Our journey into Radical Generosity as a Church family is both challenging and exciting. As we are led into new levels of faith in our financial practice, we can reflect on the following values, which are taken from the example of the Macedonian church in 2 Corinthians 8.
From our Hearts -"of their own accord." Our giving is not motivated by guilt, or coercive in any way, but comes as an expression of grace and freedom in the gospel.
Questions for prayer and reflection: Does giving feel like a grace, or does it feel like a burden? Is it something you do joyfully, or something done out of obligation?
From our Homes -"according to their means." A regular portion relative to our income, or a tithe.
For prayer and reflection: Are you giving according to an established rhythm?
From Heaven -"beyond their means." The church in Macedonia gave beyond what they were humanly capable of, and gave in the midst of extreme poverty. Their giving was so extravagant and so counter to the culture of the world that it is seen as miraculous. It is a reflection of the Father’s heart.
For prayer and reflection: Are you willing to make sacrifices when the Lord asks it of you? Are you eager to make sacrifices, like the Macedonians? Are your practices around giving so markedly different from the culture around you that people would see the Father’s heart?
For Him -"first to the Lord." Our giving is an act of worship and thanksgiving.
For prayer and reflection: Are you giving yourself “first to the Lord”? Do you see your generosity as an expression of the gospel?
For His House -"then by the will of God to us." Their giving was to the church, to advance the mission of Jesus and it was done in submission to Christian leadership and structures.
For prayer and reflection: Are you giving for his house - to advance the mission of Jesus through the primary means that he has established for that purpose (i.e. – the Church)? Are you giving in submission to Christian leadership?
Finances are an area that is mostly kept hidden. We want to bring our financial practices into the light of scripture and see the gospel applied to our finances, because Jesus has good things for us here. We don’t realize it, but a lot of our practices are simply adopted from culture – the scriptures are calling us to something that’s so much more beautiful; that we can experience and express the gospel in our finances. We want to move together to a place of freedom where our financial practices are being motivated by faith and by the scriptures. Our prayer is that as we press into this area together that it would bear fruit for the sake of Jesus’ mission to this city and this nation.