Harmony Christian Church
Harmony Christian Church
Generating Thanks
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Whether you know it or not, your generosity is making a difference.  This week Kent takes us to the other side of the fence of generosity to help us see the difference we can make.  Be sure to stay tuned for the story at the end!  Love what’s happening at Harmony?  Help us advance the Kingdom by supporting our online ministry (harmonychurch.cc/give)  Have kids?  Check out Harmony Kids online (updated weekly)  https://www.harmonychurch.cc/harmony-kids-online/!


Sermon Notes Slide Key:

  • Sermons always start with “OPENING ILLUSTRATION:” and end with “CLOSING ILLUSTRATION:”
  • Red = Scripture slides (reflect formatting of scripture on slides, ie – underlines, bold, etc.)
  • All scriptures are NIV unless otherwise noted
  • Bold = Slide text
  • “b” or “B” on a line by iself = Slide break/New slide
  • Bold ALL CAPS WORDS = heading to be ignored
  • [some text] = programming notes to be paid attention to

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OPENING ILLUSTRATION:[have a piece of fence on stage and I take people to the other side?]We had moved into our house, I was moving some stuff to the back yard and I saw one of my kids on the pool ladder we have.  I said, “what are you doing?”  He said, “Dad, it’s so cool, I can look over our fence into our neighbors backyards…  They have a pool!”  I was like, “son, you can’t do that, people will think we’re creepy…”
Ha,
Sometimes you just need a peak over the fence to see what it’s like on the other side…
We’ve been talking about about generosity from a lot of different angles.  
We’ve talked about how -Storing up treasure in heaven is about investing in people – because people are the only thing that will translate from this life to the next-Generosity is more about the condition of your heart than your bank account-God didn’t give to give TO you but to give THROUGH you.
All of this has been focused on this side of the fence…  It’s been all about you…
Today, I want to take you to the other side of the fence – give you a peak of what’s over there…
Because, while there’s a lot going on in your heart when it comes to generosity, there’s even more happening on the other side of the fence…
Remember, we’ve been bouncing into 2 Corinthians the last few weeks – this is Paul talking to the Corinthian church trying to get them to consider being generous to the Christians in Jerusalem…  
And this is what he says to take them over the fence to to the other side – to see the impact their gift is making…
2 Corinthians 9:12-1512 This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of the Lord’s people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God. The service Paul is talking about is the generosity the Corinthians are leading with to care for people who have nothing…-their service is overflowing in expressions of thanks-he goes on to say13 Because of the service by which you have proved yourselves, others will praise God for the obedience that accompanies your confession of the gospel of Christ, and for your generosity in sharing with them and with everyone else. 14 And in their prayers for you their hearts will go out to you, because of the surpassing grace God has given you. 15 Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!

ILLUSTRATION:Later this week, all across our nation, people are going to sit down to eat entirely too much turkey, eat too much pie and fall asleep watching football with their belts undone because they ate WAY too much!  It’s one of the greatest holiday’s known to man 🙂
And around a lot of tables, people are going to do the thing where they ask one another what they are thankful for…
Paul is literally saying to the Corinthians that
When you lead in generosity, you create a cascade of thanksgiving…
Here’s the deal…
On this side of the fence there is a Solemn responsibility to funnel the resources God has entrusted to you.bThis is the side where you have a confession of the Gospel and everyone is waiting to see if you actually live it out…This is why Paul says:“you have proved yourselves, others will praise God for the obedience that accompanies your confession of the gospel of Christ”
You’ve proved yourself because you’ve actually obeyed what Jesus has asked of usOn this side of the fence – you’ve recognized that you are a funnel…
But what you may not realize, is that On the other side of the fence, your generosity is filling up what someone else was lacking…
ILLUSTRATION:Years ago I had a friend who I was trying to lead to Jesus, he was in the Air force and had been deployed several times.  He was pretty jaded.  Everything was going wrong in his life.  He had just called me and told me that his wife was probably going to get fired and asked if we could hang out.  I was driving there to see him and I was just praying, I was kind of mad at God.  because I knew he was going to ask me what the heck was going on.  He was trying to seek God and everything was going wrong.  It was like God didn’t even care.  
I’ll never forget as I was driving and interrogating God, I felt God whisper to me, “Kent, I sent you…”
God’s answer to my buddies prayers was not to fix all his problems, it was to use me to be in his life, to be there to walk through it with him..
Listen, Here’s what you don’t know about what is going on on the other side of this fence…
-There has been a mom who’s been praying and trying to figure out how she was going to feed her kids – and you gave her food-There’s a student who wanted to be able to go to youth group and be normal and buy pizza like everyone else, and you gave him a couple bucks to buy pizza-you baby sat for neighbor over and over again for free so they could apply for a job…
Here’s what you didn’t know was happening on the other side of the fence…
Those people, in the dark of their room had been praying for God to send some answer, for Him to show that He was there.  And you answered
Others of you have given faithfully to this church – this church does such a great job of handling your offering in an accountable way…-those gifts that you have faithfully given have translated into lives changed.
-It was donuts that have showed up on door steps of peoples houses-it’s been the moment the worship team led us in that one song, and their heart finally connected with Jesus and something bloomed in them…
It was ALL because of you and your generosity…
Literally you have caused a cascade of thanksgiving…
CLOSING ILLUSTRATION:[Sheila Testimonial Video]
We’ve got a little more than half a week to show up at peoples thanksgiving tables – not actually show up and eat all their turkey, but to show up by doing something that will cause them thanks, to make a ripple on the other side of the fence.  The question is, what are you going to