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June 21, 2024


 

Last week I shared with you about White Oak’s Core Value of Authenticity. White Oak Christian Church has core values that hold up our vision and mission. These values manifest themselves in behaviors which we believe will help us to be the church that honors Jesus and accomplishes his mission to bring people into full life in him (John 10:10).


Another one of our core values and behaviors is generosity.


Together, we pour ourselves out for generosity. We believe that everything we have comes from God, and that we are called to be good stewards of the resources He has given us. That's why we are willing to give of ourselves sacrificially; To empty the jar and trust that God will provide for our needs. We believe that generosity is a key to unlocking the blessings of God in our lives.


One of the passages of Scripture which I believe demonstrates unhindered generosity for the sake of Jesus is found in Matthew 26.


6 Meanwhile, Jesus was in Bethany at the home of Simon, a man who had previously had leprosy. 7 While he was eating, a woman came in with a beautiful alabaster jar of expensive perfume and poured it over his head.

8 The disciples were indignant when they saw this. “What a waste!” they said. 9 “It could have been sold for a high price and the money given to the poor.”

10 But Jesus, aware of this, replied, “Why criticize this woman for doing such a good thing to me? 11 You will always have the poor among you, but you will not always have me. 12 She has poured this perfume on me to prepare my body for burial. 13 I tell you the truth, wherever the Good News is preached throughout the world, this woman’s deed will be remembered and discussed.” -Matthew 26:6-13


When Christians first hear about generosity, some of us bulk. We immediately think about our money. And this is probably pretty telling of our insecurities and what we hold too closely. But generosity speaks to so much more.


When Jesus spoke about generosity, he was speaking on one of his most talked-about topics! And yet, we struggle to be generous because we hold onto our stuff so tightly. Our money, our energy, our time, our resources. It’s been said that if every Christian in each church in the United States alone gave as the Bible prescribes, ministry impact would be billions of dollars more than what is reality! If every Jesus-follower followed Jesus’s words and actions by using their time and talents, we’d have to find ways to use the millions of people who would be begging to make a difference in the lives of others in their communities. Entire cities would be up-ended!


That’s the heart and attitude I see with the woman in Matthew 26. Let’s take a look:


  • She held onto her things loosely. She acknowledged their value, for sure! But she acknowledged their value not for her own gain, but to the glory of Jesus.

  • She gave more than was reasonable. She poured out the entire jar. She didn’t hold back in fear that she might need some for later.

  • She gave it because she was surrendered. She knew who Jesus was. She knew his grace and the gift of his mercy. She gave out of gratitude.


I love to see many at White Oak follow her lead! I pray for my own heart to continue to grow to do the same. I pray that as we practice discipleship that each of us would practice generosity as Jesus displayed it. Not holding back. Not making excuses. No holding tightly to the things we’ve been entrusted with. Just giving it up for the sake of the things Jesus commanded us to value and care about. Imagine the impact that would have on children, teens, and ministry at WOCC. Imagine the impact made in our city. Imagine the ways our hearts would be formed, and our eyes would be open to more of the beauty of God.


I believe we can see that unfold at WOCC in this season. I believe there is much more each of us can give. Do you believe that? If you disagree, consider why you think so. We may need to have God reveal that to us. I’m inviting you to pray for it. I’m asking you to be obedient to it. Together, let’s pour ourselves out.


Valuing Generosity,


Nathan

 



Nathan Hinkle

Lead Pastor

White Oak Christian Church





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