Enriched Generosity with Thanksgiving
2 Corinthians 9:6-15
How not to approach giving
vs. 5, because it is demanded or required
vs. 6, sparingly
vs. 7, reluctantly
How to approach giving
vs. 5, willingly
vs. 6, bountifully
vs. 7, cheerfully
Concerning giving we often operate with a scarcity mind set.
We typically ask, “How much do I get to keep?” It isn’t as frequent for us to ask, “How much do I get to give?”
Jesus continues to be the example.
Romans 8:32 He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?
God is not one to withhold.
Jesus Centered Perspective.
Is my heart willing to be shaped into a heart that wants to share things? (money, time, expertise, etc…)
Our attitude usually leans to one side or the other.
Either how much can I take for myself or how much can I give to others.
Sparing heart God as taker
Bountiful heart God as giver (supplier, helper)
Question: How do you view your resources (money, time, relationships, etc…)? Are you the owner? Are you a steward?
When reflecting on the character of God under the guise of giving, do you view Him as someone who is replenishing you or draining you?
How do you see God? As a taker or as a giver?
vs. 8, God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency, in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work.
Did you ever have a plan that didn’t work?
having all you need - It means reducing what one wants for oneself so that one has enough to share with others and create an interdependence with them.
Paradigm shift - there is no such thing as self-sufficiency. Paul makes it clear that everything we have has been given to us by God. He alone is our sufficiency, not self.
- Christians should know contentment (having enough) in every state
- Money is a commodity that should be used in the service of others, not something to display one’s virtue publicly, to gain honor, or to bring others into one’s orbit of power.
- Reward can only be expected from God, not from others. Giving to others in need reaps spiritual dividends from God.
- God entrusts to us resources (material wealth) with the intention of sharing with others, and consequently God, not the giver, is the one who is to be blessed and thanked.
- Sharing is expected within the church. In no way should those who give assume that the recipients of their gifts become their social inferiors or are obligated to return the favor with material benefits.
vs. 9, Quoting Psalm 112:9 He has distributed freely; he has given to the poor; his righteousness endures forever; his horn is exalted in honor.
The sowing (vs. 6) and the scattering (vs. 9) is the free and generous giving of help to meet the needs of others.
Generosity is called righteousness.
vs. 10, God gives the seed. He has a purpose in the giving of the seed. The giving of the seed is to grow the harvest.
The point (generosity) -> increase the harvest of your righteousness. God wants us to understand him as the great giver, not taker. If not, our giving is draining, burdensome, oppressive, legalistic, and sparing.
vs. 11, #1 Increase in capacity to be generous
the more you give -> the more able to give
Key paradigm shift -> not necessarily more resources, but more joy!
vs. 11b-12, #2 Increase in thanksgiving to God
God’s name and his renown is the focus of our giving. We aren’t the point.
Jesus is the point. We are simply a vessel that stores the great treasure of the mystery and beauty and richness and fullness of the gospel.
This is eternity people, not some new (_________)!
vs. 12-13, #3 Increase in joy (overflowing) participating with God to meet the needs of his people.
vs. 14, #4 Increase in love, care, affection toward the people of God.
Generosity creates an ever-increasing bond.
vs. 15, God is the great giver displaying his great glory!
What we do with our resources shows where we believe life, joy, love, hope, security, meaning, and freedom are found.
Matthew 6:21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
Luke 12:15 And he said to them, “Take care, and be on your guard against all covetousness, for one's life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.”
1 Corinthians 16:1-2 Now concerning[a] the collection for the saints: as I directed the churches of Galatia, so you also are to do. 2 On the first day of every week, each of you is to put something aside and store it up, as he may prosper, so that there will be no collecting when I come.
The structure of giving at Second Mile
regular & sacrificial (not an after thought) -> willingly
creating margin (increasing in generosity) -> bountifully
spontaneous giving (increasing in joy) -> cheerfully
During the gathering, we have structured giving as an act of worship.
Our posture and attitude in giving declares
- our love for those in need
- our love for those who need to hear the message of the gospel
- our love for the church
The truth of the matter…
God gives us more than we need.
Compassionate giving confirms our eternal righteousness. It reveals our association. It displays our collaboration.