- Thanksgiving dinner
- Season of Gratefulness and Thanks
Matthew 19:16-26 – The Rich Young Ruler
*Everything about this guy appears as though he is primed and ready for true change in his life.
*What should I do to inherit eternal life?
Three phase conversation:
Phase 1: What good should I do to inherit eternal life?
- Keep the commandments
Phase 2: Which ones? – Jesus mentions only commandments that deal with other people.
- Ten Commandments structure.
- First four deal with our relationship to God – vertical
- The final six deal with our relationship to one another – horizontal
*Jesus is driving to the real issue.
Phase 3: What do I still lack?
- Jesus finally drives to the heart of the issue
- The man goes away sad, unwilling to give away even a small amount of his possessions.
There was no heart change. A true salvation experience results in a variety of things….generosity is one of them.
The man believes he can be good. He believes he is generous, but when Jesus drives all the way down into the man’s heart; he chose to hang on to his possessions and not meet the needs of those around him or the kingdom of God.
His wealth was an idol in his life.
Example of a changed heart:
Luke 19:1-9 – Zacchaeus – A transformed life by Jesus results in generosity.
- Chief tax collector – traitor to the Jewish people
- Extremely wealthy
The Change in Zacchaeus:
- Zacchaeus at one point would take part in legal theft through the guise of taxes. – extortion, gross overcharging, threats.
- He encounters Jesus and his heart completely changes.
Fruit of his experience with Christ: Generosity
- He gives half of what he owns to the poor.
- He pays people he has extorted four times what he took from them.
Zacchaeus heart had been changed by his encounter with Jesus. He could have kept what he had. He could have given back what was taken, but instead he goes above and beyond that.
The work was a result of the change in his heart.
Evidence from verse 9 – “Today salvation has come to this house… “
Two Thoughts on Giving:
- 1. Trust God’s promises
- Fulfillment of what God promises to those who would trust Him.
- Example: Beach Camp and DNOW
- 2. We may never see the fruit of what we give to.
- “We are standing on the shoulders of giants”
- A trip down memory lane.
*We had 300 here Wednesday evening to eat Thanksgiving dinner.
Generosity originates in the heart.
Some people are naturally more generous than others, but scripture teaches us that becoming generous is possible. It is a heart issue.
Challenge: Examine your heart.
The rich young ruler – Wealth and possessions stood in the way of his full submission to Jesus.
Zacchaeus – He was willing to give up what he had as proof that his heart had completely changed.
Invite to the altar