Sermons

Summary: THis is a stewardship sermon that we preached together as a team for a keynote address.

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We Have More Than We Think

05/01/2004 Text 2 Corin 8:1-9 Eccl. 11:1-6, Act 4:31- 37

Stewardship Training

Toby

“ Well how did your Stewardship Drive For Missions Go Last Week.”

Rick

Well I told the congregation, “I spent a lot of time in prayer seeking the Lord. I am happy to tell you the Lord has shown me exactly where He has placed the money that we need to fund our mission and operating budget. Not only that the Lord has shown me that we have a surplus of funds and there will not be a need to beg this year..”

Toby

“Wow I know the congregation got excited over that. What happened then.”

Rick

Well there were a lot of praise God and Hallelujah’s from the congregation even though we were Presbyterians. But then I told them, the Lord showed me the Lord had placed the money in their wallets and bank accounts and all that was left was for them to do was to go get it and bring it for the offering.

Toby

“What happened next”

Rick

“Well they went back to being Presbyterian, and the place became as quiet as it could possibly get.

Toby

Let’s suppose for a moment that you came to a fork in the road in the path of life and you had to choose a path to go down. On one side of the road was a sign pointing saying the “road to receive blessings” and the other side said the “road to be a blessing.” Which road would you prefer going down? Think for a moment, which road would probably lead to the deepest friendships, the sincerest love, the greatest peace, and the greatest challenges in life. Think which will make you more like Christ.

Rick

Will you take the “road of blessings “or the “road of chance to be a blessing?” Blessings are nice, but if we spend most of our time receiving and collecting, we will die things rich and relationships poor. That includes our relationship to family, to people and most important of all to God.

When we think about financial Stewardship, the first thing we need to realize is that God has blessed us, with far more than we need to do what the Lord has told us to do. We all have far more than we realized, and much more than what we need. Our congregations are far richer today than we would like for others to believe. Our problem is not so much a lack of resources, but a proper appropriation of the resources God has given to us.

Toby

Today We are going to look at a group of churches that were more interested in being a blessing than they were in being blessed. The churches are the churches of Philippi, Thessalonica, and Berea in Macedonia. They were churches which believed God’s mercy endures forever and that they had been blessed in order to be a blessing.

Rick

“Did you hear the news about the church in Jerusalem?”

Toby

“No what’s going on?”

Rick

“Well, word just came through that there are undergoing a severe famine in the mother church at Jerusalem. Some of the saints are on the verse of starvation and some are near the point of death.”

“Well I believe we the churches in Macedonia ought to do something to help them out. Can you imagine where we would be if they had not sent missionaries out to share the gospel with us. We owe our brothers and sisters a profound debt for risking their lives to share the gospel with us. Somehow we have got to be a blessing to them. Our love for God requires nothing less. “

Rick

The Macedonian churches set a precedent of what the church should do in a time of crisis. In 2 Corinthians chapter 8, The Corinthian church is being challenged by Paul to act as the Macedonian churches had. The Corinthian church was a very powerful an eloquent church in words, but very weak and slow to action when it came to giving. Our text this morning is 2 Corinthians 8.

Toby

Let’s start at verse 1. And now brothers and sisters, we want you to know about the grace that God has given to the Macedonian churches. What Paul is saying, “let me tell you how God is greatly enriching the believers in the Macedonian churches. They have discovered God’s mercy endures forever.”

Out of the most severe trials. Now severe trials may not sound like blessings, grace or enrichment but they are a part of God’s mercy. The Macedonian churches had been under heavy persecution. Some had been beaten, some arrested, some kicked out of the synagogues and some had lost all their earthly possessions because of their faith in Jesus Christ.

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