The Generous Heart

A generous hearted person understands that every resource we have in life comes from the gracious hand of Almighty God and is to be multiplied for Kingdom priorities and purposes. There is nothing that we own or steward that belongs fully to us, no matter how it was initially acquired. We enter this world with nothing in our hands but life itself, and we exit this world with nothing short of our final breath.

So why do we cling to the attachments of this world? An attachment to food can lead to gluttony. An attachment to passion can lead to lust. An attachment to winning can lead to bullying. An attachment to resources can lead to selfishness. An attachment to power can lead to manipulation. An attachment to our capabilities can lead to pride. An attachment to liberalities can lead to anarchy. An attachment to chemical substances can lead to addition.

The abundant life we’re invited into by Jesus requires a healthy detachment from the things of this world so that our hearts can fully attach to the heart of Christ. Only then will we know what inner contentment looks and feels like. Only then will we live a life of true joy, harmony, justice, continuity, effectiveness, faithfulness, obedience, sacrifice, mercy, and love. The abundant life of the Christ follower is experienced when we prayerfully make God’s priorities our daily priorities.

Jesus makes this profoundly clear in John 12: 23-26, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds. The man who loves his life will lose it, while the man who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honor the one who serves me.” The amazing paradox of this passage is contained in three insights: only by death comes life; only by spending life do we retain it; and only by service comes greatness.

In other words, it is only as we give that we genuinely receive. It is when we have sacrificed that we truly understand the fruitful blessing of the cross. It is when we die to ourselves, our own selfish ambitions, and our personal possessions, that we recover the true meaning of joy. When we fully understand the importance of sacrifice, we live generously for God’s glory and another’s good.

A generous heart knows with certainty that God prospers us not to raise our standard of living, but to raise our standard of giving. Unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. Therefore, detach from your kernels of possession (your time, talent and treasure) with an open hand of generosity toward Kingdom priorities and purposes, and then watch them reap a multiplied harvest more than you could ever ask, dream or imagine. It is in giving that we receive…so what do you have in your hand that needs to fall to the ground and die today?

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Steve Macchia

Founder & President

The Rev. Dr. Stephen A. Macchia is founder and president of Leadership Transformations, Inc. (LTI), a ministry serving the spiritual formation, discernment, and renewal of leaders and learners since 2003. For more than 20 years he has been the Director of the Pierce Center for Disciple-Building at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, where he also serves as an adjunct faculty member in the Doctor of Ministry Program. From 1989-2003 he was the president of Vision New England, the largest regional church renewal association in the country. Earlier in his ministry life, Steve was a member of the pastoral staff of Grace Chapel in Lexington, Massachusetts for 11 years. He is the author or co-author of 17 books, including The Discerning Life (Zondervan Reflective), and Crafting a Rule of Life, Becoming A Healthy Church (LTI), and Broken and Whole (IVP).  He and his wife Ruth live in the Boston (MA) area and are the proud parents of two married children and grandparents to three adorable grandchildren. Steve’s personal website is www.SteveMacchia.com.

My soul comes alive singing the great hymns of the church and enjoying the beauty of God’s creation. I’m in awe of God for fulfilling the dream for LTI that he birthed in my heart, for the team he has assembled, and the transformational impact experienced in the leaders and teams we serve.

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Mitzi Mak

Selah-West Faculty

Mitzi started her professional life as a high school social studies teacher. She and her husband Jerry then served cross-culturally for ten+ years, living abroad first in India and then Kurdistan, N. Iraq. In addition to being a Spiritual Director, she now serves as a Formation and Care pastor in her local church in Houston, TX. She has graduated from LTI’s Selah Spiritual Direction training as well as LTI’s Emmaus Formational Leadership Program.

Mitzi enjoys engaging conversation, reading fiction, doing jigsaw/crossword puzzles, ocean gazing and exploring the world with Jerry through food and travel.

God has two main callings in Mitzi’s life: to care for those who care for others and to be a guide in helping others have a healthy relationship with the Trinity – recognizing God’s loving presence and activity in their lives and how to faithfully respond.

Selah was a transformative experience for me – allowing the contemplative within to emerge and to beautifully co-exist with my extraverted personality.