Faithlife Sermons

Joyful Generosity

Light of the Gospel  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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INTRODUCTION

GOOD MORNING

Thank you for joining us online

REVIEW

We are currently studying through the book of 2 Corinthians
We have been in chapter 8 & 9 for the past few weeks that deal with generosity
Acts of Grace
What it is...
What we’ve accomplished together
Helping Families who have a child with cancer
Student at UCF who is from India and just lost his dad
A father in Venezuela diagnosed with stage 3 cancer
Food pantry in the community serving families in need
Personal gift to our missionaries in N. Africa
Dinner for the Central Florida Children’s Home
Napali Missionary (wife and mom of 3) who needs cancer surgery
Record of Your Giving
In the past 2 weeks - we have given nearly $6,000 above and beyond in our Acts of Grace Initiative
Another $9,500 was donated to our Pandemic Relief Fund
All this on top of our regular giving that supports supports the church, missionaries in N. Africa and Brazil, and the proclamation of the gospel in our community.

TRANSITION

BIG IDEA: The impact of cheerful generosity

HARVEST OF GENEROSITY - PART 1 (9:6)

OT PASSAGE

Ancient Truth: You will reap what you sow
You will harvest what you plant
Proverbs 22:8
Whoever sows injustice will reap calamity
Hosea 8:7
For they sow the wind, and they shall reap the whirlwind
Principle:
(1) You will harvest of the same kind that you plant (sow)
(2) The harvest is bigger than what is planted

AGRICULTURAL CONTEXT

Agricultural society
Reminds me of the garden my daughter Annelise and I planted.
We’ve planted tomatoes, jalapenos, and strawberries
From one plant it is producing numerous Jalapenos
Next year I’m going to have 2 plants so I get even more because that is how it works.
QUESTION...

WHAT IS PRODUCED THROUGH THE SEED OF GENEROSITY?

Some would have you believe that if you GIVE lots of money, then you GET lots of money
This is calling people to generosity by fueling their individual greed
Simple Question: How does this reflect the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ (8:9) who was rich, yet for your sake he become poor so that you who are poor may become rich?
SO, what do we receive (reap) from bountiful generosity?
Before Paul answers this question - he first talks about our heart (motivation) and our hope (trust) of our generosity.

HEART OF GENEROSITY (9:7)

THE HEART MATTERS

What thoughts and emotions rises in your heart when you think about being generous? Or when someone begins to talk about money
Honestly - don’t just give me some Sunday School answer.
DECIDED IN THE HEART
Not Reluctantly
Sometimes we can talk about the EMOTION of giving but there is also a THOUGHTFULNESS here. An act of the mind and will.
Previously Paul told them - I’m not asking you to burden yourselves so that others may be eased (8:13). I’m asking for fairness. You have abundance and they have need. Think about what you can give out of your abundance to help provide for your need. Then decide what works for you.
Not Under Compulsion
You aren’t being forced
You are being guilted
This is offering is not an obligation but should be a delight.
But Cheerfully
Joy in generosity expresses a heart of contentment in God
HINT:
We reap what we sow
If we sow with GREED - we will produce GREED in others (Give me more - I am owed this donation. )
If we sow with GUILT - we will produce GUILT in others (I’m sorry I need to ask for help… but…)
If we sow with JOY - we will produce JOY in others (hold on this b/c we will see it again at the end of the passage)

HOPE OF GENEROSITY (9:8-11)

CHEERFUL HEART ROOTED IN THE SOIL OF HOPE IN GOD

God is able
Make all grace ABOUND to you
ALL Sufficiency - in ALL Things - at ALL Times
You may ABOUND in every good work
This is the root of generosity with JOY
GOD IS ABLE
His grace is not merely sufficient (his grace is sufficient) but it overflows. It is like pouring a glass of milk into a large mug - BUT you keep pouring, the cup is overflowing and the gallon jug seems to have an endless supply of milk. You try to drink from the lip of the cup to prevent it was going everywhere but you can’t drink fast enough and so you sit in laughter as the milk begins to pool on the floor.
This is ability and heart of God

GOD SUPPLIES THE SEED

What is the seed being provided?
JOY & MONEY
“Cheerful Giver” - we are also going to see in the end how generosity motivated by joy will produce joy in the recipient.
The Context here is money - specifically giving money from our abundance toward the need of someone else
MULTIPLIED SUPPLY
God supplies the SEED (Joy and Money)
God multiplies the SEED for sowing (Joy and Money)
You will be enriched in every way TO BE generous in every way
God will multiply the SEED & MORE (Joy, Money, and incalculable ways)
Joyful generosity motivated by a hope in God that produces gratefulness to God in others.
GOD vs GREED
Because of some circles within the Christian community that teach what is called a Prosperity Gospel - I want to be extremely clear at this point.
GREED-CENTERED GENEROSITY (GIVE TO GET) - some will look at this passage and say
Uses language like ‘Seed of Faith’
Give a little bit of money - get a little bit of money
Give more money - get more money
One such teacher said this (taken directly from them and not through another source):
(1) God will supply your needs
(2) You give first - SO THAT it will be given back to you
(3) Expect a Miracle - “give God something to work with today. No matter how little you think you have, sow it in joy and faith, knowing you are sowing seeds so you may reap miracles.”
I have personally witnessed the destruction this false teaching causes in the poorest of communities around the world.
GOD-CENTERED GENEROSITY
God Gave First (8:9)
God was rich in righteousness, while you lived in the slums of moral poverty. Jesus became poor that we might inherit the riches of his righteousness by grace through faith.
Give from your head and heart (9:7)
Thoughtfully consider what God has given you and determine how God is leading you to express generosity toward those in need with joy.
God will be praised (9:12)
You will experience the abundant generosity of God
Others will be led to worship God’s provision in their life.
The end goal is NOT more money - that is a lame reward for short-sighted people.
IS - More of God, more worship, more of experiencing his provision in your life

HARVEST OF GENEROSITY - PART 2 (9:12-15)

WHAT DOES GENEROSITY PRODUCE - WHAT IS THE HARVEST OF GENEROSITY

(1) MEET THE NEED

“Not only supplying the needs...” (9:12)
Sometimes we think the end is just meeting the need - NO - here’s the beauty of what our generosity produces

(2) WORSHIP GOD

“Overflowing in many thanksgivings to God”
Your generosity is like a call to worship for others.
Your giving produces worship for God. This is incredible and the way this verse is written it causes us to believe that the worship is greater than the need being met.
‘They will glorify God because of your gift.” (9:13)
What would bring you more joy in this moment:
Another $50 in your pocket
Knowing that your donation has lifted someone’s hurting heart toward praise and worship of the one true living God who can supply their every need and your every need?
REMEMBER: sowing generosity with joy produces joy toward God in others.

(3) SPIRITUAL MATURITY

“Submission that comes from your confession of the gospel” (9:13)
Confession leads to Action
Confess - Jesus is God, he is good, he is our provider in whom we trust
Action - is generosity
Our confession is incomplete until it is expressed through how we live.
We we act on our beliefs we experience more of God and this causes us to be more and more transformed into his likeness. Spiritual maturity is submitting and acting on what we confess to be true.
You remain an infant if you say/confess that Jesus is your provider and hope and yet refuse to walk in generosity.

(4) DEEP RELATIONSHIP

“They long for you and pray for you”
“long for you” - care, concern, love, relationship
Has anyone walked through the trenches with you
What is your affection toward them?
“pray for you” -
Relational and spiritual care

CONCLUSION

THANK YOU

“Thanks be to God for his inexpressible gift!” (9:15)
Think of the harvest - Consider what we reap when we sow generosity with joy
(1) Meet Needs
(2) Multiply Worship of God
(3) Grow Spiritual
(4) We deepen relationships
Now do you see why the Macedonians “begged for the favor” of giving?
When our small acts of generosity reap such a divine harvest - my affections and desire toward generosity are transformed.

ACTS OF GRACE

CONTINUED
CULTURE
PRAYER
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