Live Generously


Live Generously
Author: Katie Lemley, Ministry Team Administrative Coordinator
The Parables of Jesus - Part 8
How much do you value your earthly possessions? Sometimes, I wonder if I value my possessions too much. Do I spend too much time thinking about what to buy on my next shopping trip, my next new car purchase, buying a boat, decorations for my house, a new side-by-side? The list can go on and on. Do I ever have enough?

Possessions can bring us joy, but the happiness is short-lived compared to the joy that having a relationship with God can bring.

My husband and I often discuss how hard it is not to be greedy and continually want more and nicer things. It seems like the more things I buy, the more I want. Growing up, my pastor used to say that everyone has a hole in their soul, and they try to fill it with all sorts of things, but they are never satisfied until they fill it with God.
Possessions can bring us joy, but the happiness is short-lived compared to the joy that having a relationship with God can bring. A few years ago, I was so excited to buy a new car. I hoped to get an SUV with extra room for traveling. I remember picking it up from the dealer and feeling so excited, but even the newness of having a nicer and bigger car wore off when it took more time and effort to clean and maintain. I still really like my car, but it does not compare to my relationship with knowing Jesus and the peace that this relationship brings me.

On Sunday, Pastor Tim discussed the parable of the rich fool. The man in this story had yielded a huge harvest of crops. He then realized that he needed somewhere to store them. He tore down his barns to build bigger ones to store his surplus grain. Then he thought he would take life easy and save everything for himself. But God then said to him, “You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?”

God had blessed the man with lots of crops, and instead of being generous, he was greedy. The truth is, we can’t take anything from this earth with us when we die. The Bible says in Matthew 6:19-21:
“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
I think in life it is a human desire to always want to have more, whether it be a bigger house, a better car, or the newest technology. The problem doesn’t necessarily stem from having all of these things, but the problem is how we value them and if we put them before God or use them for ourselves instead of serving and helping others.

So how can we use the possessions that God has given us? Let’s say you drive a bigger car with lots of seating; maybe you can drive a group of students to their small group or pick up groceries for someone who needs help. If you have been blessed with a big house with lots of room, perhaps you can host a Bible study or small group. If you have a swimming pool, maybe you can be a good neighbor and invite someone over to swim on a hot day. The list goes on and on, and I believe the Holy Spirit will often guide you in using your possessions to show love and kindness to others, which can lead to sharing your faith and testimony with them.

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