Summary: We may lose what we keep, but we will never lose what we give to God. Giving to the Lord’s work is an important part of our fellowship with each other
Purpose: To explain why and how we should give to God’s work.
Aim: I want the listener to see that God often gives us extra money so we can give more to Him.
INTRODUCTION: "The trouble with money is that too many people are spending what they don’t have for things they don’t need to impress people they don’t even like."
"The Methodist writer, Clovis Chappell, once wrote about excavators in ancient Pompeii who found a body that had been suddenly entombed when Mount Vesuvius had erupted. Her feet were turned toward the city gate, but her face was turned backward and her hand was stretched out, as if reaching for something. It was a bag of pearls. She had perhaps dropped them and, in turning to pick them up, met instant entombment." 
We may lose what we keep, but we will never lose what we give to God.
"...the term used for "giving" in this New Testament context is not the typical Greek word for making a gift. Instead the New Testament adopts the Greek word koinonia, which means "sharing." As Christians shared life in Christ, their family relationship was expressed by a sharing of financial and material resources." 
Look again at (2 Corinthians 8:4, NAS) "begging us with much urging for the favor of participation [or "fellowship] in the support of the saints." Paul uses this same word in (Romans 15:26, NAS) "For Macedonia and Achaia have been pleased to make a contribution for the poor among the saints in Jerusalem."
Giving to the Lord’s work is an important part of our fellowship with each other.
Vs.1-3 I. Give Freely even When it’s Hard to Give "in a great ordeal...great poverty"
#1 Give based on what you have "according to their ability"
#2 Give sacrificially "beyond their ability"
#3 Give willingly "of their own accord"
Vs.4 II. See Giving as a Privilege "the favor of participation"
Vs.5-8 III. Give Every Part of Your Life to God "first gave themselves to the Lord"
Vs.9 IV. Give as Christ Gave to You "for your sake He became poor"
Vs.10-12 V. Give--Don’t just Intend to Give "finish doing it"
[Vs.10-11] There are three things necessary in order to obey any of God’s commands. In verse 10 Paul reminds us that we must "begin" to obey, we must "desire" to obey, and in verse 11 he explains that we must "finish" our obedience.
Planning to do something and doing something is not the same thing.
Paul mentions that their giving will be for their "advantage" or profit. He doesn’t get to those advantages until later so let’s look ahead to 8:14 & 24; 9:6, 8-11, 13-14.
Jesus explained this same thing a different way: "Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal; for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. " (Matthew 6:19--21, NAS)
The more we give of ourselves to Christ the more He will give to us when we meet Him. "Behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to render to every man according to what he has done." (Revelation 22:12, NAS)
[Vs.12] The temptation is to say that we will give later when we have more money to give. Like when we get some bills paid off, or when we get that raise, or when the heating bills are over, etc.
Give when God prompts you to give even if it is less than you want to give. David wanted to build a beautiful place for the Jews to worship God, but he was not allowed to do it. God, though, was pleased with David’s desire to do it. "But the LORD said to my father David, ’Because it was in your heart to build a house for My name, you did well that it was in your heart." (1 Kings 8:18, NAS) God does not only reward based on what a person does, but according to what a person would do if he could.
Giving is often time sensitive. If we wait until giving will be easier it may be too late to help meet an important need. "If a brother or sister is without clothing and in need of daily food, and one of you says to them, ’Go in peace, be warmed and be filled,’ and yet you do not give them what is necessary for their body, what use is that? " (James 2:15--16, NAS)
Vs.13-15 VI. Give Because Others Have Less than You "that there may be equally"
[Vs.13-14] The NT does not give us a set amount that we should give because the more you have the more you can give. We should never feel guilty because someone who has more money than we do gives more than we do. Paul had already told them, "...to put aside and save, as he may prosper...." (1 Corinthians 16:2, NAS)