Summary: One of the purposes of our giving is to help those in need.
Faith & Giving Part 2 – How Can We Help?
Vs. 7 - Since you excel in so many ways—you have so much faith, such gifted speakers, such knowledge, such enthusiasm, and such love for us—now I want you to excel also in this gracious ministry of giving.1
How to Excel in Giving
1. Dedication – vs. 5 - “their first action was to dedicate themselves to the Lord and to us for whatever directions God might give them.”
Dedication to the Lord
Dedication to the Ministry
Supporting the ministry
Supporting the poor
“The least of these” - Matthew 25
2. Giving That Costs Us – vs. 2, 3 – “Though they have been going through much trouble and hard times, their wonderful joy and deep poverty have overflowed in rich generosity. 3 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.”
Giving that pleases God is giving that costs us. We must give in such a way that we go without something we would like to hang on to – travels forgone, clothing and cars that wait another season, pleasures put off.2
The Widow’s Offering – Mark 12:41-44
I do not believe one can settle how much we ought to give. I am afraid the only safe rule is to give more than we can spare. In other words, if our expenditure on comforts, luxuries, amusements, etc., is up to the standard common among those with the same income as our own, we are probably giving away too little. If our charities do not at all pinch or hamper us, I should say they are too small. There ought to be things we should like to do and cannot do because our charitable expenditures exclude them.3
3. Giving to Prove Your Love – vs. 8b - “This is one way to prove your love is real.”
2 Corinthians 9:13 - You will be glorifying God through your generous gifts. For your generosity to them will prove that you are obedient to the Good News of Christ. 4
4. Giving to Get - vs. 9 - You know how full of love and kindness our Lord Jesus Christ was. Though he was very rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, so that by his poverty he could make you rich.5
NOT SO YOU CAN KEEP IT!
SO YOU CAN GIVE IT AWAY!
The Widow of Zarephath - 1 Kings 17:8-16
1Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.
2 Kent Hughes, Luke, Volume II, (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books) 1998
3 C. S. Lewis, Mere Christianity (New York, NY: Macmillan) 1957
4Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.
5Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.