November 3, 2013 Speaker: Series: Be Encouraged
Topic: 2 Corinthians Verse: 2 Corinthians 8:1–8:7
Pastor Duane Cross | 11.03.2013
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone the new has come!” 2 Corinthians 5:17 (NIV)
“Now I want you to know, dear brothers and sisters,what God in his kindness has done through the churches in Macedonia. They are being tested by many troubles, and they are very poor. But they are also filled with abundant joy, which has overflowed in rich generosity.
For I can testify that they gave not only what they could afford, but far more. And they did it of their own free will. They begged us again and again for the privilege of sharing in the gift for the believers in Jerusalem. They even did more than we had hoped, for their first action was to give themselves to the Lord and to us, just as God wanted them to do.
So we have urged Titus, who encouraged your giving in the first place, to return to you and encourage you to finish this ministry of giving. Since you excel in so many ways—in your faith, your gifted speakers, your knowledge, your enthusiasm, and your love from us—I want you to excel also in this gracious act of giving.” 2 Corinthians 8:1-7 (NLT)
“How does a lack of margin rob me?”
Financially: Affects our ability to accomplish our financial goals.
Relationally: Worry/argue/fight over money.
Emotionally: No peace/worry/more money, more worry
Spiritually: God gave it to me; it’s mine to spend.
“But that is the time to be careful! Beware that in your plenty you do not forget the Lord your God and disobey his commands, regulations, and decrees that I am giving you today. For when you have become full and prosperous and have built fine homes to live in, and when your flocks and herds have become very large and your silver and gold have multiplied along with everything else, be careful! Do not become proud at that time and forget the Lord your God…” Deuteronomy 8:11-14 (NLT)
“Ever since the days of your ancestors, you have scorned my decrees and failed to obey them. Now return to me, and I will return to you,” says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies.
“But you ask, ‘How can we return when we have never gone away?’
“Should people cheat God? Yet you have cheated me!
“But you ask, ‘What do you mean? When did we ever cheat you?’
“You have cheated me of the tithes and offerings due to me. Malachi 3:7-8 (NLT)
“They even did more than we had hoped, for their first action was to give themselves to the Lord and to us, just as God wanted them to do.” Corinthians 8:5 (NLT)
“But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” Matthew 6:33 (NIV)
GOING DEEPER QUESTIONS
These questions are designed to help you go deeper with the sermon during your week – to take a closer look at the scripture and find fresh ways to live out the main points of the sermon. Going Deeper questions also are used in all of our Grow Groups.
2 Corinthians 8:1-9; Deuteronomy 8:11-14; Malachi 3:7-10; Matthew 6:33
Share in your group the things that God has provided that you are thankful for.
What prohibits you from being as generous as you would like?
Do you believe financial margins are important? Why or why not?
A Closer Look
What is Paul asking the Corinthian Church to do in 2 Cor. 8:1-9? (cf. 1 Corinthians 15:1-4; Romans 15:25-29; Philippians 4:15-17)
What motivation does Paul provide for their giving?
What is the spiritual motivation for generosity (vs. 9)?
How is Paul using the word “grace” in 8:1-7?
Read Malachi 3:7-10. What does this text say to you about giving and generosity?
At the center of Paul’s appeal in 8:9 is the death and resurrection of Jesus. How does this truth about Jesus become a practical, down-to-earth way of life for his people?
When you have experienced difficulties in your life, have you used those circumstances as an excuse for not giving?
What holds you back from giving generously to God’s people and God’s work? Where do you feel God might be calling you to be a generous and cheerful giver?