Where is the line between selfishness and generosity? In this message Pastor Jeremy DeWeerdt kicks off a two week mini-series on generosity titled “Put Your Heart Into It” where he dives deep into what the Bible has to say about how giving is a matter of the heart and it can’t be forced…we must be willing to give!

Notes 📓✏️:

“Christmas is here!”

Jesus wasn’t just born; He was given to us.

Did someone have to teach you to be selfish?

We don’t need to be taught to be selfish. We need to unlearn it!

Put Your Heart Into It!

2 Corinthians 8:7-8 (NIV) “But since you excel in everything – in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in complete earnestness and in the love we have kindled in you – see that you also excel in this grace of giving. I am not commanding you, but I want to test the sincerity of your love by comparing it with the earnestness of others.”

EXCEL in this grace of giving!

Even though generosity is not commanded and demanded, it is important to stretch.

Where is the line between selfishness and generosity?

You cannot tell from the outside if a person is being generous or not.

But how do we know if we are greedy or generous?

Luke 11:42 (NLT) “What sorrow awaits you Pharisees! For you are careful to tithe even the tiniest income from your herb gardens, but you ignore justice and the love of God. You should tithe, yes, but do not neglect the more important things.”

They were doing just enough to meet the requirements, but not enough to be generous.

Dr. Timothy Keller – “If your heart is generous, the amount takes care of itself.”

2 Corinthians 8:1-5 (NIV) “And now, brothers and sisters, we want you to know about the grace that God has given the Macedonian churches. In the midst of a very severe trial, their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity. For I testify that they gave as much as they were able, and even beyond their ability. Entirely on their own, they urgently pleaded with us for the privilege of sharing in this service to the Lord’s people. And they exceeded our expectations: They gave themselves first of all to the Lord, and then by the will of God also to us.”

How can we find joy in generosity?

Get a vision for what God can do with your generosity.

2 Corinthians 9:6-7, 9-10 (NLT) “Remember this – a farmer who plants only a few seeds will get a small crop. But the one who plants generously will get a generous crop. You must each decide in your heart how much to give. And don’t give reluctantly or in response to pressure. “For God loves a person who gives cheerfully.” [Put your heart into it]…As the Scriptures say, “They share freely and give generously to the poor. Their good deeds will be remembered forever.”

For God is the one who provides seed for the farmer and then bread to eat. In the same way, He will provide and increase your resources and then produce a great harvest of generosity in you.

In 2023 alone, City First Church services were viewed by 755,435 inmates in 438 correctional centers around the nation.

Resulting in 815 virtual salvations and 138 in-person salvations.

Last Thanksgiving, we provided 11,000 Thanksgiving meals.

We also provided 2,500 Christmas presents to kids.

We were a part of rescuing 70 children in Thailand from human trafficking.

Get a vision for what Jesus has done for you.

2 Corinthians 8:9 (ESV) “For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sake He became poor, so that you by His poverty might become rich.”

Discussion Questions 📝:

1. Do you find that you are naturally a generous person or is it something you had to grow into  when it comes to giving?
2. What are some of the barriers we face when it comes to being generous?
3.What motivations, mindset, and emotions do you need to have to grow in the area of generosity?
4. Let’s pause to remember and get a vision for what God has done for us. What have you seen God do in and through your life?