Aly Ogan speaking on the importance of generosity looking at 2 Corinthians8/9. She focuses on the importance of giving our time, money, energy, etc. to God, and by doing so, we experience joy in our poverty which result in an overflowing abundance of generosity.
- We have been talking about spiritual disciplines- there is this book i have been reading its impacted the way that I spend my quiet time, the way i spend my time in general, and the way that i feel close to Jesus.
- Today were gonna be talking about giving or generosity.
- I think one of the first things that comes to our minds when we hear that is giving money to the church. were gonna talk about how it is a lot more than that. and in what ways we’re called as believers to be disciplined about being generous.
2 Corinthians 8:1-5
Background on whats happening with the Corinthians:
- Corinth was a wealthy city and intelligent city.
- Paul visited the city and saw how many temples and gods they served and wanted to plant a church – Acts 19
- Corinthians tried to fit everything into these 2 “buckets” of wealth and academia
- Paul is trying to show them a 3rd “bucket” of love = Jesus
The churches in Macedonia were Philipi, Berea, & Thessolinca and they were incredibly impoverished.
Paul didn’t want to go there in acts 16 – it wasn’t his heart, that makes sense because there were a lot of people who could speak eloquently or give affluently to spread the gospel.
But Paul went, which is sweet because it gives us some insight to how God works and how God goes to the poorest of the poor.
If we know that we are poor…what is this grace of God?
Grace is undeserved favor.
Their extreme joy in the Lord combined with their extreme poverty is why they could overflow with wealth or generosity because they didn’t care what they had.
So where is your extreme poverty? Where is your extreme joy?
extreme joy + extreme poverty = overflowing abundance of generosity
We have talked about where that comes from, if you’re not building that up then your joy will decrease – but your circumstances won’t change. There is no overflow when we have small joy and extreme poverty
What you have to offer might not be a lot, and thats okay but it is the joy found in giving what little you may have. If you are generous with little you will be generous with much.
Give ONLY according to your means. When we use a calendar we get too see what we are under or over committing to with our time.
What do you do you see yourself over or under committing to?
They asked urgently to give abundantly, they were not satisfied with not giving in abundance.
God can use my means however he wants to use them – my job is to be willing to be used.
The more we understand the grace of God in our lives the more we see Gods grace in our whole lives. We have to be self aware enough to see what God has done for us and then we can see how we need to help other people see what he has done.
Some of you are legalistic about this because you’re not seeing it as a favor, you’re seeing it as a notch of something to attain.
If you don’t feel like you have the time or resources then you probably don’t understand Gods grace.
It’s surrendering those things to God and living with an open hand of how you get to spend your time and resources. If we give ourselves to the Lord, what comes is a natural desire to give.
2 Corinthians 9:6-15
What you have been given to sow and what is for you to eat are separate things.
We often view everything we get from God as something for us. But it is something he may give us to give to someone else.
I’ve heard your increase of wealth is not to raise your standard of living but to raise your standard of giving. Could you imagine if we were to live this out.
Kings weren’t supposed to not be rich- Deuteronomy 17:17 tells us, “he shall not acquire many wives for himself, lest his heart turn away, nor shall he acquire for himself excessive silver and gold.”
2 Corinthians 8:8-9
This thing cant be forced, it cant be mandated, it has to be something that you choose to do.
Its how to test if your love for Jesus and his people is genuine. Generosity is not a commandment, this isn’t a list of to-do’s it is a mirror.
Out of the abundance of your relationship with God should come generosity.
This is the GOSPEL
though he was rich-
but for YOUR sake, (doesn’t that your just jump off the page at you).
he became poor.
Losing popularity: I know none of you would be willing to do that because I see it in the way we fall to peer pressure.
By humbling ourselves to become poor, this is how we can be generous and how others can see Christ in our lives. The one perfect person who could have – he came and he did it.