Fruitful Living (5 of 5): Extravagant Generosity (4/6/14)

Posted by on Apr 6, 2014 in Sermons, Worship & Prayer | 0 comments

The sermon on Sunday April 6 introduced practice #5 of our five part series on the “Five Practices of Fruitful Living”    During this season of Lent, we are following the companion devotional guide by Robert Schanase entitled in “Forty Days of Fruitful Living.” The sermons introduce the week’s topic, and we discuss and study these topics during our small group meetings that  week.  This week’s sermon is the final in the series.

The Five Practices of Fruitful Living

  1. Radical Hospitality
  2. Passionate Worship
  3. Intentional Faith Development
  4. Risk Taking Mission and Service
  5. Extravagant Generosity

By intentionally making the effort and paying the attention required to follow each of these disciplines, we can grow closer to Christ.  Ignoring practices like these, or just drifting along on auto pilot, will lead to a stagnant life with little  growth.

Extravagant Generosity

Pastor Larry preached the final part of this series on Sunday April 6.  The text for his message was from 2 Corinthians 8:1-15.

Extravagant Generosity isn’t simply about “giving more money.”  Extravagance means that you have an attitude of giving that’s unexpectedly joyous.  It flows from who our are.  It’s not something  that comes out of duty or habit or if simply “pitching in to do your part.”

Martin Luther said that Christians  need three conversions:

  1. Conversion of the Mind.
  2. Conversion of the Heart.
  3. Conversion of the Purse.

Converting the hold  on our purse strings doesn’t happen until we allow the Spirit to convert our heart.

Pastor Larry organized his sermon using the Achrostic HELP.  Open each tab to learn more…

HEED

Head God’s command to love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, and mind (Luke 10:27).  And pay heed His promise to provide your needs.  Verses 14-15 of 2 Corinthians 8 refer to when God supplied the Israelites with manna  during  their wandering through the wilderness.  Everyone was to gather only what then needed for the day, trusting that the manna would appear the next morning to fill the next day’s needs.

EMPTY YOURSELF

Empty Yourself of all things that keep you from knowing God.  In Philippians 2, we see that Jesus emptied Himself of His divine privileges so He could take on our sin.  In the same way, we must empty ourselves so we can be filled with the Holy Spirit. 

LIFT

Lift burdens off of other people.  Just as Jesus carried the cross to lift the burden of sin off of us, we too must act to relieve the suffering of others.  The  story is told  of a third grade class in  which one student was away sick with cancer.  The teacher  told  the class that this boy would soon be returning to school but that he would look different.  Because of the chemotherapy, he had  lost his hair.  The boy’s classmates responded by going to the barber and getting their  heads shaved.  They lifted the burden of embarrassment off of their classmate by taking on his suffering.

PAY

Pay the Price.  The world’s wisdom says that we should earn as much as we can.  And then, if anything’s left over, we can give some away.  We give out of our abundance.  But God calls us to give to HAVE abundance!  As we give from our hearts we gain a joy and sense of purpose of becoming part of something bigger than ourselves.

 Click Here to learn more about this sermon series.

 

 

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