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Summary: Sermon on Christian stewardship

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The Joy Of Generosity -

Generous Giving

Bible Reading:

2 Corinthians 9: 6-15

PREPARED BY

KEN GEHRELS

PASTOR

CALVIN CHRISTIAN REFORMED CHURCH

NEPEAN, ONTARIO

The Joy Of Generosity - Generous Giving p.1

Ever found yourself really inspired to do something after watching another person?

Perhaps someone who struggled with a weight issue and managed to work a diet/exercise program that

brought them back into great shape. You went home, looked in the mirror and tried to suck it in...... and

resolved that this time, this time, you were going to do it! No more fooling around.

Or a colleague at work takes time out to attend some professional training, and comes back with a

sharpened skills set. You resolved that this year, make no mistake, you’d be sure to do the same.

You hear the call go out to donate blood, turn to your husband and say, “It’s so right. Let’s make an

appointment.” And you determine to work it into the calendar that very week..... or maybe early next week, at

latest.

And then - well - you know how it goes.

Tim Horton’s is awfully inviting. And you start to nibble away at your diet plans.

Work gets busy. Kids need extra time. Garden could use a bit of work. And you’re not quite so sure

where that course is going to fit.

And the blood donation thing? Well, they’ll still be in need next month. Maybe then.......

Like dry ice sublimating - woof, up in a cloud of smoke.

Seems like the best of intentions often go that way.

Ever find that true for yourself?

Or is it only me?

Well, me...... and a bunch of Corinthian Christians.

Some time around 50AD a bunch of folk who’d gathered together as a church community in Macedonia

heard about suffering that was happening in Jerusalem – a terrible famine had hit.

The Macedonian believers were very poor. But out of the little they had, a substantial gift was scraped

together and sent to relieve those worse off than themselves.

It was an amazing thing to see. At least, that’s what another group of Christians thought, a bunch living

just to the south of Macedonia, in a town named Corinth. As they watched the Macedonians make huge

sacrifices and send along a gift that saved lives and gave hope to starving Jews, these Corinthian believers were

inspired to do the same. It was time to organize a relief drive, they decided; time to pull together an aid

package and join in the effort to send help to Jerusalem.

Somehow, though – somehow...... well, like we said:

Sometimes the best of intentions last as long as ice cream in July.

You look up, and somehow -- you’re not really sure how -

- somehow it’s all gone.

The apostle Paul gets wind of that, and decides to prod them on; push them to re-gather their once passionate

intentions, and translate them into action;

to open their wallets and pantries

to engage in some joyful, generous giving.

So he writes a letter, with some remarkably blunt and yet diplomatic language -

- smiling at them, while at the same time landing an elbow square in their ribs as he reminds them about

their earlier pledge and challenges them to pick up this ball they’ve dropped; to turn inspiration into perspiration -

thoughts into action.

He also takes some time to restate some central elements that these Corinthian folk needed to remember if

they were ever going to establish any sort of decent, regular pattern of giving and sharing in their personal and

communal lives.

The Joy Of Generosity - Generous Giving p.2

It’s those central elements that I’d like to share with you this morning as we put the wraps on our three-part Fall

series about Stewardship,

about handling the wealth, resources, time and potential that is in our lap.

Because, you know, being generous and sharing our wealth with others can become for us exactly what

it had become for Corinthian Christians — something that seems like a really good idea; something we never get

around to actually practising.

SERIES REVIEW

Before we dig into what the Bible has to say about motivation for giving, though, let’s quickly review

where we’ve been in previous weeks.

We’ve through our Fall series on a Christian approach to stewardship, to handling the resources and

opportunities that God has placed in our lap.

Beginning with week one, something we called Trees, Time, Talents and Treasures...... point being that

all these things:

our experience of nature

the times and seasons in which we live

the talents and abilities we find within ourselves

the resources, materials and wealth that’s in our lap

All these are not ours.

God is Creator; we are the Created

He is Landlord; we are the Tenants

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