This week, we conclude our Heart & Wallet series with an opportunity for each of us to leave a legacy of generosity.
The first week we learned that generosity is a matter of the heart, not the wallet. Last week, we learned the importance of being purposeful with our generosity.
This week, our focus turns to the legacy we want to leave with our generosity. Growing up, my parents had their generosity on full display. My mom would send encouraging or thank you cards to people.
My dad always said “please” and “thank you.”
I love to travel. When I was racking up the air miles, one of the things that I loved (and still love) to do was send a card from my destination city. My backpack always has a few cards and stamps, so I am ready to drop a card when the Spirit leads or someone comes to mind.
When I traveled, I was usually on the first flight of the day, and as the plane climbed to cruising altitude, I would be greeted with a majestic sunrise. During these sunrise moments, I would take a few minutes to write some encouragement to folks in my LifeGroup or other church members.
It was fun, relaxing, and it was my way of telling someone I was thinking of them.
I don’t travel as much these days, but I still try and keep the practice up; however, I was a little rusty the last time I did, but the cards eventually got to their destination.
My love for writing cards comes from having the spiritual gift of encouragement and observing my mother send so many cards. This is one of her legacies to me.
Parents want the best for their children, and they do that by teaching them to do good and make wise decisions.
Most of the time, we make good decisions and don’t want to let our parents down.
When I started my big boy job, I worked at the same place as my father. He had a fantastic reputation, and the one thing I didn’t want to do was tarnish that reputation.
In many ways, this is how we honor our parents and those that paved the way for us.
In the book of Hebrews, the author says,
“And don’t forget to do good and to share with those in need. These are the sacrifices that please God.” – Hebrews 13:16
During this holiday season, we have the power to be generous in new ways and do good. As the world returns to normalcy, we might lose sight of the second part of this verse – share with those in need.
The homeless understand the generosity of strangers, especially when it comes to providing shelter, jackets, blankets, food, and medicine.
We have an opportunity to shape the next generation with the way we are generous. North Point Community Church’s Be Rich campaign highlights how people give financially and serve.
Serving is an act of generosity, and when parents model for their kids, this behavior is engrained in them. We are to love and be a blessing to those around us.
Your act of generosity can lift someone’s day with a kind word, save a life by picking up the telephone, or answer God’s call when He taps your heart for a need.
What I love about this verse is the ending,
“These are the sacrifices that please God.”
What do you consider a sacrifice?
When we set aside our desires to meet a need that God places on our hearts, this is sacrifice.
A sacrifice can be…
- Leaving a larger than average tip
- Going without your favorite coffee for a day, week, or month
- Eating at home so your money can go to your sponsor child
The list is endless about what is considered a sacrifice. I would argue that it doesn’t feel like a sacrifice when you do good work or give to causes important to your heart. It feels more like a blessing.
My challenge for you this season is to start building your legacy of generosity. You can start small, like sending a card or bringing a meal to someone. Be attentive to what God is laying on your heart.
As you build your generosity muscle, think about how you can share this experience with your children, friends, family, or small group.
While leading our LifeGroup, we would make gifts for the church staff and drop them off. The theme would be different each year, but it was our way of saying “thank you” to them for the work they do all year long.
Make it fun. Be creative. And remember, it doesn’t have to cost anything at all. A handwritten card made with love goes a long way.
What will you do this holiday season to grow your generosity muscle?
Lord, thank you for being a loving, gracious, and creative God. Thank you for tapping us on our hearts to join you in the work you are already doing. Please help us be attentive to how you want us to join you. Please use each one of us to make a difference in someone’s life this holiday season. Amen!
- Heart & Wallet series
- Hoban cards
- How To Be Rich – Andy Stanley (book)
- Thank You, Lord (feat. Thomas Rhett & Florida Georgia Line) – Chris Tomlin (song)
- Be Rich Campaign
- 2021 Be Rich Message – Andy Stanley (NorthPoint Community Church)
- 2021 Be Rich Celebration Message – Andy Stanley (NorthPoint Community Church)
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