By Rebecca Hays
As believers in Christ, if we look at the cross when it comes to generosity, I believe we can never be too radical.
Consider the following definitions of radical – aggressively intentional; relating to or affecting the fundamental nature of someone or something; very new or different from what is traditional or ordinary.
In Author, Pastor Tim Keller’s message on generosity from Acts 20:32-35, he explains that as Paul headed off to what he thought might be his death, he shared with his very dear friends whom he had discipled, the truths he felt most important to leave with them. He challenged them, “Remember the gospel (we are sinners saved by grace), and live radically generous lives.”
As fellow leaders in the ministry of raising resources for the Kingdom by encouraging stewards to be generous toward God, may I encourage you to ask yourself a few questions that I’ve been asking myself recently? On this journey I’ve both strived to grow in living generously, but also as I am growing in the calling of encouraging others with the biblical message of generosity I’ve asked:
Am I radical about prayer and trusting God to be our provider?
- Is there evidence in the way I pray and the times I pray that I believe God hears and that I trust Him to act?
- Am I fervent and consistent in prayer?
- Do I encourage others in the leadership of our organization toward consistent, genuine prayer?
The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much- James 5:26
I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. – John 15:5
Am I radical about being generous?
- Do I cultivate gratitude in my own life?
- Do I intentionally create the awareness of the needs of others?
- Once I see a need, big or small, do I act, and do something about it?
- Do I pray and ask God for “generosity nudges”, and for opportunities to be generous to others?
- Do I just give generously, or do I live generously?
For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you come to me.” – Matthew 25:35-36
Am I radical about encouraging others towards true joy and freedom in giving?
- Do I believe that is the primary goal of my work?
- Do I regularly invite people to participate in God’s work?
- Do I help others understand that all God has entrusted to us is to be used for His glory?
- Do I help others understand the value and the joy of surrendering our time, talents, and treasure to the Lord for His Kingdom, wherever He leads?
- Do I regularly share stories of generosity with those God puts in my path? Generosity begets generosity.
Let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works – Hebrews 10:24
..thus storing up treasure for themselves as a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is truly life – 1 Timothy 6:19
His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You were faithful with a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.” – Matthew 25:21
I pray these thoughts have encouraged you and that instead of rushing through another blog reading, you may take some time and ask the Lord what steps He wants you to take next in your journey.
At our organization, we’ve recently been encouraging staff, board, parents, students and financial partners to not just give generously, but to LIVE RADICALLY GENEROUS LIVES.
It’s a good thing!
The 2014 CLA National Conference in Dallas presents the Steward Leader Initiative Summit on April 14, 2014. Follow the link to discover more about what will be happening in the new and exciting summit…