30/30: Yours. Mine. Generosity.

16 01 2008

71014_moneyhappiness_vl-vertical.jpgLast week I experienced the joy of chaperoning my daughters 4th grade trip to the state capital. Nothing like sitting on a bus with 30 kids to give you new appreciation for working in an office. When you ask the kids, “What was their favorite part?” The Capital Dome. The Governor’s Office. The Historical Museum. The top two answers are always: the bathroom on the bus and the gift-shop.

As Hannah was looking around the gift-shop with the $10 I gave her for souvenir, she realized that her good friend didn’t have any money. “Dad can I use some of the money to buy something for Tanesha?” It’s in those moments you feel like you must be doing something right as a parent. Yes, that’s my daughter… the generous kid.

When I told her later that night how proud I was at her generosity, she replied “It was easy dad. It wasn’t MY money. It was YOUR money. It’s easy to give your money.” In the book of Acts the believers had the exact same idea.

All the believers were united in heart and mind. And they felt that what they owned was not their own, so they shared everything they had…For instance, there was Joseph, the one the apostles nicknamed Barnabas, He sold a field he owned and brought the money to the apostles. Acts 4:32,36

Could it be that we’ve had this whole “giving thing” backwards? When I think that financial resources I have are mine, I keep them to myself. I stay “me centered.” I focus on my needs and what I want. But when I realize all that I have belongs to God and He entrusts me to use the financial resources for Him, I move closer toward becoming a generous giver. I begin to think, “How can I use these finances to help someone else? How can I use these resources to help God’s kingdom grow? What can I personally do to help grow God’s church?”

Someone last week at Epic anonymously purchased all of the CD’s we were selling of the Book of Acts so we could give them away. Now everyone at Epic can receive the Acts Bible Experience for free. Barnabas wasn’t a wealthy person, but he sold his property to help God’s mission go forward 2000 years ago. How about you? Imagine if you lived with Hannah’s vision that it belongs to God. Look for ways this year to live generous.

Honor God with everything you own; give the first and the best. Your barns will burst. Your wine vats will brim over. Proverbs 3:9-10

This Sunday…A2:Dangerous Church, Selfless Community

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