[November 5, 2023]

Heartland Community Church


You Make Enough To Be Generous

By Lisa Zulke

No matter how much I make, I make enough to be generous if I want to. If. I. Want. To. Ouch. I recall my years as a single 20-something being deeply mired in the scarcity mindset. I had thoughts and ideas of a day in the future when my generosity would be significant. It would be super-generous. And yet, I made choices in my early 20s that led to years of paying off debt, worry about living paycheck to paycheck, and anxiety over how I’d ever get out of all that.

Future Lisa would have said to younger Lisa, "Give something. Give time, sure. But set aside something and intentionally give it to help someone else." When I began to start an intentional turn toward being generous, I was not a believer. I worked in social services. What I could do to be generous was treat my students in the youth leadership program to lunch. One at a time. Once a month. That generosity allowed for quality time and deeper conversation. I experienced a return on that tiny bit of generosity. And I saw and felt joy and blessing with each student I spent lunch with.

When I turned toward Jesus and started learning to follow him, I was challenged with the idea that he is the giver of all I have. But I worked hard, I thought. I’m paying off debt. I’m working two jobs to do that at a faster pace. And I want a nicer pair of dress shoes. And some new clothes. And…I had an awfully long list that I’d be embarrassed to put in print.

In 2 Corinthians 9:8, you’ll see this phrase, "…having all that you need…" I truly did have all that I needed at that moment. I do today as well. (I still have to work to keep the "want" monster under control.) So, what would it look like to not view my life with scarcity but instead to see abundance? How would an abundance mindset shift my posture toward money, possessions, time, and effort?

My husband and I have great joy in finding a need around us and meeting that need. It might be visible, but it’s most fun when it’s invisible. It might be serving in some way we wouldn’t normally serve. Lending a hand where we haven’t been involved before. Or sending a gift to help someone out of a bind. Or bringing someone a treat when we find they are having a bad day. It might look like inviting someone to go with me on a hike or running errands together. Or it might be spending time helping someone sort out a challenging financial situation, serving as a guide, as their biggest fan.

The seeds of generosity in my life weren’t sown until a third of it was gone. The question, "What is my present opportunity?" is one I’m enjoying now, looking for ways to make the most of the impact I have to give.

When good things come to me, I want to have the posture of looking around and finding a place to share them. Some way to make another person’s life better. To share joy. To lift someone’s heart and someone’s vision. To point them toward Jesus while doing it.



[Monday, November 6]

2 Corinthians 9:6-11

We all face different life circumstances, and have access to varying resources. So read these verses in light of your current reality. Then, ponder what God might be teaching you. Is there a way, in your current situation, that you could choose intentional generosity? What might that look like? If you have big resources, think big. If you have minimal resources, think within your context. It is very generous, when we have little margin, to make a double batch of soup and share half with someone in need, or treat a friend to a coke while spending time with them. "…in all things, at all times, having all that we need…" tells me that God isn’t ranking humanity on a generosity scale of large to small, but rather, asking all of us to consider what we have and what we can share, regardless of scale.


[Tuesday, November 7]

Galatians 1:3-10

Paul is writing this letter to the Galatian people with both warning and encouragement. As you read the verses, what do you think Paul was noticing and addressing? What are his words of warning? What are the words of encouragement? In verse 3 he begins at a very important place…reminding the believers in this community of the incredible generosity they had received from God. Spend some time in prayer thanking God for the gift of grace and sacrifice made on your behalf.


[Wednesday, November 1]

Galatians 1:11-21

Paul was one of the least generous people toward the believers in the early church, persecuting and ridiculing them. In verses 13-16, what do we learn about Paul? The gentiles from that day through our present include you and me. Paul was the first teacher/pastor of people who were not Jewish followers. Take some time pondering what God was up to when he changed Paul’s life, so that he might teach non-Jewish people about Jesus. How has that impacted your life today?


[Thursday, November 2]

Galatians 2:1-10

These passages describe Pauls first encounter with the apostles…the first followers and then present teachers of the good news that Jesus brought. What conflicts were arising among them? How did they resolve these conflicts or differences of instruction and experience? We see the word grace again in these verses. Grace is incredible generosity. What grace did you receive from Jesus specifically? How might you turn that grace into something you can share with others?


[Friday, November 3]

Galatians 2:11-21

Here we see conflict in the teachings and practices of Jewish and non-Jewish followers of Jesus. Paul attempts to set the record straight by pointing out that the old ways (the covenant of the old testament between God and the Jewish people) do not need to be rebuilt because Jesus came with a new covenant, a gift of grace that we are to receive and live in faith from in all of our actions. What does it mean to you, that you do not have to earn this grace from God? That your works cannot assure it for you? That you can imply accept it as the generous gift your loving father and creator sent to you? Let’s head into the weekend in thanksgiving and a litte bit of awe at how incredibly well Jesus provides for us.



{extra journey resources}

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12175 S Strang Line Road, Olathe, KS 66062

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