OVERFLOW – The Heart of It • 11/12/23

Jesus taught, “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” However, our culture believes the more you get, the more you’re blessed. If culture is right, why are we living in the most blessed generation and nation of all time and yet one that expresses great dissatisfaction and an insatiable desire for more? Culture gets a lot of things wrong, if you haven’t figured that out yet! Your focus will determine how you think, and those thoughts will determine how you live. If you live thinking “I might run out,” “I’ve got to hold on to what I have,” you’ll live one way. If you live life thinking “There’s more where that came from,” you’ll go another direction. If you internalize Jesus’ statement: “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” It will change your life. You can experience an overflowing life. A heart of generosity is the key to the abundant life! Throughout Scripture we see this theme repeated. In 2 Corinthians it says, if you sow just a little, your harvest will be little, and if you sow generously, your harvest will be abundant. It doesn’t take a financial genious to know that a small investment yields a small return, while a large investment yields a plentiful return. Although the Scripture is pointing to financial investment, the principle applies to every area of life. When you generously invest in relationships, serving, helping other, God’s kingdom, your return will be great!

Scriptures – Acts 10:35; Proverbs 11:24-25; 2 Corinthians 9:6-8, 11; Haggai 1:6; Ephesians 3:20; John 10:10; Luke 6:38; Deuteronomy 28:8; Luke 16:10-11; Luke 12:16-21

Verses – You should remember the words of the Lord Jesus: “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” (Ac 20:35) One person gives freely, yet gains even more; another withholds unduly, but comes to poverty. A generous person will prosper; whoever refreshes others will be refreshed. (Pr 11:24-25) Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. (2 Co 9:6) “Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much. So if you have not been trustworthy in handling worldly wealth, who will trust you with true riches?” (Luke 16:10-11)

Thought – So, if the principle of sowing and reaping is so obvious and proven, why isn’t everyone more generous? Too many people have the big bag mentality. They foster the belief that there’s not enough, that they can’t get ahead. God supplies, they consume, then they fear they will not have enough. They are always trying to fill their bag. The story of the young boy who gave his 2 fish and 5 loaves to Jesus is one that demonstrates giving what one has and allowing God to do the rest. Jesus fed a crown of thousands with this meager lunch. This young boy ended up with 12 baskets of leftovers from one little happy meal bag. Learning to give is a process and as you progress in generosity, God steps up the return. In Luke 12 we learn of a wealthy farmer whose harvest was so great, he decided to build bigger barns to store it. He was storing up for himself. God judged this man, not because he was wealthy, because it was God who had blessed him, but he was judged because he didn’t act with a heart of generosity with the blessings God had given him. You may not have any barns, but you have received a barn blessing by being born in the USA. Don’t live with a big bag mentality when you are barn blessed. Move forward with a heart of generosity.

Questions – Does your mentality gravitate more toward scarcity or generosity? How did your childhood affect your mentality? Which mentality do you gravitate toward? How has the generosity of others touched your life? Do you believe your generosity has impacted the lives of others? How has God provided a return on what you’ve given to others? (not just financial, but in time, serving, relationships, etc.)

Response – If your focus has a big bag mentality, determine how to move toward generosity. Think of 3 things you can and will do to demonstrate generosity with your money, time, and talents.

Prayer – Gracious God move my heart toward greater generosity. I want to enrich the lives of others by giving from the many blessings you have given me. Bless me as I bless others and allow me to make a difference for your kingdom. In Jesus’ Name I pray, amen.

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