There is something special about generosity. It moves people. If there were a few things that could change our broken world, then generosity would surely be one of them. One of my beliefs is that for revival to come to Western nations, then one of the pillars that needs to be in place is Generosity.
How generous we are reflects how rich we are towards God.
When we look at the statistics of giving for the Church in the western Church you’d have to come to the conclusion that we are suffering from a generosity shortfall!
But there is good news. When we take a look at the early Church we can see what is possible, we can view a model of generosity. I want to help you capture a vision for generosity. I want you to be excited by what a generous life could look like.
Let’s look at the early Church:
All the believers were together and had everything in common. They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.
This is a superb insight into the past but also into what your own life could look like. Notice the following:
➢ They shared everything – Wouldn’t that be a place to live? A community where there were no needs, because people were sharing what they have.
➢ There was private property ownership. It was not some community where all the assets were owned by the Church or by the Government. Everyone had different financial means, be it a little or a lot.
➢ They gave assets not just income. When we talk about giving in our culture we tend to talk about people giving out of their income, not selling homes, cars and other assets to give to those in need. Now that is generous! We need to encourage each other to not only be generous with our income, but also with what we already have accumulated.
➢ They enjoyed the ‘favor’ of all the people. Favor means to have the ‘support’ or ‘approval’ of. It doesn’t say ‘some’ of the people liked what they were doing, it says ‘all’ people. Imagine a community where the Church had ‘favor’. A community where people were knocking on the Church door saying ‘we see what you are doing and we want to be part of it’. It is completely realistic if the body of Christ rose to this challenge.
➢ God was glorified. The natural outworking of Christians being generous to each other and others is that God gets glorified. This is of course one of our purposes in life, to bring Glory to the creator.
➢ It was a community. In our busy world, more and more people feel disconnected, alone, and without real relationships. The Church can be that warm and welcoming community that people flock to. A place where people can meet Jesus and find people who desire to meet the needs of others.
➢ Generosity has power. Verse 47 says the number of people being saved was being added to daily. Wouldn’t that be a Church to be a part of, where people are coming to know Jesus every single day! There is a good chance that there are thousands of people within kilometres of your Church that don’t yet know him and they are just waiting for someone like you to reach out to them.