Thursday, December 04, 2014

Irrational Generousity

Command those who are rich in this present world … to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share.  1 Timothy 6:17-18

Merry Christmas PCC!

This Advent, as we step into the Advent Conspiracy as a community and look at 5 classic Christmas Carols in our Hark! Series, we do so with the conviction that Christmas can still change the world. If you haven’t done so, please do download or pick up our Hark! Devotional and, after Friday, please download PCC’s very own Hark! Christmas Carol music.

Stepping into this Christmas season, can I encourage us as a body? Among the many things that I am grateful for, I appreciate the generosity and faithfulness of PCC.  I received the following text message this Sunday afternoon from a PCC family of 6 from Portola Valley who was planning on getting their Christmas tree after Sunday’s service but God led them in another direction.  Here is what was texted to me:
Ok so as you were preaching today about Advent Conspiracy... I was thinking after church the family and I were supposed to go pick out a tree. We talked to the kids about being intentional this year and having our Christmas tree be on our living room wall with painters tape from Home Depot, our ornaments being handmade and reflecting that is on our heart to honor God to celebrate the truth of Christmas, so we can give to those more in need. Here it is, the handcrafted one-dimensional family Christmas tree that hangs in our living room! Thanks for your amazing words today and letting God use you in miraculous ways.
The kids had a blast and actually are understanding and fully on board what it's truly about. Our son said let's tape Joel and Sophia, the two orphans we adopted through Covenant Kids Congo and have been praying for, to the wall to remind us when we are wanting toys for ourselves! His sister ran and said, “I'm gonna put the first handmade gifts under the tree!” and worked all night on them.
What an amazing reflection of a family following the Holy Spirit’s leading and choosing generosity. Why choose generosity? Here are a few reasons:

  • God promises we’ll be blessed for generosity to the needy. Blessed is he who is generous to the poor (Proverbs 14:21).
  • God will be honored. He who is generous to the needy honors him (Proverbs 14:31).
  • God considers our giving to the poor as a personal gift to him. Whoever is generous to the poor lends to the LORD…(Proverbs 19:17 ESV).
  • We will reap in the same way we give. The point is this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully (2 Corinthians 9:6).
  • God will enrich us to be increasingly generous. You will be enriched in every way to be generous in every way, which through us will produce thanksgiving to God (2 Corinthians 9:11).

I am sure you are like Anne and me who receive many year-end requests for our giving dollars this time of year.  And at PCC, we are in need of a strong year-end in regards to giving as well. But can I encourage us all that God created us to use our skills so we have money to share — with people who can’t work or who are poor for whatever reason. Ephesians 4:28 says, “Use your hands for good hard work, and then give generously to others in need” (NLT). We’re never going to be like Jesus Christ unless we learn generosity and stop being stingy. And I’ve learned from personal experience that the more generous you are, the more God blesses your life.

Here’s to a Christmas marked by irrational generosity!  I love being your pastor!


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