A Generosity Miracle - Franklin, TN
by hal-white | December 1, 2012
If you had to describe God to a friend in one word, which word would you choose? When you think about God, what attribute do you give Him? Loving? Creator? Provider? Father? Judge? Redeemer? Gracious? Savior? I believe God discloses Himself to us in different ways in different seasons of our life. Over the past few months, I have been focusing on God’s generosity. In fact, I think generosity might be one of the first attributes God revealed about Himself and one of the most consistent ways He discloses Himself. Take a scriptural journey with me…
God made the first move in being generous.
Genesis 2:15-17 says “The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it.And the Lord God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will certainly die.”Imagine Adam gazing across the garden and as far as his eyes could see. He was likely amazed as he scanned the multitude of trees available to him and pondered God’s command: “You can eat from any tree except for one.” How generous!
God gives you more than He asks.
Now let’s move on to Malachi 3:10: “Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the Lord Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it.” Let’s start with the realization that all of our resources come from God; He gives us all that we have. So let’s get this straight: God gives us one hundred percent of what we have and simply asks us to give ten percent. That leaves us with ninety percent! That’s excessively generous!
God gave His Son.
As we progress to the New Testament, God gives His greatest gift: His Son. Many are familiar with John 3:16: “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” I believe the familiarity of this verse often prevents us from taking pause to really ponder the magnitude of this gift. God gave His only Son. Stop for a moment and contemplate this truth. God did not give one of His sons; He gave is only Son. Most of us would not sacrifice any of our children for the sin of man, much less our only child. God clearly demonstrates to us that giving accomplishes great things when done in love.
The first church in Acts modeled generosity.
Luke, the author of Acts, traces the growth and development of the first church and describes the generosity that characterized the first Christian community. Acts 4: 32-35 tells us that “All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of his possessions was his own, but they shared everything they had. There were no needy persons among them. For from time to time those who owned lands or houses sold them, brought the money from the sales and put it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to anyone as he had need.” There were no needy persons among them. WOW! Generous giving is the foundation of the Christian movement. This is our heritage!
Miracle in Franklin
We’ve reflected on some scripture on generosity, and now I want to share a story about a modern-day example of extravagant generosity.
It was a cold day, the kind you don’t really want to have a long conversation outside with someone, especially someone you don’t really know. But, that’s exactly what happened to Lance and his wife Amy outside a restaurant in their town of Franklin, Tennessee. The two had just finished lunch and were walking to the car when they recognized a couple they had seen before at their church. They all stopped briefly and started talking.
The issue of money came up as they chatted about a financial study they were participating in at their church. Lance acknowledged that he and Amy had worked hard for nine years to pay off $60,000 in debt but still had $10,000 left to go. The other couple asked them what they would do when they were debt free. At first, Lance laughed and said they had promised their kids a trampoline when they became debt free, but then confided that their real dream was to adopt another child. However, they were committed to be debt free before they did so. Then, quickly, the conversation shifted to lighter things, and before everyone knew it, it was over. Both couples went on their way.
What happens after that is an amazing story of radical, extravagant, crazy generosity. Inside the soul of every Christian is a God-inspired desire to be generous and move toward generosity. Could it be that we are most like God when we give? Enjoy the four minute video and my hope is that it motivates you to start a lifetime of generosity!
Want ideas for using this video in your church? Comment below and we'll respond!
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December 31, 2012 - 11:41:39 PM
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