Faithlife Sermons


Sermon  •  Submitted
0 ratings
Giving is an enormous part of the worship of God...
Freely we have received, freely we give...
Giving our lives
Giving our time
Giving our resources
Giving our money
Giving our love
Being generous in our giving is BIBLICAL
Nobody wants to be known as stingy, and thankfully Paul writes about giving according to what we have… and learning to be generous or liberal in giving according to our ability.
Often New Testament Christians like to use this generous giving as an OUT for tithing...
I would like us to explore Paul’s teaching on generosity and apply it to multiple areas of our lives… but specifically to Paul’s intent.
2 Corinthians 9:1–13 NLT
1 I really don’t need to write to you about this ministry of giving for the believers in Jerusalem. 2 For I know how eager you are to help, and I have been boasting to the churches in Macedonia that you in Greece were ready to send an offering a year ago. In fact, it was your enthusiasm that stirred up many of the Macedonian believers to begin giving. 3 But I am sending these brothers to be sure you really are ready, as I have been telling them, and that your money is all collected. I don’t want to be wrong in my boasting about you. 4 We would be embarrassed—not to mention your own embarrassment—if some Macedonian believers came with me and found that you weren’t ready after all I had told them! 5 So I thought I should send these brothers ahead of me to make sure the gift you promised is ready. But I want it to be a willing gift, not one given grudgingly. 6 Remember this—a farmer who plants only a few seeds will get a small crop. But the one who plants generously will get a generous crop. 7 You must each decide in your heart how much to give. And don’t give reluctantly or in response to pressure. “For God loves a person who gives cheerfully.” 8 And God will generously provide all you need. Then you will always have everything you need and plenty left over to share with others. 9 As the Scriptures say, “They share freely and give generously to the poor. Their good deeds will be remembered forever.” 10 For God is the one who provides seed for the farmer and then bread to eat. In the same way, he will provide and increase your resources and then produce a great harvest of generosity in you. 11 Yes, you will be enriched in every way so that you can always be generous. And when we take your gifts to those who need them, they will thank God. 12 So two good things will result from this ministry of giving—the needs of the believers in Jerusalem will be met, and they will joyfully express their thanks to God. 13 As a result of your ministry, they will give glory to God. For your generosity to them and to all believers will prove that you are obedient to the Good News of Christ.
2 Corinthians 9:1–13 M:BCL
1 If I wrote any more on this relief offering for the poor Christians, I’d be repeating myself. 2 I know you’re on board and ready to go. I’ve been bragging about you all through Macedonia province, telling them, “Achaia province has been ready to go on this since last year.” Your enthusiasm by now has spread to most of them. 3 Now I’m sending the brothers to make sure you’re ready, as I said you would be, so my bragging won’t turn out to be just so much hot air. 4 If some Macedonians and I happened to drop in on you and found you weren’t prepared, we’d all be pretty red-faced—you and us—for acting so sure of ourselves. 5 So to make sure there will be no slipup, I’ve recruited these brothers as an advance team to get you and your promised offering all ready before I get there. I want you to have all the time you need to make this offering in your own way. I don’t want anything forced or hurried at the last minute. 6 Remember: A stingy planter gets a stingy crop; a lavish planter gets a lavish crop. 7 I want each of you to take plenty of time to think it over, and make up your own mind what you will give. That will protect you against sob stories and arm-twisting. God loves it when the giver delights in the giving. 8 God can pour on the blessings in astonishing ways so that you’re ready for anything and everything, more than just ready to do what needs to be done. 9 As one psalmist puts it, He throws caution to the winds, giving to the needy in reckless abandon. His right-living, right-giving ways never run out, never wear out. 10 This most generous God who gives seed to the farmer that becomes bread for your meals is more than extravagant with you. He gives you something you can then give away, which grows into full-formed lives, robust in God, 11 wealthy in every way, so that you can be generous in every way, producing with us great praise to God. 12 Carrying out this social relief work involves far more than helping meet the bare needs of poor Christians. It also produces abundant and bountiful thanksgivings to God. 13 This relief offering is a prod to live at your very best, showing your gratitude to God by being openly obedient to the plain meaning of the Message of Christ. You show your gratitude through your generous offerings to your needy brothers and sisters, and really toward everyone.
Can I first say that this passage is CLEARLY not a discussion on tithing!
It is about offerings for the needs of others… and giving to help various needs
Today we would see this as contributing to missionaries, evangelists, special outreaches, community needs, people in need, etc.
This thoughts is replicated in Phil 4:19
Philippians 4:19 NLT
19 And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus.
When Paul gives thanks for the offerings sent to support him in his ministry and in prison
This gift in 2 Corinthians was for Christians in Jerusalem who had need due to persecution.

1. What Makes a Generous Gift?

Let’s start there....
First, the definition for generous is...
showing a readiness to give more of something, as money or time, than is strictly necessary or expected...
liberality is...
the quality of giving or spending freely
In both these cases it describes going beyond the norm or the expectation...
I say that to remind us that the Bible does give us a baseline expectation ---
From Old to New Testament is the teaching of the tithe - where the first 10% of our income is not really ours, but belongs to the Lord, and He has entrusted us to give that back to Him in worship for the purpose of learning to trust and be thankful for His provision in our lives...
He chose the place of worship as the “storehouse” where that gift is brought.
So many are so caught up on the tithe, failing to see that Jesus mentions it and reinforces it ...
Think for a second with me of the OT law.
Jesus said he did not come to due away with it but to fulfill it...
Matthew 5:17–20 NLT
17 “Don’t misunderstand why I have come. I did not come to abolish the law of Moses or the writings of the prophets. No, I came to accomplish their purpose. 18 I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not even the smallest detail of God’s law will disappear until its purpose is achieved. 19 So if you ignore the least commandment and teach others to do the same, you will be called the least in the Kingdom of Heaven. But anyone who obeys God’s laws and teaches them will be called great in the Kingdom of Heaven. 20 “But I warn you—unless your righteousness is better than the righteousness of the teachers of religious law and the Pharisees, you will never enter the Kingdom of Heaven!
Paul writes in regard to the law...
Romans 7:12 M:BCL
12 But the law code itself is God’s good and common sense, each command sane and holy counsel.
Ok, we see this when Jesus fulfills the law and goes beyond it… he draws out a few examples in His sermon on the mount..
Murder --- not be angry
Adultery --- not look at another with lust
Divorce - not just a certificate but requires an issue of sexual immorality
Oath - let your yes be yes and no be no - integrity with our words
Retaliation - turn the other cheek,
Sued - give your cload as well as your shirt
Love - not just your neighbor but your enemy
If the baseline of the law was to give our tithe, our first 10% to the Lord than a New Testament application would be generosity beyond that...
Being generous starts after the expectation is fulfilled...
A generous gift goes beyond a tithe!
The tithe is according to what you have, an offering is in addition!

2. What is a Cheerful Gift?

I love this! Paul writes to not be steam rolled into giving beyond your ability.
First of all your ability is your tithe - that is a non-negotiable to Paul - a former Pharisee and one who still followed the law, an expectation of his language of generosity
Here, we are talking about OFFERINGS - not tithes - and Paul makes it clear - determine what to give and in accordance to what you have.
The message says - do not let your arm be twisted!!!
(Can i say i despise when evangelists twist arms and lay guilt trips!!!)
It is ok to present a need and encourage us to INVEST IN A VISION!!!
If that vision does not take hold of your heart, then so be it...
I would hope reaching the lost and investing in the Kingdom of God and helping others in need would be in your heart...
A cheerful gift is a thankful response!
Paul dives into investing generously and sparingly and likens it to a farmer..
If you don’t sow seed you will not reap a harvest.
Have you ever planted a garden? The planting instructions are to plant more than one seed in every space you plant --- why - not all seed takes root!
When we invest in the Kingdom of God - the more we sow, the greater the RETURN ON INVESTMENT for the Kingdom and in our own life...
Paul definitely says that being generous will be accounted to you and bring increase in your life and is also a THANKSGIVING for all the Lord has done for you!
We sow sparingly because we do not believe the Lord has given much to us...
A cheerful gift is one birthed out of the heart with joy to give - not out of guilt (again this is not talking about our tithe, but our offerings)
Guilt giving is futile, but thankful hearts give generously out of desire to be a part ...
Thankful hearts are grateful for the indescribable gift of God — our salvation
Understand the Lord recognizes sacrificial gifts — the widow who have her all - last two mites
David who refused to sacrifice what cost him nothing
the early church selling property to have all things in common and help one another
There is blessing in cheerful giving that is sacrificial - but that kind of sacrifice must be purposed in the heart not in guilt.
If there is not faith for the gift and desire to give, then it is arm twisting...
Likewise, if we see a need and have ability to help - we are failing to be generous.
A cheerful gift is given willingly with joy and out of choice!

3. What Kind of Returns are Promised?

Notice the word promised!
V. 8 says God’s grace will about to you,
you will have sufficiency - enough!!! this relates to being content - God will make you content
you will have abundance in good work
We love to quote
Philippians 4:19 NLT
19 And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus.
This was a promise to those who gave generously into the ministry and for the support of the workers of God (missionaries, evangelists, apostles, pastors, etc.) in the case - Paul
The promise is a return on investment!
If you sow you will reap!
The more generous you sow, the more bountifully you will reap!
Jesus said this Himself...
Luke 6:38 NLT
38 Give, and you will receive. Your gift will return to you in full—pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, running over, and poured into your lap. The amount you give will determine the amount you get back.”
I have witnessed through the years how the Lord blesses cheerful givers.
Those who learned the joy of giving...
They started before they had much, but then found increase and would continually give...
I have watched the stingy...
(Herb and the missionary offering… not one dime) they had little and were envious of others,
They did not even give to their own children… (candy cane and bragged about the kids liking the wrappers more)


This morning my endeavor was to keep the Word of God before you in reference to how we give ....
To remind us to be the body of Christ and in a culture where taking and holding onto things is celebrated, learn to release and trust....
It is also to teach us the balance ---
To not be forced or coerced - but to give from a grateful heart
And to measure our heart not by the size of our gift, but the joy in which the gift is given...
Sometimes it starts out sacrificially until we realize it only returns blessing...
Also, I want us to know what NT Liberality means - it does not negate the baseline expectation to give back to God what is His - but goes beyond to experience bountiful sowing and reaping!
When it comes to tithing - the Lord has spoken,
When it comes to giving - the option is yours based on your heart...
(Please, if you give a gift, make sure the gift is there - sometimes checks bounce and online giving does not go through....
Keep your tithe steady --- it is not just a gift when you attend, but based on what the Lord has provided in your life....
Allow yourself to grow in experiencing what the Lord wants to do in your life.)
Related Media
Related Sermons