Generosity: Excel in the Grace of Giving!
“But since you excel in everything — in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in complete earnestness, and in the love we have kindled in you — see that you also excel in this grace of giving” (2 Corinthians 8:7)
Generosity — one of those words that’s easy to gloss over and take for granted. But what does it actually mean? The dictionary (Merriam-Webster) defines it as “the quality or fact of being generous; a generous act.” Also, “abundance; great generosity of spirit.” But how does God define generosity? Perhaps Luke 12:48 provides some Biblical perspective: “From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.”
And Jesus’ impactful parable in Luke 12:16-20 offers some additional Biblical perspective: “The ground of a certain rich man yielded an abundant harvest. He thought to himself, ‘What shall I do? I have no place to store my crops.’ “Then he said, ‘This is what I’ll do. I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store my surplus grain. And I’ll say to myself, “You have plenty of grain laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink, and be merry.”‘ “But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?’”
The word legacy – much like generosity – has different shades of meaning. Here, however, we refer to legacy in the context of Christian stewardship, which embodies generosity of spirit. Jesus says in Matthew 25:40: “Truly I tell you, whatever you did for the least of these my brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” “If the (rich) man in Luke 12 had left his grain for the poor, he could have made a lasting difference, not only for their welfare, but for the Kingdom,” wrote Catherine Durant in her 10/10/2014 blog, Stewardship: Transforming Generosity. “If we want to be known for living like Jesus, we need to be counter-cultural in a world where the average person’s desire is to leave a legacy of personal success and achievement,” continues Ms. Durant, adding: “The legacy Jesus left was sacrifice. Leaving a legacy not only benefits Christian charities that desperately need support, it’s a final act of a life that witnesses to God’s own generosity and compassion.”
What legacy will you leave?
On Thurs., April 15, 2021, from 7-8:30 p.m., E91 Foundation and E91 church – in conjunction with Christian Financial Resources (CFR) – will co-host a virtual “Will/Trust Seminar” via Zoom. Please consider joining us and watch for more details as they become available.
Incorporated in 1994, East 91st Street Christian Church started the E91 Foundation as a long-term Christian charitable entity separate from the church’s day-to-day business and budget. The Foundation was formed to provide members and friends with an opportunity to leave a long-lasting legacy of Christian service and missions through bequests, memorials, and gifts. The Foundation adheres to Christian beliefs and principles and provides a vehicle for the broader Christian community to remember Christ and give a portion of their family’s final assets or unexpected proceeds back to God.
We invite you to prayerfully consider partnering with us by donating to the E91 Foundation. While a board maintains the endowment and grants funds to qualifying entities, donors can make contributions for specific purposes or create an endowed fund. The board then uses the interest each year within the donor’s guidelines to fund missions and ministries.
If you’re interested in making a one-time donation to the E91 Foundation, we can accept cash, check, or donation via PayPal. If a check, please make it payable to “East 91st Street Christian Church Foundation.” Checks or cash may be sent via regular mail to: East 91st Street Christian Church Foundation, 6049 E. 91st Street, Indianapolis, IN 46250. You may also make a one-time donation or a legacy memorial gift via PayPal on the Foundation’s website (www.e91foundation.org). Any E91 Foundation board member is also able to accept donations, answer questions, or help you through the process, or you can visit www.e91foundation.org to get more information or to contact us to help expand God’s kingdom. Please visit www.e91foundation.org for an electronic version of the Foundation’s brochure, “2019 in Review…2020 in View.”
Through the first nine months of 2020, E91 Foundation has awarded grants totaling $91,456. During 2019 — its 25th Anniversary — the Foundation awarded grants totaling $116,381. And, since its founding, E91 Foundation has granted nearly $1.5 million to evangelical nonprofit ministries in Indianapolis and throughout the world. The generosity of our donors makes it all possible!
As Jesus teaches us in Luke 21:1-4: “And He looked up and saw the rich putting their gifts into the treasury, and He saw also a certain poor widow putting in two mites. So He said, ‘Truly I say to you that this poor widow has put in more than all; for all these out of their abundance have put in offerings for God, but she out of her poverty put in all the livelihood that she had.’”
Indeed, Excel in the Grace of Giving!
Blair and Beth Austin