An example of Generosity
1. The Holy Spirit: We’re grateful for the generosity of God, and then we’re generous toward others because we want to mirror, reflect, image, worship this God who is so generous to us. We want his generosity to be shared with and shown to others.
2. Mission: Jesus is God, becomes a man, lives without sin, dies for our sin, rises for our salvation, ascends back into heaven. He then sends the Holy Spirit to empower his people to continue his mission. Their generosity is to move forward the message, the mission, and the ministry of Jesus.
3. Unity: They were “of one heart and soul.” Generous people tend to get along. Generous people tend to build unity. Because your treasure follows your heart, the Lord Jesus says. They are one. What this doesn’t mean is that they had uniformity. Unity and uniformity are different. Uniformity is “like attracts like.” Christianity and our church is not about uniformity, where everybody’s the same. It’s about diversity. It allows us to have great unity even though we’re different people from different cultures and backgrounds.
4. Love: “There was not a needy person among them.” If you want to grow in love for someone, give. This is why givers make great spouses, why givers make great parents, why givers make great friends, why givers make great employees, why givers make great church members.
5. Leadership: The Bible tells us about Barnabus’ giving. He’s the leader. Part of a leader’s duty is to set an example because if the leader isn’t generous, the people won’t be generous. Greedy people train greedy people. Takers train takers. Generous people train generous people. It’s modelling.
6. Trust: How much trust did he have in the leadership? He put the money at their feet. That’s a high trust. People gave generously and they trusted wholeheartedly.
An example of greed
1. Greed is stealing.
2. Greed is demonic (Acts 5:3). Satan is a taker, and God is a giver.
3. Greed is lying.
4. Greed is also heart-revealing. John Calvin who said that the human heart is an idol factory.
5. Greed is contagious.
6. Greed is deadly. They both die. There’s no happy ending. Those who understand stewardship help us love and serve more hurting people, and they help us get the word of God out further, farther, faster. That’s why this issue in Acts 5 is so deadly. They could have helped more people and reached more people but, as it is, they’re just lying and stealing. It’s about the mission, not just the money.
God like this: It’s all mine, and I like to share it with you. Before you give anything, God gives you everything. That’s amazing! Our God is a giver, not a taker.