Theme of the Week: Reflecting God’s Generosity
Bible Verse: For 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. John 3:16
Scripture Reading: John 3:1-21
Simon Sinek is a British born author and inspirational speaker. His current website says, “we are helping to build the help others industry” (as opposed to the self-help community). One of his more well-known works is titled, Start with Why. In it, he argues, quite convincingly, that one of the keys to success in any endeavor, something that contributes to innovation, work satisfaction, and drive, is the “why” behind whatever it is you are doing.
This isn’t the same thing as a mission statement, the “what” of your actions. It’s not the same as your vision statement either, the goal of your “what.” Instead, the why is what makes your vision statement worth saying, and the work of your mission statement worth doing. When you know why you are doing something, and it’s something you believe in, you are more motivated to see it through.
“Why” is indispensable.
The apostle John records an interesting conversation between Jesus and a Jewish religious leader. Late one night, Nicodemus, a Jewish religious teacher came privately to see Jesus and ask him some questions. As the two of them spoke, Jesus began to reveal that God’s work is often more mysterious than we know.
John follows this conversation with perhaps the most famous verse in all of Scripture, John 3:16. We often focus, and rightly so, on certain keywords: loved, gave, only, believes, eternal life. But we shouldn’t overlook the tiny little word that starts the verse, “For.” That little word (in Greek it is two words Houtos gar — Thus for) signals that there is a why.
You know what that why is. We hear sermons about it all the time. It is one of the things that we say God is. Love. Because God loved, He gave. Love leads to giving. It’s fair to surmise the opposite it true as well. A lack of giving signals a lack of love.
When we think about our own giving, our why is love. Love is what characterizes our God. It is what Jesus showed his disciples and told them to show each other. It is supposed to be the characteristic that shows the world that are Jesus’s followers (John 13:35).
If love leads to giving, perhaps generosity is one of the tangible ways we show ourselves to be His people. Why do we give? Because we love.
Prayer: God, thank you that your love led you to give such an incredible gift in the coming of Jesus. Help me to see the connection between love and giving. Help me to love as you love so that I can give as you give.
Reflection: What do you think about the connection between love and giving? In John 3:16 it is clear. Does that same connection exist in your life?
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