May 22 – Extravagant Generosity with Marcia Gould

I joined Lake Deaton United Methodist Church as many of you did with the launch on July 1, 2020.  Prior to that I primarily attended the Lake Deaton campus of New Covenant United Methodist Church and participated in the combined choirs Christmas and Easter music programs.  My husband, Jim, and I have been married for almost 30 years and have no children but have seven nieces and nephews.  My mom, Ellie, is 91 years old and lives in The Villages and my sister and I provide her daily care. I am a member of Lake Deaton UMC’s Financial Resources Team.

Scripture: They are to do good, to be rich in good works, generous, and ready to share, thus storing up for themselves the treasure of a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of the life that really is life.  1 Timothy 6:18-19

Give, and you will receive.  Your gift will return to you in full – pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, running over, and poured into your lap.  The amount you give will determine the amount you get back.  Luke 6:38

Devotion: Have you ever daydreamed about receiving a large bequest from a distant relative?  Did you think about how you would spend that large bequest – would it be fabulous vacation, or a new home or new car?  Would you donate a portion or all of the bequest to your church or charitable causes you support?

We are blessed!  We have received an immeasurable bequest from God!  He has given us life and has blessed us with the promise of eternal life with Him if we trust and believe in Him.  He sent Jesus to teach us about His great love for us and how to live our lives in obedience and faithfulness to Him.   Jesus taught us to trust in God in all things and he would provide for us.  Jesus taught us to love one another, do good works and be generous so that we may live the life that is intended for us by God.  Schnase tells us extravagant generosity is “a style and attitude of giving that is unexpectedly joyous, without predetermined limits, from the heart, extraordinary, over-the-top, and propelled by great passion.  Extravagant generosity is giving to God as God has given to us.” As a member of LDUMC’s Financial Resources Team, I see the donations and gifts the church has received and what we can spend on ministries.  One of the hardest things I must do in my church role is to recommend we not pursue a ministry we know would benefit our congregation and our community when we don’t have sufficient donations to pursue this ministry.  Think what extravagant generosity could do for our church and community if we could financially support those ministries currently not supported. What ministries do you wish LDUMC would support?  Are you willing to give extravagantly to support new ministries?

Discussion Questions:

  1. Search your own heart.  Why do you give?  Duty, Self-satisfaction, Prestige, Love’s compulsion?
  2. Write down things that we can do to help us become more generous as a church and congregation.

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