Summary: The Corinthians were materially rich but miserly in their giving. All of us need to learn that “God love a cheerful giver!”
LEARNING HOW TO GIVE
INTRODUCTION: Call on a Methodist to pray and he’ll say, “Here’s $50.” Call on a Baptist for $50 and he’ll say “Let’s pray!” Our action toward giving is good but we, also, need a right attitude when we give. The Corinthians were materially rich but miserly in their giving. All of us need to learn that “God loves a cheerful giver!” Learn three truths from this text.
I. Follow the Plan (v.1-5)
The Corinthians had promised to give. They had signed the “pledge card”. They just needed to keep their promise and follow through. If people showed up to collect the offering and it was not completed it would be embarrassing.
Paul used a bit of psychology here. He had criticized their vices now he compliments their virtues. He had bragged on them (v.2). He didn’t want his boasting to prove hollow (v.3). You catch more flies with honey than vinegar.
II. Learn the Principles (v.6-10)
Look at Paul’s suggestions. The following ideas are borrowed from Warren Wiersbe commentary on II Corinthians Be Encouraged.
A. The principle of increase (v.6): What you give in life will always come back to you (Prov. 11:24; Luke 6:38; Gal. 6:7). Brian Harbour calls this the “Echo Principle”. We reap what we sow, later than we sow, and more than we sow.
B. The principle of intent (v.7): “Decided” = purposed, deliberately decided. Be a “grace giver” not a “guilt giver”. “Not grudgingly (reluctantly) = one who feels pain and intense discomfort when giving. This is a “sad giver”. “Not under compulsion” = of necessity or pressure. This is a “mad giver”. “Cheerful giver” = here’s a “glad giver”. The word is “hilarious”.
C. The principle of immediacy: You have to wait for the harvest. There are long range benefits but also possible immediate blessings. “All” = you will have all you need when you need it if you practice giving.
III. Get in on the Profit (v.11-14)
It pays to give. What’s the profit?
A. It sanctifies us (v.11): See Lk. 16:11. John McArthur said, “The proper handling of our finances is a key to spiritual fruit in our lives.” Refusing to give could be the reason for problems in our prayer life or home life.
B. It glorifies God (v.11): It’s for His glory not ours.
C. It edifies others (v.12-13): It benefits others.
D. It unifies the church (v.14): There was distrust between the Jewish Christians and the Gentile Christians. This was an expression of love.
CONCLUSION: Look at verse 15. Paul speaks of this “unspeakable” (indescribable) gift. O how gracious and good He is. It is beyond description. Give and He will give it back to you in a thousand different ways. Let’s pray and let’s give!