars what they given how they give it.
God never measures the amount that you give God measures the amount of the sacrifice.
That's generosity. That's why when the widow would drop in the two small copper coins and the other people gave large gifts. He was a single, large gifts were bad. In fact, the temple could run without the large gifts he just was saying comparatively. This woman has given more than them, but we think Jesus your mouth is all wrong know they gave this much and she gave this much, why would Jesus say she gave more because it was a greater sacrifice, generosity is the first and the best it's regular it's systematic and is proportional so it's not like you pay a bill you're on a journey as God blesses you more. You get to give more you get to be involved more you get to stretch you get to love you get to expand. I've had times where I was given more, and I had times where everything went down to here in one of the most humbling times in my life was a say.
I used to be on. Give this now can we get this it's proportional fourth characteristic of generous people is genuine. Generosity is sacrificial the same setting. Paul writes a lot about generosity and second printing chapter 8 and nine.
He says now, brothers, we want you to know about the grace that God has given the Macedonian churches writing to the Corinthians is talking about the Macedonian church pieces out of their most severe trial, their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty in welled up in rich generosity.
I underlined those four things because I don't I don't think we think about generosity coming out of that you I'm to be generous when there's an extreme trial. I'm can be generous when I'm under it. I'm going to be generous when I don't have much at all affect poverty, is it what welled out of them was rich generosity.
Now notice what he says. He says, for I testify that they gave as much as they were able, and even be on their ability in the notice. The motivation entirely on their own, they urgently pleaded with us for the privilege of sharing the service to the saints, and the service is talking about is over here. These Jewish Christians. There was a famine and didn't have any food in these Christians overhears him Gentile Christians. They were new Christians and these to be all this hostility but Christ broke that wall. They said we have and they don't have. So were going to share see it sacrificial. It's like that when I came across that email that I want to share with you. This is maybe one of the greatest pictures of generosity I've ever seen in my life. Let let me read it to you.
In fact, it's close to home because it's a dear friend. He says 10 years ago I stopped to have my car washed at this brand-new car wash at 87 capital couple friends Chuck and Patty life is spent the last couple years developing the property was a huge investment for them as my car was being washed. I went up to the office and just to say hello after a brief chat. I was about to leave, I asked Chuck hey what your blood type is that that's an odd question why should well need a kidney transplant. He said that's interesting and he said the well I have the right blood type is that I think maybe maybe God wants me to give you my kidney said don't make any quick decisions.
Think about it pray about it. By the way, I've got five or six brothers and sisters are all being tested right now. Let's just see how it works out. The very next day I got a phone call. Chuck said Mike I'm your man.
God told me to do this. I want to do this is only request was. Can we make sure we get this done before hunting season. I couldn't believe it. As it turned out all my siblings were eliminated for one reason or another.
Chuck went through the testing. The results show that he was a better match than anyone else. We had an operation, Chuck later gave us testimony about this experience several times and importantly, he's met with multiple kidney donors and recipients to encourage them to consider doing what he did to date five different people received a kidney and who knows how many indirectly because of Chuck's testimony even though there were unknowns, even though he was just getting his business off the ground. He chose to be generous consistently. Chuck says this.
It's the best thing I've ever done. I am so thankful God allowed me to do kind of raises the stakes on what it means to give Desmet me.
Most of us are sitting here depending on where you're at on you know I think God really wants me to get my finances in order and I got a lot of dead or you know God's will use that illustration about the 10% begin 10% for 22 years. I thought that was just God's. And I would have to rethink my whole equation and some guy was willing to lay on the table and let someone cut out half of what he owns the from all I can tell. Kidneys are pretty important. We do have two but most with one have to, but he had a friend that didn't have any, and he gave one of his two are you start to cc when God sees that you are the heart of God says there's a generous man, there's a generous woman. There is a generous student there's no give to get there's no formula. It's the heart of a father saying you know what he's treating his friend the way I feel about him. He's loving him and he's giving and he's caring and when God sees that in your heart, as evidenced by your behavior. Think God is what he just is a father he just he just wants to give whatever you need you need more time you need more resources you need a greater opportunity. You need more money God has. He has unlimited supply but only right now about 2.8 to 3% of all the people who claim to be born again in America are willing to say I believe you to the point that I would pour out the first portion of even my income alone my time and trust that your supernatural supply will meet all my needs and the theory goes well someday when I get enough or someday when things turn around or when I can get this or getting it is not how it works out of their deep poverty and severe trial when he was starting a business.
When was the last thing you wanted to do in the world is put your life at stake. That's sacrificial that's generosity.
The final characteristic of generosity is not simply the first and the best and not just systematically or proportional or sacrificial but genuine generosity is thoughtful, voluntary and worshipful genuine generosity isn't just you know procuring a series or having I call it a God moment and I've had them and I want to have more but were you just compelled in and you give and it sort of does this emotional tangle while see genuine generosity isn't just thinking with your heart is with your mind it's it's an act of worship.
Notice what Paul writes later in the same discussion with this church. He says I thought was necessary to urge you, brothers to visit you in advance and finish the arrangements for the generous gift you promised so they said we want to help those those Jews that are really going through it and there's a famine in hey Paul, last visit were to help him.
In Paul's essay I'm coming to collect the gift choices not I'm gonna come early. I just want to warn you cunningly little heads up so to be ready as a generous gift and not grudgingly, his palm is human nature out about you but I made commitments and I prayed about it and God showed me and I made it a right moment when I was really in fellowship with God and then came around. Time to give the gift that I'm going oh, I didn't really hear God. Maybe, maybe we could delight right don't you will do the stuff and so Paul knows that's what's happening so is a limited I want to be right from the heart.
So little heads up. I'll be there.
Who knows couple weeks and then he gives them this thoughtful suggestion, he says.
Remember this is your sort of weighing in the balance about being faithful to what you said whoever sows sparingly. Reefs also sparingly, and whoever sows generously will reap also generously and so it's an agricultural world.
He just brings them back like farmers.
Good luck if you put five seeds in the ground that you have five stocks come up. You put 5000 seeds in the ground you have 5000 stocks on each stock to be hundreds of not thousands of other seeds. So if you so a little little comes back. If you sell a lot so he's getting the spot for but notice that it's voluntary and worshipful deals each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves each year for literally a hilarious giver.
It's thoughtful. It's based on the law of harvest. It's voluntary, it's not compulsive or manipulative worshipful brings joy to God's heart back and just talk more about this message. But if you're just joining us, listening to Living on the Edge with Chip Ingram chips teaching today is from the series the genius of generosity is this four-part series unfolds you'll discover the generosity is far more than just a financial issue. It's a lifestyle and according to Jesus, it's the smartest way to live. If you'd like to learn more about how to develop living a truly generous life. This is the series for you better take a closer look at all of the genius of generosity resources go online to LivingontheEdge.org you'll find the book CDs and you can download chips, message notes or the MP3s absolutely free again.
The web address is LivingontheEdge.org or just give us a call at 1-888-333-6003 for the genius of generosity will ship the series is helped thousands and thousands of people overcome Satan's lie that up if I'm generous there won't be enough for me that I'm somehow going to get shortchanged your book and this is just been released.
How will it help people understand the see the deceit of this lie will Dave let me tell you I think that lie has kept people from experiencing God's fullness in his grace and his power in their life, but behind that lie really is that God isn't generous that he doesn't want to bless that if I give of my time or if I give of my money or even if I give up my friendship and my energy there won't be enough left over for me and the fact of the matter is that's the law of the flesh, not the law of the kingdom of God is good, kind, he's a son and his shield. He gives grace and glory no good thing will he withhold from those who walk up rightly and what I've learned is that this kingdom principle that as we give as we hear more and more like him.
As we release and give and share he just keeps filling up our life in our heart and even our bank accounts so that we can give to others. Now it's never a give to get in. It doesn't mean your life is gonna work out just perfect, but I can tell you this that when people are generous when you begin to have your antenna up looking for opportunities to love and to carry to share your heart in your life absolutely changes in this little book, the genius of generosity that have had the privilege of writing is short only hundred pages.
It's only 5 x 7 with a beautiful little leatherette cover and what allows you to do is get your mind and your heart thinking the way God thinks about generosity. What you begin to grasp is that God has unlimited unlimited resource money, energy, time, and is just looking for a man or woman like you that he could pour through. Let me encourage you to pick up the genius of generosity, or better yet we bundle them in groups of five deeply discount them get for five people and say hey let's go through this together in our small group Sunday school class or even as a family.
I think you love it will chips book the genius of generosity has just been re-released. It's a beautiful little volume perfect for you or to give as a gift to someone you know, it's just 5 x 7 with a soft leather like cover that fits neatly in a handbag or briefcase.
This little gift addition would make the perfect present for anyone you want to bless or to hand out your small group or Sunday school class and hope you do that, we discounted the five pack bundles. So check out the new release of chips book the genius of generosity and order your copies today just go online to LivingontheEdge.org or give us a call at 1-888-333-6003 as we wrap up today's program. I want to ask you a question that I actually asked you earlier in the program and I ask you, are you a generous person and I did little survey and about 8/10 or 9/10 people whether they are Christians or not. If you asked them. Are you a generous person.
They say yes and so when you listen to. Oh God prospers generous people, most of us think all good because I feel like I'm generous and if you listen carefully to today's teaching the Scripture is really clear. God says this is what makes a generous person. From his perspective, we are only generous when we give the first and the best to God coming off the top were generous when were giving systematically not not emotionally, not just when we feel like it were generous when were giving proportionally. Another words, if God gives us more.
We continue to give more were generous when were doing it sacrificially, and were doing it with the right heart and attitude voluntarily. So here's what I want you to hear. I want you to really ask yourself from God's perspective. Are you generous do you give the first and the best do you tithe do you give systematically, do you give off the top. Would you give what's left over because when you do what God says. The promises emotional happiness, spiritual holiness, and as a general rule, he blesses our finances. Of course it's never a gift to get but God says this is how he operates. My challenge to you is to be a generous person not by how you feel, but according to the word of God and what he says because his promise is to bless and prosper. That kind of person and I don't want you to miss that and neither to see you know an easy way to hear this message again would be to download the chipping remap you'll have free access to all of these genius of generosity messages, chips, interactive message notes and much more. Not only that, but it couldn't be easier to email or give us a call right from the app to download the chipping remap. Just go to Google play or the app store will be with us again tomorrow when we continue our current series.
Until then, this is the saying thanks for listening to this Edition of Living on the Edge