“Since you excel in so many ways…I want you to excel also in this gracious act of giving.” – 2 Corinthians 8:7a&c NLT
You know, COVID-19 certainly has brought out the worst in some people but also the very best in others. With all the negative press it is quite refreshing to hear stories of generosity and self-less giving to others. As Jeremy Greenfield recently summarized, “In times of crisis, people can be truly amazing.” Truth! For example, Casey Drake drew uplifting chalk drawing greetings on her neighbor’s sidewalks to cheer them up. Young siblings held a concert for their elderly self-isolating neighbor. One gentleman gave a $2,500 tip at a restaurant to help all the employees through this crisis. There a numerous stories of individuals shopping for their quarantined neighbors. Drive by parades wishing others ‘Happy Birthday’ and ‘Graduation Congratulations’ just to name a few. As Jesus said in Acts 20:35b, “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” Truth! As Mr. Fred Rogers said, “Look for the helpers. You will always find people helping…I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers-so many caring people in the world.” As Proverbs 11:25 says, “The one who blesses others is abundantly blessed; those who help others are helped.” Absolutely! So, let’s be the helpers! Let’s be generous; serve, love and give as we live by going and being Jesus.
In fact, when we think about it whenever someone truly encountered Jesus, in some way generosity naturally became a key part of their God story. Think of Zacchaeus in Luke 19. Of the Samaritan Woman in John 4. Of the demon-possessed man in Mark 5. Of the Good Samaritan in Luke 10. Of the Macedonian believers in 2 Corinthians 8. Of the early New Testament believers in Acts 2 & 4. In each case no matter how great or small, they all gave of themselves; gave what they had and from their heart. Come to think about it, this is exactly what Jesus did on the cross for everyone of us. He selflessly gave; generously surrendering his life for ours as a substitute for our sins in order to provide us a way to enter a eternal relatioship with God our Father. Talk about generosity. Wow. Oh my goodness. Jesus embodies generosity. As His followers, so should we, without question. We are blessed to bless so let’s give like God gave. Generously, let’s be the helpers.
This is what I truly love about our Central Christian family. You are generous helpers. In fact, all glory completely to God, our church family is becoming known in our local community and beyond as being generous with our time, talents and financial treasures so God’s ministry will continue to impact in a great way. Thank you. Just thank you so very much. Truly! Let’s keep it up friends. Let’s be the helpers! Let’s be generous; serve, love and give as we live by going and being Jesus. Let’s allow others to see Jesus in us as we generously give which in itself is inspiring, magnetic as leads others to Jesus. Truly! As 2 Corinthians 8:7a&c says, “Since you excel in so many ways…I want you to excel also in this gracious act of giving.” Let’s be that church. So, how will we be generous and bless others today? One act of generosity can lead to countless lives being impacted for Jesus. So, generously, let’s be the helpers.
By the way, I just want to say a huge and well-deserved thank you to our entire church staff for their never-wavering and unending generosity exhibited through the current crisis we are in. They are awesome. Just saying.
Thank you friends. Looking forward to seeing you soon. Stay safe, strong and healthy.
Doug Reed // Lead Pastor