A Tangible Expression of Thanksgiving

Bible Book: 2 Corinthians  9 : 7-15
Subject: Thanksgiving; Stewardship; Giving

Introduction

"It is hard to imagine a more precious promise than to be the personal object of God’s love. All the world’s acclaim, honor and rewards given to all philanthropists put together does not come close to this privilege of being loved by God. Yet that is what He promises the cheerful giver. He speaks of a special love for each one of His own who gives cheerfully.

While it is possible to give without loving, it is not possible to love without giving. God gives His love to all believers, but as previously, noted, He blesses in a unique way generous, cheerful givers. In fact, He blesses such believers on such a grand, immense, staggering scale that it begs language to express it. Trying to convey the magnanimity of God’s generosity, Paul resorted to hyperbole, using a form of the word all 5 times in verse 8. God’s generous giving has not limits; it is off the scale.

Since giving naturally seems to result in having less, not more, it takes faith to believe that giving will open up God’s blessing: Christians must believe that what God has promised to do, He is able to do, literally He has the power.” John McArthur

I. Precious Promise 7

“each one” – personal

“must do” – call for obedience

“ purposed” – planned & systematic,

Predetermined - Example: Influence of Alan Gotthardt on my giving.

“in his heart” - examination of motive; from inside; private but can become profound. How? It begins with my love for God and His glory but extends to others.

“not grudgingly or of necessity”

(under compulsion) - strictly voluntarily, not forced or with sorrow, grief, pain, remorse, regret or reluctance. Mourning over parting with what is given, not any legalistic external pressure.

“for God loves a cheerful giver” – with spontaneous joy, hilarious, happy, joyous, privileged. As a special object of God’s love.

Never more like Jesus than when you are giving.

II. Predetermined Principle 8-11a

v.8 “and God is able”

1 Corinthians 2:5, “that your faith should not be in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.”

Ephesians 3:20, “Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us.”

Romans 4:21, “and being fully convinced that what He had promised He was also able to perform.”

Philippians 4:19, “And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.”

God in His Grace replenishes what we give so that we lack nothing; He will continuously provide the generous giver with the means of further expressing that generosity.

“an abundance for every good work” – again He constantly replenishes what we expend so the cycle of giving and ministering to others can continue.

v.9 Note the quote from Psalm 112:9

Giving touches time and eternity.

Giving for the nations.

Giving for the poor.

Giving that is rewarded forever.

Proverbs 11:24-26, “There is one who scatters, yet increases more; And there is one who withholds more than is right, But it leads to poverty. The generous soul will be made rich, And he who waters will also be watered himself. The people will curse him who withholds grain, But blessing will be on the head of him who sells it.”

v. 10 Genesis 1:10-11, “And God called the dry land Earth, and the gathering together of the waters He called Seas. And God saw that it was good. Then God said, "’Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb that yields seed, and the fruit tree that yields fruit according to its kind, whose seed is in itself, on the earth’"; and it was so.” God provides the seed for sowing. That generous giving will impoverish no one is evident here. God created all the earths’ fruit and vegetation. We sow the seed and then reap the harvest, which in turn provides more seed for sowing in an ever-expanding cycle.

v. 11a “will be enriched in everything” equipping us “for all liberality.”

1 Chronicles 29:14, “But who am I, and who are my people, That we should be able to offer so willingly as this? For all things come from You, And of Your own we have given You.”

Literally “of your hand”

III. Preeminence Purpose 11b-15

This passage speaks of :

1. God Glorified

1 Corinthians 10:31, “Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.”

2. Others Benefitted

3. Macedonia Motivated

4. Corinthians Obeyed

v. 12 Ministry of giving was seen as a spiritual service to God; worship (LITURGY). It was the offering of a Priest to his God.

The generosity of the Corinthians would meet needs but more importantly it would result in “many thanksgivings to God.”

2 Corinthians 8:20, “avoiding this: that anyone should blame us in this lavish gift which is administered by us.”

“lavish gift” – generous gift

v. 13 Their sacrificial giving tangibly demonstrated love for their fellow believers, that mark of genuineness. They were doers of the Word. The Corinthians obedience proved the genuineness of their confession of the gospel of Christ. Their good works did not save them but gave evidence that they possessed a living faith.

“they glorified God for the obedience”

2 Corinthians 4:15, “For all things are for your sakes, that grace, having spread through the many, may cause thanksgiving to abound to the glory of God.”

v.14 The poor promised prayer for the rich “the exceeding grace of God in you” – giving and generosity is a sign of the working of God’s grace in you.

v. 15 The gift is His Son! This gift inspires and motivates all gifts.

Still true, “Never more like Jesus than when you give!”