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4 September 2019

Generous heart

Ben Thomas 2019 Ben Thomas Director of Operations
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Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously.
(2 Corinthians 9:6)

There is nothing quite like having children to teach you that you are inherently selfish! I remember the first time we went away on holiday after we’d had the twins, they were about four months old, I’d been holding out for the holiday, waiting for some time to put my feet up and have some chill time. It wasn’t to be so! We were only a few hours in when we realised our definition of holiday needed to change, radically!

In His great mercy God reveals to us our weakness and sinful nature in order that He can conform us to the likeness of Jesus. Jesus was ever responsive to people; generous with His time and willing to change His plans for those around Him. I want to be like Jesus, I want to be generous too, but I’m all too aware that a generous heart is often a selfless and sacrificial heart.

‘Scripture describes man as so curved in upon himself that he uses not only physical but even spiritual goods for his own purposes and in all things seeks only himself’ (Luther)

Generosity isn’t just about money; it’s about how we use all of our resources – our time, gifts and energy as well as our financial resources. As part of his teaching on giving to the Corinthian church Paul highlights that ‘Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously.’ In the chapter he highlights three wrong ways to give – covetously, sparingly and reluctantly; and conversely three right ways willingly, generously and cheerfully. I want to reap more generously – do you?

The question I’ve been asking as I reflect on these words is which of those sets of three words sum me up best? If we are to be a generous people, a people who are going deeper with God and willing to deny ourselves in order that together we can reach wider in mission we need radical heart change. We need to cry out to God that He would turn our hearts away from ourselves, that He would bend them towards Himself and others.

Will you join me in praying for ourselves and one another that God would:

  • Fill us with all joy and peace as we put our trust in Him
  • Open our eyes to the world and people around us
  • Give us the strength to deny ourselves and put other people first
  • Reveal to us our sinful nature and bring about change in our hearts
  • Cause us to overflow with love by the power of the Holy Spirit
  • Prevent our hearts from idleness
  • Help us to continue to receive and pass on his blessing to those around us

We believe that we are blessed to be a blessing, let us pray that out of the overflow of God’s generosity to us that we would be generous to one another, as Paul prayed this for the Roman church:

'May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.’
(Romans 15:13)

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City, East, Prayer

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