Key points from the sermon:
The Israelites were commanded to give toward the priests/temple, toward festivals/feasts, and toward charity for widows, orphans, and sojourners. This giving totaled about 23% of their earnings. The giving listed in today’s passage is above and beyond 23%. It is certainly noteworthy generosity!
However, we see in Mark 12 that Biblical generosity is NOT about the dollar amount! Instead, generosity is determined from where the giving comes. Biblical generosity necessarily comes from God’s generosity! The generosity of man emanates from God’s generosity towards man.
God had given the Israelites covenants, promise, law, and land. He has given us His Son! In Ephesians 1, Paul uses generous terminology to describe the blessing of Jesus Christ: “the riches of his grace, which he lavished upon us.” In 2 Corinthians 9, Paul calls Jesus an “inexpressible gift!” Jesus is God’s ultimate generosity towards man.
Scripture to meditate on this week:
“Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” -2 Cor. 9:7
What stands out to you in Neh. 7:66-72? Why?
What gets in the way of us enjoying God’s generosity towards us?
What gets in the way of us being a generous people?
Pastor Josh pointed out that truly ALL we have comes from something else, someone else. He warned against feeling entitled or feeling like we “deserve” something. Ultimately, we are stewards of God’s gifts. This week think about the concept of stewardship. Read this short article by J.D. Greear and take the simple 8 question quiz to help you better understand where your heart is regarding money and generosity. Remember also that generosity is an all-of-life thing (just like discipleship and following Jesus is an all-of-life thing). It’s not only about finances. Generosity is about time, talent, and treasure! Pray for Soma SM, that we would be a Church so thankful for God’s generosity toward us that our hearts and our lives would naturally pour out and give to others.