A Generosity Disconnect - Read and Watch

May 13, 2019

>>>Be sure and watch this month's video clip below from Pastor Brian Loritts on this blog topic.<<<

As part of our ongoing mission to help Christians understand more fully what it means to walk in whole-life generosity, GenerousChurch has surveyed over 6,000 givers regarding how they view and practice biblical generosity. Here’s one question we ask them:

“Thinking back over the past month, how would you characterize your involvement with those who are poor or are in need?”

Keep in mind that we are surveying giving Christians—people who are actually giving financial resources, volunteering and expressing generosity in other ways to the church, to missions, or to other Christian causes.

What we find is that less than 10% of givers in U.S. churches intentionally look for opportunities to help the poor or those in need. Less than 10%. [Tweet This]

How can we square this seeming disconnect with the clear teaching of Jesus as recorded in Matthew 25:31-36?

“When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne. All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.

“Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’

“Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’

“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’

“Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’

“They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’

“He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’

“Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.” (NIV)

Speaking at a recent conference on generosity, Pastor Brian Loritts of Abundant Life Christian Church, unpacked this passage with sobering insight.

“Our text,” he says of this passage, “is not about the root of salvation—how one gets saved, but it has everything to do with the fruit of salvation. Jesus is not saying to find a poor person or write a check to get into the kingdom of heaven. . . . He’s saying the reverse: The way that you know heaven has legitimately gotten into you is you’re generous.”

He continues to hammer the point home by pointing out that the Bible contains “over 2,350 verses that talk about God’s heart for the poor, the orphan, the widow, and the immigrant. It was Wayne Grudem . . . who said that the Bible fundamentally is a transcript of God’s heart. . . . If there are over 2,350 verses that talk about the poor, the orphan, the widow, and the immigrant, and I do nothing for them? I have not God’s heart!”

As Pastor Loritts closed out his message, he reminded his listeners of God’s heart for the poor when in Leviticus He commanded His people to leave margins in their fields during harvest for the poor to glean. “This is God’s welfare strategy. . . . He did not say just to give food to the poor. No. ‘Leave margins; give them the dignity of work.’ . . . To leave crops in the field is the equivalent of saying to leave money on the table. . . . I believe the new covenant principle is . . . when you look at your finances, do not do the typical American thing of ‘getting the raise and maxing out the budget.’ . . . He’s saying to all of us: ‘Leave margin!’”

So, as giving Christians, how can we close this generosity disconnect to the poor? I think we would do well to ask ourselves these questions:

  • On judgment day, would our bank statements and calendars accuse us or commend us with regards to how we helped the poor?
  • In which areas of our lives can we create margin on behalf of the orphan or the widow?
  • How are we leading people in our church to reflect God’s generous heart for the poor in their generous living?
  • What would our church budget and the energy we expend say about our generosity to the poor?

May God give us pocketbooks, calendars, and churches that connect with His generous heart for the poor. [Tweet This]

Please share your thoughts and comments below this article. GC

[Tweet This Article]

Watch This Month's Clip - Pastor Brian Loritts 

In this clip, Pastor Brian Loritts takes the issue of whole-life generosity head-on and our opportunity as believers in Jesus Christ and Christian leaders.

Please watch and share in your network! 

Recommended Resource:

From an Act of Giving to a Way of Living   

Organic, relational, Spirit-led growth. Reaching out to people of all walks of life and introducing God as a generous, loving Father. You’re missional in focus, and giving is more than an offering plate or stewardship campaign—it’s a daily act of living.

Download the free eBook, Generosity Reset, and learn the 9 resets that God uses to transform the hearts of His people.


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