You may have heard it said that “words can inspire the world.” Hopefully, the words from these Christian leaders will serve to inspire your world and spark your imagination for living out full-life generosity in the midst of your everyday life.
Jesus gave us a model for the work of the church at the Last Supper. While his disciples kept proposing more organization –Hey, let’s elect officers, establish a hierarchy, set standards of professionalism – Jesus quietly picked up a towel and basin of water and began to wash their feet. “I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you,” he said (John 13:15). I have come to recognize this spirit of service as the single greatest hallmark of a church doing the will of God.
Philip Yancey - Church: Why Bother? Pg. 81
“We don’t give because God has needs. I repeat: God doesn’t need our cash. He doesn’t come to us, hat in hand, sheepishly asking for funding for His mission. We don’t give because God needs it, but because in giving we declare His value to us and our love for Him. Jesus told us that if want to know what a person really loves, we should follow the trail of his [or her] money…Do you see your resources as yours to benefit from, or as opportunities to be generous to others? The world, of course, finds it absurd to be this open-handed with our resources (I earned it, I deserve to benefit from it!)…When was the last time your generosity made someone question your sanity?”
J.D. Greear in “Three Ways the Gospel Changes our Generosity” blogpost on 19 November 2014.
“Ultimately, each church will be evaluated by only one thing, its disciples. Your church is only as good as its disciples. It does not matter how good your praise, preaching, programs or property are. If your disciples are passive, needy, consumerist and not moving in the direction of radical obedience, your church is not good.”
“If our expenditure on comforts, luxuries, amusements, etc., is up to the standard common among those with the same income as our own, we are probably giving away too little. If our charities do not at all pinch or hamper us, I should say they are too small. There ought to be things we should like to do and cannot because our charitable expenditure excludes them.”
C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity
“The kingdom that Jesus preached and lived was all about a glorious, uproarious, absurd generosity.”
N.T. Wright, Luke for Everyone, pg. 73
“We should live more simply and give more generously because Heaven is our home. The single greatest deterrent to giving and to living more simply is the illusion that this world is our home.”
Randy Alcorn in “Six Reasons to Live More Simply—and Give More Generously” blog post on September 29, 2014.
“Giving away our lives for others is the greatest of all human arts. This will gain us our lives.”
Henri Nouwen, Bread for the Journey entry for April 30 (San Francisco: Harper, 1997).
“All too easily, God’s gifts to us end up being His greatest competition.”
“In a world of greed and consumerism, the church ought to be a community of generosity and selflessness. In a host empire that is committed to marginalizing the poor, resisting the place of women, causing suffering to the disenfranchised, the Christian community must be generous to a fault, pursuant of justice, flushed with mercy.”
“Let us more and more insist on raising funds of love, of kindness, of understanding, of peace. Money will come if we seek first the Kingdom of God – the rest will be given.”
“Generous giving begins with the posture of total humility.”
Gordon MacDonald, Generosity, pg. 15
“Unless God begins to move in my heart – and my wallet, my schedule and my to do list – I’ll never receive His best for me.”
Chip Ingram, Genius of Generosity, pg 58
Now that you’ve been inspired, take the next step. Use these quotes on your website, in a sermon or Sunday School lesson… Or, better yet, get involved with whole-life generosity by doing something as simple as sending an encouraging note to a struggling friend today.