Summary: As believers we may abound in the knowledge of God’s word, in faith, and other areas. Do we abound in the grace of giving as well?
See That You Abound In This Grace Also
Theme: Abound in giving as we would in every aspect of our lives. 2 Cor. 8:1-7
A. There are wonderful qualities about this congregation that parallels Paul’s gracious complements to the Corinthian brethren. 2 Cor. 8:7
1. A good working knowledge of God’s word through faith.
2. Wonderful hospitality exercised within the body.
3. Genuine love displayed among brethren and toward those outside the Lord’s body.
B. In similar fashion, however, we need to abound in the grace of giving to the Lord for the work of His church.
1. To do so you must look hard at your priorities in this life.
2. You must also look selflessly beyond yourselves.
C. For this reason we shall look at the following:
1. What the gift of giving looks like.
2. Challenge ourselves to abound the gracious act of giving.
3. NOTE: in the following lesson we will look at how money tests our love for God and the work of the Lord.
I. ABOUNDING IN OUR GIVING: FOLLOWING THE MACEDONIANS
A. In response to God’s grace, the Macedonians wanted to assist in the Judean brethren’s needs:
1. They received spiritual blessings from the Judean (Jerusalem) brethren. Rom. 15:26-27
2. They, like the brethren from Rome, wanted to give what they could materially for the destitute brethren in Judea.
B. Thus, the Macedonian Christians gave: 2 Cor. 8:1-3
1. With pleasure they begged and plead to participate in the gift that would go to Jerusalem. v. 1, 4
2. Joyfully, though in a time of great affliction and poverty. v. 2
3. “Beyond their ability.” v. 3
C. Summary of their giving: 2 Cor. 8:5
1. First, they gave to God. 1 Cor. 16:1-2; 2 Cor. 8:10-11
2. Then, they gave to us (Paul and his missionary companions). 2 Cor. 11:7-9 (Phil. 4:15-18)
D. Brethren, we are nothing like the Macedonian brethren in two main ways:
1. Materially: they were in “deep poverty” while we live as richest people on the planet.
2. Spiritually: they gave abundantly out of what they had, while we give a fraction of what we have.
II. ABOUNDING IN GIVING DEMANDS…
A. Looking hard at our priorities… Cp. Matt. 6:19-24
1. Compare the amount of material treasures stored up with the treasures in heaven. vss. 19-21
a. The Macedonians priority: giving out of their poverty.
b. Many of us today: a small fraction out of our wealth (the rest is used for our pleasures). cp. Mk. 10:17-23
2. Tests our hearts with our practice of where our monies are going to. vss. 22-24
3. Show that giving is a priority of yours by giving bountifully. Cp. Matt. 6:24 (2 Cor. 8:3); 2 Cor. 9:6-15
B. Looking selflessly beyond ourselves.
1. In the area of evangelism.
a. How much do we love to see lost souls saved?
b. How much are we willing to support those who give themselves over to teach the lost?
2. In the area of benevolence.
a. How much do we love to see destitute brethren cared for?
b. How much are we willing to give to see that they are cared for?
3. In the physically necessary items it takes for today’s churches:
a. How quickly do we want to pay off the building mortgage so that the money can be greater spent on increasing the borders of the kingdom?
b. How much are we willing to give to worship in a comfortable building during summer/winter?
c. How much are we willing to give to see that the maintenance of the building is kept up?
A. The Macedonians are truly a wonderful example of what it means to abound in giving.
B. Brethren, may we follow in their gracious pattern of giving, especially since we have so much more that we could give financially for the cause of Christ.