I am currently preaching a series at CityHOPE Church on Proverbs. The series is titled A Wise Man Once Said.
The base verse that I am using for the series is Proverbs 4:26 which says:-
26 Ponder the path of your feet,
And let all your ways be established
To me this verse speaks of an intentionality about the way we live life. I think the challenge of the face paced, high pressure, digital device orientated world we live in is that we rarely have time to ‘ponder the path of our feet’ and therefore this means that there is a distinct lack of intentionality in the way we do life. Rather we stumble through life often going from crisis to crisis instead of being intentional and therefore taking more of a proactive approach to life.
Over the course of the sermon series, I have spoken out of Proverbs on being intentional with our thinking, our goals, our words, our busyness and recently our generosity.
The rest of this blog is giving some thoughts on being internationally more generous. And primarily this is not about money. Generosity is so much more than money. In fact I have often found that the people with the least money are the most generous.
Proverbs 11:25 says the following:
25 The generous soul will be made rich,
And he who waters will also be watered himself.
Here in is one of the great powers of generosity. You cannot be generous without it coming back into your world. I told my church that they can change their life by being increasingly generous, as generosity will always return to the person who is being generous…..but at the same time, that is rarely the motive of the generous person.
Luke 6:37 teaches a similar concept
37 “Judge not, and you shall not be judged. Condemn not, and you shall not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. 38 Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you.”
He who has a [a]generous eye will be blessed,
For he gives of his bread to the poor.
I love this concept of the person with the generous eye. A generous person has a generous eye, where they are always looking for opportunities to be generous. The book of Isaiah takes this concept to another level.
But a [a]generous man devises generous things,
And by generosity he shall stand.
This verse is no longer talking about a generous eye, but rather a generous person is devising generous things….he is making up ways or finding ways to be generous and again we see in this verse the returning of generosity to the person who is being generous.
See generosity is a way of living.
It is a language. Generous people speak differently.
It’s a different way of thinking and viewing the world.
I personally have found and witnessed that generosity brings a wealth and health on the inside of the generous person.
Ways to be generous
6.1) With your encouragement
My favourite two scriptures on encouragement are:”-
A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold
In settings of silver.
24 Pleasant words are as a honeycomb, sweet to the mind and healing to the body.
Good friend of mine, Christian Psychologist, Dr Robi Sonderegger often asks the question:- Are we a firing squad or a cheer squad?
Encouragement defined is the act of inspiring others with renewed courage
Literally – the impartation of courage.
6.2) With your gratitude
I read a really impacting book titled 365 Thanks Yous. The book is about a man that was failing in his relationships, business and pretty every area of his life and he changed his whole life by become more thankful. In particular he started writing a hand written thank you note everyday to someone.
By him becoming more thankful, his life during the course of the next year, completely turned around.
An experiment well worth trying.
The books details are 365 Thank Yous by John Kralik.
6.3) With your kindness
I personally believe that we can change the world through our kindness.
6.4) With your touch.
Appropriate of course…..I am talking here about being a generous hugger.
6.5) With your thoughtfulness
When someone does something incredibly thoughtful….it is really impacting.
6.6) Serving in the church or volunteer for a charity
6.6) With your compliments
Tell people if they are doing a good job
6.7) With your use of people’s names
Make the effort to remember people’s names
6.8) On social media – be super positive
6.9) With your presence…..give people you undivided attention
Put your phone down as a start.
6.10) Be forgiving. Drop the grudge.
6.11) Nominate someone for an award.
6.12) Be generous with your time
6.13) Listen intently
6.14) Acknowledge and interact with service people
6:15) Let someone go in front of you.
6.17) Remember people going through a hard time
6.18) Give Blood
6.19) Write to someone – hand written – or send someone something in the post.
6.20) Give some clothes away.
6.21) Been generous in prayer.
6.22) Be a random gift giver.
6.23) Be an enthusiastic celebrator.
I hope there are some things in that list that you have picked to be more generous in. It will change someone’s world and change yours at the same time.
Anyway that’s what I think
Here are some of my other blogs from my sermon notes that may interest you.
Categories: Sermon Notes