Summary: We arae jars of clay to whom God gives gifts and through whom God gives gifts.
Title: Jars of Generosity
Text: II Corinthians 9:6-11
Thesis: We are “Jars of Clay” to whom God gives gifts and through whom God gives gifts.
Bonnie and I are parents. Raising children is a costly endeavor. According to the latest estimates, a family making $70,200 a year or more will spend $269,520 to raise a child from birth to age 17. The USDA has charts for calculating the costs of housing, transportation, food, clothing, health care, child care, education, and they top it off with a cost of $32,460 for miscellaneous. (MSN Money Staff, The Basics: Raising Your Million Dollar Baby, MSN Money)
I have no idea how we managed to raise ours… I suspect we did it for considerably less than a quarter million dollars per kiddo.
Whatever the cost, It did not matter. Any sacrifices we made were inconsequential. Our children were gifts from God. If it was a matter of money, the only way to have saved the cost of children was to not have them. It costs to have living children.
As long as our church is alive and as long as the ministries of our church here and around the world are alive… it will cost of something. We do not want to be a church on life-support. We do not want to be a feeding-tube church. We want to be alive and well. We want a quality of life that enables us to have a vibrant ministry in our community and the world.
God has a great deal to say about the resources he entrusts to us… in fact God’s Word is much more vocal about giving than we realize. So, if we are people of the Word, care what the Word of God has to say to us, and what it means, we will be receptive to this truth, just as we are receptive to any other biblical teaching.
We will be looking at several biblical principles this morning… this is the first truth:
I. There is a direct link between God’s blessing and our generosity.
• Remember this, a farmer who plants only a few seeds will get a small crop. But the one who plants generously will get a generous crop. II Corinthians 9:6
In the spring of 1621, Squanto taught the Pilgrims how to plant corn. “The Pilgrims immediately recognized the value: No other plant could produce quite as much food as fast on a given patch of new world ground as the Indian corn.” (Michael Pollan, The Omnivore’s Dilema, P 25)
Wheat was the old world grain they had brought from the old country but the return of wheat was less than 50:1 or fifty grains of wheat returned for every grain of wheat planted. However, one kernel of corn resulted in a 150 – 300:1 return. The more kernels of corn planted, the more kernels of corn were harvested in return.
There are two challenges we need to keep in mind as we consider just how generous we want to be in our planting:
A. The first challenge is to be obedient to God.
• Honor the Lord with your wealth and with the best part of everything your land produces. Proverbs 3:10
• “Bring all the tithes into the storehouse so there will be enough food in my Temple... “ Malachi 3:10
The second challenge is a matter of trust.
B. The second challenge is to trust God.