James 1:17 Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. Acts 14:17 …and yet He did not leave Himself without witness, in that He did good and gave you rains from heaven and fruitful seasons, satisfying your hearts with food and gladness. (NASB)
NEHEMIAH 9 1 On the twenty-fourth day of the same month, the Israelites gathered together, fasting and wearing sackcloth and putting dust on their heads. 2 Those of Israelite descent had separated themselves from all foreigners. They stood in their places and confessed their sins and the sins of their ancestors. 3 They stood where they were and read from the Book of the Law of the L ORD their God for a quarter of the day, and spent another quarter in confession and in worshiping the L ORD their God. 4 …The cried out with loud voices to the L ORD their God. 5 And the Levites said: “Stand up and praise the L ORD your God, who is from everlasting to everlasting.” “Blessed be your glorious name, and may it be exalted above all blessing and praise.
NEHEMIAH 9 33 In all that has happened to us, You have remained righteous; You have acted faithfully, while we acted wickedly. 34 Our kings, our leaders, our priests and our ancestors did not follow Your law; they did not pay attention to Your commands or the statutes You warned them to keep. 35 Even while they were in their kingdom, enjoying Your great goodness to them in the spacious and fertile land You gave them, they did not serve You or turn from their evil ways.
NEHEMIAH 9 6 You alone are the L ORD. You made the heavens, even the highest heavens, and all their starry host, the earth and all that is on it, the seas and all that is in them. You give life to everything, and the multitudes of heaven worship you. 7 “You are the L ORD God, who chose Abram and brought him out of Ur of the Chaldeans and named him Abraham. 8 You found his heart faithful to you, and you made a covenant with him to give to his descendants the land of the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Jebusites and Girgashites. You have kept your promise because you are righteous. 9 “You saw the suffering of our ancestors in Egypt; you heard their cry at the Red Sea.
NEHEMIAH 9 10 You sent signs and wonders against Pharaoh, against all his officials and all the people of his land, for you knew how arrogantly the Egyptians treated them. You made a name for yourself, which remains to this day. 11 You divided the sea before them, so that they passed through it on dry ground, but you hurled their pursuers into the depths, like a stone into mighty waters. 12 By day you led them with a pillar of cloud, and by night with a pillar of fire to give them light on the way they were to take. 13 “You came down on Mount Sinai; you spoke to them from heaven. You gave them regulations and laws that are just and right, and decrees and commands that are good.
NEHEMIAH 9 14 You made known to them your holy Sabbath and gave them commands, decrees and laws through your servant Moses. 15 In their hunger you gave them bread from heaven and in their thirst you brought them water from the rock; you told them to go in and take possession of the land you had sworn with uplifted hand to give them. 16 “But they, our ancestors, became arrogant and stiff- necked, and they did not obey your commands. 17 They refused to listen and failed to remember the miracles you performed among them. They became stiff-necked and in their rebellion appointed a leader in order to return to their slavery. But you are a forgiving God, gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love. Therefore you did not desert them,
NEHEMIAH 9 18 even when they cast for themselves an image of a calf and said, ‘This is your god, who brought you up out of Egypt,’ or when they committed awful blasphemies. 19 “Because of your great compassion you did not abandon them in the wilderness. By day the pillar of cloud did not fail to guide them on their path, nor the pillar of fire by night to shine on the way they were to take. 20 You gave your good Spirit to instruct them. You did not withhold your manna from their mouths, and you gave them water for their thirst. 21 For forty years you sustained them in the wilderness; they lacked nothing, their clothes did not wear out nor did their feet become swollen.
NEHEMIAH 9 22 “You gave them kingdoms and nations, allotting to them even the remotest frontiers. They took over the country of Sihon king of Heshbon and the country of Og king of Bashan. 23 You made their children as numerous as the stars in the sky, and you brought them into the land that you told their parents to enter and possess. 24 Their children went in and took possession of the land. You subdued before them the Canaanites, who lived in the land; you gave the Canaanites into their hands, along with their kings and the peoples of the land, to deal with them as they pleased.
NEHEMIAH 9 25 They captured fortified cities and fertile land; they took possession of houses filled with all kinds of good things, wells already dug, vineyards, olive groves and fruit trees in abundance. They ate to the full and were well-nourished; they reveled in your great goodness. 26 “But they were disobedient and rebelled against you; they turned their backs on your law. They killed your prophets, who had warned them in order to turn them back to you; they committed awful blasphemies. 27 So you delivered them into the hands of their enemies, who oppressed them. But when they were oppressed they cried out to you. From heaven you heard them, and in your great compassion you gave them deliverers, who rescued them from the hand of their enemies.
NEHEMIAH 9 28 “But as soon as they were at rest, they again did what was evil in your sight. Then you abandoned them to the hand of their enemies so that they ruled over them. And when they cried out to you again, you heard from heaven, and in your compassion you delivered them time after time. 29 “You warned them in order to turn them back to your law, but they became arrogant and disobeyed your commands. They sinned against your ordinances, of which you said, ‘The person who obeys them will live by them.’ Stubbornly they turned their backs on you, became stiff-necked and refused to listen.
NEHEMIAH 9 30 For many years you were patient with them. By your Spirit you warned them through your prophets. Yet they paid no attention, so you gave them into the hands of the neighboring peoples. 31 But in your great mercy you did not put an end to them or abandon them, for you are a gracious and merciful God. 32 “Now therefore, our God, the great God, mighty and awesome, who keeps his covenant of love, do not let all this hardship seem trifling in your eyes—the hardship that has come on us, on our kings and leaders, on our priests and prophets, on our ancestors and all your people, from the days of the kings of Assyria until today.
OUR GENEROUS GOD WANTS US TO LIVE GENEROUS LIVES
Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons. Freely you have received; freely give. Matthew 10:8
A “CLOSED-HANDED” LIFE 1.Is generous to people if they are generous to us Luke 6:32-34 32 “If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them. 33 And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners do that. 34 And if you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, expecting to be repaid in full.
A “CLOSED-HANDED” LIFE 1.Is generous to people if they are generous to us 2.Thinks being generous is too much trouble
A “CLOSED-HANDED” LIFE Luke 11:5-7 5 Then He said to them, “Suppose one of you has a friend, and goes to him at midnight and says to him, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves; 6 for a friend of mine has come to me from a journey, and I have nothing to set before him’; 7 and from inside he answers and says, ‘Do not bother me; the door has already been shut and my children and I are in bed; I cannot get up and give you anything.’
A “CLOSED-HANDED” LIFE 1.Is generous to people if they are generous to us 2.Thinks being generous is too much trouble 3.Feels that what it has is ours to keep Ephesians 4:28 He who steals must steal no longer; but rather he must labor, performing with his own hands what is good, so that he will have something to share with one who has need.
A “CLOSED-HANDED” LIFE 1.Is generous to people if they are generous to us 2.Thinks being generous is too much trouble 3.Feels that what it has is ours to keep 4.Fools itself about how generous we really are
A “CLOSED-HANDED” LIFE Acts 5:1-4 1 Now a man named Ananias, together with his wife Sapphira, also sold a piece of property. 2 With his wife’s full knowledge he kept back part of the money for himself, but brought the rest and put it at the apostles’ feet. 3 Then Peter said, “Ananias, how is it that Satan has so filled your heart that you have lied to the Holy Spirit and have kept for yourself some of the money you received for the land? 4 Didn’t it belong to you before it was sold? And after it was sold, wasn’t the money at your disposal? What made you think of doing such a thing? You have not lied just to human beings but to God.”
6 We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is … 8 giving, then give generously. Romans 12:6-8
PEOPLE WITH THE GIFT OF GIVING 1.Have a keen ability to discern wise investments in order to have more money available to give away 2.Have a desire to give quietly and to give gifts which are of high quality 3.Have a motivation to give as unto the Lord at His promptings, not at man’s appeals 4.Have a tendency to practice personal frugality and an ability to be content with the basic necessities of life
PEOPLE WITH THE GIFT OF GIVING 5.Have an alertness to see what other people do with their money and to test faithfulness and wisdom by how they handle funds 6.Have an ability to see financial needs which others tend to overlook 7.Have a desire to use giving as a way to motivate others to give.
“CLOSED-HANDED” CHALLENGES FOR PEOPLE WITH THE GIFT OF GIVING 1.They can give too sparingly to their own family 2.They can put pressure on people who have less to give 3.They can judge those who misuse funds 4.They can control people by their gifts
BARNABAS Acts 11:24 He was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and faith, and a great number of people were brought to the Lord.
A GENEROUS LIFE … 1.Shares its financial resources
BARNABAS Acts 4:32-37 32 All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of their possessions was their own, but they shared everything they had. 33 … And God’s grace was so powerfully at work in them all 34 that there were no needy persons among them. For from time to time those who owned land or houses sold them, brought the money from the sales 35 and put it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to anyone who had need. 36 Joseph, a Levite from Cyprus, whom the apostles called Barnabas (which means “son of encouragement”), 37 sold a field he owned and brought the money and put it at the apostles’ feet.
A GENEROUS LIFE … 1.Shares its financial resources 2.Shares its influence
BARNABAS Acts 9:26-28 26 When he came to Jerusalem, he (Saul) tried to join the disciples, but they were all afraid of him, not believing that he really was a disciple. 27 But Barnabas took him and brought him to the apostles. He told them how Saul on his journey had seen the Lord and that the Lord had spoken to him, and how in Damascus he had preached fearlessly in the name of Jesus. 28 So Saul stayed with them and moved about freely in Jerusalem, speaking boldly in the name of the Lord.
A GENEROUS LIFE … 1.Shares its financial resources 2.Shares its influence 3.Shares its place
BARNABAS Acts 11:19-23, 25-26 19 Now those who had been scattered by the persecution that broke out when Stephen was killed traveled as far as Phoenicia, Cyprus and Antioch, spreading the word only among Jews. 20 Some of them, however, men from Cyprus and Cyrene, went to Antioch and began to speak to Greeks also, telling them the good news about the Lord Jesus. 21 The Lord’s hand was with them, and a great number of people believed and turned to the Lord. 22 News of this reached the church in Jerusalem, and they sent Barnabas to Antioch.
BARNABAS Acts 11:19-23, 25-26 23 When he arrived and saw what the grace of God had done, he was glad and encouraged them all to remain true to the Lord with all their hearts. 25 Then Barnabas went to Tarsus to look for Saul, 26 and when he found him, he brought him to Antioch. So for a whole year Barnabas and Saul met with the church and taught great numbers of people. The disciples were called Christians first at Antioch.
A GENEROUS LIFE … 1.Shares its financial resources 2.Shares its influence 3.Shares its place 4.Offers second chances
BARNABAS Acts 15:36-39 36 Some time later Paul said to Barnabas, “Let us go back and visit the believers in all the towns where we preached the word of the Lord and see how they are doing.” 37 Barnabas wanted to take John, also called Mark, with them, 38 but Paul did not think it wise to take him, because he had deserted them in Pamphylia and had not continued with them in the work. 39 They had such a sharp disagreement that they parted company. Barnabas took Mark and sailed for Cyprus,
A GENEROUS LIFE … 1.Shares its financial resources 2.Shares its influence 3.Shares its place 4.Offers second chances 5.Shares more than is expected
BARNABAS I Corinthians 9:6 Or is it only I and Barnabas who lack the right to not work for a living?
DORCAS Acts 9:36-39 36 In Joppa there was a disciple named Tabitha (in Greek her name is Dorcas); she was always doing good and helping the poor. 37 About that time she became sick and died, and her body was washed and placed in an upstairs room. 38 Lydda was near Joppa; so when the disciples heard that Peter was in Lydda, they sent two men to him and urged him, “Please come at once!” 39 Peter went with them, and when he arrived he was taken upstairs to the room. All the widows stood around him, crying and showing him the robes and other clothing that Dorcas had made while she was still with them.
GODLY WOMEN I Timothy 5:9-10 9 No widow may be put on the list of widows unless she is over sixty, has been faithful to her husband, 10 and is well known for her good deeds, such as bringing up children, showing hospitality, washing the feet of the Lord’s people, helping those in trouble and devoting herself to all kinds of good deeds.
GUIDELINES FOR OUR GENEROSITY 1.Our generosity begins with fellow- believers Galatians 6:10 Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.
GUIDELINES FOR OUR GENEROSITY 1.Our generosity begins with fellow- believers 2. Our generosity gives what people really need not just what they think they need
Acts 3:6 Then Peter said, “Silver or gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk.
HOW TO LIVE A GENEROUS LIFE 1.Appreciate how generous God has been with you
HOW TO LIVE A GENEROUS LIFE If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask Him! Matthew 7:11 He who did not spare His own Son, but gave Him up for us all—how will He not also, along with Him, graciously give us all things? Romans 8:32
HOW TO LIVE A GENEROUS LIFE 1.Appreciate how generous God has been with you 2.Ask God to help you change your close- handed responses
HOW TO LIVE A GENEROUS LIFE Luke 14:12 12 Then Jesus said to his host, “When you give a luncheon or dinner, do not invite your friends, your brothers or sisters, your relatives, or your rich neighbors; if you do, they may invite you back and so you will be repaid. 13 But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, 14 and you will be blessed. Although they cannot repay you, you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.”
HOW TO LIVE A GENEROUS LIFE 1.Appreciate how generous God has been with you 2.Ask God to help you change your close- handed responses 3.Trust God to supply whatever you think you might run out of
HOW TO LIVE A GENEROUS LIFE II Corinthians 9:8 And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. 2 Thessalonians 1:11 So we keep on praying for you, asking our God to enable you to live a life worthy of his call. May he give you the power to accomplish all the good things your faith prompts you to do. (New Living Translation)
OUR GENEROUS GOD WANTS US TO LIVE GENEROUS LIVES