What is something that God has taught you personally about generosity?
Pastor Steven Grant
In Psalm 24:1 it is written, “The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof, the world and those who dwell therein” (ESV). This tells me that all things and all people belong to God. So, when I give an offering or tithe to God, I really am not giving Him anything, but returning a portion of what is already His. I am encouraged by this since, as He has made me a steward of a part of what is His, it is with joy that I apply some of that to what He is accomplishing in the world. God has provided for me and my family, so in gratitude for what He has done and simply for who He is, it is a privilege and my tremendous desire to commit resources for the One whom I love more than anyone: Jesus Christ.
Pastor Brad Rogers
You cannot out-give God. A couple of weeks ago, I was walking on the beach with my father and having an idyllic father-son moment. Together, we were reflecting on how we’ve observed God’s blessings in our lives when we seek to steward the blessings we’ve been given. I commented to my father, “I don’t mean to say that it’s a one-for-one sort of blessing…” and my father quickly interjected, “Yeah, it’s far greater than that.” My father is right. When we are generous with the blessings God’s given to us, we receive far more abundantly from God.
Pastor June Barrow
In 2011, Al and I learned that a gifted young man from West Africa, whom we knew casually, was finding it impossible to continue his education. There were simply no funds for him. Al and I came to believe that God was assigning him to us—that we were to have a role in his future. When the adventure began, we had no idea how it could work and what might be required. Many unexpected details fell into perfect place and our role of generosity in Desmond’s life continues to bless us. He just left a research position at Harvard Medical School to join the staff of Operation Smile. Praise God for His goodness and power!
Pastor Su Kim
During my family’s transition from Gordon-Conwell to Southwest Florida, we have received so much. The generosity and communal Kingdom mindset of the congregation of First Church have been on radiant display. But having grown up in a generation and culture that espoused and praised self-sufficiency, receiving isn’t always easy. Through this transition, God has reminded me and continues to teach me that I am not self-sufficient. Every day I need His grace and His mercy, and I cannot live without Him. Thankfully, grace is a gift He freely gives (Ephesians 1:6), and it is a gift I must recognize and receive.
Pastor Allen Walworth
The practice of Christian generosity has more to do with the heart than the wallet. We do not become more generous by becoming wealthier or by growing older. We become generous the more we focus on how generous God has been to us in the first place. Generosity flows out of gratitude for what God has already given, and trust in what He will continue to provide.
The Epistle also asked Director of Sacred Arts Jeff Faux to share what God has taught him about generosity. Here is what he said:
No matter what kind of financial resources we have been blessed with, God has given each of us the same 24-hour day to work with. How we spend our time is truly an indication of where our heart is.
At First Church I have been so humbled by how generous people are with their time in the Sacred Arts Ministry. In high season, a choir member commits six hours or more a week to sing in the Chancel Choir. Beyond that, many of these choir members spend additional time ushering for concerts, volunteering with New Horizons, and much more.
This has caused me to evaluate how I spend my time, making sure that God has my full attention during the time I have committed to ministry, and that I am also devoting time to my family and our health. – Jeff Faux, Director of Sacred Arts