New Hope Notes


Pastor Wayne Cordeiro
January 17, 2016 - W1603

Today we will talk about the spirit of Generosity. As you know, we are in the midst of a building campaign.  The campaign is really an opportunity for us to get our lives in balance and to learn God’s heart of generosity and become more like Him.  He wants us to know that everything God asks us to do is for our benefit, not for His.  God wants to change the way we think about generosity.  We have been raised in a society that says it’s all about you, hold on to what you have, and keep it.  God is saying, “No, no.  I want to teach you to be a people of generosity and give so that I can pour more into you.  If you keep what you have, you will become a cul-de-sac, but if you give it away you become a channel through which others are blessed.”  God is saying, “I have a ton to give you but if you stop it here I can’t give you anymore.  I own the cattle on a thousand hills, the gold and the silver are mine.”  The key to abundant blessings is the spirit of generosity because it opens the windows of heaven for God to pour out blessings that cannot be contained.

 John 6:5-13, “When Jesus looked up and saw a great crowd coming toward Him, He said to Philip, ‘Where shall be buy bread for these people to eat?’ He asked this only to test him, for He already had in mind what He was going to do.  (Every miracle that you need, God already has it prepared, but He will test you before He opens up the windows of heaven.  You hold the keys to abundance. Luke 12:32 says, “…for it is my Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.” It is not only money, but also your sense of values, the way you think, whether we say yes or no to God, or are generous or selfish.  This is a test.)  Philip answered him, ‘“Eight months” wages would not buy enough bread for each one to have a bite!’ Another of His disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, spoke up, ‘Here is a boy with five small barley loaves and two small fish, but how far will they go among so many?’  Jesus said, ‘Have the people sit down.’  There was plenty of grass in that place, and the men sat down, about five thousand of them.   Jesus then took the loaves, gave thanks, and distributed to those who were seated as much as they wanted.  He did the same with the fish.  When they all had enough to eat, He said to His disciples, ‘Gather the pieces that are left over, let nothing be wasted.’  So they gathered them and filled twelve baskets with the pieces of the five barley loaves left over by those who had eaten.”  Amazing miracle!  It contains keys that we want to look at and see what happens when we give.

  1. When we give, we honor God. When we give sacrificially, we become more like Christ and develop His heart of generosity. There are parts of a heart of compassion that will never be developed unless you go to a third world country and see the poverty. Suddenly, certain areas of your thinking is developed that would not be developed any other way. Certain characteristics of our lives are only developed through generosity; so, if I withhold what God says to give, I will never understand the meaning of sacrificial giving. God owns everything and He gives us everything we need.

Deuteronomy 8:18 says, “But remember the Lord your God, for it is He who gives you the ability to produce wealth, and so confirms His covenant, which He swore to our forefathers, as it is today.” God coaches and prompts us so that we can obtain what He wants to give us. Some characteristics are built only through a spirit of generosity, such as, our character, ethics, sacrifice, etc. 

I believe God is more interested in our gratefulness than anything else. He owns it all and He gave us the brains and the power to create wealth. When He blesses, helps, and keeps us safe, our hearts should be filled with gratefulness every day.  When we are not grateful, we covet what others have and are never satisfied.  Gratefulness is a huge character quality that has yet to be developed.  God wants us to be generous and give; not say, “No, it’s my money!” God wants our first fruits, which is mentioned 31 times in the Bible.  When we give our first fruits, we are saying, “Thank you God for providing for me.”

The purpose of tithing is to teach us to always put God first in our lives. God knows that our hearts follow our giving.  If you invest in a sailboat, you can be in church but your heart would be on the open seas.  Matthew 6:19-20 says, “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.  I cannot think of a better place to connect my heart to than in the things of God.  Even though my flesh says, “No, I have other responsibilities,” I make it a choice to give first to God.  Giving is a choice, not an emotional high.  The tithe is putting God first.  Whatever you want God to bless put Him there first.  If you want God to bless your home, put God first in your home.  If you want God to bless your finances, put God first in your finances.

2. When we give, we bless others.  When the boy gave his loaves and fish to Jesus, not only did it connect his heart to that miracle, but it also allowed 5,000 people to eat and witness a miracle.  Acts 4:34-35 says, “There were no needy persons among them. For from time to time those who owned lands or houses sold them, brought the money from the sales and put it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to anyone as he had need.”  Generosity blesses others.  Think of a time when someone gave you something.  How did it make you feel?

When you give to God, others are blessed in the church, such as, our children’s ministry, our counseling department that helps people going through depression, addiction, grief, loss, etc. We also have a program for inmates’ families to come here on the weekends to visit with their incarcerated spouses via Skype. When you give here, churches are planted around the world.  Last year, through your giving, over a thousand people received Christ and were born again, many are being baptized, children are being dedicated, and though the benefits of your giving may not be known until we get to heaven. 

May I challenge you to put a “Bless Others” line item in your budget to give to others in need? Those little things are good for our souls—it will develop a spirit of generosity.  Little do you know what God will do in that person’s life! 

  1. When we give, we are blessed. Don’t you think the little boy was blessed when Jesus turned his lunch into a large buffet that fed 5,000 people? Malachi 3:10, 12 says, “Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in My house. ‘Test Me in this,’ says the Lord Almighty…” (This is the only time in the entire Bible when God says to test Him. When Anna and I got married we decided to tithe. We gave fifty dollars on our five hundred dollars a month salary. When I look back I can see God’s blessings in my life. How many times has God healed me? How many times has He saved me from making huge mistakes? I wonder how many times He blocked my way when I could have fallen into temptation and destroyed many people who were looking my way for examples of faith. I’m absolutely amazed!) “…and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it. I will prevent pests from devouring your crops, and the vines in your fields will not cast their fruit,’ says the Lord Almighty. ‘Then all the nations will call you blessed, for yours will be a delightful land,’ says the Lord Almighty.” You cannot out-give God.

Tithing will also develop gifts that are latent in you. There are some things that you develop and learn only through generosity. I tell God, “Every time you ask me to do something it’s not for you, but it’s for me isn’t it, God?  I get it!”  To those of you who are still learning to tithe, I want to present a three-month (90-day) tithing challenge to test God and see if He will not change your life.  Let it be a commitment that compels you to give not because it feels good but because you make it your choice.  Decide that even if you don’t want to, you’re going to give God your first fruits.  It will be your decision, your commitment to say that you’re going to try this and learn to give God your first fruits.  You will become an open channel, not a cul-de-sac.  You will become a conduit through which God will continuously give through you. 

Let me finish with a true story by Eddie Ogan who lived through this. He writes, “I’ll never forget that Easter back in 1946.  I was 14, my little sister Lilly was 12, and my older sister Darlene was 16.  My dad died five years ago, leaving my mom to raise us kids by herself.  We were happy.  We had one another.  A month before Easter, the pastor of our church announced that a special Easter offering would be taken to help a poor family.  So he asked everyone to save and give sacrificially.  When we got home, we talked about what we could do so we decided to buy 50 pounds of potatoes and live on that for a month.  This would allow us to save $20 from our food budget for the offering and if we kept our electricity turned down as much as possible we could save on the electric bill.  Darlene my older sister got as many house and yard cleaning jobs as possible and all of us babysat for everyone we could.  At night we sat around and talked about how the poor family would enjoy having the money the church would give them.  We had about 80 people in our church in a rural community and we figured whatever amount of money we had to give, the offering would surely be 20 times that much because the whole church would do the same.  After all, every Sunday the pastor was reminding everyone to save for that sacrificial offering.  That month was the best of our lives and the day before Easter we were so excited we could hardly sleep because we had gathered a total of $70 for that sacrificial offering.  We could hardly wait to get to church.  When the sacrificial offering was taken, my mom put in a $10 bill and each of us kids put in $20 each, for a total of $70.  As we walked home after church, we skipped and sang all the way.  At lunch mom had a surprise for us.  She had bought a dozen eggs and we boiled them as Easter eggs and had them with some fried potatoes.  Later that afternoon, the minister drove up to our house.  Mom went to the door, talked to him a few minutes, and came back.  We asked what they were talking about, but she didn’t say a word.  She had in her hands an envelope.  She opened the envelope and out fell a bunch of money.  In it was a $20 bill, another $20 bill, and a third $20 bill and a $10 bill and 17 $1 bills.  Mom put the money back in the envelope.  We didn’t talk.  We just sat and looked at the floor.   We had gone from feeling like millionaires to feeling like poor trash.  We didn’t have a lot of things but we never thought we were poor.  But we found out that Easter that we are that poor family.  I didn’t like being poor.  That night we sat in silence for a long time and all that week none of us talked very much.  We didn’t want to go to church that Sunday but mom said we had to.  Mom began to sing a chorus but none of us joined in.  At church that day we had a missionary speaker.  He talked about a church in Asia that had an orphanage that needed money to build an outdoor toilet and shower.  He said a hundred dollars would give the children a bathroom.  The minister stood up and said, ‘Can’t we all sacrifice and help these people?’  We looked at each other and it was the first time that week that we smiled because you see mom reached into her purse and pulled out that envelope.  She passed it to Darlene, Darlene passed it to me, I handed it over to Lilly, and Lilly put that whole envelope in the offering.  When the offering was counted, the minister announced that it was a little over one hundred dollars - just enough for the bathroom.  The missionary was so excited.  He got up and came to the podium and said that he had not expected such a large offering from our small church.  He said, ‘You must have some rich people in this church.’  It suddenly struck us that we had given $87 of that little over $100 offering.  We were that rich people in that church!  Hadn’t the missionary said so?  From that day on, I’ve never been ‘poor’ again.  I’ve always remembered how rich I am because we have Jesus; He has shown us the key to be rich, indeed.”  Isn’t that a great story?


  1. What is the key that will open the windows of heaven for us?

  2. When we give sacrificially, we become ____________________________.

  3. What is the purpose of tithing?

  4. When we give to God who does it bless?