Generations of Generosity Today

Sermon Text:  1 Timothy 1:12-18

The theme for our stewardship month is: Generations of Generosity.  We’re delving into the theme a lot, but from the perspective of Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow.  Where have we BEEN?  Where are we NOW?  And where will BE on into the future?  These are the questions we are addressing.
    I want to ask you this morning to look in two directions.  First, look toward CALVARY.  WHAT do you see?  There at that cross-crowned mountain Christ is suffering, dying, giving himself for you.  WHY did he do that?  Simple answer.  To show you just how much he loved you.  Can you SEE his love?  Would you not agree with me, that his death on a cross was the ultimate expression of “Generosity”?  
    Fix that picture in your mind.
    Now … turn in another direction: look around you, look at the others around you here in THIS PLACE right now.  WHAT do you see?  Here are your fellow-followers of the Christ … some of them anyway … your fellow-disciples in our time, your fellow-pilgrims on the journey.  Here is the church, the church of our Lord Jesus Christ, at least the part of it anyway, called Lakewood Presbyterian.  Do you SEE the love in each other’s faces?  Have you FELT the love others express to you?  Would you not agree their love for you is a very “Generous Love”?  
    Now, fix that picture in your mind.
    There is a profound connection between what we SEE when we look at Calvary and what we SEE when we look at each other.  Those of us right HERE … are the reason he did what he did THERE.  We have this identity with one another and with him because he loved the church … loving her even before she was born … and by his death and resurrection … giving her BIRTH.
    Self-identification is always important … it is important that we KNOW who we are.  And who ARE we, the people assembled in this place on this day?  We are the CHURCH … THIS is who we are.  We are the church Christ loved and for whom he gave himself.  “Merchants, bakers, or candlestick makers.”  Let us try TODAY to see ourselves as the church Christ loved.
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