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Summary: Thankfulness, Ministry to Others, Obedience

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CULTIVATING A GENEROUS HEART - Overflowing Thanks to God

2 Corinthians 9:12-14 (p. 807) July 23, 2017

Introduction:

It took 18 people 10 days to construct…It involved a quarter of a million dominoes…and it set a Guinness World Record for the most dominoes toppled in the United States. (Watch)

SHOW DOMINO VIDEO

I believe when we cultivate a generous heart for Jesus we become a lot like these dominoes.

The Apostle Paul says, “This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of the Lord’s people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God.”

In other words…when you gave, it not only helped those you intended to help…it became like a chain of dominoes in regards to people, thanking God, that you didn't know…It spurred others on to want to give of themselves.

[At a Starbucks in Cordora California one person paid for the order of the person behind them in the drive through…and then for the next 4 1/2 hours this pay it forward generosity continued until it was broken.]

I think this is exactly what happens when people give and sacrifice generously. Like dominoes of grace it topples forward and spurs others on to think about others…it’s an avalanch of joy… “It truly is more blessed to give than to receive” when you drive away with that stupid smile on your face anticipating what the person behind you will feel when they receive the gift…It’s better than the free cup of coffee you received.

It’s this attitude that is so Christlike and it’s this attitude that cultivates a generous heart…It’s this attitude that makes us cheerful givers…whether it’s our tithe…or a special gift for someone in need.

I. IF OBEDIENCE DOESN’T ACCOMPANY CONFESSION IT’S NOT THE GOSPEL

How would you feel if you were really hungry and someone came and told you “I’m going to bring you a wonderful meal…fried chicken, mashed potatoes, green beans, banana cream pie…I’ll get it to you by this evening.

5 o’clock rolls around, then 6, and 7…nothing. The next day you see them and they say “Oh…I’m so sorry, I forgot all about it…I got really busy with other stuff.

I don’t care how godly you are, you’re going to feel disappointed and have some ill feelings toward the one who promised you something good and then didn’t deliver.

The Gospel isn’t Good News because God said I’m going to send my son as an atoning sacrifice for the sins of all mankind…He’ll die as the Lamb who takes away all your sin…and rise from the dead.

The Gospel is Good News because…He said He would do this…and then He did this!

Paul tells the Corinthians…who had made a promise…“prove yourselves…If you want others to praise God, then your obedience needs to accompany your confession of the Gospel of Christ and your generosity in sharing with them and with everyone else.”

The truth is if obedience does not accompany our confession, it’s not the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Listen I understand we are all sinners who are only saved, “By grace, through faith, and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God - not by works, so that no one can boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9)


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