Message Follow Up - January 17, 2021
What we call the “reciprocity ethic” was very strong in the Greco-Roman world Jesus lived in, and pervasive in Jewish society as well. As Jesus sits at the table of this Pharisee, he knows well the mindset he’s addressing. One would act in a generous way toward others in order to elicit similar generosity in return. And conversely, if someone extended kindness or generosity to you, you’d feel a strong ethical obligation to reciprocate. While this reciprocity ethic may not be as explicit in our way of thinking, it is undeniably present in our world today as well… it lies just beneath the surface in many of our personal interactions.
If we’re honest, we have to admit that there’s not a whole lot we do that isn’t somehow motivated or influenced by our own self-interest. On certain levels, that’s OK… the goal of reciprocity is not inherently evil or impure. There are many contexts in which it’s appropriate and even good. For example, in business, mutual satisfaction is the highest goal… this is what defines ideal business transaction. In relationships, it’s natural and certainly not wrong to hope that we’ll be loved in return for the love we give (children, etc.). However – as he always does – Jesus comes to us with some questions that probe into the depths of our hearts and motivations, and push us beyond these natural human tendencies.
Jesus calls us to a selfless love that expends itself for others without regard for what they can give us in return. That simply doesn’t come naturally to us. In our sinful nature, we are bent toward doing things that are in our own self-interest, and neglecting things that don’t really offer any benefit to us. Against the grain of ancient culture, against the grain of our culture today, and against the grain of our natural human tendencies and sinful nature, Jesus teaches us here that true Christian generosity goes beyond the bounds of reciprocity.
The Sermon Text
“He said also to the man who had invited him, “When you give a dinner or a banquet, do not invite your friends or your brothers or your relatives or rich neighbors, lest they also invite you in return and you be repaid. But when you give a feast, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you. For you will be repaid at the resurrection of the just.”” (Luke 14:12–14 ESV)
The Main Point of the Sermon
True Christian generosity goes beyond the bounds of reciprocity.
Among the varied, and many, applications one might consider we were happy to introduce Covenant Mercies as a key partner that we intend on connecting with as a church family. Below you will find various links and videos introducing Covenant Mercies and ways to personally partner with them.
Introduction to Covenant Mercies
(given by CM's Executive Director, Doug Hayes,
at SGC Dayton on January 17, 2021)
Consider Subscribing to Covenant Mercies YouTube Channel
You will find many videos on this channel that give more details on the variety of ways God is moving in and through Covenant Mercies.
Consider Sponsoring an Orphan
On Sunday morning, nine children were sponsored. Thank God! We know that some had to go home and prayerfully consider what the Lord would have you do right now. We also know that there were many who weren't in attendance who would like to have the opportunity to begin sponsoring a child. Click the link above to begin the process.
RESOURCES FOR THIS WEEK
Read the Following Scriptures
(while you listen if you can)
Day 1 - Micah 4-5
Day 2 - Luke 10:30-37; Psalm 146
Day 3 - Isaiah 1:2-17; Psalm 147
Day 4 - Proverbs 28; Psalm 82
Day 5 - Proverbs 29; Romans 12:15-18; Zechariah 7:9-10
Day 6 - Proverbs 21; Isaiah 51:4-5; Deuteronomy 10:12-21
January New Song