Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. (1 Tim. 6:17-18)

Monday, April 19, 2010

The Gospel of Jesus revolves around generosity (part 1)

John the Baptist laid the foundation

Even before Jesus' ministry was officially announced, John the Baptist set the foundation for the Gospel of Jesus in Luke 3 as he spoke to the crowds that were coming out to see and hear him.

From this passage of Scripture, we see the outlining of the specifics of this Gospel in the following manner:
  1. he preached a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins (v. 3).
  2. he preached of producing good fruit in keeping with repentance (v. 8-9).
  3. he preached that good fruit would look like this: generosity! (v. 10-14).
The Generosity Gospel, not the Prosperity Gospel

First, John told the crowds to share their wealth of clothing and food. If you have two articles of clothing and someone else has no clothes, then give them one of yours. If you have food and someone else has none, then share your food (v. 11).

Second, he told the tax collectors not to collect more from people than what Roman law required them to collect (v. 12-13).

Third, he told the Roman soldiers three things in verse 14:
  1. don't extort money.
  2. don't accuse people falsely.
  3. be content with your pay.
Life Application

So, how do we as Rich Christians apply the teachings of John the Baptist:
  1. Give back generously to others. If you see people hurting financially, you demonstrate the love of God and true repentance through helping others with your material possessions.
  2. Don't Steal. If people owe you money, ask for what is owed you, not what you think you can get out of others. This application could be applied in a business setting. Establish a fair and equitable charge for the time and talent you bring to your service.
  3. Don't use extortion or illegal methods to obtain money that is not truly owed to you. I doubt this a problem for most of us. Again, the application would most likely be useful in the arena of business.
  4. Don't lie. Always tell the truth in money matters. Maintain integrity in your finances.
  5. Be content. Display satisfaction with God's material blessings in your life.
So, how are you doing in each of these five areas of generosity and financial responsibility?

1 comment:

  1. I believe this is a very good reminder to Christians and a lot of churches today. Sometimes we fall into this 'spell' where we merely focus on ourselves and we forget that Jesus wants us to use generosity and love to reach the lost of all the nations. I am aware that this is one of Satan's most powerful tools to distract us from God's purposes.

    Thanks for this post. I am glad I stopped into read it.