Would you describe yourself as generous?
Is God an extravagant giver?
Does God always reward generosity when we give with the right heart?
Yes, God rewards us in every area of our lives!
I.The Enemy of Generosity
A.There is an age-old battle of God being generous and Satan being selfish.
1.Selfishness promotes, protects, and provides for self.
2.Selfishness tries to take God’s place in our lives. (1 Corinthians 10:13)
B.As followers of Christ we are called to abandon everything and give all we have to the advancement of God’s kingdom.
C.Regarding the issue of money, God is not only testing our hearts to see if we can handle money, He is testing our hearts to see if we can handle true riches.
II.The Extravagance of Generosity
A.In John 12:1–8, Mary gives a generous gift to the Lord by anointing Jesus and pouring one year’s wages on His feet. Mary passed the test of the heart. Judas, however, did not.
1.Could you give a gift to God that would impress Him—the One who owns everything and paves His streets with gold? Absolutely!
2.The most extravagant gift we can give God is ourselves. (II Corinthians 8:1-5)
3.“They first gave themselves to the Lord.” It’s not the amount that you give, it’s that you give Him your heart.
4.When God has your money, then He has your heart because Jesus said, “Where you treasure is, there will be your heart.” (Matthew 6:21)
B.There are three levels of giving.
C.Did you know that most Christians never get to the first level of giving?
1.In the church do you know how many Christians tithe ten percent of their gross income? Between five and seven percent. That’s between 93 to 95 percent of all believers who never get to the first level of giving.
2.Here’s the good news, if you get to the first level, you will be able to go to the second and third levels because the curse is removed, and the windows of heaven are opened!
III.The Reward of Generosity (Mark 14:8–9; Hebrews 11:6)
A.Mary was rewarded. Jesus said, “Wherever the Gospel is preached, what Mary has done will be told.”
1.Mary didn’t give in order to receive a reward.
2.She gave to Jesus in response to being touched by Christ and God rewarded her for her pure heart and expression of love and worship!
3.Why did she give such a generous gift?
4.Two months before this, her brother Lazarus had been raised from the dead. If one of your family members was raised from the dead, would you be grateful?
5.Generosity comes from gratitude. Grateful people are generous.
6.Think about it, All of us who believe in Jesus have been raised from the dead.
B.The Secret of Generosity
1.Selfishness is when you give thinking God owes you something in return.
2.Generosity gives expecting nothing from God in return—but He always rewards it. Why?
3.“But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him” (Hebrews 11:6)
4.The word “rewarder” comes from a Greek word that is only in the New Testament one time. It means “to reward with extravagance, to give more than what is due.”
5.If someone lost their wallet, and you returned it—and instead of giving you a $50 reward, the person gives you a $5,000 reward. You say, “Well there is only $50 in the wallet; this is too much.” But he’s not rewarding the amount that you returned; he’s rewarding your honesty—the attitude of your heart.
It’s not the amount that we give, it’s the attitude of our heart that God rewards.
C.God always rewards.
1.God cannot not reward you. He is going to reward you, if you give with the right heart.
2.Here’s the reason why, because Hebrews 11:6 says “God IS a rewarder.” He is. This is something He is. In other words, God can’t lie to you because He is truth. God will not withhold from you because He is a rewarder.
3.Lots of times God blesses us financially, but there is a difference between being blessed and being rewarded.
4.He blesses us with finances, but Genesis 12 tells us what His reward is. He said your reward will be Me – I will reward you with Myself. In other words, with God being the reward every area of life will be affected.
D.Generosity gives not to be rewarded, but God always rewards generosity when we give with the right heart.
1.God rewards extravagantly, and He wants to reward us when we fight through selfishness.
2.One of the extravagant ways God has rewarded us already is the gift of eternal life through His Son, Jesus Christ.
3.We become more Christ-like when we are a people of generous and extravagant giving.
Heavenly Father, thank You for the extravagant gift of everlasting life that You have given us through Jesus Christ. We recognize Your great love for us. Help us to not hold anything back from You! Help us to give of our lives and resources for the advancement of Your kingdom. We pray that we would never hold back out of fear, but we would always be able to trust that You are our promoter, protector, and provider. Thank You for Your great love. In Jesus’ name, Amen.