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Mar 17, 2019

Work Hard and Give Stuff Away

Work Hard and Give Stuff Away

Speaker: James Gallaher

Series: The Heart of Freedom Fellowship

Category: Sunday Morning

You will never know if what you have is enough until you are willing to put it in God’s hands and follow where He leads.

The Heart of Freedom Fellowship Church – The Seven Non-Negotiables

  • #1 Intimacy with God and Intimacy with others 
  • #2 People are Priority 
  • #3 Seek God's Heart Not Just His Hand
  • #4 Simplicity

This week's message: #5 Work Hard and Give Stuff Away

II Corinthians 8:1-8 Now, brethren, we wish to make known to you the grace of God which has been given in the churches of Macedonia, that in a great ordeal of affliction their abundance of joy and their deep poverty overflowed in the wealth of their liberality. For I testify that according to their ability, and beyond their ability, they gave of their own accord, begging us with much urging for the favor of participation in the support of the saints, and this, not as we had expected, but they first gave themselves to the Lord and to us by the will of God. So, we urged Titus that as he had previously made a beginning, so he would also complete in you this gracious work as well.

How do you define satisfaction? Many times, satisfaction comes down to a sufficiency in what we have, but that’s a moving target. It’s the constant worry about whether what I have is enough, yet enough never seems to be enough. We have bought into the lie that says our joy comes as a result of what we have. So, we focus on making sure we have enough. We often attach the idea of enough to outcomes in our life, like joy, peace, and satisfaction. The scriptures speak of these very things we strive for as being promises that have already been provided for . . . Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope. Philippians 4:19 And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus. James 1:2 Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials . . . John 16:33 These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation but take courage; I have overcome the world. If true, why are so many striving to gain, to attain, to earn, to possess something that has already been promised?

Generosity is not about giving what we don’t have but surrendering what we do have to His power. Satisfaction is not found in what we have or don’t have but found in something much greater. It requires us to answer: what is my motivation for having enough? Why don’t we start with what we have? Do we trust God with what we have? Is what we desire really going to produce the outcome we want?

Exodus 4:1-2 Then Moses said, “What if they will not believe me or listen to what I say? For they may say, ‘The Lord has not appeared to you.’” The Lord said to him, “What is that in your hand?” And he said, “A staff.”  Moses was convinced that he could not possibly do what God had called him to. His staff was a possession that was valuable to him, a tool to use. Up to this point, God had been preparing Moses for what He was about to call him to do. To Moses, it didn’t make sense. Why would God choose him?

What has God put in your hand that is preparing you to His future plan? It might look mundane, insignificant, or something to be tossed aside, but God has been preparing you to be a part of something far greater than yourself. 

The fear of not enough will always stand in the way of what you are called to do! God is interested in your heart. God is interested in your willingness. God asks Moses a simple question, “What is in your hand?”

God delivered Israel with a staff. God takes the ordinary and makes it useful in His hand. The staff was used for deliverance from Egypt, parting the Red Sea, causing water to flow from a rock, leading people to the Promised Land, etc. God will start with what is in your hand, even if it is nominal and insignificant.

Generosity begins with trusting God with what we already have. The common becomes mighty when God anoints it. Moses’ staff (a dead stick) only had power when God used it.

II Corinthians 8:1-6 The key to their generosity wasn’t in their excess, it was in their JOY! Shouldn’t that be our goal? To live a life with an abundance of joy!

II Corinthians 9:7-11 Each one must do just as he has purposed in his heart, not grudgingly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that always having all sufficiency in everything, you may have an abundance for every good deed; as it is written, “He scattered abroad, He gave to the poor, His righteousness endures forever.” Now He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness; you will be enriched in everything for all liberality, which through us is producing thanksgiving to God. 

God loves a cheerful giver. When we give generously to God, God multiplies abundantly. It’s not the giving that produces the blessing that brings the increase. It’s the heart behind the gift! How do we increase the heart? LOVE. Love should be the motivating factor. It’s what Jesus meant when He told the disciples, “If you love Me, you will keep my commandments.”

Acts 20:35 In everything I showed you that by working hard in this manner you must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He Himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.'

Conclusion: You never know if what you have is enough until you are willing to put it in His hands and follow where He leads. Moses had a staff and by offering it to the Lord, he declared that his source was greater than his situation. Be motivated by love so we can be generous.

What is your satisfaction or joy based on? On what you have?

What is your motivation for having enough? Should your motivation be different?

Define generosity. Explain how Moses’ staff plays into the definition of generosity.

What is in your hand that God is calling you to lay down?

What are your excuses for not being qualified? Convenience? Making sense? Knowing the result? Recipient worthiness?