Summary: One way we give thanks to God is through our offerings, but our giving is not necessarily giving thanks. Paul when and how our giving becomes thanksgiving.
1. Thanksgiving Day is a day when we celebrate God’s goodness. We thank Him for the many blessings He has bestowed upon us.
2. Today we have a thanksgiving day offering. If we give it the right way, we give thanks to God in ever increasing proportions.
1. Paul has been asking the church in Corith to contribute to a collection for the Christians in Jerusalem who are in poverty because of a famine.
2. They have expressed an eagerness to help and so Paul writes them to advise them to gather the offering so it will be ready for him when he arrives in Corinth.
3. Paul explains how our (their) generosity will result in thanksgiving to God.
a. When we give with a cheerful heart. (vs. 7)
i. Not reluctantly because it is expected should or because the church needs the money.
ii. Not under compulsion because God will judge us if we don’t, the deacons will tell us we are not meeting ourpledges, or because we made vows to support the church and now must keep our word.
iii. Obeying God’s word in this matter is important but that is not giving thankfully.
iv. A cheerful heart rejoices over what God has given and gladly returns a portion to Him.
b. When we give generously. (vs. 6)
i. A cheerful heart will give generously.
ii. Depends upon quality not quantity of the gift. Firstfruits in the Old Testament were the best of the crop. A generous giver gives from the heart. Jesus commends the widow for her tiny gift because she gave all she had. (Mark 12:41)
iii. Generous giving does not worry about what is left over. This shows we place trust in and give thanks to God.
iv. When we sow or give generously we reap generously. (vs. 6) The more we give the more we get and so we can give on an ever increasing basis. This means both spiritually and materially. God will not give to his people if they are not generous because a lack of generosity indicates that money in too importnat to them and separates them from God. The more we have the more we will thank God, if our heart is right.
v. You will be made rich in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, (2Cor 9:11a)
c. Giving creates thanksgiving in the hearts of those who receive.
i. .. and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God. (2Cor 9:11b)
ii. Those who receive will recognize our gifts as results of God’s grace. (vs. 14)
d. As Paul indicates in verse 15, our giving is a thanksgiving to God for His indescribable gift - Christ dying for us.
4. Verses 14 and 15 indicates a overflow of thanksgiving that results from our truly giving thankfully to God. May God be praised and may all creation give thanks to Him for He is good.