THE KIND OF GIVER THAT GOD LOVES
2 Corinthians 8-9
1. I don't know that there is an issue that has been more abused by church leaders thanthe issue of giving.
2. In an effort to motivate people to give, preachers have mishandled and misused the Scriptures. Some try to scare people into giving (if you don't give, this terrible thing will happen), some try to make big promises if people will give.
• You've heard this on TV if you have ever channel surfed the religious channels."Send me $100 today and I promise you God is going to give you…"
3. But giving today in the time of grace is something very special for the believer.Giving is the natural and normal response of a person that is in a close relationship with Jesus Christ.
• Illustration: If I love a child and I am in a close, intimate relationship with the child, I naturally want to give to the child.
4. Turn to 2 Corinthians 8:1-2 - these believers gave sacrificially, but the key to this is in verse 5. Their giving was simply a fruit of their close relationship with Jesus Christ.
5. In 8:7, Paul admonishes the believers at Corinth to also grow in the grace of giving.
• Giving is a grace, a fruit that Christ bears in and through us as we walk in total dependence upon Him (just like faith and love, also mentioned in this verse).
6. Some people try to convince themselves that God doesn't care at all about our giving. But to the contrary, God does care, because He cares about His relationship with us.
7. When we have little desire to give to God, it is indicative that our relationship with Christ is not where it should be.Remember, giving is a fruit of that relationship.
8. In Philippians 4:18, those believers had given sacrificially to the work of God, and Paul said that their gift was "an odour of a sweet smell, a sacrifice acceptable, wellpleasing to God." God saw their giving and was well pleased with it.
9. There are three types of givers that I want to mention - one of them, the Bible says God loves! Which one do you think it is?
The first is the good-intentioned giver.
1. Paul had been trying to raise funds for the poor saints at Jerusalem. For a year now, the Corinthians had been talking about the great gift they were going to give towards this offering. vs. 10
2. There had been a lot of talk and good intentions, but no action. I love what Paul tells them in verse 11. Let me paraphrase. Paul basically says, "Get with it!"
3. Paul had bragged on these people to other churches, but their good intentions had never materialized. Paul was getting a little nervous. 9:2-4
4. Did you know good intentions won't accomplish God's work? It takes believers who will make God's work a priority, and not allow anything to keep them from giving to God's work.
5. We don't want to look back on our lives one day as we stand before Christ and see that our lives were nothing but lives of good intentions, and that we never did much to impact eternity. The good-intentioned giver, who never seems to follow through, will stand empty-handed before Christ one day.
The second is the guilt giver.
1. This is the person who gives simply because he feels guilty (9:7). There are two key words here:
• Grudgingly - you give with sadness and grief
• Necessity - giving by constraint
2. This kind of giving is so displeasing to the Lord. It is easy to understand why.
• Illustration: Your husband brings home beautiful flowers to give to you. But then he says, "They delivered them to work by accident and I was the only married guy, and the other guys railed on me and told me if I was any kind of a husband I would bring them home to you. Here you go! (Boy they really stunk up my car.)"
3. When we give to our dear Lord, who died for us on the cross and gave everything He had for us, and we give out of guilt, it means nothing.
The third is the grace giver.
1. Grace giving is when we give cheerfully to our Lord out of the deep love we have in our hearts for Him. 8:8-9
• Nobody has to twist my arm or guilt trip me.I love my Savior, and therefore I want to give to Him. 9:7
2. The spirit of giving should be the believer's natural response to the infinite grace bestowed upon him in Christ.Verse 8:9 says, "For ye know the grace…"
3. If you know His grace, you are not the same person you once were. He has completely changed your present life and your future destiny.
4. As we meditate on His grace, and think of all that His grace has freely provided for us, giving to Him becomes a supreme delight and joy.
5. Look at 8:2-4: The believers in Macedonia were begging for the opportunity to give, and they wanted to give above and beyond what was expected of them.
6. Paul tells the Corinthians to abound in this grace, also. vs. 7
• Giving is a grace. What does this mean? It is the divine nature within us being reflected in our lives. God doesn’t want your giving to be guilt-driven, but grace-driven.
• Giving is the response to His amazing grace and is the fruit of His grace
working in and through us.The gift of His grace bears the fruit of a giving
1. Here is the essence of giving today - we know what His grace has done in us, and we want others to hear this message of grace. Therefore, we gladly make sacrifices so that we can give to our Savior, so that others may hear this life-changing gospel.
2. We looked at three types of givers. Which one do you think God loves? The grace giver is the cheerful giver of 9:7.How does God feel about a cheerful grace giver, according to verse 7? He loves the cheerful giver. He touches the heart of God.
3. Would you define yourself as a cheerful grace giver? Hopefully your whole perspective has changed after seeing God's Word today.More than anything, Christ longs to be close to you and be your source of life for everything in your life.
4. You will see God flow through you in incredible and amazing ways as the grace of giving abounds in you. 9:8