The Gift and Blessing of Generosity

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How many of us view generosity as transactional, expecting favors or praise in return? Do we think generosity is primarily with money? This week, John Bailey and Mark Renfroe discuss the many misconceptions about generosity and the way that the Bible highlights true generosity. A delight in giving is characteristic of every loving relationship, nowhere more so than in our relationship with God who gives to us so generously.

Key Points from the Podcast

  • Many people think generosity applies only to money, but it actually encompasses all of our resources and our attitude toward other people. Generosity exceeds material blessings. It means to live as a blessing to other people as we emulate Christ who gave everything to reach humanity.

  • God is the epitome of generosity, offering a bounty of grace, patience, salvation, sanctification, and physical provision for his children.

  • Reducing prosperity to financial means is very limiting and also implies that those living in poverty are not as blessed or loved by God, which is not true.

  • Knowing who we are in God, what our inheritance is and trusting that God will provide for us will help us be generous in ways we couldn’t be on our own.

  • Generosity with our time, spending time with others who need us, is often more impactful than any other form of generosity.

  • Offering gifts or time to those who have no ability to pay us back is very countercultural; most people are transactionally generous with those who can return the favor, but followers of Christ are called to give to others without expectations of being repaid in some way.

  • The love in generosity is often most clearly seen among those living in poverty because giving requires such sacrifice.

  • When church leaders serve and give time to people, they model a culture of connection, sharing and generosity for their churches.  

Bible Verses Referenced in the Podcast

Luke 6:38, John 1:14, John 13:3-5, Exodus 36:2-7

About John Bailey

Pastor John Bailey serves as the Chief Operating Officer at World Challenge. John came to know Christ in jail after some difficult struggles as a young man, and God has done a powerful work of transformation since! Spending 13 years in Next Gen ministry, he excelled in discipleship and helping young leaders discover giftings to serve God. John was called next to serve as a missionary and pastor in Western Europe. John and his family then returned to plant the Springs Church in Jacksonville, Florida. Today, the church is a thriving body of believers excelling in outreach and missions. John has now brought his giftings and vision to World Challenge, accelerating the spread of the gospel in America and around the World.

About Mark Renfroe

Mark married his college sweetheart, Amy, with whom he has four adult children—one girl and three boys. The Renfroes have been involved in field missions work for 30 years. They served in the Arab community of San Francisco for four years before becoming foreign missionaries in 1995. Mark was asked to serve as the Area Director for Assemblies of God World Missions in 2007. As part of his role, he led missionaries and interfaced with national church leaders in the 18 countries of the Arab World. In 2017, Mark created Reaching Africa’s Muslims, an initiative to mobilize, equip, and deploy indigenous African missionaries to reach Muslims on the continent. Mark has graduate degrees in Intercultural Studies and Executive Leadership. He currently serves as the Chief Missions Officer for World Challenge in Colorado Springs.

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