Christ-Like Character: Generosity

SCBA Chapel (21-22)  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  23:04
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John 3:16 KJV 1900
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

1. Definition

According to the dictionary, generosity means…
A readiness to give
Liberality in giving
According to Webster’s 1828 dictionary, generosity means…
a disposition to give liberally or to bestow favors
a quality of the heart or mind opposed to meanness or parsimony.
This is what I would like you to remember:
Be ready to give; Be liberal in your giving; Be generous!

2. Jesus Christ, the Foundation of Generosity

It should be very obvious that Jesus Christ provides the foundation for our generosity.
John 3:16 KJV 1900
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
James 1:5 KJV 1900
If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.
He giveth more grace as our burdens grow greater,
He sendeth more strength as our labors increase;
To added afflictions He addeth His mercy,
To multiplied trials He multiplies peace.
When we have exhausted our store of endurance,
When our strength has failed ere the day is half done,
When we reach the end of our hoarded resources
Our Father’s full giving is only begun.
Fear not that thy need shall exceed His provision,
Our God ever yearns His resources to share;
Lean hard on the arm everlasting, availing;
The Father both thee and thy load will upbear.
His love has no limits, His grace has no measure,
His power no boundary known unto men;
For out of His infinite riches in Jesus
He giveth, and giveth, and giveth again.
Consider these things which God has given to us…
John 3:16 – God gave His Son, Jesus Christ.
John 10:28 – God gives eternal life.
Psalm 68:11 – God’s Word
Isaiah 40:29 – God gives power to the faint.
John 14:27 – God gives peace.
1 Corinthians 15:57 – God gives victory.
Matthew 7:11 KJV 1900
If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?
Question: Why should we be generous?

3. Biblical Examples

Joseph – Genesis 40:6-8 (Joseph gave even when things weren’t “going his way.”)
Question: What did Joseph give?
The Widow Woman – Luke 21:1-4
Christ placed more emphasis – more importance – on the widow’s generosity than He did on the Pharisee’s giving.
The Widow Woman of Zarephath – 1 Kings 17:8-16
Generosity is not measured in the amount. It is measured in our readiness to give and our liberality in giving.

4. Development

Question: When we think of being generous, what do we normally think about?
Think of all of the ways in which God desires for us to be generous:
Our Time?
Our Abilities & Talents?
Our Prayers?
Our _____?
Question: What is the opposite of generosity?
Stinginess has, at its roots, selfishness.
Generosity, on the other hand, has, at its roots, unselfishness!
2 Timothy 3:1–2 KJV 1900
This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,
Therefore, as Christians, to truly develop the character trait of generosity, it is going to be a result of the working of the Holy Spirit in our lives. True Biblical Generosity will not come naturally!
Galatians 5:16 KJV 1900
This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.
Galatians 5:22–23 KJV 1900
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.
True Biblical generosity and giving is a God-given grace.
2 Corinthians 8:1–2 KJV 1900
Moreover, brethren, we do you to wit of the grace of God bestowed on the churches of Macedonia; How that in a great trial of affliction the abundance of their joy and their deep poverty abounded unto the riches of their liberality.
We must be careful as to what/who we use as our “standard” of generosity.
Question: How do we normally judge our generosity?
As with most others character traits, people tend to compare their generosity to the generosity of others.
That is an unwise thing to do because it can either lead to pride or discouragement!
2 Corinthians 10:12 KJV 1900
For we dare not make ourselves of the number, or compare ourselves with some that commend themselves: but they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise.
As we have already established, Jesus Christ should be our standard of generosity.
Question: Can we ever “out give God?”
From there, to truly develop generosity, we must first give ourselves – all of us – to God!
2 Corinthians 8:5 KJV 1900
And this they did, not as we hoped, but first gave their own selves to the Lord, and unto us by the will of God.
In order to develop generosity there must be a recognition of the Supplier of all things.
1 Timothy 6:17–18 KJV 1900
Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not highminded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy; That they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate;
Then, we must also have strong faith in the Supplier of all things.
We have a head knowledge of the truth that God “…giveth us richly all things to enjoy.”
But is our life living out vs. 18, “That they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate?
But you say, “That command is given to those who are “rich in this world.” I’m not rich! Therefore, vs. 18 does not apply to me!
The word “rich” in vs. 17 means, “abounding.”
We live in a country where, even if you are “poor,” you are still abounding!
Again, I remind you that generosity is not measured in an amount but in a readiness, a willingness, a liberality in our giving!
Are we trusting completely in God, or are we trusting in our “riches” however we may define that?
Psalm 62:10 KJV 1900
Trust not in oppression, And become not vain in robbery: If riches increase, set not your heart upon them.
Proverbs 11:28 KJV 1900
He that trusteth in his riches shall fall: But the righteous shall flourish as a branch.
Turn to and read Luke 12:13-31.
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