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Giving - Worship at Valley Springs Church

Valley Springs 7-22-23

A Message from II Corinthians 8

It mis always a blessing to share with the brothers and sisters at Valley Springs Church.

Here is yesterday's service and message.

One realization I had upon was review, was my dire need for a haircut and a comb.

 

2 Corinthians 8   - New International Version

 And now, brothers and sisters, we want you to know about the grace that God has given the Macedonian churches.

 In the midst of a very severe trial, their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity. For I testify that they gave as much as they were able, and even beyond their ability.

 Entirely on their own, they urgently pleaded with us for the privilege of sharing in this service to the Lord’s people. And they exceeded our expectations:

 They gave themselves first of all to the Lord, and then by the will of God also to us. So we urged Titus, just as he had earlier made a beginning, to bring also to completion this act of grace on your part. 

 But since you excel in everything—in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in complete earnestness and in the love we have kindled in you—see that you also excel in this grace of giving.

 I am not commanding youbut I want to test the sincerity of your love by comparing it with the earnestness of others. For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich.

And here is my judgment about what is best for you in this matter. Last year you were the first not only to give but also to have the desire to do so. Now finish the work, so that your eager willingness to do it may be matched by your completion of it, according to your means. For if the willingness is there, the gift is acceptable according to what one has, not according to what one does not have.

 Our desire is not that others might be relieved while you are hard pressed, but that there might be equality. At the present time your plenty will supply what they need, so that in turn their plenty will supply what you need. The goal is equality, as it is written: “The one who gathered much did not have too much, and the one who gathered little did not have too little.”

 Thanks be to God, who put into the heart of Titus the same concern I have for you. For Titus not only welcomed our appeal, but he is coming to you with much enthusiasm and on his own initiative. And we are sending along with him the brother who is praised by all the churches for his service to the gospel. What is more, he was chosen by the churches to accompany us as we carry the offering, which we administer in order to honor the Lord himself and to show our eagerness to help. We want to avoid any criticism of the way we administer this liberal gift. For we are taking pains to do what is right, not only in the eyes of the Lord but also in the eyes of man.

 In addition, we are sending with them our brother who has often proved to us in many ways that he is zealous, and now even more so because of his great confidence in you. As for Titus, he is my partner and co-worker among you; as for our brothers, they are representatives of the churches and an honor to Christ. Therefore show these men the proof of your love and the reason for our pride in you, so that the churches can see it.

  1. Giving Is a Two-Way Experience of Grace
  2. Giving Requires the Grace of God to Make Us Able.
  3. Giving Is a Privilege of Participation.
  4. Giving is a Spiritual Exercise of Submission to God.
  5. Giving Is an Opportunity to Excel
  6. Giving Is More about Love than Law.
  7. Giving Is Modeled by Jesus.
  8. Giving Is About Intent.
  9. Christian Giving Is Proportional Giving.
  10. Giving Is to Be Done with integrity.

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I am not commanding you, but I want to test the sincerity of your love … (II Corinthians 8:8)

There is something within you that is full of sincere love, something that desires to give of yourself completely to God and others. It is that new nature imparted by Jesus to you in conversion that pants for God and longs for His love to flow through you.

One of the easiest ways to create resistance is to push people to do what they don’t want to do. The Apostle Paul understood this. His method was not to badger but to help people to find that part of themselves that wanted to do what God wanted them to do. It was that part of the Corinthian Christians to whom he appealed regarding the offering for the poor saints in Jerusalem. It is that part of ourselves to whom we must appeal as we flip the dial of our lives from the flesh to our new nature in Christ.

Real commitment cannot be coerced or manipulated. It must flow from a heart of love. It was love that compelled our Lord to take up His cross and it is love that draws us to the cross and prompts us to take up the cross and follow Him.

Much has been said about sacrifice and giving. It is God's unspeakable gift in Jesus that paints the eternal masterpiece of loving sacrifice.

Love and sacrifice sanctify commitment and communion. Sometime in the near future, you will partake of the Lord’s Supper. We come to the Lord's table because His love led Him to offer His body and blood as a sacrifice for our sin that we might be saved and might have the opportunity to commit our lives to something significant and eternal. In a dark world, it is His life being expressed through our lives in sacrificial love and commitment that will light the way for others to find significance and hope.

Come to the table of grace daily with sincerity and joy but also with reverence as you remember Him and prepare to worship.

 

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