GO BOLDLY: GENEROSITY
Our sermon series Go Boldly comes to end this week with the sermon, Generosity. It is our hope that you have been encouraged during this series. Whenever we are encouraged, it gives us a sense of strength to confront our fear. We will never be completely without fear, but having confidence in our living God allows us to reduce our anxiety and find a peace that is beyond our understanding. How do we respond to what God has done for us? Gratitude is an important quality in our hearts and lives. Gratitude can make the difference between being reactionary or relaxed, entitled or empowered, and stingy or sharing. Gratitude is always the foundation of generosity especially for believers because we have been given so much. This week we turn to Malachi 3:6-12. God ultimately wants to bless his people but they are struggling to trust God with their lives and resources. They have put their faith in materialism and things rather in a living God. It limited their vision to the bottom line rather than the best possibilities for their lives. They are angry with God because they thought that God should be doing more for them in order to improve their lifestyle and it is apparent their hearts and actions. They were suffering from a poverty of heart and soul! They had lost their way and were slipping away from the abundant life God wanted for his people! God speaks to his people through the words of Malachi to lead them to an overflowing cup of God’s hope and blessing! This is our prayer for you as you come to worship that you will connect with our living God who always wants to bless his people and fill their hearts with joy and thanksgiving!
Malachi 3:6-12: 6 “I the LORD do not change. So you, the descendants of Jacob, are not destroyed. 7 Ever since the time of your ancestors you have turned away from my decrees and have not kept them. Return to me, and I will return to you,” says the LORD Almighty. “But you ask, ‘How are we to return?’ 8 “Will a mere mortal rob God? Yet you rob me. “But you ask, ‘How are we robbing you? ‘”In tithes and offerings. 9 You are under a curse– your whole nation– because you are robbing me. 10 Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the LORD Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it. 11 I will prevent pests from devouring your crops, and the vines in your fields will not drop their fruit before it is ripe,” says the LORD Almighty. 12 “Then all the nations will call you blessed, for yours will be a delightful land,” says the LORD Almighty. (NIV)