Summary: The first message in a series looking at things we can and hould be thankful for. This first message deals with the thought of being thankful for the ability (by God’s grace) to give, and the hinderances we face in this area
DESCRIBING GOD’S INDESCRIBABLE GIFT
2 Corinthians 9:1-15 (NIV)
INTRODUCTION: God’s indescribable gift is something we would not often; if ever define with the word indescribable. God’s indescribable gift is giving! For many of us, giving, finances, etc. are quite describable. We can describe them in a variety of ways; bank statements, checking accounts, the jingle in our pockets, etc. We can talk about them in relation to what we can do with it, or not do with it. We can even reduce the description to those that have and those that do not have. Yet, God, in all of His glory has declared that the very act of giving is something indescribable. This means that biblical giving is something that unable to recount or tell fully. And that is exactly the essence of biblical giving. It is an activity of the believer that we cannot fully understand, or fully describe, except to say that here as with every other area touched by the Word of God, the Scripture rings true!
1. DESCRIBED BY ACTIVITY – v.1-2
a. Service to the Saints
i. Paul is recounting activity between believers.
ii. Believers meeting the needs of other believers through financial means.
b. Eagerness to help
i. One of the things we need to develop is a perseverance for eagerness
ii. Easy to get excited at the beginning of something.
iii. Easy to get excited at the end of something
iv. Easy to lose excitement in the middle
c. Ready to give
i. H. STEVENSON, BEATRICE VAN said, “In time of peace prepare for war.”
ii. Preparation is the foundation of readiness
1. Are our hearts open to what God wants of us.
2. Is our faith secure enough to look beyond our fears to what could be the result of our action
3. We will never be ready to give anything but excuses if our hearts are not right with God.
d. Enthusiasm in action
i. Enthusiasm is contagious!
ii. If you want others to be excited about something, YOU need to be excited about something.
A guy drives into a ditch, but luckily, a farmer is there to help. He hitches his horse, Buddy, up to the car and yells, "Pull, Nellie, pull!" Buddy doesn’t move.
"Pull, Buster, pull!" Buddy doesn’t budge.
"Pull, Coco, pull!" Nothing.
Then the farmer says, "Pull, Buddy, pull!" And the horse drags the car out of the ditch.
Curious, the motorist asks the farmer why he kept calling his horse by the wrong name. "Buddy’s blind," said the farmer. "And if he thought he was the only one pulling, he wouldn’t even try."
2. DESCRIBED BY ACCOUNTABILITY – v.3-5
a. Accountability to another
i. We need accountability towards each other.
ii. Accountability is one of the reasons we publish an annual report, and have quarterly business meetings.
b. Valid testimony
i. This is why we encourage people to come in and ask questions about areas we are accountable for as a church.
ii. Paul tells us in this passage that accountability prevents us from “proving hollow”, or in other words, being empty.
c. A valid description of God’s gift of grace in giving is that we are walking the walk, not just talking the talk!
d. Sound preparation
i. Accountability helps us prepare.
ii. Just like tests in school are meant to encourage preparation, so accountability is meant to encourage regular growth and preparation in giving.
e. Assured confidence
i. Accountability assures confidence in each other
f. Completed tasks
i. Accountability assures assistance in completing tasks
g. Positive attitude generosity
i. One of Paul’s greatest concerns is that what should be a joyous event, will become a grudging activity
3. DESCRIBED BY GENEROSITY – v.6-7
a. Understand the principles of Biblical giving
i. Giving, just like scattering seed ALWAYS involves risk
ii. The people of this time were intimately familiar with the principles of an agricultural economy. Planting, weeding, and harvesting were common, everyday tasks. Everyone would have known of a foolish neighbor who had used too much of his grain instead of saving it as seed for his fields. Lavishly scattering seeds all over one’s fields was a risk. What if birds ate it up? What if the soil was inferior and wouldn’t produce a harvest? Keeping more seeds in storage might appear to be wise, a way to ensure against future disasters. But the farmer who scattered his seed meagerly inevitably would have a small harvest. A farmer who refused to risk his grain on the next year’s harvest would lose. Life Application Bible Commentary - Life Application Bible Commentary.
Proverbs 11:24-26 One man gives freely, yet gains even more; another withholds unduly, but comes to poverty. 25 A generous man will prosper; he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed. 26 People curse the man who hoards grain, but blessing crowns him who is willing to sell.