Summary: In this text Paul reveals sevral prinicples that will help us get the job done in the kingdom
"HOW TO GET THE JOB DONE"
TEXT: 2 CORINTHIANS 8:1-9:8
Employers at a Detroit business office found they were having a difficult time getting the job done so they posted the following notice on the employee bulletin board: "THE MANAGEMENT REGRETS THAT IT HAS COME TO THEIR ATTENTION THAT WORKERS DYING ON THE JOB ARE FAILING TO FALL DOWN. THIS PRACTICE MUST STOP, AS IT BECOMES IMPOSSIBLE TO DISTINGUISH BETWEEN DEATH AND NATURAL MOVEMENT OF THE STAFF. ANY EMPLOYEE FOUND DEAD IN THE UPRIGHT POSITION WILL HENCEFORTH BE DROPPED FROM THE PAYROLL."
Today is Labor day weekend, a time set aside to honor work and the work ethic. And since there is no greater work than Kingdom Work, I want us to talk about Kingdom Work today, about getting the job done in The Kingdom.
Our text today is II Corinthians 8 and 9. In these chapters Paul is encouraging the Church in Corinth to take part in the offering that he was gathering to help the Christians in Jerusalem who were suffering greatly because of famine and persecution. As Paul starts this section off he uses the Macedonia Church as an example of supreme generosity in order to encourage the Corinthians to also be involved.
As I read through these chapters that deal with Paul encouraging the Corinthians to greater Stewardship (here specifically giving of money), I saw 10 (and don’t get scared, I’ll keep them short), I saw ten principles. And I want to apply these principles that Paul gave in regards to one aspect of stewardship (giving of money) -- to the broader scope of stewardship including the giving of not just our money but our time and talents as well. These principles relate to getting the work done in the Kingdom. Principles which form the very foundation of Kingdom Work, principles that if we adopt, there will be no limit to what God can do in this place.
Everyone here today, who is serious about being a part of Kingdom Work -- (and that should include everyone who is a Christian), needs to pay close attention to this study. And if you are a leader in the Church or are active in ministry you especially need to tune in.
WE WILL READ THROUGH THESE 2 CHAPTERS AND THEN STOP OCCASIONALLY AS WE ENCOUNTER ONE OF THESE PRINCIPLES.
Are you ready, then let’s go!
1. FIRST GIVE OURSELVES TO THE LORD (8:5)
This is the first step we have to take if we are ever going to do anything significant for the Kingdom of God-- we must First Give Ourselves to The Lord... What does it mean to give ourselves to the Lord? It means more than simply walking down the aisle and being baptized -- It means more than accepting Jesus as our Savior.
It means to accept Jesus as our Lord, It means to be completely sold out for Jesus, it means to give up "self", to submit our will to the King of Kings. This is what Paul was talking about when he wrote the following words in Galatians 2:20
"I HAVE BEEN CRUCIFIED WITH CHRIST AND I NO LONGER LIVE, BUT CHRIST LIVES IN ME. THE LIFE I LIVE IN THE BODY, I LIVE BY FAITH IN THE SON OF GOD, WHO LOVED ME AND GAVE HIMSELF FOR ME."
And also when he wrote the following in 2 Corinthians 5:15;
"AND CHRIST DIED FOR ALL, THAT THOSE WHO LIVE SHOULD NO LONGER LIVE FOR THEMSELVES, BUT FOR HIM WHO DIED FOR THEM AND WAS RAISED AGAIN."
Unless, we no longer live for ourselves, unless, we give ourselves completely to Him -- unless, we are ashamedly sold out to Christ -- We are not even on the road to doing significant Kingdom Work...
If you have ever wondered HOW some people can be so uncommitted in their giving, their attendance, their participation in worship (they act bored, "man when is this thing going to be over") and in their service in the Church... The problem is not the church; It is a spiritual problem, Because those individuals have not yet, first given themselves to Lord...
Because the automatic and natural consequence of giving oneself to the Lord -- is that the individual really gets serious about the Work of the Kingdom/Church -- because "that individual no longer lives, but Christ lives in and works through them."
LET’S MOVE ON...
2. IF WE WANT TO GET THE JOB IN THE KINGDOM DONE, WE MUST ALSO EXCEL IN THE GRACE OF GIVING. (8:7-9)
Paul in these verses is telling the Corinthians, "hey guys you are on a roll, you are making great progress in your: faith, speech, knowledge, earnestness and in love... let’s keep the ball rolling, don’t stop short, but also excel in the grace of giving, as well."