Title: I have something to give
Text: 2 Cor. 8:5 NLT
Introduction: Most people think that they don’t have anything to give. They say that I am poor I don’t have any money. I am stretched and strapped. I have nothing left. But fact of the matter is we all have something to give if we would just sacrifice. Sacrifice means to give up some cherished or desired object, idea or person for the sake of something else. Example of sacrifice…That’s sacrifice!
Relative Question: What do I have to give?
If we all look within ourselves, we can all see how we all got something to give. It maybe time, money or talent but I have something to give!
Purpose of Letter: Apostle Paul is writing to the church of Corinth defending his apostleship from false teachers. He was accused of using the ministry money to enrich himself. This caused the church at Corinth to stop giving to the ministry. He was writing to clear his name and encouraging them to return their commitment in giving to the poor. In chapters 8&9, Paul discusses the proper giving procedures for the believer on the how and why they ought to give. He uses the Macedonian churches as a model. We learn from Paul how giving is connected to our spirituality. Giving is spiritual it is an act of worship. The Spirit of God has to touch your heart to be a godly giver. Mat. 6:21 tells us that were your treasure is, there you will find you heart. I want my heart to be with God that is why I have to give right.
Background: Macedonia was area in Paul’s time under Rome rule north of Greece which was once a country land known for its gold, silver and trade. The Macedonian churches were Berea Thessalonica and Philippi. After the Roman invasion the churches were left barren (much like the Bronx). Then how were they able to give money when they were so poor? The answer is in verse 1 of our passage.
They were able to give unconditionally.
The text says that the “grace of God was bestowed…” on them they were unconditionally givers. It did matter what there circumstances were.
In order to be a giver, you first have to be a receiver, as receiver of God’s grace. It is a gift. Grace is a gift to the believer. We all have been a recipient of God’s grace. Grace is God’s favor toward a believer. It is God’s blessings despite an individual’s imperfection. It is unmerited. You can not earn it. God just does it. Grace comes to those in need and humbly approach God. Every good and perfect gift comes from God. That is grace! I have good news for somebody today! Grace is available for you! The churches of Macedonia had qualities that affirm and confirm the grace in their life. The church of Thessalonica was known for their suffering. The church of Philippi was known for being loving and thoughtful to the saints. The church at Berea was known for being open to God’s word. Therefore, if you have been through some stuff, have been thoughtful and loving to people and remained open to the Word, God is saying Grace in available for you today! It is made perfect in your weakness. You have to be a receiver before you can be the giver God wants you to be.
I. The Macedonians gave sacrificially. v. 2
They gave during great trials, hard times and a state of poverty. This challenges believers today because we let our suffering hinder us from giving. The Macedonians did not take on the stance of a welfare recipient trying to get over. They had joy in the midst of pain and gave the little they had to bless somebody in need. They did what Jesus did. Out of his pain He somebody like me got blessed. The Macedonians ran on empty to fulfill a need. That is sacrificial giving. Give what you have as long it from the heart. This reminds me of the widow in Luke 21, when you give your all, Jesus takes notices! When you give, Jesus is watching. I ask you what do you want him to see?
II. They gave voluntarily. v. 3
They did not need a preacher to call a blessing line. The Macedonians giving was an inward response to an outward need. They did it because it was in them to do. We don’t give the way we should because it is not in us. This is why we need his grace. Grace is the essence of the believer’s ability to give because there is no good thing in us that would want for us to give.
III. They gave more that they could afford to give. v. 3
They stretched in their giving. They are an example of going deep in your pockets and going the extra mile for a cause. And the cause was the cause of getting the gospel out to the world. They gave into the vision of God thru Paul. They knew the fruit and made and investment in the ministry. They wanted the ministry to go forth effectively.
They did it because the ministry need was bigger than their immediate personal need. But I am a witness that when you bless the ministry God will bless you and than you can do for yourself! Tried Stone you have to sow into this ministry! When you give to something larger than you, you exemplify Christ. He gave himself for something larger than Himself, your salvation. It made more to him than to save his life.
IV. They gave enthusiastically with readiness. They urgently pleaded with us for the privilege of sharing in this service to the saints. v.4 NIV
They were looking for an opportunity to give. This challenges us as believers today because we are so busy looking on how we can receive a financial blessing instead of looking to be a financial blessing. We have to stop looking for a hand out and be ready to fill a hand that is out who really has a need. Transition: The Macedonians gives us a model on how to give. But how they got so fanatical about giving is found in our theme scripture. It makes all the abovementioned characteristics possible to give in a godly way.
In order to give the way God wants us to give have to do what he Macedonia did in verse 5.
A. Give yourself to the Lord first.
The Macedonians gave themselves first the Lord. There are a lot of believers today who have not wholeheartedly given themselves to the Lord. They come to church every Sunday and Tuesday. But still haven’t given them selves to the Lord. You see them in ministry meeting but still have not given them selves to the Lord. You see them leading, but still the have not give themselves to he Lord. We give ourselves first to other things. But we have to remember God is jealous God. And He won’t tolerate anything or anybody getting his glory.
As believers we are admonished to give ourselves to the Lord just as we are. You got to present yourself a living sacrifice holy and acceptable to the Lord. You have to deny yourself and pick up your cross until the Lord takes it away. You have to humble yourself to the Lord knowing in due season He will exalt you. When my desire is God’s desire for my life, it is only then that I know I gave myself to him. I have to release who I am now into how God want me to be now!
B. You have to give yourself to others v. 5
In order for us give they way God wants us give, we have to give ourselves to leadership. What does that mean? We have to submit to one another according to Eph 5:21 in the fear of the Lord. The Macedonians recognized who Paul was and benefited from his anointing of God in his life. Therefore, when he asked them to give it was no problem because they knew his anointing, integrity, and his mission. Also, because of his relationship with them, they supported him. They submit to his apostolic authority and sowed into the ministry that the Lord gave to him. The problem is many vowed that in church “I aint giving no money to no man”. They ain’t God. I am not going to give in church. I don’t know what they do with the money. Do you know that when you give faithfully favor will come? If you don’t believe me look a Malachi 3!
Transition: When we give ourselves to the Lord and to one another. God give us the grace to give. When we become godly givers, He has a promise for us.
I want close on the promises of giving. He tells us that grace abounds meaning we have favor.
Paul is speaking metaphorically in chapter 9:6 in terms that the Jewish culture can understand in his time. He uses the language of a farmer to describe the promise that is tied to godly giving. God has promised for those who give bountifully they are going to reap bountifully. To those who have a good cheerful attitude, He loves them and is going to give grace to make you prosper for giving money. Not only will you prosper financially you are going to prosper in your spiritually life, your righteousness will increase! Look at verse 2 Cor 9:10.
The one who created the seed and who does not let you go hungry is going give you back what you sown and multiply it! He is going increase the harvest of you righteousness which is you status with God. God is going to call me holy, kind, loving because I know how to give. That is my harvest! Money is good but I so glad he calls me righteous! And I am right with God I got favor! I found that favor is better than money because favor brings money! All I have to is be like farmer and release my seed into a need and watch my increase!
Somebody here may not have money yet but you got favor. Now release yourself to God and the money will come. When get the money release that and more favor will come. When favor comes God grace, money will come because you sown a seed to a need! You get blessing pressed down shaken together and running over! Give what you got and God will bless you!
Intro: 1 Chron 21:24
I. Give to the Lord Unconditionally vv. 1-2a
Why? You receive grace unconditionally
They gave despite hardship
II. Give to the Lord Generously vv. 2b-3a
Give joy not happiness
They gave far more than expected
III. Give willing to the Lord vv. 3b-4
Free will: out of their on volition
Looked for opportunities to give
IV. Give to the Lord wholeheartedly vv. 5-7
It was more than expect: Go the extra mile
To the Lord
To the Ministry
V. Give to the Lord distinctly 9:6-7a
They were decisive in giving
Result depends on what you sow
VI. Give to the Lord Cheerfully v. 7b
They had the right attitude
VII.Give to the Lord expectantly vv. 8-10
What can we expect? (see text)
Change your expectations from negativity
Expect the best!