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The Grace of Giving
By Pastor John

2 Corinthians 8:1-9
1 And now, brothers, we want you to know about the grace that God has given the Macedonian churches. 2 Out of the most severe trial, their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity. 3 For I testify that they gave as much as they were able, and even beyond their ability. Entirely on their own, 4 they urgently pleaded with us for the privilege of sharing in this service to the saints. 5 And they did not do as we expected, but they gave themselves first to the Lord and then to us in keeping with God's will. 6 So we urged Titus, since he had earlier made a beginning, to bring also to completion this act of grace on your part. 7 But just as you excel in everything-- in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in complete earnestness and in your love for us-- see that you also excel in this grace of giving. 8 I am not commanding you, but I want to test the sincerity of your love by comparing it with the earnestness of others. 9 For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich.

Giving is a grace
1 And now, brothers, we want you to know about the grace that God has given the Macedonian churches.

    It is not a work.
    It is not a duty, but it is a blessing God will let you share in.

    It is not something we give.  It is something we get.
    He gives us a Spirit of Giving. 

He supplies what is to be given.
2 Corinthians 9:10-11
10 Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness. 11 You will be made rich in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God.

God gives grace to our missionaries. Why not to those who support them?

Because giving is a grace, it is for everyone, including the poor.
2 Out of the most severe trial, their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity.

    The Macedonians
    Poor widow chosen to support Elijah. The food and oil never ran our because it was God's grace.

Because giving is a grace, we can give beyond our means.
3 For I testify that they gave as much as they were able, and even beyond their ability.

    The Macedonians pleaded for the privilege of sharing in the ministry.
    4 they urgently pleaded with us for the privilege of sharing in this service to the saints.

Giving is actually a blessing to a poor person, because God gives back much more.
2 Corinthians 9:6-8
6 Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. 7 Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. 8 And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.

Proverbs 11:24-25
24 One man gives freely, yet gains even more; another withholds unduly, but comes to poverty. 25 A generous man will prosper; he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed.                                        

God's grace is received by faith and surrender to Him.
    They gave themselves to God and to His will.
    5 And they did not do as we expected, but they gave themselves first to the Lord and then to us in keeping with God's will.

In giving, we partake of the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ
9 For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich.

God's grace brings tremendous blessings.
2 Corinthians 9:12-15
12 This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of God's people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God. 13 Because of the service by which you have proved yourselves, men will praise God for the obedience that accompanies your confession of the gospel of Christ, and for your generosity in sharing with them and with everyone else. 14 And in their prayers for you their hearts will go out to you, because of the surpassing grace God has given you. 15 Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!                                

   
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