More Stuff Versus More Generosity

More Stuff Versus More Generosity

Sermon Notes


Introduction to HABITS
:
It’s obvious that our personal choices shape our lives. But what may not be so obvious is the extreme power of habits that have broad reaching for not only our own lives, but our family lives, our friends, community and church. Small decisions compounded over time can bring health or disease, peace or stress, friendship or isolation. When we examine the Bible we see up close the power that these habits can have. Join us this Sunday as we begin this new series. Along the way we will discover how the habits of Jesus followers are better than the habits of our modern world. These small habits can literally change our lives for the good.


Key Point:
Small healthy decisions repeated over time reap grand rewards in surprising ways. Small unhealthy decisions repeated over time reap negative results in surprising ways.

Consider this Principle:
Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap. – Galatians 6:7

Your destiny is irrevocably linked to the small decisions you make each day.

The average United States Home:

  • Has over 300,000 items in it
  • Consumes 2x as much material goods as we did 50 years ago
  • Has tripled in size in the past 30 years
  • Has $15,000 of Credit Card Debt

Consider this:

  • 25% of homes with two car garages cannot fit two cars in it
  • 32% only can only fit one car in
  • We have 7.3 cubic feet of storage unit for every person in the US

Reasons Why Buying Things Doesn’t Bring Happiness:

  • They all begin to fade. 
  • There is always something new right around the corner.
  • Each purchase adds extra worry to our lives. 
  • Our purchases cost us more than we realize. 
  • We discover other people aren’t all that impressed. 
  • Someone else always has more. 
  • Contentment of this kind only pauses the wanting for a brief time.

What would you do if your Senior Pastor had been? 

  • Unlawfully detained
  • Falsely accused
  • Mistreated while in custody
  • Released with threats

Here’s the Biblical Way (Not Normal Way)

  1. They trusted that God is sovereign even when it seemed like forces were standing against them – Acts: 4:23-31
    1. The powerful are pawns in the hands of God.
    2. The obedient are partners with the hands of God.
  2. They unified around the generosity fueled by the resurrection of Jesus – Acts: 4:32-34
    1. This is not communism or socialism
      1. This is not an economic system- but a personal response of charity
      2. The Bible elsewhere affirms ownership of property
      3. Both rich and poor were present inside the church
      4. The call is to give, not for policy sake, but because Loving God has given to us, we give to others as an appropriate response.
    2. This met important needs in the now moment
    3. Two critical details
      1. Much grace
      2. Laid at the apostles’ feet

Application:
Give
Give stuff away (Give your our Spring Giveaway)

Repeat this to yourself:
My identity is not tied to my possessions.

Discussion Questions

TALK IT OUT:

  1. Pastor Rusty observes that, “Small healthy decisions repeated over time reap grand rewards in surprising ways.” He also makes the point that, “Small unhealthy decisions repeated over time reap negative results in surprising ways.” How have you observed these truths play out in the lives of family and friends?
  2. Galatians 6:7 makes a similar point when it says, “Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap.” (ESV) Pastor Rusty says, “Your destiny is irrevocably linked to the small decisions you make each day.” What small decisions in your past have improved your life? What small decisions you made in the past have negatively impacted your life?
  3. Pastor Rusty shared these statistics about the average American home: 1) it has over 300,000 items in it. 2) it has tripled in size over the last 30 years and 3) it consumes twice as many material goods as it did 50 years ago. Do you think our accumulation of “stuff” has made us happier and more content? Why?
  4. Why do you think buying more things doesn’t usually bring happiness? Explain why your identity is not tied to your possessions.
  5. In Acts 4:23-31 Pastor Rusty observed the early believers trusted the fact that God was sovereign even when external forces stood against them. What practical lesson can believers today learn from their example?
  6. Because of Jesus’ gift of eternal life, early believers chose to be generous. Their commitment wasn’t based upon communism or socialism, but Jesus’ generosity. Since God has been good to you, list some areas you want to be more generous

LIVE IT OUT:

  • Pastor Rusty observed that early believers gave because God had given to them. Make a list of the ways God has been generous to you.
  • Pause right now and thank God for His generosity.
  • Based upon God’s goodness to you make a list of ten things you could give away that would likely help others more than they help you.
  • Are you willing to give away five things from your list to others? Make plans for how you are going to give these items to the Spring Give-a-way.
  • Make a commitment to volunteer to help with the Spring Give-a-way. Communicate your decision to help to those organizing this event.