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Summary: Principles on Giving. (PowerPoint slides to accompany this talk are available on request – email: gcurley@gcurley.info)

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SERMON OUTLINE:

(1). Illustrations of Godly Giving (vs 1-9):

#1: The Macedonians (vs 1-5)

#2: Jesus Christ (vs 9)

(2). Hindrances to Godly Giving (vs 10-15):

#1: Procrastination (vs 10-11a)

#2: Hesitation (vs 11b-12)

#3: Overreaction (vs 12)

#4: Exception (vs 13-15)

(3). Principles Regarding Godly Giving (vs 16-24)

#1: Only qualified people should handle financial matters (vs 16-19 & 22-23).

#2: Money matters should be administered honestly and openly (vs 19b-21).

SERMON BODY:

ill:

• Bank robber Willie Sutton, when asked why he robbed banks,

• He reply was simple and to the point: "Because that’s where the money is."

• TRANSITION: 2 Corinthians chapter 8 & 9 is where the money is;

• Or rather are key passages in the Bible that talk about our money and our giving.

Ill:

• A sign in the back of a car had a picture of the seven dwarfs:

• It should have read: “Hi ho, hi ho, it’s off to work I go.”

• But instead it read: “I owe, I owe, so it’s off to work I go.”

• TRANSITION: 2 Corinthians chapter 8 & 9 are reminders to every Christian ‘we owe’

• All that we have we owe to the Lord – let me illustrate it.

Ill:

• I guess many of us as parents have taken their kid’s to MacDonald’s.

• You have forked out some of your hard earned cash to pay for it;

• You receive your dinner;

• And now you retire at one of the tables to indulge in these culinary delights.

• As you begin this feast you realize that you’ve only ordered small fries not large,

• And if there is one thing MacDonald’s does extremely well it is their fries,

• So as Father you reach over to one of your children;

• And help yourself to a few extra fries from their packet.

• When suddenly his hand is upon yours he looks deep into your eyes and says,

• “Don’t eat my fries”.

• His fries! His fries!

• You earned the money for the meal?

• You drove the car to get to the golden arches?

• You ordered the meal?

• You paid for the meal?

• And your offspring is talking about; “His fries!”

• His fries!

• But how often do we refuse to give God some of ‘our’ fries?

• TRANSITION: 2 Corinthians chapter 8 & 9 are reminders that ‘all we have’

• All that we have we owe to the Lord;

• But how often do we refuse to give God some of ‘our’ fries?

• The theme of 2 Corinthians chapters 8&9 is about:

• Generosity in giving, financial giving from a cheerful heart.

(1). ILLUSTRATIONS OF GODLY GIVING (VS 1-9):

• In these first nine verses of chapter 8:

• We are given two illustrations of Godly, that is God-like giving.

ILLUSTRATION #1: THE MACEDONIANS (VS 1-5)

• Churches in Macedonia were located in the Greek cities of Philippi, Thessalonica;

• Berea; and perhaps elsewhere in that region.

• This area was Greek and primarily Gentile (non-Jewish)

• Notice:

• That in these first five verses we learn four things about these Macedonian Christians:

FIRST: THEY GAVE GERNEOUSLLY (VS 1-2):

“And now, brothers and sisters, we want you to know about the grace that God has given the Macedonian churches. 2 In the midst of a very severe trial, their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity.”

• We are told that these Christians open-handedly shared their wealth;

• With other Christians in need.

Question: Who was in need?

Answer:

• During the reign of emperor Claudius (A.D. 41-54) a famine had hit Jerusalem.

• The Christians (like all the other residents of the city);

• Experiencing tough times and extreme financial need and so required financial support.

• So long before ‘Comic Relief’ or ‘Children in Need’;

• The apostle Paul organised ‘Church Relief’,

• That is he encouraged various Churches from his missionary trip in Macedonia;

• To send money and help relieve the hardships of the Christians in Jerusalem.

• Now the Macedonian Christians helped despite the fact they had problems of their own.

• Now these Macedonian Christians were not only extremely poor,

• But they too had also endured a great deal of persecution.

• And yet they still gave generously and willingly to help the Christians in Jerusalem.

SECOND: THEY GAVE SACRIFICALLY (VS 3A):

“For I testify that they gave as much as they were able, and even beyond their ability”

• These Macedonian Christians were also struggling;

• They were facing "extreme poverty" (vs 2)

• Note: The words used in verse 2 for "extreme poverty".

• Means "rock-bottom destitution."

• The word describes a beggar who has absolutely nothing;

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