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An Extended Illustration About Generosity

March 11, 2008

In a sermon on Isaiah 58 a couple weeks ago I quoted from John Piper’s “Don’t Be Anxious, Lay Up Treasure” (to which I highly recommend listening).

[The context is a God-dependent, superhappy, radical kind of lifestyle of joyous, generosity that Christ is calling us to] For it is better to give than to receive.

“And all of you who have a little taste of generosity know that it’s the case that when you go to bed at night to have done well by someone who does not deserve it makes you sleep like a baby and to have protected your rights and not get taken in by that guy on the streets does not help you sleep well at all . . .

And when you stand before the judge, mark this, and this rascal liar, unbeliever, deceit, on the street stands before the judge beside you, Jesus looks at him, and no longer can he deceive anybody and he calls him to account for a lifetime of lying, deceiving, and scams he will be shamed and sentenced to hell.

And then the Lord will look at you, and believe me the last thing you will want to say at that moment is, “He never took me in. I never got taken in by that rascal. Didn’t trick me one time. I sent him away every time he came to my door.

That’s not the way Jesus taught us. You with tears in your eyes as you watch that man get sent away will say, “I did everything I could to show that man your lavish grace to him in his undeserving way. I know he misused everything I gave him. I know he did. And I just kept giving. And the Lord will say, “I watched it all, and I wrote it in a book. And that’s exactly what I taught you. We strove with him and he threw it all away.

That’s what you’d rather say.”

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