One of the things that I have come to realize is that when it comes to being a generous person its not about what we do it is about who we are. For me I was raised in home where being generous to people around you was just who you were. It wasn’t something you had to think about, or guess about, you just did it. So when I got married I just started doing what I thought was the natural thing to do. Well my wife had grown up differently then me and it was a point of great conversation for us. (That’s called an argument.) So we both had to come to a mutual understanding of what we were going to do when it came to being generous. Which honestly was a really good thing for both of us to come to as a couple. I would really say it was a great chance for me to grow as a husband, father, and as person that works in the faith community. (church)
You see because of that difference between my wife and I it enabled me to see how and why people struggle when it comes to being generous in and with their faith community. For us at Elevation we talk a lot about being generous in fact we want to be known for our “Insane Generosity” to the community around us. But for a community of faith (church) to be generous that means the people of the church need to be generous with what they give to that church. If you are a part of a faith community then you will have heard this is about offerings and about tithing. (We are not going to argue Old Testament vs New Testament giving.) So we want people to see that for us to be generous as a church community then the people need to be a part of that through their generosity through their tithes and offerings.
But most people honestly struggle here because of the different ways that they were raised. Some were raised that all you had was yours and that you take care of your own. Some were raised without anything so you had to keep whatever you had to be able to make it. Others were raised where you were just generous enough to make sure you looked good. While as others were raised with the idea that helping someone in need is just what you did that you were generous.
So it is my hope that I can encourage people to live out a generous life. Whether it is by caring for your neighbor. (Hopefully you know who they are.) By providing some food for another student at your school. (Had one of my kids do this.) Or through the tithes and offerings you share with your community of faith. (My wife does this for us now.) Because as you begin to do this you will be amazed that the words of the New Testament begin to be lived out your life in an amazing way.
Acts 20:35b “You should remember the words of the Lord Jesus: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’ ”
How are you living out a life of insane generosity in your life? How are you being generous with your faith community so that they can be generous with the community around it?
As we head into the final week before Christmas we want to be a team and a church that is living a generous life. So we have come up with the idea of 5 days of Twittermas. From Tuesday Decemeber 20th until Saturday Christmas Eve December 24th we will be twittering where you can pick-up gift cards to different places through out Aurora, CO. We will take a picture and then twitter the picture as well as where we are placing the gift card for who ever is the first one to get there. It is a special way that we want to share the Christmas Season with people all over Aurora, CO. So if you are going to participate in the 5 Days of Twittermas then you need to go and follow @Elevationcc on Twitter.
It is the time to give and give generously.
Yesterday we were so excited to be able to share with everyone the commitment that we are making to support as well as partner with the Miracle Party. For those of you that do not know what the Miracle Party is then I would encourage you to click on the word Miracle Party and follow the link to their website. It is an amazing event that is for children with cancer and it is an opportunity to love on the kids and their families. So yesterday we gave to this organization for several reasons. We gave to this organization as a church because we are blessed to have the family that started the Miracle Party as a part of our team. We gave because we wanted to be able to model what it means to be generous givers to those around us. We gave because we believe that this is a great opportunity to not just give of our finances but our time and talent. So we will be committing to serve before, during, and after the party. We decided long ago that as a church we are not going to be a team that just gives a check but we are going to be giving of our time and talent too. So if you are wanting too or are willing to serve as a volunteer at the Miracle Party then click on the word VOLUNTEER and show them your support. We cannot wait to see what God does through this years Miracle Party and the families that we as Elevation come in contact. We are praying for miracles at the Miracle Party.
SacrificiAl living means you cannot out give or out do God
Did you know that in the Bible God actually says, “Try it! Let me prove it to you” He only says it once and it only is referring to one area of our lives. Want to know what area that is? It is in the area of our finances, yep that’s right our money. In Malachi 3: 8 – 12 God is telling his people through a prophet that they have cheated him of their tithes and offerings. That they have not been giving God what he had told them to give. He goes on to say that they need to bring in the whole tithe into the storehouse of the God. He says that once you do that then, “I will open the windows of heaven for you. I will pour out a blessing so great that you won’t have enough room to take it in! Try it! Let me prove it to you.”
Now I know many people automatically are saying here we go the church has not even started and Scott is talking about money. See I always knew that the church just wanted my money. What I want to say to that is “If you think that is all that I am about or that Jesus us about then you are a MORON!” Of course the church is going to talk about money. Why wouldn’t we Jesus did and I personally think that the church today is way to soft when it comes to this area. I mean Jesus went so far to say in Matthew 6:24 “That no one can serve two masters. For you will hate the one and love the other, or be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.” Unfortunately today a lot of people today make money their God and the God of the Bible is suppose to get the leftovers on Sunday, physically, finacially, and emotionally.
For me this gets really touchy because I really don’t care all that much about money. If I have it that is great, if I don’t well whatever we can have fun without it. But the problem is now as a church leader I really need to set the example when it comes to this area, not that I didn’t before. Michelle and I have always made sure that we were tithing to the church that were involved in. In fact we used to have arguments when we first got married over if we do our tithe or payed a bill. In my mind God always came first and the others would be taken care of. I thought that way long before I read the verse in Malachi, which I have to say was very confirming to me. Michelle and I have been married 17 years on May 16th and we have never starved, all though we were sick of PB&J’s after one season. We have never been without a roof over our head and our kids have always been taken care of in many ways. I say that because Michelle and I have made a commitment to give our regular tithe to the church we are currently serving at and we are going to give another 5% percent to Elevation Community Church. We want to model what Jesus has called us to live, sacrificial lives. It has nothing to do with the exact amount it has to do with giving from our hearts where it becomes a sacrifice. Jesus talks about a widow in Luke 21: 1 – 4 and He says, “but she, as poor as she is, has given everything she has.” This widow was the example that we have been given when it comes to sacrificial giving and living.
When it comes to your life how does sacrificial living play a part?