Thursday, January 20, 2011

Being generous

It falls to me this weekend to commend the truth that because God had been overwhelming generous in giving up his Son to give us eternal life we should respond by being generous to his church, its work and glory. It's a tricky thing for pastors to preach on because so often the same familiar passages are expounded- 2 Cor 8 and 9 or Malachi. Last year I preached from Luke 19 on Zacchaeus and this year as my challenge to myself I am preaching from Romans 4:25-5:2. I am still immersed in Romans and am now 58 sermons into my early morning journey....

People sometimes ask me "How much should I give?" I usually reply by saying give whatever you like out of the grace you have experienced but if you want to know how the Scriptures measure things it is whether or not you are 'richly generous'. I love that you can't quantify what qualifies as 'richly generous'. A friend told me that he has been tithing (offering your first 10%) since he became a Christian at the age of 16. He noted it is much easier to learn how to be generous when you don't have very much to be generous with. £1 out of £10 seems less that £100k out of £1m even though it is the same proportion. I think it is hard to argue that we should be less generous to God in light of the cross than the OT, so I see 10% as my 'starter for 10'. I was greatly impacted years ago reading Robert Murray McCheyne on why Christians should be generous and especially to those who are poor. Keller quotes him in Generous Justice and maybe his words will impact you as they did me.

Oh that we might all be more generous. That's my prayer.

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