Gratitude and Giving

“Gratitude and Giving” - 2 Corinthians 9:7

“Each one of you must give as you have made up your mind, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.”

We will talk about the spiritual practice of giving this Sunday. Don’t worry about guilt or gloom. They won’t be present. We will simple focus on two things God loves – you and cheerful giving. I believe that all believers want to be part of things God loves. Cheerful giving is one of those things. 2 Corinthians 8-9 gives us plenty of help in developing this attitude and corresponding action. We can study the example of the Macedonians and Paul’s relief offering for some helpful guidance. Here’s a list of observations:

1. Giving is evidence of God’s grace. 2 Cor. 8:1

2. Everyone can give. 2 Cor. 8:2

3. We can give generously. 2 Cor. 8:3

4. Giving should be voluntary. 2 Cor. 8:4

5. Giving demonstrates a commitment to Christ. 2 Cor. 8:5

6. Jesus exemplified giving. 2 Cor. 8:9; I Peter 2:21

7. Giving is a spiritual practice that can be revived. 2 Cor. 8:6-7

8. Giving should be planned. 8:10-12

9. God is the source. 2 Cor. 9:6-12

10. Giving attacks materialism. (G.W. Peterman)

• Christians should know contentment in every state.

• Money is a commodity that should be used in the service of others, not something to display one’s virtue publicly, to gain honor, or to bring others into one’s orbit of power.

• Reward can only be expected from God, not from others.

• God bestows the material wealth we share with others, and consequently God, not the giver, is the one who is to be blessed and thanked.

• Sharing with other Christians is identified as koinonia.

• Giving to others proves that one’s confession of Christ as Lord is true.

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