Faithlife Sermons

NJ - It's Not What We Do But Who We Are

Generosity - The Blessed Life  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
0 ratings
· 1 view
Notes
Transcript
The Grace of God and His Generosity
Welcome to those in our service and to those joining us online.
Presence Ps John and Ps Anita, Ps John is attending the Northside Family Church Induction Service for their new Senior Pastor, Pastor Silja-Jade Henaway
Anyone that didn't have a chance to be prayed for last week, there will be an opportunity for this at the end of our services today.
Anyone that didn't have a chance to be prayed for last week, there will be an opportunity for this at the end of our services today.
Open in Prayer
Can you join me and open you bibles to
Matthew 20:1–16 NKJV
1 “For the kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire laborers for his vineyard. 2 Now when he had agreed with the laborers for a denarius a day, he sent them into his vineyard. 3 And he went out about the third hour and saw others standing idle in the marketplace, 4 and said to them, ‘You also go into the vineyard, and whatever is right I will give you.’ So they went. 5 Again he went out about the sixth and the ninth hour, and did likewise. 6 And about the eleventh hour he went out and found others standing idle, and said to them, ‘Why have you been standing here idle all day?’ 7 They said to him, ‘Because no one hired us.’ He said to them, ‘You also go into the vineyard, and whatever is right you will receive.’ 8 “So when evening had come, the owner of the vineyard said to his steward, ‘Call the laborers and give them their wages, beginning with the last to the first.’ 9 And when those came who were hired about the eleventh hour, they each received a denarius. 10 But when the first came, they supposed that they would receive more; and they likewise received each a denarius. 11 And when they had received it, they complained against the landowner, 12 saying, ‘These last men have worked only one hour, and you made them equal to us who have borne the burden and the heat of the day.’ 13 But he answered one of them and said, ‘Friend, I am doing you no wrong. Did you not agree with me for a denarius? 14 Take what is yours and go your way. I wish to give to this last man the same as to you. 15 Is it not lawful for me to do what I wish with my own things? Or is your eye evil because I am good?’ 16 So the last will be first, and the first last. For many are called, but few chosen.”
Hebrews ch1
Hebrews ch1
Summary: We live by God's grace and His generosity. Nothing we do can earn us His favour or qualify us for His blessings. Everything we have and enjoy today are gifts from a gracious and generous God. He gives us what we need, not what we think we deserve.
Society has taught us that nothing is for free
Everything we have we have to work for it and pay for it. If we work hard, we will be rewarded with a wage that is fitting. If we work less, we will get less. There is nothing wrong with this, but we bring this concept into our relationship with God too.
• You’ve to work for it, pay for it. If we work hard, we will be rewarded in proportion to our work. If you work less, you’ll get less.
• There’s nothing wrong with that - but we bring that concept into our relationship with God too.
Thankfully God’s grace does not operate on the basis of what you do.
• God’s grace does not operate on the basis of what you do.
This is the reason Jesus tell the parable of the rich young man.
This is the reason Jesus tell the parable of the rich young man.
Matthew 19:16–25 NKJV
16 Now behold, one came and said to Him, “Good Teacher, what good thing shall I do that I may have eternal life?” 17 So He said to him, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is, God. But if you want to enter into life, keep the commandments.” 18 He said to Him, “Which ones?” Jesus said, “ ‘You shall not murder,’ ‘You shall not commit adultery,’ ‘You shall not steal,’ ‘You shall not bear false witness,’ 19 ‘Honor your father and your mother,’ and, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ ” 20 The young man said to Him, “All these things I have kept from my youth. What do I still lack?” 21 Jesus said to him, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell what you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.” 22 But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions. 23 Then Jesus said to His disciples, “Assuredly, I say to you that it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. 24 And again I say to you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.” 25 When His disciples heard it, they were greatly astonished, saying, “Who then can be saved?”
Matthew 19:16 NKJV
16 Now behold, one came and said to Him, “Good Teacher, what good thing shall I do that I may have eternal life?”
Matthew 19:16
Matthew 19:
• It all started with His encounter with a rich young man in.
What must I do?
It started with Jesus encounter with a rich young man. This man came to Jesus and asked, “What good thing must I do to get eternal life?”
• This man came to Jesus and asked, “What good thing must I do to get eternal life?”
He was good. He kept the commandments. Based on what he has accomplished, you would think he ought to be rewarded. But interesting enough Jesus told him to sell his possessions, give to the poor, and follow Him. He was not able to do it, and he left.
• He was good. He kept the commandments. Based on what he has accomplished, he ought to be rewarded.
• Jesus told him to sell his possessions, give to the poor, and follow Him (19:16-22). He was not able to do it, and he left.
Who can be saved?
The disciples were greatly surprised (19:25). This man has done so much and was turned away. Who can be saved. (Jesus said with man it is impossible, but with God all things are possible).
What do we get out of this?
• Peter, reflecting on all this, said to Jesus, “We have left everything to follow you! What then will there be for us?”
Peter, reflecting on all this, said to Jesus, “We have left everything to follow you! What then will there be for us?”Jesus assures him there will be indeed great blessings for him and His disciples. Not only that, everyone who has sacrificed for Jesus’ sake will receive “a hundredfold, and inherit eternal life”. (19:29).
• Jesus assures him there will be indeed great blessings for him and His disciples.
• Not only that, everyone who has sacrificed for Jesus’ sake will receive “a hundred times as much” (19:29).
It is not what we do
In other words, Jesus is telling Peter that God’s reward is out of proportion to our service and sacrifice. God blesses us more than we deserve.
Jesus detected in Peter’s heart an attitude that was wrong. Was Peter serving the Lord only for what he could get out of it? Were the disciples willing to make sacrifices only because He had promised them a reward?
• Was Peter serving the Lord only for what he could get out of it? Were the disciples willing to make sacrifices only because He had promised them a reward?
1. LIVING BY HIS GRACE
As we have just looked at these two parables we see that God is trying to get us to understand that it is not what we do, but who we are. It is Gods grace and love toward us that makes the difference.
You could look at it like this: When I was younger I completed my plumbing trade and plumbing was what I did but not who I was. Our identity is not in what we do
Not what we do but who we are:
You could look at it like this: When I was younger I completed my plumbing trade and plumbing was what I did, not who I was. Our identity is not in what we do, but who God says we are.
It is not just about us, generosity is outward focused
You see the landowner was a very gracious and a generous person.
• He was very concerned for his vineyard, as well as the welfare of the workers.
You see the landowner was a very gracious and a generous person. He was concerned for his vineyard, as well as the welfare of the workers. He agreed to pay them a denarius, which was equivalent to one day’s wage.
• He agreed to pay them a denarius, which was equivalent to one day’s wage.
In the culture of that day, workers lived a day-to-day existence. They needed money each day to buy food for their families.
That’s why in
Deuteronomy 24:15 NKJV
15 Each day you shall give him his wages, and not let the sun go down on it, for he is poor and has set his heart on it; lest he cry out against you to the Lord, and it be sin to you.
,
landowners were instructed to pay a hired man “his wages each day before sunset, because he is poor and is counting on it.”
The landowners were instructed to pay a hired man “his wages each day before sunset, because he is poor and is counting on it.”
The landowner was not only fair with his workers; he was increasingly more generous with each group of workers that comes throughout the day.
God is concerned for our well being
Each worker, regardless of how long he had worked, received a day’s wages. He received not what he had earned on an hourly basis, but what he needed to sustain his family for a day. God is concerned for your well being .
• He received not what he had earned on an hourly basis, but what he needed to sustain his family for a day.
He paid according to grace, not according to debt. He paid out of love, not merit. This is how our God treats us.
• The landowner could have paid them only what they had earned, but he chose to pay them according to their need, not according to their work.
• He paid according to grace, not according to debt. He paid out of love, not merit.
Changing our thoughts and actions
We need to break the mold on our thinking. (Break the mold. phrase. If you say that someone breaks the mold, you mean that they do completely different things from what has been done before or from what is usually done).
We do what we do because that is what we have always done
Generosity is not just something I do it is who I am
Generosity is not something we have to do, it is something we get to do.
Jesus was not teaching principles about labour rules - that those who work more should be paid more. Jesus was teaching about GRACE. God deals with us by grace, not by merit. It is all God’s amazing grace that you and I sit here saved.
This is how our God treats us.
• Jesus was not teaching principles about labour rules - that those who work more should be paid more. Jesus was teaching about GRACE - to enlighten Peter and all of us today.
• God deals with us by grace, not by merit. It is all God’s amazing grace that you and I sit here saved.
It is a free gift you can not earn God’s favour
Even our righteous deeds are as filthy rags in God’s ‘sight (). We cannot afford or earn God’s favour, If we assume that we can do something to make Him love us more or less, then we have misunderstood His grace. God loves us the same, yesterday, today, and forever.
nmjkop=;\\,,.;'sight (). We cannot afford or earn God’s favour, If we assume that we can do something to make Him love us more or less, then we have misunderstood His grace. God loves us the same, yesterday, today, and forever.
• If you assume that you can do something to make Him love you more or less, then we have misunderstood His grace again. God loves us the same, yesterday, today, and forever.
• If you believe you’ve been called to serve Him in any areas because of your worthiness or qualifications, then we have undermined His grace again.
The Prodigal Son
Remember the story of the prodigal son (in )?
vs29 The Elder son said, “Look! All these years I've been slaving for you and never disobeyed your orders. Yet you never gave me even a young goat so I could celebrate with my friends.”
vs31 Father said, “My son, you are always with me, and everything I have is yours.”
We actually experience God’s grace far more than we realise. But very often we do not enjoy His grace because we are trying to earn it; we want to show others how good we are. We live by merit, not by grace.
• But very often we do not enjoy His grace because we are trying to earn it; we want to show others how good we are. We live by merit, not by grace.
Don’t become blinded to Gods greatness
When we are looking at our own goodness, we are blinded to God’s greatness.
• When you are looking at your own goodness, you are blinded to God’s goodness.
2. LIVING UNDER GODS GENEROSITY
Trusting God is who He says He is
For us to live under God’s generosity, we must trust that He is generous. God has given us His generous love, acceptance and forgiveness. He has given us a future and a hope. ()
He went above and beyond anything we could have imagined: “God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (, NIV)
He being God went above and beyond anything we could have imagined. He gave His is Son for us: God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”
God loved people so much that He gave. He gave His best. He gave His Son for you and for me. This act of generosity began in His heart first. (God loved, so He gave).

The Parable of the Workers in the Vineyard

The Landowner showed his generosity
The parable highlighted two distinct groups of workers: those hired early in the morning and those at the 11th-hour.
The Parable of the Workers in the Vineyard highlighted groups of workers that were hired in the morning, at the 3rd-hour, the 9th-hour and those hired at the 11th-hour.
The parable highlighted two distinct groups of workers: those hired early in the morning and those at the 11th-hour.
All were blessed
The workers hired at the end of the day were treated with extreme generosity. They had received twelve times what they could have earned in one hour. My thought would be that the landowner probably didn’t need to hire the worker for the last hour.
• Why did the landowner hire these workers at the 11th-hour? Does he really need help for that last one hour? I don’t think so.
Jesus was teaching about the Kingdom of heaven.
Those hired for the last hour were hired because they needed to receive a day’s wages. They had been waiting for someone to hire them so they could earn enough to support their families. The landowner hired them, not because of his need, but because of their need.
• They had been standing all day waiting for someone to hire them so they could earn enough to support their families.
• They needed to work more than the landowner needed their work. He hired them, not because of his need, but because of their need.
Our God is consciously aware of our needs, and He is continuously working to meet them. God calls us to serve Him, not because He needs us but because we need Him and His reward for our service is always out of proportion to our efforts!
• God calls us to serve Him, not because He needs us but because we need Him.
• And His reward for our service is always out of proportion to our efforts - 100 times!
• This promise was not given to people who were obedient and deserving of His goodness.
• For most part of their history, they sinned against God and betrayed Him.
• Yet He remained faithful and gracious.
• And so, they went to work, trusting that the landowner will be fair and just. They work on that basis. It’s on the basis of TRUST.
God’s grace never comes up short
As we trust God. God is not going to short-change us - In fact, whatever good we do can never justify God’s grace.
• “We have all fallen short of God’s glory!”
Romans 3:23 NLT
23 For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard.
• We are taught to simply trust the Lord, and rely on His Word and character.
Trusting in God’s word and His character
We are taught to simply trust the Lord, and rely on His Word and character. God’s blessing for us is beyond what we can ever comprehend. “His grace is always sufficient for us.”
• God’s blessing for us is beyond what we can ever comprehend. “His grace is always sufficient for us.”
Don’t complain about what you don’t have, be thankful for what you do have
The landowner paid the men for their work, each group were payed according to what the land owner desired to pay. The men that started earlier complained about their pay. They had nothing to complain about, because that’s the price they agreed upon right at the beginning.
• In this way, the earlier workers saw how generous their employer was to their fellow-workers who did not have a contract.
• When the late workers receive a denarius, they happily thought that they would receive more since they have started working earlier.
As each group was paid, these men saw their expectation decreasing until it was their turn in line, and each man received a denarius.
The group of men that started at the end of the day were feeling very grateful as it was looking like they would have no money for the day. They nearly had no food for their family and now they were blessed with a whole day’s wages.
• As each group was paid, these men saw their expectation decreasing until it was their turn in line, and each man received a denarius.
Of course, the men complained. Actually, they had nothing to complain about, because that’s the price they agreed upon right at the beginning.
• There was one group that did not complain - those that had worked only for 1 hour.
God is good
• They nearly had no food for the day, and now they had a whole day’s wages.
This is how good our God is, He looks after us as we trust Him.
• They didn’t think about any unfairness on the part of the landowner; they considered him very generous.
• Can we complain against someone for being generous? That’s how good our God is!
How do you think they felt? Grateful. That’s how we should feel today. Are you?
In the parable of the prodigal son we see him returned home to his father. How do you think he felt? Grateful. Do you think he is willing to work for the father? Yes, not as a hired servant; but a grateful son.
• Do you think he is willing to work for the father? Yes, not as a hired servant; but a grateful son.
We serve our Father today because we’re grateful for what He has done. We serve because we have experienced His love and goodness.
Paul says in:
• Paul says, “for Christ’s love compels us”
2 Corinthians 5:14 The Message
14 Christ’s love has moved me to such extremes. His love has the first and last word in everything we do. Our firm decision is to work from this focused center: One man died for everyone. That puts everyone in the same boat.
). God’s grace motivates us to live for Him!
• If you truly understand the grace of God in your life, you will not sin.
God’s grace motivates us to live for Him! If you truly understand the grace of God in your life, you will not sin and will choose to live for Him.
Blessing will come
Martin Luther says, “...blessings that come to us, at times can be through our works, and at times without our works, but never because of our works.
Martin Luther says, “...blessings that come to us, at times can be through our works, and at times without our works, but never because of our works. God always gives them freely because of His great mercy. God great gifts & blessings are given, not because you have earned it, but simply because He is gracious.”
God always gives them freely because of His great mercy. God great gifts & blessings are given, not because you have earned it, but simply because He is gracious.”
Ask the right questions
The rich young man asked, “What good thing must I do to get eternal life?”
Peter: “We have left everything to follow you! What then will there be for us?” (19:27)
Peter: “We have left everything to follow you! What then will there be for us?”
Both questions were wrong. We have eternal life and His blessings today, because God has chosen to offer them to us by His grace. It cost us nothing, but it cost Jesus everything.
• It cost us nothing, but it cost Jesus everything.
We need to put our trust in Jesus Christ. He died for your sin and mine, He died to save us.
• He died for your sin and mine, He died to save us.
• When we get to heaven, there will be no contest to see who was the most deserving of God’s grace because no one deserves it. All are sinners saved by God’s grace.
Conclusion
Sing Amazing Grace.
There is a change in our mentality, we think differently, therefore we will be different
Reflect upon your salvation, how you come to know Christ.
As we conclude this morning, it is important that we live our lives not by what we do, but who we are in Christ Jesus. Understanding who we are changes the way we live. We live by Gods grace and under His generosity.
Let’s sing with a grateful heart.
It is a blessing and a privilege
Generosity is not just something I do it is who I am because of Christ
Generosity is not something we have to do, it is something we get to do.
Close in Prayer
Related Media
Related Sermons