01.28.2018 The Joy of Sharing God's Blessings (draft 2)
For the past two weeks our focus has been – The Joy of Generosity.
In week one, it was all about the joy of receiving.…receiving that starts here…
Graphic – creation…
All giving begins with God WHO creates the universe and forms man and from His generosity we have life. Thank you God our Father.
But His generosity doesn’t stop here…when man turns away from God, God reveals His generosity again, when He sends us His only Son,
Graphic of Christmas
God so loved the world that He gave His only Son…
AND God generosity doesn’t end here it just keeps getting greater.
Graphic - Jesus on the cross,
In a profound act of generosity, Jesus finds joy in His suffering and death for us, for the world, for you...and
(ESV) 12 To all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God,
Our first week WE defined Joy like this:
(slide from last week) Joy is life eternal in the presence of God, a life that began when you were born again.
Last week we focused on the joy of managing God’s blessings ACKNOWLEDGING THAT God gives all that we are and have.
We receive joy managing God’s blessings when our hearts are dedicated to use all that God has entrusted to us for the furthering of His Kingdom and the benefit of others.
Our stewardship, the managing of God’s gifts, is always a matter of our hearts. Jesus said,
ESV For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
AND because we have received the Holy Spirit, the Spirit can by grace alone, through faith alone produce in us, the God-given, God-blessed stewardship of our hearts.
Today, our focus is on the joy we receive when we share God’s blessings with others.
We’re going to look very quickly at three examples of those who out of their joy, share God’s blessings.
Now he had to go through Samaria. So he came to a town in Samaria called Sychar, near the plot of ground Jacob had given to his son Joseph. Jacob’s well was there, and Jesus, tired as he was from the journey, sat down by the well. It was about noon.
(For his disciples had gone away into the city to buy food.)
Jesus is alone at the well, when...
A woman from Samaria came to draw water. Jesus said to her, “Give me a drink.”
Nothing in this narrative happens as we might expect. We don’t expect Jesus to talk to this woman, because...
The Samaritan woman said to him, “How is it that you, a Jew, ask for a drink from me, a woman of Samaria?” (For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans.)
We don’t this woman to leave the well, go back to the town in the joy of generosity to share the blessings of God. She has found the Messiah. But that i what she does. What we don’t expect to see is what the town does. The town dispises this woman yet, when she generously shares the God’s blessings with the town,
Many Samaritans from that town believed in him because of the woman’s testimony, “He told me all that I ever did.”
WE don’t expect her to go back to the town. We don’t expect them to give her the time of day, let alone believe her testimony. We are stewards of the mysteries of God.
This is how one should regard us, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God. Moreover, it is required of stewards that they be found faithful.
Compelled by joy we share the gospel of Jesus Christ.
We are compelled by joy to share the gospel of Jesus Christ.
In the second example, from ,
Paul has been asked to gather an offering to help the church in Jerusalem from the churches in Asia Minor. In his second letter to the Corinthians, writes in the 8th chapter,
We want you to know, brothers, about the grace of God that has been given among the churches of Macedonia, for in a severe test of affliction, their abundance of joy and their extreme poverty have overflowed in a wealth of generosity on their part. For they gave according to their means, as I can testify, and beyond their means, of their own accord, begging us earnestly for the favor of taking part in the relief of the saints— and this, not as we expected, but they gave themselves first to the Lord and then by the will of God to us.
The Macedonians did not do what Paul expected regarding their giving. Out of their joy of generosity, they gave beyond their means, of their own accord.
Compelled by joy we share with others in need
In the last example, from , Jesus is at the temple. It is holy week,
And he sat down opposite the treasury and watched the people putting money into the offering box. Many rich people put in large sums.
While Jesus was watching…(graphic)
(ESV) 42 And a poor widow came and put in two small copper coins, which make a penny.
And the same motivation of this widow is what what moves us to share the blessing of God.
And what moves us to share the blessing of God. The same motivation of this widow.
We are compelled by joy to share the blessings of God from our love
For the love of Christ controls us, because we have concluded this: that one has died for all, therefore all have died;
found For the sake of time, I want to jump Children are some of the best examples to us of those who find joy in sharing. They love to share with others when they aren’t not afraid of losing
Christ gave up everything, including His life, on the cross for us. His love and sacrifice compells us to share the joy of God’s blessings in our church and our work together her to further the kingdom of our Lord Jesus Christ. Moved by His life, love, sacrifice, we commit together to offer our whole lives to Him as our daily offering of gratitude.
motivate us to offer our whole lives to Him as our daily offering of gratitude.
How will you decide what you will pledge this year in the joy of generosity?
So I thought it necessary to urge the brothers to go on ahead to you and arrange in advance for the gift you have promised, so that it may be ready as a willing gift, not as an exaction. The point is this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And 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. As it is written, “He has distributed freely, he has given to the poor; his righteousness endures forever.” He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness. You will be enriched in every way to be generous in every way, which through us will produce thanksgiving to God.
Paul makes four points for us to thinking about as we pledge our gifts to Christ Church.
Point 1, Giving is an individual decision that comes from a cheerful heart willing to give.
Let your faith in Christ move you to pledge.
Point 2 - God promises to reward our generosity and provide all we need for every good work.
Let every need around become and opportunity to demonstrate God’s generosity.
Point 3 - God promises to make us rich so that we may be generous
Patti's father was a LCMS pastor. On the TV, there was a small plate where he placed their weekly offerings written in a check. It was written after he received his weekly check. There it sat until Sunday. On Sunday, I never saw him put an offering in, as he was involved in the service. I suspect it was Patti's mother who placed it in the offering each week. It was visible for anyone in the home who took the time to see. But the lesson that it taught in their home? Christ first in everything.
Point 4 - Our generosity brings thanks and praise to God.
Let us pray...
(NONE do what we expect: Samaritan shared God’s blessings with someone who, in all likelihood, hated him. The woman shared her joy in finding the Messiah with a town that despised. The Widow gave her last coins away, all she had to live in, revealing her total trust in the LORD’S provisions and promises. Jesus does not do what we would expect either. He forgives those who despise and reject him, punish him - nailing him to the cross, and even his closest friends whom we would expect to be there for Jesus, but who in their fear abandon him, he returns from the dead, not pointing out their sins, but showing them grace and mercy and love.)