Modern Dinner Party [00:00-00:20]

Jon: Imagine your friend invites you to a party. You arrive and there’s lots of people, decorations, food, and drink—there’s enough for everyone.

Tim: When you’re hosted by someone that generous, you don’t have to worry about your needs. You can just enjoy yourself and focus on the people around you.

Jon: Yeah. That’s what a good host wants for her guests.

Garden of Eden [00:20-00:45]

Tim: And this is the picture of the world that we find in the Bible. Creation is an expression of God’s generous love1. He’s the host, and humans are his guests in a world of opportunity and abundance2.

Jon: And we’re called to keep the party going, to spread his goodness3. This is a beautiful picture, but it’s not the way people experience the world. Rather, we find a world of scarcity and struggle—not abundance.

Jesus’ Biblical Imagination [00:46-01:54]

Tim: And Jesus grew up in that kind of world, under military occupation, people losing their land, their families to debt and poverty.

And yet he would say things like this: “Look at the birds. They don’t store up food for themselves, yet they have enough.” Or “Consider the wildflowers. They’re beautiful, and abundant, and they don’t stress about their existence. And you all should live that way too.”4

Jon: But surely Jesus knew that things don’t always work out. I mean, sometimes there really isn’t enough.

Tim: And Jesus experienced poverty firsthand. But he viewed the world through the story of the Hebrew Scriptures, which claim that our scarcity problem isn’t caused by a lack of resources. Rather, the problem is our mindset that God can’t be trusted5.

Jon: Maybe God’s holding out on me. Maybe there isn’t enough. And maybe I need to take matters into my own hands.

Tim: And once we’re deceived into that mindset of scarcity, we can justify the impulse to take care of me and mine before anyone else. And that leads to envy and anger, violence, and a world where it seems like there’s not enough6.

Jon: The party's over. It’s turned into a battleground.

Abraham’s Calling, Israel’s Failure [01:54-02:39]

Tim: But God wants humans to experience his generosity, and so he chooses one people, the family of Abraham. And he promises to give them the abundance that he wants for everybody else7. God will provide what they need8. All they have to do is trust his generosity.

Jon: And through them, the whole world will see how generous the host really is.

Tim: But that’s not what happens. Abraham’s descendants, the Israelites, enter a land of abundance, and they promptly forget the host who gave it to them. They act like it’s all theirs and like there’s not enough, and it leads to war and to Israel’s self-destruction9.

Jon: If I were the host of this party, I think I’d just give up.

Tim: But God doesn’t give up. What he does is surprising. He gives another gift.

Jon: Another gift?

Jesus Living Out Generosity [02:40-03:20]

Tim: Yeah, but this gift is different. What God gives is himself.

Jon: Oh right, in Jesus, the host himself comes to join in on the spoiled party.

Tim: And notice, Jesus lives with the conviction that there is enough and that our generous host can be trusted. His mindset of abundance allowed him to live sacrificially and generously, even towards his enemies10.

Jon: And Jesus called his followers to trust in God’s abundance like him.

Tim: And that’s why he said things like, “Sell your possessions and give to the poor.”11 Or “Don’t worry about your life.”12 He’s inviting us to live by a different story, one that is built on trust in God’s goodness and love.

Jesus’ Suffering [03:21-03:59]

Jon: But living generously doesn’t mean life is going to go well. I mean, look at Jesus. He was betrayed by his friends, and he suffered13.

Tim: And this was no surprise to Jesus. He knew that people would take advantage of his generosity. In fact, that was his plan14.

Jon: Really?

Tim: Yeah, think about it. Jesus knows that we’re all hopelessly deceived by this lie that there’s not enough.

Jon: Yeah. That lie needs to be defeated.

Tim: And so that’s what Jesus was doing when he gave us the gift of his life. Jesus’ death was the ultimate expression of God’s generous love15.

Jon: Yeah. God’s love can turn death into life and scarcity back into abundance16.

Jesus’ Generosity Transforms the Early Church [04:00-04:30]

Tim: Or as the apostle Paul put it, “You know the gift of our Lord Jesus the Messiah, that even though he was rich, for your sake he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich.”17

Jon: And Jesus called his followers to live like the real party has begun.

Tim: Yes. He called it the Kingdom of God18. And our invitation to this party is yet another gift, the personal presence of God’s Spirit that can teach us how to trust the generosity of the host, just like Jesus did19.

Generosity Today [04:31-05:11]

Jon: And when you believe there’s enough, you start seeing opportunities for generosity everywhere—with our time and money, our attention.

Tim: Yes. One of the most important ways that we can experience the abundance of God’s new creation is sharing with others because of our trust that God is the generous host.

1. Psalm 36:5-9
2. Genesis 1:26-28
3. Genesis 2:15
4. Luke 12:22-34
5. Genesis 3:1-6, 11:4
6. Genesis 4, 6
7. Genesis 12:1-3
8. Genesis 13:12-17
9. Jeremiah 2:7-13, 52:1-30
10. Matthew 5:43-48
11. Luke 12:33, Matthew 19:21
12. Matthew 6:25-34, Luke 12:22-34
13. Matthew 26:1-2, 14-16
14. Mark 10:45
15. John 3:16
16. 2 Corinthians 5:15, Romans 8:31-32
17. 2 Corinthians 8:9
18. Mark 1:15
19. John 14:26
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