Summary: Far too often we do NOT give as we should and we harm our witness and God’s work when we are disobedient!
Date Written: October 21, 2009
Date Preached: October 25, 2009
Where Preached: OPBC (AM)
Sermon Series: Steppin’ UP to the Next Level
Sermon Title: Steppin’ UP to a new level of Giving…
Sermon Text: 2 Cor 9:1-15 [NKJV]
I once heard of a preacher from a small church who would take his 2 sons to the Thursday morning Bible study. There was an elderly deacon who met with them and every Thursday morning ole’ George would split his donut with the little brother.
It was a few Sundays later when the younger of the brothers came to church with a sandwich bag full of Cheerios. Ole’ George leaned over and asked the young man if he could have some and the little boy reached into his bag, pulled out a Cheerio, and split it in half and gave it to ole George!
Now this is a humorous story, but it carries with it a very stark and telling lesson… so often I believe our generosity to God is like that! You see God has given us so much, and yet we give Him back so little of what we are blessed with…We need to learn to STEP UP to a new level of giving… to a new level of blessing… to a level that we find illustrated in our passage this morning, turn with me to 2 Cor 9 and we are going read ALL 15 verses…
2 Cor 9:1-15 [NKJV]
1 Now concerning the ministering to the saints, it is superfluous for me to write to you; 2 for I know your willingness, about which I boast of you to the Macedonians, that Achaia was ready a year ago; and your zeal has stirred up the majority. 3 Yet I have sent the brethren, lest our boasting of you should be in vain in this respect, that, as I said, you may be ready; 4 lest if some Macedonians come with me and find you unprepared, we (not to mention you!) should be ashamed of this confident boasting. 5 Therefore I thought it necessary to exhort the brethren to go to you ahead of time, and prepare your generous gift beforehand, which you had previously promised, that it may be ready as a matter of generosity and not as a grudging obligation. 6 But this I say: He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. 7 So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver. 8 And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work. 9 As it is written: “He has dispersed abroad, He has given to the poor; His righteousness endures forever.”
10 Now may He who supplies seed to the sower, and bread for food, supply and multiply the seed you have sown and increase the fruits of your righteousness, 11 while you are enriched in everything for all liberality, which causes thanksgiving through us to God. 12 For the administration of this service not only supplies the needs of the saints, but also is abounding through many thanksgivings to God, 13 while, through the proof of this ministry, they glorify God for the obedience of your confession to the gospel of Christ, and for your liberal sharing with them and all men, 14 and by their prayer for you, who long for you because of the exceeding grace of God in you. 15 Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!
v.1-5 – Set up… background on their church…
Paul is bragging on the Corinthian church here and telling them that he had told others about their willing hearts and gracious ministry to those who served God and to those in need.
He shares with them that he really doesn’t need to say this because it is well known… The implication here is that the Corinthian church despite all its problems, had been a very giving and loving church… ministering to those in need with the love of Christ!
Paul says for him to go on about it would just be superfluous… which means to say this about them would be redundant because their actions in the past had said it louder than he could ever say it…
You know I know how Paul feels, I can brag about our church on many different levels, and even though we are struggling a bit right now financially, I find that this church is a giving and loving church when it comes to people in need.
I know that to say these things is basically repeating what we already know, but it is good to say and it is good to hear from time to time. And I know that our actions of the past few yrs are indicators that when a need arises, our church will answer the call!