March 20, 2022In Generosity
The Ocean International Community Church - Connect. Grow. Serve. Go
The Ocean International Community Church - Connect. Grow. Serve. Go
The Ocean Church, English Speaking, Dar es Salaam, We are dedicated to leading people to a personal relationship with Christ
The Ocean International Community Church - Connect. Grow. Serve. Go
The Ocean International Community Church - Connect. Grow. Serve. Go
The Ocean International Community Church - Connect. Grow. Serve. Go
The Ocean Church, English Speaking, Dar es Salaam, We are dedicated to leading people to a personal relationship with Christ
The Ocean International Community Church - Connect. Grow. Serve. Go

This sermon series is a continuation of the previous 2 that focused on the theme of generosity; a virtue that all Christians are expected to embrace in their daily walks. By delving into various texts in the Bible and by providing practical examples on how Christians ought to exercise their generosity, Pastor Matroner George provides greater direction on “living out” generosity as Christians.

The truth is many of us struggle with giving and generosity. Some of the drivers of this paralysis include fear, pride, and a belief that giving will rob us of the good life. The truth however is that what we give is an investment in eternity. The first instance in the Bible that clearly elucidates how we ought to live out generosity can be found in Matthew 25:14 -30.

Matthew 25:14-30: “The Parable on the Bags of Gold” 

Again, it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted his wealth to them. To one he gave five bags of gold, to another two bags, and to another one bag, each according to his ability. Then he went on his journey. ….. So take the bag of gold from him and give it to the one who has ten bags. For whoever has will be given more, and they will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them. And throw that worthless servant outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”

The scripture highlights 5 fundamental principles that we ought to embrace in our daily walks in light of Jesus’ impending return.  

1st Principle:  It all belongs to God.

All of our possessions belong to God. Our phones, cars, clothes, treasures, time, and talents all belong to God. The skills and experience that you’ve built up over time are also not yours. They also belong to God and His kingdom. What God gives us during our time here on earth is investment and we are merely stewards who manage this investment.  Does the way you use your money, gifts and talents demonstrate Jesus’ compassion and selflessness? When God wants to do something, He picks a person to fulfil the mission and God expects you to use what is given to you right now.

2nd Principle: We receive according to our ability

We all receive according to our limited abilities but we are expected to readily receive the little that we have and multiply it. We are all given time, talents (gifts), and treasures in different portions. Both servants who multiplied the talents given to them received the same reward as they had multiplied relative to what they had received. As we are all blessed with time, talents, and treasures so too are we expected to multiply these talents. For if we invest in what God is entrusting in us, He will multiply what we have. In the Kingdom of God, it is expected that there will be growth and He will surely multiply the investments that we make as Christians.

Within the day’s scripture, each servant received different talents (units of currency) but 2 of the 3 doubled what they received. Nonetheless the master looked favorably upon the two that had multiplied according to what they received. On the contrary, the master reacted scornfully upon the servant who did not even multiply His blessings.

3rd Principle: We are expected to work for the Kingdom of God. 

We are God’s handiwork and are also created to do good works for the Kingdom. We are therefore also called to work with a sense of urgency. Do you currently have a sense of urgency to spread your talents, spread the gospel, and meet the common good? Kingdom work is urgent work. For example, if you are investing substantial amounts of money in your children’s education without leading them to God, then you are teaching them to be laborers for the world and not for God. 

Working for the Kingdom will reap rewards as healthy things grow.  Within the Kingdom of God, it is expected that there will be growth. Growth should also always be present in our mindsets towards service. We should grow in our desire to expand God’s kingdom and in our awareness of identifying opportunities to serve Him.

Reflect on three things that you currently spend your time, money and most of your talents on and consider whether they are honoring God. 

4th Principle: We will be held accountable

When Jesus returns, He will settle accounts with us.  He will challenge us to reflect on how we have managed what He has entrusted us with. Within the scripture, even the last servant returned what was initially entrusted to him as he knew that it did not belong to Him but the master. Yet, despite this reality some of us do not even readily acknowledge that what He has given to us ultimately belong to Him and take from God only for selfish gain. This amounts to outright theft. 

This sentiment is also identified in Matthew 25: 21 when the master rewarded the servants according to what they received and is also echoed in scripture.

1 Corinthians 3: 11- 15:

For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ. If anyone builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw,their work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each person’s work. If what has been built survives, the builder will receive a reward. If it is burned up, the builder will suffer loss but yet will be saved—even though only as one escaping through the flames.

5th Principle: We will be rewarded

There will be levels of rewards in heaven based on what has been given here on earth. It is not about the amount but it is about the faithfulness. How faithful are you with what God has entrusted to you? We should heed the warning from the scripture (Matthew 25: 28 -29) as the master instructed the servant who did not multiply his talent to take what was entrusted to Him and give it to someone else,  If we are not faithful with whatever we were originally entrusted, whatever we have will be taken away  from us. How we handle our affairs right now has eternal consequences.

Apart from preparing for eternity, giving will also do us a lot of good for the ones that are giving and receiving. 

Luke 5:1-8:

Jesus Calls His First Disciples

 “One day as Jesus was standing by the Lake of Gennesaret, the people were crowding around him and listening to the word of God. He saw at the water’s edge two boats, left there by the fishermen, who were washing their nets.”  … “When they had done so, they caught such a large number of fish that their nets began to break. So they signaled their partners in the other boat to come and help them, and they came and filled both boats so full that they began to sink.

Jesus asked Simon to use the one thing that Simon had (his empty boat) for the gospel. For this act of faithfulness, He was rewarded beyond expectation and imagination. God will not let what has been used for the gospel go empty. He will bless it so that it continues to expand. Whatever you have, Jesus will use it for the gospel and once He’s done with it, He will not let it go empty. He will bless it so that He use it more for his gospel.  Anything that has been used for the gospel will not go empty.