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Whoever Is of a Generous Heart …,Part 2

Summit Life / J.D. Greear
The Truth Network Radio
November 24, 2023 9:00 am

Whoever Is of a Generous Heart …,Part 2

Summit Life / J.D. Greear

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November 24, 2023 9:00 am

God has done great things for us, liberating us from the slavery of sin. Now he invites us to become a part of his rescue plan for our neighbors and the nations.

Summit Life
J.D. Greear

Today on Summit Life with J.D.

Greer. God doesn't call for generosity because He needs anything from us. With the wave of His finger, He could create enough bread and fish to feed a nation. His commands and His invitations to be generous are about revealing what is first and best in our heart.

It's why we say it's not necessarily equal gifts, but it ought to be equal sacrifice. Thanks for joining us today on Summit Life with Pastor J.D. Greer. As always, I'm your host, Molly Vidovitch. As we wrap up this holiday week, which I hope has been full of joy and gratitude for all of you, we are continuing our brand new teaching series called Begin Again. You know, God has done great things for us. He's liberated us from the slavery of sin. He's given us the power of His Spirit to live a new life. And now He's inviting us to become a part of His rescue plan for our neighbors and the nations.

Don't sit on the sidelines. Get involved in what God is doing in your backyard and around the world. So let's find out how to get in on what God is doing together. Grab your Bible and let's return to the book of Exodus.

Here's Pastor J.D. Chapter 35, verse one. If you've got your Bible. Moses assembled the entire community and said to them, These are the things the Lord has commanded you to do. For six days work is to be done, but on the seventh day you are to have a holy day, a Sabbath of complete rest to the Lord.

Verse four, jump to verse four. Then Moses said to the entire Israelite community, This is what the Lord has now commanded. Take up an offering among you for the Lord. Let everyone whose heart is willing bring this as the Lord's offering.

Gold, silver and bronze, blue, purple and scarlet yarn, fine linen and goat hair. Then the entire Israelite community left Moses's presence. Jump down to verse 20, verse 21. Everyone whose heart was moved and whose spirit prompted him came and brought an offering to the Lord for the work on the tent of meeting, for all of its services and for the holy garments. The tent of meeting or it would come to be known as the tabernacle. That was the place before the temple where God's presence would dwell, where they could offer sacrifices, where they could hear the word of God. It preceded the temple and would one day be replaced by the temple.

It's called the tent of meeting. Verse 22. Both men and women therefore came, all who had willing hearts brought brooches and earrings and rings and necklaces and all kinds of gold jewelry. Jump now to chapter 36, verse 5. The workers on this tabernacle said to Moses, the people are bringing more. The people are bringing more than is needed for the construction of the work the Lord commanded to be done. Verse 6. So they sent a proclamation throughout the camp, let no man or woman make anything else as an offering for the sanctuary.

So the people stopped because there was more than enough. Let me give you a few important observations that I want to make about this offering that we see recorded in these verses. Here is number one. This offering was different than the first fruits offering that we talked about last week. Verse 5. Let everyone whose heart is willing bring this as the Lord's offering. There's no compulsion here. There's no obligation. Verse 21.

Everyone whose heart was moved, whose spirit prompted him, came and brought an offering to the Lord for the work of the Lord on the work of the tent of meeting the tabernacle. This is what they called a free will offering. You're not giving it because you have to.

You're giving it because you're moved to of your own free choice. Observation number one. Observation number two. They gave in response to God's grace. Those most in touch with the grace of God are the ones most generous in their offerings to him.

The flip side of that is true also. An ungenerous heart is the sign, the indicator light, that you've grown disconnected from God's grace. Observation number three. They gave as the Spirit directed them. There's another kind of giving where you are constantly asking God, what else are you putting in my heart to give away?

So here's the question for you. Do you do this with your giving? When was the last time you really felt moved by the Holy Spirit to give something? I mean, if you believe that God is the real owner of all that you have and not just the first 10% of what you have, then it stands to reason that you should from time to time ask him what he wants you to do with it.

Number four. They gave out of the security of Sabbath. The Sabbath, you see, was supposed to be a reminder to them of God's promise to take care of them and God's promise to supply all of their needs. Out of that security they could give freely.

You see the connection? They didn't have to be paralyzed with fear about an uncertain future. God would take care of the future.

So here's my question for you. What if you knew that your future was secure? What if you knew that God would take care of you, that you would be cared for in your retirement, that God would provide all you ever needed to do all of his will? What would you then give if you really had that assurance?

Because that's the security he wants you to give from. Observation number five. They gave in response to a specific vision. Moses put before them the vision of building a tabernacle, a place where heaven would meet earth. The tabernacle would be the vehicle for God's work on earth. Now, like I explained last week, that vehicle for us now is the church.

The church is the institution that Jesus established as the hub of his work on earth. Now, let me talk for a few minutes about what that looks like specifically for us, what our part of that vision is. You know that the vision of our church is to reach the triangle. So we've said that we want to have a campus 15 minutes driving distance from everybody in the triangle. The reason that we do that is because we know that when somebody drives more than 20 minutes to come to one of our campuses, they might show up on the weekend, but they're never going to be involved in community. They're never going to be involved bringing people to Christ.

It's like I often tell you. I'm flattered that you would drive 40 minutes to come to our church, but I guarantee you that person you just met at Starbucks is not going to make that journey if they don't already have a love for Jesus. So we say rather than building one big six flags over Jesus' gargantuan building in the middle of the triangle and asking people to drive through it, why don't we just put campuses all over the triangle so we will say, stay where you are, serve where you live, let's be the church in your community. Now, we don't pursue that strategy because we think we are the only church or the best church or the right church for everybody, far from it. We regularly do things to bless and support and lift up other churches. That's why we also plant independent churches to reach parts of this city that we are not well-equipped to reach, like renovation church and in a section of Durham that we weren't reaching well. But we also, in addition to that, we want to do our part.

We want to be faithful to who God is bringing to us. So we say a campus about 15 minutes driving distance from everybody in the triangle. Of course, the heart of what we do is equipping people to reach other people.

Buildings don't reach people. People reach people. That's why we say we want to be a movement of disciple-making disciples, disciples who in turn make other disciples who make disciples.

I'm really awesome, pleased to tell you that that is happening. I told you our college ministry last week had a goal of sharing the gospel 500 times, not our staff, but our college student leaders, 500 gospel conversations in the first month of the school year, a goal that they reached and surpassed, and 25 students. The result was 25 students across six college campuses that came to faith in Christ. I recently heard a story about a lady at one of our campuses who had come to Christ at the summit a few years ago, but she still really struggled with this idea of reaching out and sharing Christ with others. She felt like it was forcing her views onto others. Well, her small group leader and one of our team members here just encouraged her, like, look, just share what Christ has done in your life.

Just share that with people. She reluctantly agreed. She sent out an invite to some ladies in her neighborhood. She's come to a Bible study. Seven of the people in her neighborhood agreed to come, seven ladies. Since starting this group about six months ago, they've been meeting every Friday, and they have seen three of those seven neighborhood women come to faith in Christ. It's not just a triangle we want to reach, though. We want to send out people.

We say the city's around the world. That's why we adopted the goal of planting a thousand churches within our generation. Our vision is not just to plant churches, but it's also to bless the cities that we're in by meeting tangible and physical needs. If you've been around here for a while, you might remember this, but our church had a defining moment about 15 years ago. I was preaching through the book of Acts, and I come to Acts 8, and it says that it was the result of a guy named Philip, just a regular guy who was preaching in the city of Samaria, that there was much joy in the city because of the preaching that he did and the good works that he did. So I asked our church 15 years ago, I'm like, y'all feel like there's much joy in our city as a result of the Summit Church being here, right?

And then we got to Acts 9 next week. It was the story of a disciple named Tabitha who made coach for people in the community, and she made so many that when she died, people gathered at her bedside and they wept because of how good she'd been to them. And so I asked our church 15 years ago, y'all feel like if we died as a church, anybody in this community would weep. We understood that the gospel of God's love for us ought to be accompanied by acts of love for our neighbor.

So we changed our strategy. Instead of just sending out mailers and gobbling up tactics and pieces of property, we just said, how can we be a blessing to the city? And so for 15 years, we've been asking, where can we minister to the broken? Where can we minister to the hurting parts of our city? That's your campus.

You probably heard it. We're in the foster system. We have almost 300 families involved in that ministry. We are assisting families in crisis.

We are working with prisoners both before and after their release, helping them not just get saved, but then get established in jobs and in stable environments. We are engaging with refugee communities and helping them get settled right here. I heard a story recently of a group of summit members who are reaching out to some of the Muslim refugee communities. One of our members befriended a man from the Middle East that he met in a Burger King. Later, the Middle Eastern man that he met got really sick. After he gets sick, he reaches back out to our member and asks for prayer. Our member went over, prayed for him, ministered to him, make a long story really short. Through that, the man ends up becoming a believer, a follower of Jesus. Well, this man then begins sharing his faith in Christ with his family members in Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and Boston. Since sharing his faith, he has seen six Muslim family members come to faith in those countries.

Maybe what's most amazing is when you see all of these things reaching people and blessing the community, when you see them all come together. There's a young man by the name of Gabe, might be here this morning, who came to Christ this summer at North Carolina Central University after reading the Bible with one of our college pastors, Charles Holmes. This semester, so he comes to Christ this summer. This semester, Gabe won Mr. Sophomore at North Carolina Central University. And one of the obligations of being Mr. Sophomore is you organize a service opportunity.

And so through North Carolina Central, they are pairing students with some local outreach teams to babysit adopted and foster children to help support adoptive parents. This is all just being a blessing to the community. I told you, I don't remember the story, but shortly after we started this, I got a call from the mayor's office. The mayor's office and they were like, hey, you know, it was one of his assistants. And he's like, hey, would you speak at our Martin Luther King Jr. rally? And I'm like, why? I mean, I'm flattered, but why are you asking me? And the lady who was representing the mayor, she said, well, I'm not really sure, but I'm just relaying the message.

Can you do it or not? And I said, well, I'm happy to. Tell me, she said, you got 20 minutes. It's a big deal. All the government officials there.

It's televised. I was like, what does he want me to talk about? He's like, it's up to you. Just don't be controversial. I said, well, I'm a pastor. I'm going to talk about Jesus. She said, yeah, I think that's fine.

I don't think he's controversial. And I was like, I don't, I'm not sure we see it the same way. So I go in, there we go. And I'm, listen, I'm backstage. You know, I do this right here enough that I don't get nervous a lot anymore, speaking in front of people. I was nervous. And I'm like, you know, like, and the city manager comes up to me. He says, he says, JD, you look really nervous.

I've never seen you like this. Cause he'd come to our church up and I was like, yeah. He's like, I found out later. He said, you know, the reason that you're here, you've been invited is because in our city council meeting, we were talking and everywhere there's something broken in our city. He said, there's somebody there from summit.

Who's trying to fix it. He said, I'm not even saying you're always doing a great job. He said, but you're there.

You're there. And this is the spirit that we wanted to honor on this day that represents love and peace and unity in our community. That's the vision of this church and this community and churches we plant everywhere. Overseas you're giving helps our people minister to brokenness there also. Right now we have 292 people that are serving on one of our church planting teams overseas.

A summit member that is overseas somewhere on a church planting team. That is more than we had pre COVID. COVID was supposed to be really bad for overseas work, but we have a God that does the impossible.

Amen. This year, our people there with our assistance helped huge numbers of Afghan refugees. Many of them brand new Christians escaped the persecution of the Taliban. This year we adopted a people group in North Africa that has suffered years of political and military upheaval who had no copy of the Bible in their language. So we're funding the translation of the new Testament into their language. I cannot emphasize this enough. Your giving here supports all of that. That's why I say you're not giving to the church as much as you are giving through the church to the kingdom of God. And that's just a sampling.

It'd be nearly impossible for me to tell you about all of it. Thanks for joining us today here on Summit Life with Pastor JD Greer. We'll jump back into today's teaching in just a moment, but you know what? Thanksgiving is behind us, which means whether you like it or not, it's officially Christmas time. And one of my favorite Christmas traditions is sending out cards to beloved friends and family. This Christmas season, we're very excited to offer our gospel partners and financial supporters a special collection of 20 exquisite Christmas cards crafted just for you. These cards carry messages that reflect the heart of Christmas. Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, and Prince of Peace.

They're not just cards either. They're messages of hope, love, joy that you can share with anyone who holds a special place in your heart this season. We are sending these to all of our partners who donate $35 or more to this ministry. So don't wait.

You can give over the phone right now at 866-335-5220 or by visiting us online at Make this Christmas season special by sharing the good news with those that you care about the most. Now let's jump back into today's teaching. Once again, here's Pastor JD. The vision that God gave through Moses was a tabernacle where lost people could find God. The vision that Jesus gave us was of a church that would go in the name of God after lost people. And I believe that vision calls for the same kind of generosity, even greater than Israel showed in Exodus 35. It gave beyond their first fruits as the Spirit directed them. And I think we should also.

Coming down the home stretch, these last ones are really short. Number six, your sixth observation. Everybody gave something. Everybody gave something. Verse 20 says the whole congregation of Israel was involved in this offering.

Did you see that? Verse 21 said everybody whose heart was moved, but men and women. Some had jewels. Some had pieces of cloth. Some had timber. Everybody brought what they had.

Everybody had a role. God created a way for everybody to participate. Because you understand this, right? God is not after the resources of a few wealthy people. He's after the hearts of all of his people. Sometimes people are like, well, I don't have that much money.

Anything I give wouldn't really make a difference. But you understand, God doesn't call for an offering like this because he needs our money. He's not more impressed with the rich people's money than he is with the poor people's money. He doesn't want our money. He wants our hearts. And see, that applies to everybody equally. God doesn't call for generosity because he needs anything from us.

You get this, right? God is not up in heaven this morning going, oh, I could do so much if only those well-off people at the summit church would spot me alone. Now, with the wave of his finger, he could create enough bread and fish to feed a nation. His commands and his invitations to be generous are about revealing what is first and best in our heart. It's why we say it's not necessarily equal gifts, but it ought to be equal sacrifice. You know what matters more to God? The high dollar gift of the rich person whose gift doesn't really require any sacrifice, or the two pennies of the less well-off person whose gift represents worship and trust. Think about this statement.

You might want to pull the transcript up later because you won't have time to jot it all down, but just think about this. Some gifts are valuable because of the good they can do in the world. I don't think Bill Gates is kind of giving. Other gifts are valuable to God for the statement they make about the heart of the giver and the worth of the God to whom they are given to. That's the heart behind Jesus' affirmation of the woman with two pennies, or the woman who broke open the alabaster flash. Seventh observation. Y'all, they gave not just to the treasures, they gave her their time and talents too.

Reading this chapter, right? You see that in addition to their stuff, a lot of people volunteered their time and their skill to this project. Craftsmen and seamstresses and skilled people of every profession show up to help. You see in verse 25, every skilled woman spun yarn with her hands and brought it blue and purple and scarlet yarn and fine linen, and all the women whose hearts were moved spun the goat hair by virtue of their skill. Y'all, that was something even the goat hair spinning women could do. I don't even know what goat hair spinning is, and it doesn't sound as cool as the blue and purple yarn ladies. But there was some little Israelite woman who thought, well, I'm just a goat hair spinner. I don't get to do anything with the blue and purple yarns. I flunked out of yarn school.

They wouldn't even let me near the fine linen. But God was like, yep, but there's something even here for you, goat hair spinning lady. There are three things that you should give to God into his kingdom, your time, your treasure, and your talent. All right, last one. They did all this in public.

They did all this in public. The word translated offering in this chapter is terumah, which literally means to raise up. And the old King James, this was called the heave offering. Y'all, I miss the King James.

I know, like, I shouldn't use it. I get it because y'all wouldn't understand it. But you always knew where you stood with the KJV. Not all the thes and thes and the weird words like betwixt and wherewithal, but heave offering is just a much better translation of that word. You heave it up to God.

You'd heave it up for everybody to see, showing I'm all in. Sure, it is possible, it's possible to not make any kind of commitment and still give. But what they're doing is an important part of the process because you're publicly committing yourself to the mission of God. You say, wait a minute, I caught you, pastor. Doesn't the Bible say to give in secret not to let a right hand know what our left hand is doing? Yes, but that is not a command never to give publicly. That is a command to make sure your heart motives are right. Real quick, the place where Jesus commands us to give in secret, not let a right hand know what our left hand is doing, is Matthew 6. And giving is one of three things that he says you should do in secret. Giving, praying, and fasting. He says you do all those in the closet. But he's using hyperbole. There are lots of examples of public praying and public fasting.

Think Daniel. The early church had public prayer and fasting services. What Jesus was saying is that we have to mind the heart behind our giving. If we give to be seen and praised by others, we're missing out on the eternal blessing that God gives to those who do it to honor God and not themselves. There's a very important sense in which our giving ought to be public because giving is a way of putting the worth of Jesus on display.

And for that to happen, others should know about it. This offering in Exodus was public. Jesus used the example of the widow with the two mites who gave in public to inspire other people to give. That's what our giving is supposed to do. So just like our singing and just like our praying, giving is a part of our public worship, our public declaration for the grace of God in our lives.

Plus, it's just a way of putting ourselves on record saying I'm not ashamed to be a part of this movement and I am all in. One of our church planners, Kyle Mercer, Winston-Salem, says that in heaven, I'll close with this. He says in heaven, God's going to ask us two main questions. First question is what did you do with my son? What did you do with my son? Did you receive him? Did you ignore him? I gave him as a gift of your salvation.

Did you receive him and submit to him? Question number two, he's going to ask, what did you do with my stuff? What did you do with my son? What did you do with my stuff?

Did you steward it for kingdom purposes or did you use it on yourself? That's what I want you to think about. People ask, are we ever going to quit emphasizing this kind of giving at Summit Church? I mean, every November we talk about this.

I am sick of it. Can we just take a break and enjoy what we have accomplished? Well, yes, we are going to enjoy it. I've enjoyed it this morning. But are we ever going to stop?

Not in your life. Like Harriet Tubman with the Underground Railroad, we're going to return again and again. God help us if we ever say, okay, we're done. We built a church that meets our needs. We got our facilities and our kids' spaces, and we're all comfortable. God help us if we ever get to this place. We are not building a Christian country club with conveniences for Christians. We're building a ministry portal through which to reach the world.

So how's your heart? Are you a generous giver or are you clinging too tightly to the time, talents, and treasures that God has given you? If you've missed any part of our brand new teaching series called Begin Again, you can always catch up free of charge at And while you're there, you can access our entire library of Summit Life teaching, complete with sermon transcripts, as well as a ton of incredible resources, including Pastor JD's blog, his podcasts, and you can sign up to receive our weekly newsletter and our daily devotionals.

These are all free of charge thanks to our gospel partners. Also, a very special announcement. This coming Tuesday is an international giving holiday known as Giving Tuesday. And this year, we're very excited to be providing a brand new translation of the Bible in the language of an unreached people group.

Think about that. There are still people, millions of them, who have never heard the gospel and who don't even have the Bible in their native language. But this coming Tuesday, we have the chance to change that for one group of people in our world. Be sure to tune in next week to hear all of these details. You can bookmark slash donate right now so that you're ready for Giving Tuesday. While you're on the website, we're very excited to offer our gospel partners and financial supporters a special collection of 20 exquisite Christmas cards crafted just for you. We are sending these to all of our partners who donate $35 or more to this ministry.

So don't wait. You can give over the phone right now at 866-335-5220 or by visiting us online at Don't forget to sign up for our weekly newsletter. Get ministry updates, information about new resources, and Pastor JD's latest blog posts delivered straight to your inbox. It's a great way to stay connected with Summit Life and it's completely free to subscribe. Sign up when you go to That's I'm Molly Vidovitch. Thanks for finishing your week with us and come back next time as Pastor JD shares a brand new teaching he titled First Things First, right here on Summit Life. Today's program was produced and sponsored by J.D. Greer Ministries.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-11-24 10:24:03 / 2023-11-24 10:34:58 / 11

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