- Extravagant Generosity – New Sermon Series
Dear Families and Friends of Montgomery Church,
Last month we started a new sermon series entitled “Extravagant Generosity: The Heart of Giving,” beginning with “Ministry Flows From the Heart”. In weeks to come, we will look at the concept of generosity from many different angles. Generosity is a term we rarely use. Some may think it is reserved for only the wealthy. But generosity is more about character. Generosity is one expression of the very nature of God. It is not as simple as the fact that God acts generously, but generosity just flows from the “heart” of God generosity is inescapably who God is.
Generosity is not only about large amounts of money being given by wealthy individuals. In the parable that Jesus tells about “the widow’s mite” (Mark 12; Luke 21) Jesus teaches that generosity is not about large sums of money, but an attitude of the heart which seeks to honor God and care for others.
In addition to monetary gifts, many of us have given time and talents as leaders and servants to God here at Montgomery. This has enhanced our worship experience, reduced reliance on paid staff, and has decreased maintenance and other operating costs of our facility. I want to celebrate your faithfulness and generosity in that way.
There is a question raised by the psalmist “How can I repay the Lord / for all his goodness to me?” (116:12, NIV). We can only find the answer in our hearts. Nothing we have is too big or grand to offer our awesome God. No gift or service to God is too small if it represents our prayers, a sacrifice, and a generous portion of our resources.
After the last sermon in this year’s message series (see below), we will be asking you to turn-in an Estimate of Giving card, similar to the card used last year. This card is not a contract, and no one will be contacting you if life circumstances change, and your commitment needs to change. It will be a covenant between you and the Lord only. In 2018, however, your generous estimates gave our leadership confidence to take steps forward in our ministry together that we thought we might have to wait another year or two before we could be financially ready. These estimates will again allow our Finance Committee to be able to set an accurate ministry budget for the coming year. This allows us to make the most of every dollar given to the church. The Card will be provided to you in a few weeks. Please be in prayer in the meantime to see what God might enable you – and us to attempt in the coming year.
In the love and service of Christ,
Pastor John Rudisill
Extravagant Generosity Sunday Messages:
- The Art of Love: Relationships Are Matters of the Heart (Nov 11th)
- Bucket Lists: Vision and Hope Are Inspirations of the Heart (Nov 18th)
- Declarations of Your Heart: Extravagant Generosity Is an Expression of Your Heart (Nov 25th)
- Consecration Sunday – return Estimate of Giving cards (Dec 2nd)
- Confirmation Retreat 2018
Just wanted to share with you an amazing experience from last weekend – April 22. While on retreat with our Confirmation Class, we celebrated a Sunrise Service on the Beach at Fenwick. It was glorious!
We had no sooner arrived than the teens noticed a horseshoe crab upside down in the sand. No one actually wanted to touch the crab, but everyone wanted to find a way to flip this helpless creature over, so that it could go on its way. Only two problems: It was big!
Not that big!
And it was ugly!
Yeah! That ugly!
Sometimes it is difficult for us to comprehend what it means that you and I are created in the image of God. For me this was a graphic representation that there is a bit of the character of the Almighty One that is beating in our heart also! 1 Timothy 2:4 (GW) says of God: He wants all people to be saved and to learn the truth. It should not surprise us that we want to save “helpless creatures,” because that is the very reason Jesus came to our planet!
It’s the same way with the Son of Man. He didn’t come so that others could serve him. He came to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many people.” Matthew 20:28, (GW) And this from Romans 5:6 (NLT) – When we were utterly helpless, Christ came at just the right time and died for us sinners.
Some times we feel nervous or awkward in sharing the Good News of Jesus, but it is just what we were created for!
And – I am not ashamed of this Good News about Christ. It is the power of God at work, saving everyone who believes— Romans 1:16 (NLT)
So go find someone else – who is just as helpless as you to overcome the mistakes of their past, the bad choices they have made, the times when they should have done something compassionate and didn’t – and tell them some good news, that’s just why Jesus is there for you!