#933. Love is generous (8/11/23)
This week, as we continue in our series in Luke, we will be reflecting on Jesus’ teaching from Luke 6:27-42. Today, we will see how love will be manifested in generosity.
‘“If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners do that. And if you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, expecting to be repaid in full. But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.”’ (Luke 6:32-36)
Lesson: To love like Christ will involve generosity that is modelled on Christ.
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On three occasions in Luke 6 (6:17-31, 32-34 and 35-36), the command to love our enemies is illustrated as doing good by being financially generous to them:
V.30 ‘Give to everyone’
V.34 ‘If you lend…’
V. 35 ‘Lend to them…’
This is very interesting and challenging isn’t it! How generous are we with those who are inside and outside of our church family? How generous are we beyond our immediate kin? Does our love extend to generosity to those whom we might consider as unworthy? Does it extend to those who may, if we lend to them, may very well not be able to pay us back?
Generosity to the unworthy is the core idea of the gospel; the Bible puts it this way:
‘For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich.’ (2 Corinthians 8:9)
The Apostle John urges us to get practical in our imitation of Jesus’ generosity:
‘This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters. If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person? Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.’ (1 John 3:16-18)
Christians are called to imitate Christ in laying our lives down for the good of the world. This sounds very grand and we are all prepared to agree with it until we realise that we need to get practical and do things like giving our money away!
To love like Christ will involve generosity that is modelled on Christ. How generous are you with your time, talents and treasure? God has given you various resources to steward for the good of others, including those who are difficult to like and respect! There is a real danger that we can become so caught up with giving our time and resources to our family and friends that we fail to overflow as is described in today’s text.
Finally, although, as Jesus has told us, we are to give without expecting anything back, there is a great promise of provision from our Father for those who will be generous:
‘“Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”’ (Luke 6:38)
Let’s pray together:
“Lord Jesus, I thank you for your infinite generosity that led you to become poor and cursed on the cross in order to make me spiritually rich. Help me to be like you. Help me to trust that you will provide as I’m generous and so steward the resources that you give in a way that is a blessing to many. Amen”
COMMUNITY GROUP NOTES AND STUDY
It might be good to begin with notices. Please share from this week’s Church News.
2. Icebreaker How has God been speaking to you from His Word this week and how has this helped you?
3. Study and pray together
This week, as we continue in our series in Luke, we will be reflecting on Jesus’ teaching from Luke 6:27-42 where, in essence, Jesus is teaching us about how we are to love others in a Christ-like fashion.
Please read Luke 6:27-42
Which aspect of this text do you find most challenging and why?
V.31 is often called The Golden Rule. In what ways can you practically apply this in the various relationships in your life?
Specifically, this section says a lot about being generous. What does it teach about how we are to use our wealth?
SIV - How will the application of this text, and The Golden Rule, help others to 'see Jesus' through us?
SIV - In v.37, we are commanded not to judge. This is about condemning people as beyond God's grace. How will obedience to this teaching help us to bring people to Jesus?
SIV - Do we have any stories of how we have ‘Served, Invested, and inVited’ this week?
SIV - What does V.28 teach us about the importance of prayer in mission and how are we doing in this regard?
SIV - Let's now pray together that, this week, we will have opportunities to SIV.