2017

 

 

2 Corinthians 8:1-7

Now I want you to know, dear brothers and sisters, what God in his kindness has done through the churches in Macedonia. 

They are being tested by many troubles, and they are very poor. But they are also filled with abundant joy, which has overflowed in rich generosity.

For I can testify that they gave not only what they could afford, but far more. And they did it of their own free will. They begged us again and again for the privilege of sharing in the gift for the believers in Jerusalem. 

They even did more than we had hoped, for their first action was to give themselves to the Lord and to us, just as God wanted them to do.

So we have urged Titus, who encouraged your giving in the first place, to return to you and encourage you to finish this ministry of giving. 

Since you excel in so many ways… I want you to excel also in this gracious act of giving.”

2 Corinthians 9

 I really don’t need to write to you about this ministry of giving for the believers in Jerusalem. 

For I know how eager you are to help, and I have been boasting to the churches in Macedonia that you in Greece were ready to send an offering a year ago. In fact, it was your enthusiasm that stirred up many of the Macedonian believers to begin giving.

But I am sending these brothers to be sure you really are ready, as I have been telling them, and that your money is all collected. I don’t want to be wrong in my boasting about you. We would be embarrassed—not to mention your own embarrassment—if some Macedonian believers came with me and found that you weren’t ready after all I had told them! 

So I thought I should send these brothers ahead of me to make sure the gift you promised is ready. But I want it to be a willing gift, not one given grudgingly.

Remember this—a farmer who plants only a few seeds will get a small crop. But the one who plants generously will get a generous crop. You must each decide in your heart how much to give. And don’t give reluctantly or in response to pressure. “For God loves a person who gives cheerfully.” And God will generously provide all you need. Then you will always have everything you need and plenty left over to share with others. 

As the Scriptures say,

“They share freely and give generously to the poor.
    

Their good deeds will be remembered forever.”

10 

For God is the one who provides seed for the farmer and then bread to eat. In the same way, he will provide and increase your resources and then produce a great harvest of generosity in you.

11 Yes, you will be enriched in every way so that you can always be generous. And when we take your gifts to those who need them, they will thank God.12 

So two good things will result from this ministry of giving—the needs of the believers in Jerusalem will be met, and they will joyfully express their thanks to God.

13 As a result of your ministry, they will give glory to God. For your generosity to them and to all believers will prove that you are obedient to the Good News of Christ. 14 And they will pray for you with deep affection because of the overflowing grace God has given to you. 15 

Thank God for this gift too wonderful for words!

Everyone Needs a Place… to Contribute

There is a direct connection between our relationship with money and possessions and our relationship with God.

“Stewardship is the act of organizing your life so that God can spend you.”

Lynn A. Miller

3 Biblical foundations:

1. God created everything.

2. God owns everything.

3. We are not owners but trustees of what we have.

2 Chronicles 29:11-15

Everything in the heavens and on earth is yours, O Lord, and this is your kingdom. We adore you as the one who is over all things.

12 

Wealth and honor come from you alone, for you rule over everything. Power and might are in your hand, and at your discretion people are made great and given strength.

13 “O our God, we thank you and praise your glorious name! 14 But who am I, and who are my people, that we could give anything to you? Everything we have has come from you, and we give you only what you first gave us! 15 

We are here for only a moment, visitors and strangers in the land as our ancestors were before us. Our days on earth are like a passing shadow, gone so soon without a trace.

1. Contribute Cheerfully

John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send his son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through him might be saved.”

1. God’s motivation was love.

2. God gave most valuable possession

3. God’s giving met our need

2 Cor. 8:4 They begged us again and again for the privilege of sharing in the gift”

2. Contribute From the Heart

Pray for the

willingness to GIVE

God will give you the

ABILITY to give.

The heart of the matter is a matter of the heart.

3. Become a Channel of God’s Giving

We are Blessed to be a Blessing.

Give with the heart of Jesus – “to proclaim Good News to the afflicted poor, recovery of sight to the blind, bind up the  brokenhearted, set the captives free, proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.”

2 Cor. 9:8, 10-11 “And God will generously provide all you need. Then you will always have everything you need and plenty left over to share with others.”

10 For God is the one who provides seed for the farmer and then bread to eat. In the same way, he will provide and increase your resources and then produce a great harvest of generosity in you.

11 Yes, you will be enriched in every way so that you can always be generous.

4. Don’t get trapped by Possessions

Make all you can, Save all you can, Give all you can – John Wesley

What have you done with what I have given you?

1. Contribute Cheerfully

2. Contribute From the Heart

3. Become a Channel of God’s Giving

4. Don’t get trapped by Possessions