Fruits of the Spirit: Generosity
Thank you to all who sent us such encouraging messages about yesterday’s service, and to all who joined the Zoom coffee morning. Sadly, the Internet connection of the hosts dropped, but everyone else was able to carry on! Wonderful!
Today we resume our series on the fruits of the Spirit, with a reflection on generosity by Reverend David Parry.
Reverend David Parry writes:
30 years ago, I knew myself called to full-time Christian ministry, but was finding every excuse I could not to respond. I was young, doing well in a professional career, newly married (and newly mortgaged). Most of all I was a shy new Christian. Giving up my salary, career, home and security to become an unpaid urban evangelist was obviously far too much to ask. Yet that is exactly what God was asking.
As a follower of Jesus was my heart already full of sacrificial love? No, it really wasn’t. It took God the Holy Spirit to change that and make me more generous.
I have since become familiar with the pattern of how God works. First I was shown. My wife Eryl trusted my vocation. Without being asked, our house group set up standing orders and gave me an income. We arrived in the new city and found strangers praying for us.
Secondly I had a go. However pitiful the offering, God would multiply it. Hapless sport with lean and cynical inner-city kids, faltering first sermons and improvised Christian teaching, my outsider’s clumsy response to shocking poverty, injustice and suffering: our little team bore so much fruit as we joined in with the Holy Spirit.
Thirdly I understood. At Derby City Mission, God gave me a Scripture promise to trust. It made sense of the reality which Eryl and I experienced there, even praying over electricity bills they couldn’t yet pay. It has proved equally true in every community and ministry he has called us to serve in since. If you would like to grow in generosity, with the Spirit’s help, I commend you to trust it as well:
Jesus said, “Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap; for the measure you give will be the measure you get back.”
Luke 6: 38
“Os gwnewch roi, byddwch yn derbyn. Cewch lawer iawn mwy yn ôl – wedi’i wasgu i lawr, a’i ysgwyd i wneud lle i fwy! Bydd yn gorlifo! Y mesur dych chi’n ei ddefnyddio i roi fydd yn cael ei ddefnyddio i roi’n ôl i chi.”
Luc 6: 38
you have poured out your blessings upon us
day after day.
You have filled our lives with good things
so that they overflow with plenty.
You have met our needs and more than our needs,
giving us a world of infinite variety and pleasure.
Receive now these gifts,
receive our worship,
receive our faith,
for we bring them to you
as a small but simple way of saying thank you
for all you have done in Christ.
In his name we pray. Amen.
Dduw y bywyd,
arllwysaist dy fendithion arnom,
ddydd ar ôl dydd.
Llenwaist ein bywyddau gyda phethau da.
ac maent yn gorlifo mewn digonedd.
Gwaethost gwrdd â’n hangen a mwy na’n hangen,
rhoddaist i ni fyd o amrywiaeth a phleser.
derbyn nawr ein rhoddion,
derbyn ein haddoliad,
derbyn ein ffydd,
wrth i ni eu dwyn ger dy fron
fel modd bychan a syml o fynegi’n diolch
am bopeth a wnaethost yng Nghrist.
Gweddïwn hyn yn ei enw. Amen.
Nick Fawcett cyf. Aled Davies
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