Greater #6 – Greater Generosity
1 Corinthians 16:1-3 (NIV)
1 Now about the collection for the Lord’s people: Do what I told the Galatian churches to do. 2 On the first day of every week, each one of you should set aside a sum of money in keeping with your income, saving it up, so that when I come no collections will have to be made. 3 Then, when I arrive, I will give letters of introduction to the men you approve and send them with your gift to Jerusalem.
2 Corinthians 8:1-5
1 And now, brothers and sisters, we want you to know about the grace that God has given the Macedonian churches. 2 In the midst of a very severe trial, their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity. 3 For I testify that they gave as much as they were able, and even beyond their ability. Entirely on their own, 4 they urgently pleaded with us for the privilege of sharing in this service to the Lord’s people. 5 And they exceeded our expectations: They gave themselves first of all to the Lord, and then by the will of God also to us.
2 Corinthians 8:7
7 But since you excel in everything—in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in complete earnestness and in the love we have kindled in you —see that you also excel in this grace of giving.
Charis – that which affords joy, pleasure, delight
> Guidelines for giving:
1) Our giving is a test of our genuineness
2 Corinthians 8:8
8 I am not commanding you, but I want to test the sincerity of your love by comparing it with the earnestness of others.
1 John 3:17-18
17 If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person? 18 Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.
2) We give generously because Christ gave generously
2 Corinthians 8:9
9 For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich.
3) We give according to what we have, not what we don’t have
2 Corinthians 8:12
12 For if the willingness is there, the gift is acceptable according to what one has, not according to what one does not have.
Can you do better with what you do have?
4) We give faithfully, not grudgingly
2 Corinthians 9:5-7
5 So I thought it necessary to urge the brothers to visit you in advance and finish the arrangements for the generous gift you had promised. Then it will be ready as a generous gift, not as one grudgingly given. 6 Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. 7 Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.
5) The Lord blesses our giving
2 Corinthians 9:8-9
8 And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. 9 As it is written: “They have freely scattered their gifts to the poor; their righteousness endures forever.”
a) He blesses us abundantly
2 Corinthians 9:8
8 And God is able to bless you abundantly…
10 “Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the Lord Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it.”
b) He blesses us by meeting our needs
2 Corinthians 9:8
8 …so that in all things at all times, having all that you need…
31 [Jesus said,] “Do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself.”
c) He blesses us so we will bless others.
2 Corinthians 9:8
8 …having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.
2 Corinthians 9:10-11
10 Now He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness. 11 You will be enriched in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God.
> Our challenge to give: