E-Update: Lifestyle Change

by Pastor Mike Carlson, Lead Pastor

(posted 9/21/2018)
Have you ever Michael D. Carlsonbeen in the presence of a truly generous person? My sister is one of the most generous people I have ever met. If you go to her house, you WILL leave with something. She cannot help but share a gift with you.

Perhaps you know someone like that — the kind of person who always picks up the tab, gives you the perfect gift or never fails to give a compliment. Or the person who takes your shift at work or drives you to the doctor. Generosity is not an action; generosity is a lifestyle.

One of the hallmarks of the Christian church is that of extravagant giving. It is not just that we are nice people, but that we are invited as Christians to model our lives after the one who has given everything for us.

Jesus deepens our understanding of giving by showing us that generosity is not about the transaction but rather about the transformation. Jesus gives to others not to influence them or buy their affections — he gives because he knows that in the Kingdom of God there is always enough. When he gives of himself he knows there is always enough.

We are generous because Jesus is generous. It is who we are.

Often our obstacle to generosity is that we feel there is a limit: love, time and resources are scarce, so we hold back, or we are afraid of being taking advantage of. But children of God are called to give even when it seems as if there is not enough, even if we could be advantage of, even if others do not deserve it. This is the Jesus way. Again generosity is not action; it is a state of being.

So give it a try. Be the most generous person in the room. Be extravagant and wild with the lives of the people God has placed in your life. Give deeply from a place of faith. You will see lives transformed, and you will find that you are transformed as well.