Summary: God blesses our faithful giving.
November 23, 2008
Text: 2 Corinthians 9:1-15
Subject: Missions Giving
Title: Giving Above and Beyond
Two weeks ago I talked to you about witnessing and how as a church it is our responsibility to make sure that the gospel is taken out into the world. If you remember from Isaiah 6, the prophet said, “Here am I, send me!” I want to carry on with that theme today with the idea that the church, being the instrument of God for evangelization of the world, has the responsibility to all who are perishing to make every effort to get the gospel to them. Now obviously we cannot all go to Africa or China or South America to spread the gospel but we can provide for those who are called to do that.
I want to look at some scriptures today that will help us to understand that we have a responsibility to God to answer the call for the evangelization of the world and how we can expect to be blessed because of our response.
J.L. Kraft, head of the Kraft Cheese Corporation, who had given approximately 25% of his enormous income to Christian causes for many years, said, "The only investment I ever made which has paid consistently increasing dividends is the money I have given to the Lord."
W. A. Criswell, A Guidebook for Pastors, p. 154.
Before we get started in 2 Corinthians let’s look at one verse. Malachi 3:10, 10Bring 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 you will not have room enough for it.
The result of giving your tithe to the Lord is that He will pour out so many blessings that you won’t be able to contain them all. Here is the difference between what we’re talking about today and the tithe. The tithe is for the operation of the local church. It is what God expects from you – and He blesses it. But what we’re talking about today is an offering to meet needs above and beyond the tithe. If you think that God blesses the tithe – and we know He does by the many testimonies we have heard – what do you think He will do with your offerings?
Let’s look today to see what plans God has for us in supporting our missionaries. I want to begin by reading a verse from Philippians 4:19 and then we will look at 2 Corinthians 9 as we go through the scriptures.
19And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.
Lord, open my eyes to see and my ears to hear what the spirit is saying to the church.
I. A WILLINGNESS TO HELP (1-5) 1There is no need for me to write to you about this service to the saints. 2For I know your eagerness to help, and I have been boasting about it to the Macedonians, telling them that since last year you in Achaia were ready to give; and your enthusiasm has stirred most of them to action. 3But I am sending the brothers in order that our boasting about you in this matter should not prove hollow, but that you may be ready, as I said you would be. 4For if any Macedonians come with me and find you unprepared, we—not to say anything about you—would be ashamed of having been so confident. Here is what was going on. Paul was taking an offering for the church in Jerusalem. He had spoken to the church in Corinth about the Macedonian church’s willingness to give. As a matter of fact the church in Philippi had been the one constant source of support for Paul’s missionary activity. In 2 Corinthians 8, 1And now, brothers, we want you to know about the grace that God has given the Macedonian churches. 2Out of the most severe trial, their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity. 3For I testify that they gave as much as they were able, and even beyond their ability. Entirely on their own… Paul commended the church in Philippi for their generosity. But did you notice that he said that the church was giving out of extreme poverty? Even though they could not afford to give they gave anyhow. Philippians 1, 3I thank my God every time I remember you. 4In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy 5because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, 6being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. The church didn’t just talk about helping – they did something about it. Paul says that the church is involved in a partnership with missionaries in spreading the gospel around the world.