By Topic

Generosity

Friday

March 24, 2017

In God We Trust

Read

Proverbs 11:25, “A generous person will prosper; whoever refreshes others will be refreshed”.
Luke 16:11, “It is also a test of our faithfulness to God. Jesus said, ‘And if you are untrustworthy about worldly wealth, who will trust you with the true riches of Heaven?’”

Think

Jesus said, “Where your treasure is, your heart is also”. There is a direct correlation between how we manage our money and what we treasure most. Question: Do you feel uptight and bristly when you hear a message on giving? Because, for many of us, our hearts and minds may be open to spiritual transformation, yet when it comes to our money, we still get funny. But the truth is, we’ll never fully understand God’s grace or see the growth we’re hoping for without first having a genuine spirit of generosity. Our wallet is a window to our soul, and where our wallet goes, we follow. You see, giving is something God wants for us, not from us. He doesn’t need our money, He wants us to need Him! Truly trusting in Him is putting our money where our mouth is—it’s where the rubber meets the road. Want to know what you love the most? Take a look at your calendar, bank statements, and credit card bills. Want to know what you trust the most? Make a generous donation. We must ask ourselves, “Do I trust God with my money?” and conversely, “Does God trust me with what I’ve been given?”

We must not confuse generosity with bringing back the tithe to God. That is not ours to keep, and it’s the minimum worship requirement. Generosity begins with willingness to give beyond the first ten percent of our income. The more we sow into the things of God, the more we will reap from Him. Favor and blessing are the byproducts of cheerful giving. Generosity is the currency for gratitude. The more grateful we are, the more we naturally want to give; it’s a show of love, devotion, and trust with thanksgiving. Winston Churchill said, “We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give”. We are never more like Jesus than when we give. Question: In what ways does your life reflect gratitude for God’s grace? Remember, when we give of our time, talent, and resources with a pure heart, God will bless us in ways we never thought possible.

Pray

Father God, give me a generous heart, and help me to trust in Your provision. Guide my thoughts back to Christ’s sacrificial death and resurrection whenever I’m in the crosshairs of greed and entitlement. Thank You for always being faithful and true—it delights my heart to praise You! In Christ I pray, Amen.

Act

Would you call yourself a cheerful giver? Why or why not? Have you seen God bless your finances or provide for you in a unique way in response to your faithfulness? Consider these questions over the next few days. Memory verse: “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.” (Matthew 5:8)

 

Tuesday

March 21, 2017

Indebted And Debt Free

Read

Romans 13:8, “Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law”.
I Timothy 6:10-11, “For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs. But you, man of God, flee from all this, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness.”

Think

We know everything we have belongs to God, and that we simply manage what we’ve been given. So, is it a sin to be in debt? Does this mean we are living outside of God’s will? No! Nowhere in the Bible does it say borrowing money or being in debt is sinful as long as we are earnestly seeking to repay what we owe. What is a sin, though, is reckless spending, purchasing items beyond our means, and loving money or the instant gratification of buying what we don’t need. The Bible is clear about God’s promise of provision and fulfilling our needs. However, we must not confuse our needs with our ‘greeds’! This provision does not mean He will rescue us from the consequences of debt or other unwise behavior. In fact, praying for God to remove the consequences of financial debt is an affront to the fact that Jesus died on the cross to pay our ultimate sin debt—something we don’t deserve! What we do need to pray for is the wisdom, discernment, and guidance to navigate through the consequences of our debt. Good stewards seek God first. Because when we put God first, our choices will align with His mind.

Unfortunately, we can fall into debt, but we cannot fall out of it. To free ourselves from such financial burden, we begin by mapping out our spending and making a budget. Then, we prepare a debt repayment plan and apply the 10-10-80 Principle. This means we bring back the first 10% of our income to God, put at least 10% of every paycheck into savings, and live off the rest (including debt repayment). Another tip is to use cash. It helps to physically see where our money is going. Did you know using credit cards causes us to spend up to 20% more? Finally, it always pays to pray, spend time in the Word, and consult with the One who gave us life and the Giver of every blessing. We must continuously express our appreciation for God’s abounding love and grace. And, remember that we are forever indebted and debt free!

Pray

Father God, thank You for Your constant love and provision. Help me to be a wise steward with a spirit of generosity and gratitude. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Act

Memorize and meditate on Philippians 4:8. “Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.”

 

Monday

March 20, 2017

Budget From The Heart

Read

Luke 14:28, “Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Won’t you first sit down and estimate the cost to see if you have enough money to complete it?”

Think

As parents, we teach our children various responsibilities to help set them up for success. Taking care of what is given to them is a really important lesson. A key component in this is showing them how to manage their money. Too many times, though, a very important fundamental truth is forgotten; we are merely managers of our financial blessings—not owners. True financial success should be approached with an attitude of gratitude. After all, money management is not a financial issue, it is a heart issue.

The first step toward great stewardship is learning to LIVE ON A BUDGET! It’s money management 101. Benjamin Franklin once said, “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail!” No one wants to fail, especially when money is involved. Wondering where to start? Start with bringing back to God what is already His. The tithe is the first 10% of our gross income. It helps us remember that we don’t worship the provision—we worship the Provider.

Pray

Father God, thank You for your provision in my life, and for entrusting me with what I have. My heart is abundantly grateful. Help me to be prudent in spending my finances in a manner that brings You the glory You deserve.

Act

There is no time like the present to begin living on a budget. Here are some great free online resources to help you get started: www.Stewardship.com or www.Everydollar.com

Thursday

January 12, 2017

We’re Rich!

Read

Ephesians 1:11-12, “Also we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to His purpose who works all things after the counsel of His will, to the end that we who were the first to hope in Christ would be to the praise of His glory”.

Think

Love must have an object, and we are the object of God’s love. And like any great parent, His love is unconditional and we love Him in return. He chose us as His own and for His purpose to receive an inheritance. Yes, we are in God’s will! Why we were chosen we will never know. But we do know that at the center of all God’s blessings is Jesus. We have nothing apart from Christ—but in Him we have everything! Our confidence is found in knowing we are never alone, we are never without purpose, and we are never uncertain about where we’ll spend eternity. We have God-fidence; we walk with a spiritual swagger.

The moment we put our trust in Jesus, we have never-ending wealth. We are rich in Christ—He is our inheritance. And guess what? He inherits us! We draw on Him to fulfill every need, and He draws on us to carry out God’s predestined plan and purpose. Therefore, we’re rich due to God’s abounding grace and we are to spend our inheritance through works. This means we should be walking, talking, living, breathing billboards for “the praise of God’s glory” in everything we say and do, leading others toward the life-saving message of hope only found in Jesus Christ.

Pray

Thank God for orchestrating the circumstances that led you to Christ and for working through all things for your benefit. Then, wholeheartedly express your love to Him as your Heavenly Father.

Act

Today, read Ephesians 1 using the New International Version (NIV) Bible.

 

Friday

December 9, 2016

Check Your Pulse

Read

Hebrews 13:5, “Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, ‘Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you’”.

Proverbs 11:24, “One gives freely, yet grows all the richer; another withholds what he should give, and only suffers want”.

Think

People distracted with loss, those in pain, and the terminally ill are not concerned with stock options. People in ICU or on their deathbed aren’t calling for their investment brokers or accountants; they’re calling for their pastors and families. Big houses and fancy cars suddenly no longer matter, because we come into this world with nothing and we leave with nothing. But somehow, in the midst of the hustle and bustle of life and in striving for success, we forget that there are some things money can’t buy.

Money is neutral and therefore not problematic. It’s our attitude toward it that can lead to trouble. Unlike money, we aren’t neutral because we’ve all sinned and fallen short of God’s glory. If our hearts truly beat for God, then they will beat fast for the local church. In order for the house to thrive we must give. Generosity is the essence of Christianity and tangible giving brings blessings in ways money can’t touch. When we compare what we’ve done for God—nothing—with what He’s done for us—everything—our hearts should overflow with gratitude. So, it’s time to check our spiritual pulse to see if our hearts are beating fast for the things of God. Because, if we’re not content with what we have now we won’t be content with more. The key to financial success is not only bringing back to God what is rightfully His; it’s giving more. It’s partnering with the vision of extending the church’s reach and living in the sweet spot of God’s blessing. When we love God first, we can truly understand how to love the benefits of generosity.

Pray

Partner with Fellowship Church in prayer. Pray for seats to be filled, for lives to be changed, and for overall generosity in the hearts and minds of those considering end of the year giving.

Act

Check your spiritual pulse by considering the following questions.

  • Which would make you the happiest? Inheriting $100,000 or sharing your story and leading 10 people into a relationship with Christ?
  • If you earned extra money beyond your regular income, would you bring back the first 10% to God?

 

 

Thursday

December 8, 2016

Hope of Slope

Read

Proverbs 18:11, “The rich think of their wealth as a strong defense; they imagine it to be a high wall of safety”.

I Timothy 6:17, “Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment”.

Think

In today’s culture we toss around the word hope. We say, “I hope my plans work out for this weekend” or “I hope I win the lotto”. For Christ followers, though, the word takes on a whole new depth of meaning. It’s a door that opens to a world of endless possibilities because our hope is in God. Our hope is in what we cannot see but know to be true. For us, hope is not found on a lofty bank statement or investment portfolio. You see, most wealthy people are good people; they’re just not good at being wealthy. Because greater wealth provides more options, their hope can easily shift from God down a slippery slope to their riches. But with greater wealth comes greater responsibility. And God doesn’t congratulate people for leaving millions behind—He rewards sacrifice. And remember, any annual income over $32,400 places us in the top 1% according to the Global Rich List.

One day Jesus sat in the temple courts and watched as many wealthy people tossed large sums of money into the treasury. Then He saw a poor widow approach and toss in less than a penny’s worth of coins. Jesus saw this as a great teaching opportunity and told His disciples that what she gave was worth far more than all the others because for her it was a true sacrifice. Her hope was in the Lord who always provides for what we need—not greed. You see, sacrifice is a percentage thing not a numbers thing. And true generosity starts at 11% by giving above the minimum tithing requirement. So let’s put our hope in our great and generous God who loves to bless us to be a blessing to others.

Pray

Praise our God of hope by praying through I Peter 1:3-4 using personal pronouns. “Praise be to the God and Father of my Lord Jesus Christ! In Your great mercy You have given me a new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade—kept in heaven for me.”

Act

Oftentimes, we confuse our wants with needs. On a piece of paper list your needs and wants in two separate columns and you will be amazed at how often you mistake one for the other.

 

Wednesday

December 7, 2016

A Trea-SURE-d Life

Read

I Timothy 6:18-19, “Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life”.

Think

“Call Me Wealthy” is a motto we need to be reminded of regularly. Maybe you’re thinking, “Yeah right! I’ll never be rich!” Well, if you have indoor plumbing, electricity, more than a couple changes of clothes, and clean water—you’re rich. We don’t have to have a bunch of zeros behind the number in our bank account to be rich if we’re rich in God. Storing up treasures for ourselves in this life without a spirit of generosity and a willingness to share is the poorest way to live. Question: Have you ever seen a U-Haul trailer behind a hearse? The answer is no—and you never will. In this life, the measure of our treasure in God directly affects our measure of treasure in heaven.

Today’s verse says laying up treasure in heaven allows us to take hold of the life that’s truly life. We innately want to have meaning and purpose in our lives. And the only way to live an authentic “real deal” life is by giving generously to God’s work in deeds and action sowing the tangible and intangible into the body of Christ. Because, remember, eternity doesn’t start when we die—it’s starts here and now. So let’s focus on being trea-SURE-minded in Christ—the only everlasting measure of eternal pleasure.

Pray

Thank God for providing all the amenities and conveniences in your life daily. And ask Him to show you any areas—time, talent, or resources—lacking in generosity.

Act

We have daily opportunities to make a difference in our community. Join us as a church by getting involved in one of several local missions that partner with FC. For more information, click here: https://fellowshipchurch.com/local-missions/

 

Tuesday

December 6, 2016

The Essence of Christianity

Read

I Timothy 6:18, "Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share".

John 3:16, "For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, so that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life".

Think

Imagine if we only had what we thanked God for. We can't! It's unfathomable to even scratch the surface of just how generous our great God really is. No one can out give God, because He is the very essence of generosity. Our entire faith is founded upon the fact that He sent His only Son to die a terrible death for us to receive an eternal inheritance in heaven. In today's verse, Paul is instructing Timothy to not only encourage generosity, but to command it. So, as Christ followers striving to emulate Him in every way, generosity should always be in our hearts and minds, because it's not just something we do, it's a way of life.

The late great evangelist, Charles Spurgeon, said, "Giving is true having". What a wonderful thought as we kick off the Christmas season. Everyone—believers and non-believers alike—is far more generous at this time of year. So as we approach the celebration of our Savior's birth, let us consider giving above and beyond by serving, sharing, and sowing into the only thing Jesus ever built—the local church. And remember, God loves a cheerful giver.

Pray

Thank God for things you might usually forget to thank Him for. Then ask Him to place on your heart a specific act of generosity.

Act

Tis the season to be jolly, and there's no greater way to make your spirit bright than by serving others! If you have yet to get connected by serving in the house click here: https://fellowshipchurch.com/volunteer/

 

Monday

December 5, 2016

The 1%

Read

“Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment.” - 1 Timothy 6:17

Think

Let’s dream big for a moment.  What would we do if we became wealthy? The common answers would be to enjoy it by buying big houses, expensive cars and travelling the world. Others may respond with responsible answers like paying off debt and giving to their church. All of these are great ideas. We should be able to enjoy the wealth that we are blessed with while being responsible with it also. It’s interesting to think about being in that “1%” as they are known. Who can say if they will ever be part of such an elite group? But what if you already are?

Typically we think of people with several million or even billions of dollars as those in this elite 1% category. However, it may be surprising to find out that the median global income is $9,700 a year. And according to the Global Rich List, an income of $32,400 per year is in the global 1% of wage earners. There is a sudden perspective change knowing this information. We don’t think of “that category” as the characteristic selfish, prideful and strange any longer because many of us are suddenly in the 1% category.

Now that many of us can actually say “Call Me Wealthy” and mean it, we should take a moment to consider an important question – is our hope based in the wealth we have or on our faith and trust in God? Does the management of our wealth reflect a healthy tension between being responsible with our wealth and enjoying our wealth? God has commanded us to be responsible for what He has given us so that we can enjoy what He has given us.

Pray

Thank God for everything that He has been so generous in giving you. Ask Him to help you be a good steward of this wealth and guide you in the management of it. Ask Him also to help you be generous.

Act

Determine today that you will be generous by making your end of year donation here - End of Year Donation