BY MICHELLE WILLIAMS, VOLUNTEER EXTRAORDINAIRE
We’ve come to the ninth and final ingredient in the series A Taste of the Good Life. The icing on the cake is Peace, and the way to Peace is through Generosity.
In an entertaining bit of backstory, Pastor Doug explained how he grew up in church - in the “jungles of Alabama” - and he loved hymns. Many of the hymns spoke about the Peace of Heaven, but he was always drawn to the hymns that spoke about Peace now.
In the Bible, Jesus was known as the Prince of Peace before he ever arrived. Before he was born, as he was born, as he lived, and as he prepared to die, Jesus was all about his Peace.
The world’s definition of Peace hinges around the absence of trouble, which is precisely what makes it elusive. We cannot escape trouble. In John 16:33, Jesus said, “I have told you these things, so that you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
God’s Peace, the key to the Good Life, is not dependent on the absence of trouble, but rather knowing where to find Peace in the midst of trouble. God’s Peace is constant, and we find it in relationship with Jesus Christ.
Worry and stress are the most prevalent detractors from peace, and money is the most common cause of stress among Americans. Financial-related anxiety spans all ages and income levels and can cause symptoms most commonly associated with PTSD. These worries and fears are often why many of us do not practice generosity.
But as Pastor Doug put it, “Biblical generosity might be the best kryptonite to financial stress," because our generosity can bring the treasure of God’s Peace to someone else. Christ taught us that ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’ Scripture calls us to put others above ourselves, and to not build treasures on Earth for ourselves, but never says we shouldn’t build treasures on Earth for others. Doing so can transform our lives.
God desperately seeks relationship with us, and Jesus willingly paid the price for us to be able to have it. He promises to meet our needs so that we can meet his wants. Our relationship with God is possible when we fully surrender all our resources and intentionally prioritize everything to advance His Kingdom. To experience Peace, live generously.
If you missed Doug's sermon, or any other sermon in the series A Taste of the Good Life, you can find them on our website at gracechurch.us/sermons.