The Second Mile - Part 1

Bible Book: 2 Corinthians  8 : 2
Subject: Stewardship; Sacrifice; Lord's Supper; Communion; Cross
Series: Shoe Leather Christianity
[Editor's Note: This is part 1 in the sermon Second Mile. You will find other portions of this sermon in SermonCity.]
Introduction

In Matthew 5:38-42 of the Beatitudes, Jesus spoke of the Second Mile: "You have heard that it was said, 'An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.' But I tell you not to resist an evil person. But whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also. If anyone wants to sue you and take away your tunic, let him have your cloak also. And whoever compels you to go one mile, go with him two. Give to him who asks you, and from him who wants to borrow from you do not turn away.”

It’s as though Jesus is calling upon His followers to do more than the norm; go over and above.

Thinking through these challenges it is apparent that you can’t lead someone you don’t influence. Undoubtedly through the years Jesus has had great influence in His followers lives. To illustrate 11 of His 12 disciples died as martyrs.

To experience “second mile” living one has to understand:

1. Authority:

The power or right to direct or control someone.

Example: Jesus heals a centurion’s servant

Matthew 8:7-9, “And Jesus said to him, "I will come and heal him."

The centurion answered and said, "Lord, I am not worthy that You should come under my roof. But only speak a word, and my servant will be healed. For I also am a man under authority, having soldiers under me. And I say to this one, 'Go,' and he goes; and to another, 'Come,' and he comes; and to my servant, 'Do this,' and he does it."

2. Affection:

Colossians 3:1-3, “If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.”

3. Accountability:

Proverbs 27:17 - “As iron sharpens iron,

So a man sharpens the countenance of his friend.”

Speaks of a willingness to accept responsibility or to account for one’s actions.

4. Authenticity:

Made to be or look just like an original.

The passion in a believers’ life for “Second Mile” living is a picture of the “effects of grace.” Grace is defined as unmerited favor- it is God’s richest at Christ’s expense. In the context of receiving His grace as a gift, it means to take something that belongs to someone and credit to anothers account. It is a one-sided account.

Romans 4:3, “For what does the Scripture say? "’Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.’"

Song says, “Grace, grace, God’s grace

Grace that will pardon and cleanse within.”

I’m grateful for the effects of Grace. I am saved by grace, kept by grace. It is grace that gave us the church, grace gives us hope, it is grace that gives, forgiveness, fellowship, and heaven. Grace has affected my past, present and my future. Grace has touched every area of my life. It has touched my wife, my children, my grandchildren, my work, my worship and my worth. It has touched my mind (the way I think), my life (the way I act, live), grace sure makes a difference in life as a whole.

2 Corinthians 8:9, “For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that you through His poverty might become rich.”

Jesus Christ is a GIVER and a GENEROUS GIVER. The Apostle Paul uses the example of a local church in order to display the effects of grace in a people’s giving to support God’s work. How people view money is an effective barometer of their spirituality. Money is neither good nor bad in itself; corrupt people can put it to evil uses, while good people can put it to righteous uses.

The Rich of the Bible led the way in giving; today, the more one has the less percentage they give.

? Giving To Religion On The Decline As Other Sectors Grow- January 8, 2015

o While giving to other sectors has actively increased by 12.3% since 2009, giving to religion has decreased by 2.4%

o Good news is giving to houses of worship still attracts the highest percentage, but the percentage is slipping.

o 1 out of 5 (20%) of American Christians give nothing.

o If the average Christian household gave just 10% instead of 2.58% they currently give, it would result in additional $168 billion in donations.

How do Baptist compare with other religious groups on giving?

Baptist $53,534 Salary

Baptist $ 1,078 Giving

Baptist 2.01 Percentage

Jewish $123,305 Salary

Jewish $ 1,552 Giving

Jewish 1.36 Percentage

Mormon $64,334 Salary

Mormon $ 3,574 Giving

Mormon 5.55 Percentage

The Bible does not forbid the possession of money:

? God gives the power to make wealth (Deuteronomy 8:18).

? He willingly supplies us with all things to enjoy (1 Timothy 6:17).

? Job, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Boaz, and Solomon were godly men with extreme wealth. While the Bible does not forbid possessing wealth, it does forbid loving it.

Ecclesiastes 5:10

“He who loves silver will not be satisfied with silver;

Nor he who loves abundance, with increase.

This also is vanity.”

1 Timothy 6:10, 17, “For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.

Command those who are rich in this present age not to be haughty, nor to trust in uncertain riches but in the living God, who gives us richly all things to enjoy.”

EXAMPLES:

Achan’s love of money brought disaster to himself, his family, and his nation

(Joshua 7:1-25).

Balaam’s love of money caused him to foolishly attempt to curse God’s chosen people

(Numbers 22:24).

Delilah’s love of money led her to betray Samson (Judges 16).

Judas’ love of money caused him to betray the Lord Jesus (Matthew 26:14-16).

Loving money makes people forget God (Deuteronomy 8:11), trust in their riches rather than Him, be deceived, compromise convictions, be proud, steal from God, and ignore the needs of others. Job 31:24, Mark 4:19, 1 John 3:17, Malachi 3:8, Deuteronomy 8:14.

Many view giving as merely another obligation, it is in reality a priceless privilege, because it is the pipeline which brings God’s promised blessings to His people.

Luke 6:38, “Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you."

2 Corinthians 9:6, “But this I say: He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.”

The only direct quote from Jesus’ earthly ministry recorded outside of the Gospels addresses the issue of giving.

Acts 20:35, “I have shown you in every way, by laboring like this, that you must support the weak. And remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He said, 'It is more blessed to give than to receive.'"

Generous giving to God results in greater giving from God; it is impossible to out give Him. The promise associated with giving should stimulate believers to be sacrificially generous givers.

Malachi 3:8-10

“Will a man rob God?

Yet you have robbed Me!

But you say,

'In what way have we robbed You?'

In tithes and offerings.

You are cursed with a curse,

For you have robbed Me,

Even this whole nation.

Bring all the tithes into the storehouse,

That there may be food in My house,

And try Me now in this,"

Says the Lord of hosts,

"If I will not open for you the windows of heaven

Ad pour out for you such blessing

That there will not be room enough to receive it.”

Sadly, the powerful lure of the world’s advertising, slick appeals, self-indulgence, and lack of faith all hinder believers from the full blessing of giving.

In 2 Corinthians 8 the Bible speaks of the motives of giving. John McArthur said that this passage reveals that giving is motivated by God’s grace, transcends difficult circumstances, is with joy, not hindered by poverty, generous, proportionate, sacrificial, voluntary, a privilege, an act of worship, in submission to pastors, in concert with other Christian virtues, and evidence of love.

I. THE EXPRESSION OF GRACE 1

An encounter with grace.

“grace of God” – in the sense of operative, favoring, presence and power of God. Their giving was not motivated primarily by philanthropy or human kindness, but by the grace of God at work in their hearts. One of the effects of saving, transforming, sanctifying grace is a longing to give generously and sacrificially to those in need, especially other believers. The Macedonians gave magnanimously and abundantly.

Paul wished for them to know of the grace effect in the Macedonians heart.

“we wish to make known to you”

Macedonia is located in Northern Greece and we believe Philippi, Thessalonica, and Berea are the cities Paul is referencing. These were all Gentile cities that had been plundered by the Romans.

Yet because of God’s grace they had a testimony that Paul wished to testify of to other believers.

2 Corinthians 9:2, “For I know your willingness, about which I boast of you to the Macedonians, that Achaia was ready a year ago; and your zeal has stirred up the majority.”

2 Corinthians 8:1 – This verse sets all that follows in the context of motivation. What we will continue to read and learn about giving generously and sacrificially is motivated by grace of God.

HOW ABOUT FBCW GIVING:

7,100 Local Family Units

                                   2005                                     2014

Number of Givers:      7,344                                  8,025

Average Total Dollars Given: $2,482                   $2,678

Average Number of Times Giving Per Year: 10        12

Percentage Of Givers Who Gave Less Than $500 For The Year: 58%                    52%

Givers of Less Than $500.00 Provided What Percentage Of Total Gifts: 2.6%             2.51%

Percentage Of Givers Who Gave Amounts Equal To A Tithe (10%) Based Upon $40,000

Annual Income: 22%                    15%

Note: Report represents “Givers Only” defined as having given at least $1.00.

397 families gave between $10K and $20K.

82 families gave between $20K and $30K.

47 families gave between $30K and $50K.

10 families gave between $50K and $100K.

5 families gave between $100K and $200K.

1 family gave over $200K.

This shows that 60% of our total giving last year was given by 542 family units out of 7,100 family units. Of $20,000,000 in gifts, $11,625,000 given by 542 units.

70% of our people gave a tithe that would be below poverty level. That is $20,000 for a family and $11,000 for individuals.
 
[Editor's Note: Here Dr. Hunt begins the second message on this subject:

The Lord’s Supper is a reminder of what Jesus did in the past, a symbol of our present relationship with Him, and a promise of what He will do in the future.

The crucifixion of Jesus has a continuing significance to all who have taken up a cross to follow Him. In the Lord's Supper, we show that we share in Jesus Christ. We commune with Him. We are united in Him.

The New Testament speaks of our sharing with Jesus in several ways.

We share in His crucifixion (Galatians 2:20), death (Romans 6:4), resurrection (Ephesians 2:6), and life (Galatians 2:20).

The Lord’s Supper symbolizes this spiritual reality. We live in Christ, and He lives in us.

Today may we look upward, to Christ, and be mindful that true life can only be in Him and with Him.

1 Corinthians 11:28: “But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of the bread and drink of the cup.”

What do we find in our examination? This helps me with my relationship with Him.

Today may we look outward and around to see if we are treating others as Christ commanded (one another-55 times). If you are united with Christ and I am united to Christ, then we are united to each other.

We are the Body of Christ.

As Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 10:17, “For we, though many, are one bread and one body; for we all partake of that one bread.”

By participating together in the Lord’s Supper, we picture the life of the fact that we are one body in Christ, one with each other, with responsibilities toward one another.

Hebrews 10:24-25, “And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.”

Last week we looked at the Macedonia Church and their “Expression of Grace.” The Grace of God was OPERATIVE in their lives; it was WORKING.

II. THE EXPERIENCE OF GRACE 2

What has “Grace” taught you? Do you have a giving story?

Amazing Grace (verse 2)

“T'was Grace that taught...
my heart to fear.
And Grace, my fears relieved.
How precious did that Grace appear...
the hour I first believed.”

A. Taught The Greatness Of God

How Great is God?

“How Great is our God, sing with me

How Great is our God, and all will see

How great, how great is our God”

This passage, 2 Corinthians 8:2 teaches that His greatness allows us to give generously and sacrificially to His work and it transcends difficult circumstances. His greatness allows us to consistently give to His works with joy. His grace is so great that, we are privileged to give and not be hindered by poverty. During difficult financial challenges the greatness of God makes it possible to give generously, sacrificially and most of all VOLUNTARILY.

1. In Adversity

a. Persecution

“great trial of affliction” – during a season of testing by affliction, trouble experienced.

“great” – much or many; extreme nature of their ordeal. Refers to pressure, as in crushing grapes.

EXAMPLE: All Taylor’s mother with 4 boys.

The Macedonians rose above their trying circumstances. They did not allow their situation to have a negative affect on their giving. They put the needs of others ahead of their own. Their poverty may have limited the amount they could give, it did not diminish their love. Devout Christians give no matter what the situation.

Others had to be encouraged by the example of gracious giving by the Macedonians; caught not taught!

We at FBCW can be encouraged in that we have lots of room for growth development in GIVING. If the average Christian gives a little over 2% to a charitable cause (including houses of worship) we can pray, teach, inspire, and lead others to being more committed.

Remember: We have 7,100 family units but 542 units gave 60% of all receipts last year. 1,400 family units gave less than $100 all year. 450 family units did not give at all. THIS CAN CHANGE! How? PRAYER, TEACHING, BEING EXAMPLES. The GRACE OF GOD AND THE GREATNESS OF GOD AT WORK IN OUR HEARTS.

Remember:

15% of our membership gave over $4,000.00 last year.

My prayer is that others will join us and support God’s work among neighbors and nations through the local church! If 188 family units would join in we would realize an additional One Million Dollars in giving this year. If 377 family units would join in we would realize an additional Two Million Dollars. If 560 family units would join in we would realize an additional Three Million Dollars. Why?

Greater Ministry Opportunities could be embraced. We could address social issues with greater depth. We could fund more church plants. We could revitalize more dying churches. If FBCW’s average give of 8,025 givers is $2,482.00 per year. If it moved to $4,000.00 we would receive an additional $10 million next year. Average Baptist makes $53,000.00 a year, if it moved to $5,300.00 per family we would receive an additional $20,000,000.00 next year. This excites me to challenge us!

b. Destitution

“their deep poverty” - rock bottom destitution, a time of scarcity; word describes a beggar who has absolutely nothing and has no hope of getting anything; the pits.

The Macedonians’ confidence that God would supply all their needs freed them to give generously. Devout Christians do not wait until they have more money, they give despite their poverty, like the poor widow (Luke 21:1-4).

Psalms 37:25:

“I have been young, and now am old;

Yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken,

Nor his descendants begging bread.”

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

Giving is not a matter of how much one possesses but is an expression of an unselfish and loving heart.

Luke 16:10, “He who is faithful in what is least is faithful also in much; and he who is unjust in what is least is unjust also in much.”

2. In Attitude

a. There Is Abundance.

“the abundance of their joy” – speaks of joy, overflow. They gave gladly, freely, joyfully, knowing that “God loves a cheerful giver.”

(2 Corinthians 9:7).

1 Thessalonians 1:6, “And you became followers of us and of the Lord, having received the word in much affliction, with joy of the Holy Spirit,”

b. “abounded in the riches of their liberality” – overflowed in the wealth of their liberality; even though they were not rich in material possessions, they did possess a wealth in simplicity and sincerity. They were not double-minded attempting to find a reason not to give but their concern for others and the Kingdom of God ruled.

Philippians 2:3-4, “Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself.

Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.”