The Heart of Generosity – The Test
Luke 16:10-13 AMP
I. Money promises what only God can provide:
II. The Lord’s release – God’s covenant. “1At the end of every seven years thou shalt make a release. 2 And this is the manner of the release: Every creditor that lendeth ought unto his neighbour shall release it; he shall not exact it of his neighbour, or of his brother; because it is called the LORD’s release. 3 Of a foreigner thou mayest exact it again: but that which is thine with thy brother thine hand shall release;” (Deuteronomy 15:1-3 KJV)
III. God is working in our heart: “9 Beware that there be not a thought in thy wicked heart, saying, The seventh year, the year of release, is at hand; and thine eye be evil against thy poor brother, and thou givest him nought; and he cry unto the LORD against thee, and it be sin unto thee. 10 Thou shalt surely give him, and thine heart shall not be grieved when thou givest unto him: because that for this thing the LORD thy God shall bless thee in all thyworks, and in all that thou puttest thine hand unto.” “14 Thou shalt furnish him liberally out of thy flock, and out of thy floor, and out of thy winepress: of that wherewith the LORD thy God hath blessed thee thou shalt give unto him. 15 And thou shalt remember that thou wast a bondman in the land of Egypt, and the LORD thy God redeemed thee: therefore I command thee this thing to day.” (Deuteronomy 15:9-10, 14-15 KJV)
IV. Why is there a hole in my bank account?
A. I feel like we never have enough.
B. I feel like we are never going to get ahead. Why? What’s wrong? “2 “This is what the LORD of Heaven’s Armies says: The people are saying, ‘The time has not yet come to rebuild the house of the LORD.’” 3 Then the LORD sent this message through the prophet Haggai: 4 “Why are you living in luxurious houses while my house lies in ruins? 5 This is what the LORD of Heaven’s Armies says: Look at what’s happening to you! 6 You have planted much but harvest little. You eat but are not satisfied. You drink but are still thirsty. You put on clothes but cannot keep warm. Your wages disappear as though you were putting them in pockets filled with holes! 7 “This is what the LORD of Heaven’s Armies says: Look at what’s happening to you! 8 Now go up into the hills, bring down timber, and rebuild my house. Then I will take pleasure in it and be honored, says the LORD. 9 You hoped for rich harvests, but they were poor. And when you brought your harvest home, I blew it away. Why? Because my house lies in ruins, says the LORD of Heaven’s Armies, while all of you are busy building your own fine houses. 10 It’s because of you that the heavens withhold the dew and the earth produces no crops. 11 I have called for a drought on your fields and hills—a drought to wither the grain and grapes and olive trees and all your other crops, a drought to starve you and your livestock and to ruin everything you have worked so hard to get.”” (Haggai 1:2-11 NLT)
C. When God’s people took care of God’s house, God took care of their house. “12 ‘If one of you is carrying some meat from a holy sacrifice in his robes and his robe happens to brush against some bread or stew, wine or olive oil, or any other kind of food, will it also become holy?’” The priests replied, “No.” 13 Then Haggai asked, “If someone becomes ceremonially unclean by touching a dead person and then touches any of these foods, will the food be defiled?” And the priests answered, “Yes.” 14 Then Haggai responded, “That is how it is with this people and this nation, says the LORD. Everything they do and everything they offer is defiled by their sin. 15 Look at what was happening to you before you began to lay the foundation of the LORD’s Temple. 16 When you hoped for a twenty-bushel crop, you harvested only ten. When you expected to draw fifty gallons from the winepress, you found only twenty. 17 I sent blight and mildew and hail to destroy everything you worked so hard to produce. Even so, you refused to return to me, says the LORD. 18 “Think about this eighteenth day of December, the day when the foundation of the LORD’s Temple was laid. Think carefully. 19 I am giving you a promise now while the seed is still in the barn. You have not yet harvested your grain, and your grapevines, fig trees, pomegranates, and olive trees have not yet produced their crops. But from this day onward I will bless you.”, 23 “But when this happens, says the LORD of Heaven’s Armies, I will honor you, Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel, my servant. I will make you like a signet ring on my finger, says the LORD, for I have chosen you. I, the LORD of Heaven’s Armies, have spoken!”” (Haggai 2:12-19, 23 NLT)
V. The key to being blessed is a generous heart. “6 Now [remember] this: he who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows generously [that blessings may come to others] will also reap generously [and be blessed]. 7 Let each one give [thoughtfully and with purpose] just as he has decided in his heart, not grudgingly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver [and delights in the one whose heart is in his gift]. 8 And God is able to make all grace [every favor and earthly blessing] come in abundance to you, so that you may always [under all circumstances, regardless of the need] have complete sufficiency in everything [being completely self-sufficient in Him], and have an abundance for every good work and act of charity. 9 As it is written and forever remains written, “HE [the benevolent and generous person] SCATTERED ABROAD, HE GAVE TO THE POOR, HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS ENDURES FOREVER!” 10 Now He who provides seed for the sower and bread for food will provide and multiply your seed for sowing [that is, your resources] and increase the harvest of your righteousness [which shows itself in active goodness, kindness, and love]. 11 You will be enriched in every way so that you may be generous, and this [generosity, administered] through us is producing thanksgiving to God [from those who benefit]. 12 For the ministry of this service (offering) is not only supplying the needs of the saints (God’s people) but is also overflowing through many expressions of thanksgiving to God. 13 Because of this act of ministry, they will glorify God for your obedience to the gospel of Christ which you confess, as well as for your generous participation [in this gift] for them and for all [the other believers in need], 14 and they also long for you while they pray on your behalf, because of the surpassing measure of God’s grace [His undeserved favor, mercy, and blessing which is revealed] in you. 15 Now thanks be to God for His indescribable gift [which is precious beyond words]!” (2 Corinthians 9:6-15 AMP). A. Look around your house and see what you have to give.
VI. God’s challenge to you, partner with Him:
B. Give to Joseph’s Storehouse or someone that you’ve identified that has a need.
C. Watch the miracle working power of multiplication come into your life.