*the purpose of "the soapbox" is to give you a front row seat on the inner thoughts and processes of our pastors on god, life, and culture. enjoy.
god is generous. he asks us to be like him. this is what the scriptures refer to as ‘godliness’ which is simply “god likeness” abbreviated.
many christians live in confusion knowing that we are meant to live godly lives, but as soon as you mention that godliness means ‘god-likeness’ an uneasy nausea overtakes them. this is because in the garden of eden we see the serpent say to eve (with her husband standing close by) that she can be just like god knowing good and evil and because the words ‘just like god’ are used most christians believe this means any act to be ‘like god’ is therefore wicked or evil. this is not what is meant by the serpent nor is it lost in translation.
god created us in his image and in his likeness. therefore being ‘god like’ should be both pleasing to god and fulfilling of our potential. but in genesis the offer is perverted and distorted. the serpent is saying “you can be like god, a stand alone entity deciding for yourself what is good and what is evil.” today we see this same spirit permeating every area of our culture. we decide what is good and what is evil. we reject god’s laws and substitute them with our own.
you and i are called to be ‘like god’ in his love, his patience, his kindness, his forgiveness, his compassion, his mercy etc. he even sends his holy spirit to empower us so that we can be just like him in the earth. we can operate in the supernatural, and see him live through us via the gifts of the spirit and the fruit of the spirit. (see 1 corinthians 12-14 and galatians 5:22-23)
...one of the greatest pathways to living a beautiful, godly, god pleasing life is to practice generosity.
it is god’s desire for you and i to become more and more like him every day. perhaps the greatest way to do this is by choosing to become a generous person. when god gave his only son to redeem us, understand he did not give what he could afford. make no mistake about it. god did not think “hmmm what can i afford to give in exchange for mans salvation?” there was no bargain searching, discount seeking negotiations. he gave his only... the problem with us is we wont give our ‘only’... in fact we use “its my only one” as an excuse not to give it.
when god gave to save us, he was not thinking what can i afford, he was thinking what must i do to purchase, what price must i pay. he gave beyond what was comfortable. he gave beyond what was easy or convenient. he gave sacrificially because that is the ultimate nature of generosity.
i have found in twenty years of fulltime ministry a striking coincidence; the most godly people i know are incredibly generous. the most miserable people i know are the most stingy. could miserable simply be the joining of two words ‘miser’ and ‘able?’ it sure looks that way.
i have yet to see ungodly people practice selfless generosity as a lifestyle. in fact i personally believe that one of the greatest pathways to living a beautiful, godly, god pleasing life is to practice generosity. giving is god’s way. this is so because it is his nature. make it yours and enjoy the thrill of a life that pleases your creator. luke 6:38