“For the Kingdom of Heaven is like the landowner who went out early one morning to hire workers for his vineyard. 2 He agreed to pay the normal daily wage and sent them out to work.3 “At nine o’clock in the morning he was passing through the marketplace and saw some people standing around doing nothing. 4 So he hired them, telling them he would pay them whatever was right at the end of the day. 5 So they went to work in the vineyard. At noon and again at three o’clock he did the same thing. 6 “At five o’clock that afternoon he was in town again and saw some more people standing around. He asked them, ‘Why haven’t you been working today?’ 7 “They replied, ‘Because no one hired us.’“The landowner told them, ‘Then go out and join the others in my vineyard.’8 “That evening he told the foreman to call the workers in and pay them, beginning with the last workers first. 9 When those hired at five o’clock were paid, each received a full day’s wage. 10 When those hired first came to get their pay, they assumed they would receive more. But they, too, were paid a day’s wage. 11 When they received their pay, they protested to the owner, 12 ‘Those people worked only one hour, and yet you’ve paid them just as much as you paid us who worked all day in the scorching heat.’ 13 “He answered one of them, ‘Friend, I haven’t been unfair! Didn’t you agree to work all day for the usual wage? 14 Take your money and go. I wanted to pay this last worker the same as you. 15 Is it against the law for me to do what I want with my money? Should you be jealous because I am kind to others?’16 “So those who are last now will be first then, and those who are first will be last.”
Generosity is close to the heart of God
Deut 15: 7 “But if there are any poor Israelites in your towns when you arrive in the land the Lord your God is giving you, do not be hard-hearted or tightfisted toward them. 8 Instead, be generous and lend them whatever they need.
- His Love for us demonstrates his generoity.
1. He has given us everything that we have
a. "But me—who am I, and who are these my people, that we should presume to be giving something to you? Everything comes from you; all we're doing is giving back what we've been given from your generous hand. As far as you're concerned, we're homeless, shiftless wanderers like our ancestors, our lives mere shadows, hardly anything to us. God, our God, all these materials—these piles of stuff for building a house of worship for you, honoring your Holy Name—it all came from you! It was all yours in the first place! I know, dear God, that you care nothing for the surface—you want us, our true selves—and so I have given from the heart, honestly and happily. And now see all these people doing the same, giving freely, willingly—what a joy! 1 Chronicles 29:14-19 (MSG)
2. He sent us Christ so that we could be redeemed
a. Romans 5:8 But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.
Gods Generosity stirs us to acts of generosity.
Ps 37:21 The wicked borrow and never repay, but the godly are generous givers.
Ps 37:26 The godly always give generous loans to others, and their children are a blessing.
Ps 112:4,9 Light shines in the darkness for the godly. They are generous, compassionate, and righteous… …They share freely and give generously to those in need. Their good deeds will be remembered forever. They will have influence and honor.
2 Chronicles 9:9,12 Then she gave the king a gift of 9,000 pounds of gold, great quantities of spices, and precious jewels. Never before had there been spices as fine as those the queen of Sheba gave to King Solomon… …King Solomon gave the queen of Sheba whatever she asked for—gifts of greater value than the gifts she had given him. Then she and all her attendants returned to their own land.
Generous living produces generous blessing
2 cor 9:6 Remember this—a farmer who plants only a few seeds will get a small crop. But the one who plants generously will get a generous crop.
2 cor 9:11 Yes, you will be enriched in every way so that you can always be generous. And when we take your gifts to those who need them, they will thank God
1 Timothy 6:17-19 18 Tell them to use their money to do good. They should be rich in good works and generous to those in need, always being ready to share with others. 19 By doing this they will be storing up their treasure as a good foundation for the future so that they may experience true life.
American Christians are keeping all but a tiny fraction of their wealth for themselves.
While the amount of money that American Protestants give to churches has risen steadily since the end of Second World War, our rapidly increasing wealth has far outpaced any increase in giving. "Giving to religion has averaged annual, inflation-adjusted growth of 2.3 percent since 1963," but in the same time period, disposable personal income has increased even more rapidly-by an average of 3 percent. Statistics show that the American church is less generous now, after a half-century of unprecedented prosperity, than it was at the depth of the Great Depression. Our church giving over the last two decades has remained stagnantly around 2.5 percent whereas 40 years ago Christians were giving 3 percent, and 80 years ago 3.5 percent. Our giving has fallen behind that of previous generations, and more importantly, behind the biblical standard. Only 6 percent of born-again Christians even tithed in 2002. And all the while, Americans own approximately 40 percent of the world's wealth.
Proverbs 28:25 Greed causes fighting; trusting the Lord leads to prosperity.
Eph 5:24 Let there be no sexual immorality, impurity, or greed among you. Such sins have no place among God’s people.
Generosity requires planning
Isaiah 32:8 But generous people plan to do what is generous, and they stand firm in their generosity.
1. Memorize Ps 112:4,9
2. Look for simple opportunities to live generously.
3. Take gifts to your neighbors or neighborhoods
4. Become involved in a ministry like Bread of Life
5. Commit to furthering the kingdom through Missions, or Dream 1.2