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Power (Part Three)

The Power of Munificence

For weeks now, I’ve told you I would talk about the Power of Munificence. Some of you looked up what it meant. Only 3 came to me knowing the definition. 2 of those were children.

Munificence – it’s a great word. It means: The quality of showing unusual generosity.

Here are some synonyms: all heart, big heartedness, bountifulness.

 

Here are some Scriptures:

Proverbs 11:17 (NLT): Your kindness will reward you, but your cruelty will destroy you.

Proverbs 11:24 (NLT): Give freely and become more wealthy; be stingy and lose everything.

Proverbs 11:25 (NLT): The generous will prosper; those who refresh others will themselves be refreshed.

2 Corinthians 9:6-10 (NLT):  Remember this—a farmer who plants only a few seeds will get a small crop. But the one who plants generously will get a generous crop. 7 You must each decide in your heart how much to give. And don’t give reluctantly or in response to pressure. “For God loves a person who gives cheerfully.” 8 And God will generously provide all you need. Then you will always have everything you need and plenty left over to share with others. 9 As the Scriptures say, “They share freely and give generously to the poor. Their good deeds will be remembered forever.” 10 For God is the one who provides seed for the farmer and then bread to eat. In the same way, he will provide and increase your resources and then produce a great harvest of generosity in you.

 

When you think of Christ-followers, what is one thing about them you assume?

* They go to church.

* Their lifestyle changes.

* They act different.

But what is one thing that truly shows an experience with God took place?

Something happened inwardly. There was a heart change. And how is this “heart change” expressed and demonstrated most powerfully? By our generous giving!

Listen to James 2:14-18 (NLT): What good is it, dear brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith but don’t show it by your actions? Can that kind of faith save anyone? 15 Suppose you see a brother or sister who has no food or clothing, 16 and you say, “Good-bye and have a good day; stay warm and eat well”—but then you don’t give that person any food or clothing. What good does that do?

17 So you see, faith by itself isn’t enough. Unless it produces good deeds, it is dead and useless.

18 Now someone may argue, “Some people have faith; others have good deeds.” But I say, “How can you show me your faith if you don’t have good deeds? I will show you my faith by my good deeds.”

 

Our community knows we are out here. There are fewer and fewer people all the time who haven’t heard or know about this church and where we are.

It gets interesting when we poll what they know about us:

* Big church

* Busy church

* Great music

* Always a lot of cars

There’s certainly nothing wrong with any of those. In fact, those are good things. But those things are even better when those of us who call this home are out there in our community demonstrating the power of munificence! It is compelling when you and I are finding needs and filling them. Volunteering to get involved. Giving what we got because Christ has given so much to us.

I submit to you that is what will change our culture! That is what will impact our community and our world and train our children and restore our families. Not “willing” it. Not wishing it. Not assuming it. But finding a need and giving ourselves to take care of it.

Let me slow down here and back up.

* I know we are busy.

* I know there are a lot of demands on most of us.

* Sometimes we get weary and our hearts kind of shrivel up.

It happens to all of us.

* Signs of a Shriveled Heart

1. You don’t really celebrate others and you don’t really cry.

2. You just don’t seem to care anymore.

3. You don’t have passion – not for anything.

4. You no longer believe the best in others.

* So what do you do?

1. Quiet your heart – spirit

2. Rest

3. Spend time doing things that charge, not drain, your batteries.

Ways to Give

1. Join a serve team.

* 76 ministries here you can be a part of

* Hope Again – volunteer to help with the remodel

2. Tithe and Offerings

* I think that’s a no-brainer. Of course, we should be giving our finances to support the ministry.

* Start today. Give something.

April series: The Church Just Wants Your Money

* Debunk the notion the church wants your money

* Celebrate what your giving does

* Talk about managing your personal finances. How to get out of debt. How to save for your future.

* But suffice it to say that when you give here, your money is seen as a sacred trust and we are literally doing everything we possibly know to do to use it for the advancement of the Kingdom of God and ministering to hurting people.

3. Community Involvement

4. Nursing homes and jails and shut-ins and veterans and ABBA and Salvation Army and WATTS. And the list goes on.

5. World Evangelization

There is not one single person in this room who can’t give something to assist in our mission, not one who can’t help fulfill the great commission, not one who can’t help change the lives of those who are hurting and forgotten and disenfranchised.

And when we do, the door is open – the cycle of blessing is released and we begin moving forward in the Power of Munificence!2

Altar:

I wanted to demonstrate this with a testimony. I thought about picking a person or family to come up and tell you how someone’s giving has changed their lives for good.

But, there are so many. So let me do this so as many of you that would like to testify how giving has changed you – someone gave to you and/or you’ve given to others and their lives have changed – we can testify together.

If you are here today because someone gave to you their time, or their talents, or helped you out financially, or encouraged you when you were down – you’re here because someone gave to you – let’s give a big shout out to them and God and others by clapping our hands in an ovation right now. (Make sure to be clear here).

 

 

 

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