Read 2 Corinthians 9:11-15
Today, we are deviating from Philippians as we think about the importance of what happened yesterday when we committed above and beyond our tithes and offering for the next 3 years through “Advancing the Gospel…Trusting His Provision” campaign.
I don’t know if you’ve thought about this before, but in our sacrificial giving, God creates opportunities for the recipients to thank Him for the generosity of those giving.
As we continue to give and fulfill our commitments, God promises to enrich us to be more generous which will produce thanksgiving. Paul links our continued giving to opportunities to give thanks for God’s faithfulness.
I will be excited to hear the many testimonies over the next three years about how God has been faithful in supplying our needs and how we can give thanks to Him. I will also be excited to see how our financial giving will be used to advance the gospel so that our missionary partners can give thanks to God. And how many new children and youth will be exposed to the gospel and how many new people will be affected by the generosity of Emmanuel Baptist Church.
When we give to the Lord and support the ministries of the church, it enables the GOSPEL to be spread in a stronger way. When we give to mission’s offerings, 100% goes to the mission field for the spreading of the gospel. By paying down the debt, we will be freed up as a church to do even more than what we are doing now!
Why do we give to the Lord anyway? Ultimately we want to be faithful as a church in doing ministries that will flow from our submission to advancing the gospel of Christ
I really want us as a church to be known for our generosity. The word Paul used for “sharing or contribution” in verse 13 is “koinonia” which means joint partnership. In other words, when we give to the Lord, we can partner with other ministries and come along side churches to aid them. With blessings, comes responsibility. Emmanuel is a strong church in our area and when need to be a model of giving to help strengthen and support missions, ministries, and struggling churches.
Read 2 Corinthians 8:11 and 9:5
If we are able to over the next three years, we need to be faithful to complete our pledges and finish what we started.
In 8:11 Paul tells them to finish means to complete successfully.
As you pray about tithing or giving above your tithes to the Lord, it is not a one-time decision, but a lifestyle decision. Some weeks or months it might be hard to give, and it will be easy to back off on commitments, but Paul encourages us to follow through with our commitments to give.
Read 2 Corinthians 8:1 along with 9:14-15.
Ultimately, giving is an act of worship for the inexpressible, incomprehensible, indescribable gift of God’s mercy and grace to undeserving sinners. We don’t give because God needs it. We don’t give to get back. We give out of gratitude, thankfulness, and obedience to the ultimate sacrifice in giving—the CROSS!!!
God’s grace was given to the Macedonian churches in severe trial and persecution (8:1) and God’s grace has been given to all of us who call Him Lord and Savior.
The only way we can give back to God is because He has given us the grace to earn the money. Everything we have comes from His hands. We own nothing. Our breath, our life, our talents, our ability to make money, all flow from the amazing grace of God who gives us all good things.
When we take the perspective that the cross, forgiveness, the resurrection are all acts of grace and that we don’t deserve any of it, but it has been lavished on us freely, how could we not have the heartfelt, consecrated, joyful desire to give more than 10% to God.
Ten percent is the minimum. God desires for us to give out of the overflow of our hearts.
As you move forward in obedience to give you may need to start tithing for the very first time in your lives. Jesus is Lord and demands ultimate allegiance to His authority. Your money is not your own. It is His.
Also, God shows amazing grace to sinners. While we can never repay the sacrifice that Christ’s accomplished for us on the cross, we can worship Him through our giving.
It’s not about giving to Emmanuel. It’s not about giving to a building fund. It’s not about begrudgingly, painfully, greedily handing God our leftovers. It’s about serving and loving the Awesome God of the Universe who is Lord and Savior and who showed us grace and that we are giving to HIM!!! It’s an awesome act of worship.
Thank you for being my indescribable gift! You are wonderful and I am worship You today for giving of Yourself freely for me on the cross. Help me to give back to You from the overflow of the love you’ve shown me in Your grace. May I be a cheerful giver!
In Your Name,