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Summary: Paul wrote chapter 8 of Second Corinthians to lay out 9 guidelines for what it means to give to God. In chapter 9 he is showing us that there are many wonderful rewards and joys when we give like God wants us to give.

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Purpose: To describe the result of proper giving.

Aim: I want the listener to see giving as a reflection of the Gospel.

INTRODUCTION: A man was struggling to pay his bills on time. One day he received a letter from one of his creditors demanding that he immediately pay what he owed. He sat down and wrote a letter back and said, "Dear Sir, Every month I take all the bills I have and put them on the table, shuffle them, and I pay the first six bills on top. Now, if I have any more trouble out of you, next month you'll be out of the shuffle entirely."

The sad thing is that many Christians have shuffled God right out of their giving. They pay for their own needs and desires with little thought of how God wants them to use the money He has given them.

Paul wrote chapter 8 of Second Corinthians to lay out 9 guidelines for what it means to give to God. In chapter 9 he is showing us that there are many wonderful rewards and joys when we give like God wants us to give. Look back at 2 Corinthians 8:10: "I give my opinion in this matter, for this is to your advantage, who were the first to begin a year ago not only to do this, but also to desire to do it " (NAS)

Paul is now giving us some of those advantages.

REVIEW:

Vs.1-11 I. What Happens When We Practice God Centered Giving?

Vs.1-5 A. God centered giving encourages others to give "your zeal has stirred up most of them"

Vs. 1-2 1. We must decide to give "I know your readiness"

Vs.3-5 2. We must plan to give "arrange beforehand your previously promised bountiful gift"

Vs.6-11 B. God centered giving will bring God's blessing

Vs.6 1. When we give generously "he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully"

Vs.7 2. When we give with the right motive "not grudgingly or under compulsion"

LESSON:

Vs.8 3. When we trust God's promises "God is able"

Notice what God is able to do: "... make all grace abound to you, so that always having all sufficiency in everything, you may have an abundance for every good deed" (2 Corinthians 9:8, NAS)

"It might be profitable here to notice Paul's use of the concept of abundance as he wrote this letter. He opened the letter with abundant suffering that was matched by abundant comfort (2 Cor. 1:5). He also mentioned abundant grace (2 Cor. 4:15) and abundant joy and liberality (2 Cor. 8:2). Because of God's abundant grace, we can abound always in every good work (2 Cor. 9:8). The apostle saw the Christian life as one of abundance, for Jesus Christ can make us adequate for every situation." [1]

Often we don't give to God because we are afraid that we won't have enough left to take care of our future needs. Paul encouraged the Christians in Philippi to give generously because: "...God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus" (Philippians 4:19, NAS)

So the only question that remains is: Do we believe that? "Trust in the LORD forever, For in GOD the LORD, we have an everlasting Rock" (Isaiah 26:4, NAS) "and being fully assured that what God had promised, He was able also to perform. " (Romans 4:21, NAS)

Jesus Himself said: Matthew 6:31--33, "Do not worry then, saying, 'What will we eat?' or 'What will we drink?' or 'What will we wear for clothing?' For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. (NAS)

Vs.9-11 4. When we value the eternal "righteousness endures"

[Vs.9] Paul is quoting from Psalm 112 where a righteous man is described as someone who lives without fearing others and who gives generously.

Notice the contrast between giving temporary things to the poor and this man's righteousness which is permanent. This is true because when we give to other believers we are actually giving to God. "For the tithe of the sons of Israel, which they offer as an offering to the LORD, I have given to the Levites for an inheritance..." (Numbers 18:24, NAS)

God wants us to use temporary riches to purchase eternal rewards.

God gives primarily to the givers.

[Vs.10-11] God gives material things to us for two main reasons: to take care of our daily needs ("bread for food"), and to give to others ("seed to the sower"). Some seeds are ground into flour; some seeds are used to plant another crop.

What do we normally do when God blesses us with more money than we need? Don't we usually look for something to buy for ourselves? Doesn't that reveal that we are more interested in temporary pleasure than we are in eternal rewards?

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