My sermon notes for Sunday, June 7th as we continue our study through 2 Corinthians. Remember, these are my personal study notes and not a manuscript of the sermon. To see the sermon each week visit http://www.fbcap.net
2 Corinthians 8:1–15 –  We want you to know, brothers, about the grace of God that has been given among the churches of Macedonia,  for in a severe test of affliction, their abundance of joy and their extreme poverty have overflowed in a wealth of generosity on their part.  For they gave according to their means, as I can testify, and beyond their means, of their own accord,  begging us earnestly for the favor of taking part in the relief of the saints— and this, not as we expected, but they gave themselves first to the Lord and then by the will of God to us.  Accordingly, we urged Titus that as he had started, so he should complete among you this act of grace.  But as you excel in everything—in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in all earnestness, and in our love for you—see that you excel in this act of grace also.
 I say this not as a command, but to prove by the earnestness of others that your love also is genuine.  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 by his poverty might become rich.  And in this matter I give my judgment: this benefits you, who a year ago started not only to do this work but also to desire to do it.  So now finish doing it as well, so that your readiness in desiring it may be matched by your completing it out of what you have.  For if the readiness is there, it is acceptable according to what a person has, not according to what he does not have.  For I do not mean that others should be eased and you burdened, but that as a matter of fairness  your abundance at the present time should supply their need, so that their abundance may supply your need, that there may be fairness.  As it is written, “Whoever gathered much had nothing left over, and whoever gathered little had no lack.” (ESV)
2 Corinthians 8:1–15 – God’s Grace and our Giving
Big Picture Thoughts:
- God’s Grace and our Giving
- Giving and Our Sanctification are closely linked
- We rely on His provision, yet we discipline ourselves to be good stewards (His grace and our effort)
- Like all other spiritual disciplines… once we start, there is no turning back
- We never really talk about it in church like we should. Yet, so many of us are living in such an unhealthy financial life.
- Debt/Bills, Paycheck to paycheck living, No Savings, Little Retirement. We have accepted the NEW NORMAL
- God talks more about our things/money than He does heaven.
- We need to see things from God’s perspective:
- My receiving (Is a picture of God’s Grace)
- My spending (is this a picture of God’s grace?)
- My giving (Is this a picture of God’s grace)
ATTITUDE– vv. 1-4
It is the attitude of the heart
- Not based on our circumstances
- Severe affliction
- Extreme poverty
- Abundance of joy (what produced this joy)
- Personal – according to their means
- Sacrificial – beyond their means
- Willingly – of their own accord.
- We become part of something bigger than ourselves
- Favor of taking part
- The privilege of joining God and what He is doing
RELATIONSHIP – v. 5, vv. 8-9
His with me and mine with Him
- Give ourselves FIRST to the Lord– vv. 5
- Not as a command, but to prove our love – v. 8
- Our Love is genuine, Because His love is genuine – 8-9
Because of my relationship with Christ
- What He gave, so that I have
- Because of who I am in Him… I have everything
BALANCE– vv. 6-7
We must strive toward balance in our “sanctified life”
- A healthy Spiritual life involves the whole life
- Love for others
- Grace giving
- My giving should be in balance with the WHOLE.
FOCUS – vv. 10-11
Giving of oneself is a lifestyle not just an event.
- Finish what you KNOW you need to do.
- PRESS ON…Forget. Move forward – Philippians 3:12–16
- It will bring great benefits
AWARENESS – vv. 12-15
The closer we walk with Him the more we are aware of how He can and will use us.
- God does not expect us to give what we do not have
- God wants us to give when He gives
- He gives when others have needs
Philippians 3:12–16 –  Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own.  Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead,  I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.  Let those of us who are mature think this way, and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal that also to you.  Only let us hold true to what we have attained. (ESV)
Matthew 6:2–4 –  “Thus, when you give to the needy, sound no trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may be praised by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward.  But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing,  so that your giving may be in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you. (ESV)
Matthew 6:7–13 –  “And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard for their many words.  Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.  Pray then like this:
“Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name.  Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.
 Give us this day our daily bread,  and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.
 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. (ESV)
Matthew 6:19–24 –  “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal,  but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal.  For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
 “The eye is the lamp of the body. So, if your eye is healthy, your whole body will be full of light,  but if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light in you is darkness, how great is the darkness!
 “No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money. (ESV)