30 Nov Overflowing Generous Giving
Read: 2 Corinthians 8-9
Last week, Pastor Ken concluded our study of the book of Romans, challenging us from Romans 16:17-27 to guard the message of the gospel. This coming Lord’s Day, he will be preaching on grace which overflows in joyful generosity. This week, read 2 Corinthians 8-9 and reflect on the gracious sacrificial giving of our Lord, discussed in the following article.
In 2 Corinthians 8-9 Paul is writing to prepare a church for a group sent by Paul to collect a “blessing” from them (1 Corinthians 16:1-4). The gift will support poor and needy churches in Jerusalem.
Paul starts in 8:1 by telling them he wants them to know about a work of God’s grace in Macedonia. Poor afflicted Macedonians had so much joy in the gospel that they gave “beyond their means” to contribute to this cause. Paul never mentions amounts or percentages in these chapters. Instead, he mentions God’s immeasurable grace overflowing into radical generosity.
The standard for giving in the New Testament is no longer a mandated tithe, but the picture of love in the face and cross of Jesus Christ. We’re now called to “know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor” (2 Corinthians 8:9) and gave in accordance with the gospel of a Savior who emptied himself completely. The Macedonians had emptied themselves because they treasured this generous gospel reality so deeply.
In 2 Corinthians 9:8, Paul wants to give the Corinthians as much confidence as he can that if they sow generously (9:6) motivated by God’s delight in a cheerful giver (9:7), that the God who loves cheerful givers will give them everything they need to give radically.
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. (2 Corinthians 9:8)
All grace, making us all sufficient, at all times, for every good work.
In other words, God is the ultimate Giver. With our giving, we should not mainly ask about our ability, but we should ask about God’s ability. God is the never-ending, never-dry fountain of grace that causes his people to overflow in generosity of their own.
Excerpt from, “Grace Turns Giving Upside Down: Building God Into Your Budget” from Desiringgod.org
Song List for Sunday
1. “Come Thou Long Expected Jesus” arr. by Daniel Renstrom
2. “His Mercy Is More,” by Matt Boswell
3. “Joy Has Dawned,” arr. by Keith and Kristyn Getty
4. “Jesus Thank You,” by Pat Sczebel