Summary: Paul leads us to understand the harvest of generosity. We cannot outgive God... and if we can trust Him with eternity we should be able to trust Him withe the resources of life!
No Excuses: In God We Trust
2 Cor. 9
1 There is no need for me to write to you about this service to the saints. 2 For I know your eagerness to help, and I have been boasting about it to the Macedonians, telling them that since last year you in Achaia were ready to give; and your enthusiasm has stirred most of them to action. 3 But I am sending the brothers in order that our boasting about you in this matter should not prove hollow, but that you may be ready, as I said you would be. 4 For if any Macedonians come with me and find you unprepared, we--not to say anything about you--would be ashamed of having been so confident. 5 So I thought it necessary to urge the brothers to visit you in advance and finish the arrangements for the generous gift you had promised. Then it will be ready as a generous gift, not as one grudgingly given.
What is happening here?
I love this passage – a very pastoral, leader type passage…
So ultimately Paul is dealing with the concept of giving…
And a balanced approach to it.
So with that in mine I want to merge two important things today…
Issue of balance in the body of Christ… and our Giving (tithe and offering)
First – quickly talk about balance…
How many of you would notice if part of your body stopped working?
One of the themes that has come up in many of our messages is the concept of not only hearing God’s word but doing it…
I received an email this week with some tremendous thoughts on the exact concept that challenge gives us.
The difference between
Knowing and Obeying / Hearing and Doing
Read Psalms 24: 1 through 26: 12
Knowing the ways and commandments of the Lord is not the same as keeping His ways and commandments (Psalm 25: 1 0). We struggle, not to know, but to obey. It is not light that we are lacking these days, but life. Truth that is not translated into obedience is like brightness to a blind man.
One outstanding preacher made the comment that the hard¬est congregation to preach to is not made up of unbelievers, but of people who have heard the truth over and over again but refuse to obey it.
AND HEAR THIS CHALLENGE: We can be educated beyond the level of our obedience, and so live in a realm of theoretical brilliance but practical ignorance, filled with knowledge but lacking wisdom.
HERE’S THE CHALLENGE OF GOD’S WORD: God’s blessing always accompanies obedience. God’s strength is readily available to those who trust and obey.
2nd let’s talk about tithing and giving today… continuing to look at 2 Cor. 9…
A HARVEST OF GENEROSITY
6 Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously.
9 As it is written: "He has scattered abroad his gifts to the poor; his righteousness endures forever." 10 Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness. 11 You will be made rich in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God.
What I call level 3 giving…
Do we believe in the harvest of generosity?
Do we believe God’s challenge? Do we believe God’s word?
The answer is in our checkbook and and our datebook…
OUR SOURCE AND SECURITY
In receiving God’s blessings there must be something from our side of the coin… TRUST.
Do we genuinely trust God to be our source and security in life…. Or do we trust this (hold up 100$ bill)
We think money will solve problems… Investment News warns that winning the lottery carries odds of 7-million-to-1, making it much more likely for you to be struck by lightning.But a fortunate few do win, and they’re greater in number than you might you think. Lotteries handed out more than $21 billion in winnings last year. Yet every time a state lottery agency has a big payday, it’s tantamount to clearing an untrained pilot for takeoff.As financial advisers know all too well, people who come into sudden wealth often face wrenching psychological changes. Far from good fortune, the results can be ruinous.Nearly one-third of all lottery winners eventually seek some sort of bankruptcy relief.
Or the story of a lottery winner in the late 1990’s…
And on May 22, 1999, 20 months after hitting lottery pay dirt, Harrell locked himself inside an upstairs bedroom of his fashionable Kingwood home and stood at the point of no return. Investigators say he stripped away his clothes, pressed a shotgun barrel against his chest and fired.