Summary: Each of us here is needed. Every contribution we extend for the building of the body of Christ is very important.
Series Subject: Commitment to the Church
Theme: Serving God Through Giving Pt.1
Text: 2 Cor.8: 1-15
A. Last Thursday, we have witnessed the strong bond of the believers in this city; they came together in one accord, united to proclaim that Jesus is the Lord and the King of General Santos. I was really blessed to see the unity of God’s people. I know God was so delighted and was greatly glorified to see that His people were one in proclaiming His Lordship. I believe God is going to bless His people in this city with great abundance in affirmation to their unity. I am certain that God is going to do something to manifest and display His presence, His love, His grace, and His awesome power through His church here. Do you want to be part of God’s moving? When He works in His own special and mighty way, would you be with Him?
It’s my conviction my friends that God is preparing our congregation –us to be part of what He plans to do to His church in this city. That’s why, it’s no accident that God has been leading us to learn His Word about commitment, to Him first and then to His family, the church, to make us ready in what He is doing in the midst of His people. We should not be left behind, doing nothing on the fringe, because we belong! We should be part when God makes things happen. So be prepared.
B. Last Sunday we talked about commitment to one another. And we realized that as one in the family of God we have a duty to provide encouragement, to pray, and to share with one another. The word of God has reminded us of the truth that each believer is called, needed, gifted, equipped, and plays a significant role to help build up the body of Jesus. That’s why I’m just very eager today to say to you that each person inside this room is ordained by God to help build up the church. Each of us here is needed. Every contribution we extend for the building of the body of Christ is very important.
Now let’s open our Bibles to 2 Cor.8; 1-15. I’d like to speak from here the idea of serving God and the church by our commitment to giving.
C. There was a preacher who was trying to get his people to be more enthusiastic about the ministry of their church. The preacher said in his sermon: "If this church is going to get anywhere, it has to learn to crawl." The people responded, "Let it crawl, pastor, let it crawl!" Then he said, "And after it learns to crawl, it has to learn to walk." And the people said, "Let it walk, pastor, let it walk!" Now the preacher got excited and said, "After this church learns to walk, it has to learn to run!" The people shouted back, "Let it run, pastor, let it run!" Then excited with the response of the people he said, "And if this church is going to run, it’s going to take money!" And the people said, "Let it crawl, pastor, let it crawl.” My friends, if we are going to be with God in the building of His church, we are going to be ready with our heart and with our purses as well. The ministry of building up the body of Christ needs a generous heart and a giving hand.
Well, the subject of giving to the church is something that makes church people uncomfortable. And many pastors tried to shun from preaching to their congregations the subject of giving, afraid that they might be misunderstood by the people, afraid that people might develop malicious impression and perception about them and the church. But what does the Bible say about serving God through giving? God’s people must know, understand and give based on what the Word of God teaches. In our passage, the apostle Paul laid out the reasons that, if understood well, lead every believer to give with a joyful heart.
I. SHARING THE GRACE OF GOD (VS.1-7)
To encourage the Corinthian church to follow through with their promise to help the church in Jerusalem, Paul made mention of the giving of the Macedonian churches to help ease the financial and economic problems of the believers in Jerusalem. Looking at their situation, it would not appear that God had blessed the Macedonian churches because they too were suffering poverty and afflictions. But throughout all the problems in that region, the churches in Macedonia felt the grace of God shining upon them.
They were said to have given even “beyond their means” because they were overflowing with joy over the grace they received from God –the grace of salvation. And they didn’t forget that they owe their experience of God’s grace to the church in Jerusalem because of its missionary work. They received the grace of God through them, now they were more than willing to share it back in the form of sacrificial help.