Practicing Your Faith Sermon Series
The Joy of Generosity
january 22, 2023 | Pastor chris winans | 2 corinthians 8:1-7
- Matthew 10:8 Freely you have ________________________; freely __________________.
- What are the two barriers to generosity that Pastor Winans outlined in his message?
- Luke 12: 20-21 “You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for _________________? This is how it will be with whoever stores up things _____ ________________ but is not rich toward God.
- TRUE OR FALSE: The parable of the talents tells the story of the servant who was given one talent who lacked the financial knowledge to invest his masters money to gain interest.
- Which are the two principles of generosity that Pastor Winans reviewed in his message?
- First fruits
- TRUE or FLASE: Proverbs 3:9-10 expresses the principle that if you give back to God what you have been blessed with then you will be blessed, you will be blessed to the full.
- To be generous to others we need to ___________ others and see their ___________ and have a heart of compassion.
Sermon Discussion Questions
- Generosity is an invitation into the abundant life. What is an abundant life?
- Matthew 10:8 teaches us to freely give. What are some reasons to do this?
- How does greed keep us from experiencing joy?
- How is trusting in God related to experiencing the joy of generosity?
- What does the New Testament say about the tithe?
Luke 11:28 Blessed are you that hear the word of God and keep it.
How do we practice our faith and have life in abundance?
The habits of scripture reading, prayer, community, and generosity should be part of what we do.
This week we turn to engaging our faith through the practice of generosity.
The Joy of Generosity
When we live a life of generosity, we are being invited by the Holy Spirit into the fulness of life that Jesus said that you might live abundantly.
2 Cor 8:1-7
We want you to know, brothers,[a] about the grace of God that has been given among the churches of Macedonia, 2 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. 3 For they gave according to their means, as I can testify, and beyond their means, of their own accord, 4 begging us earnestly for the favor[b] of taking part in the relief of the saints— 5 and this, not as we expected, but they gave themselves first to the Lord and then by the will of God to us. 6 Accordingly, we urged Titus that as he had started, so he should complete among you this act of grace. 7 But as you excel in everything—in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in all earnestness, and in our love for you[c]—see that you excel in this act of grace also.
Be encouraged to the invitation to a more abundant life through generosity.
Matt 10:8 Freely you have received; freely give.
- The principle of generosity begins with the thought that we have been lavished upon with riches by the grace of God in Christ. When we realize these great riches he has given us, we become free to give in generosity.
- Given these barriers how do we overcome them and how do we grow in the abundant life?
Barriers to Generosity
- 2 Cor 8:4 For they gave according to their means, as I can testify, and beyond their means… and this, not as we expected.
- Sin of Greed- Luke 12:15 Watch out! Be on guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions.
- Luke 12:16-21 Jesus tells the parable of the rich fool who tears down barns and builds bigger barns so that he could store his grain and goods so that he could “eat, drink, and be merry”.
- Luke 12: 20-21 “You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself? This is how it will be with whoever stores up things for themselves but is not rich toward God.
- The farmer had only a self-focused view of the things that God had given him…they were his. An inward storing up of goods for myself.
- Rich towards God- Romans 10:12 There is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, bestowing his riches on all who call on him.
- We are to be like God on bestowing our riches on others as he did for us.
Lack of Faith or Trust
- Does $$ make me feel secure?
- We do need things, but Jesus says that we do not trust in money and these things- “Don’t be anxious”
- Matt 6:30, 33 But if God so clothes the grass of the field… will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?... But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness and all these things will be added to you.
- Are you living in a way that demonstrates God’s taking care of you and your needs?
- The Lord’s Prayer- “Thy kingdom come”- are our resources to be leveraged for the use of the kingdom or yourself?
- “Give us this day our daily bread”- who are we to depend on?
- Do we trust him? Does God have my best interest?
- Parable of the Talents- use the resources that I have given you for my kingdom.
- The servant who was given one talent, put it in the ground.
- Matt 25:24-25 Master, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you scattered no seed, so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground.
- He did not trust his master.
- To the one who he gave five talents Matt 25:21 His master said to him, “Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master”.
- When you are not generous, you are depriving yourself of joy.
Growing in Generosity
- 2 Cor 8:5 They gave themselves first to the Lord and then by the will of God to us.
- Giving ourselves to the Lord
- Should we have a heart to give back to God a portion of what he has lavished on us?
- How do we do this? 2 Principles
- Based in OT, 10% giving to God. Matt 23:23 Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint and dill and cumin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faithfulness. These you ought to have done, without neglecting the others.
- 2 Cor 8:7 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.
- Should we be more or less thankful to God, on this side of the resurrection?
- When you don’t give and tithe you are depriving yourself of joy. Tithing reflects a heart given to God in thankfulness.
- First Fruits
- Prov 3:9-10 Honor the Lord with your wealth and with the first fruits of all your produce; then your barns will be filled with plenty, and your vats will be bursting with wine.
- We bring to God the first and the best
- Cain and Abel- the quality of your sacrifice matters.
- Give the best of your time.
- Generous to Others
- Parable of the Good Samaritan- who is my neighbor?
- Luke 10:33-35 But a Samaritan as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him.
- To be generous to others we need to see others and see their need and have a heart of compassion.
- “The next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper. “Look after him,” he said, “and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.”
- How is the Lord leading me to be generous, to be a servant to others in their need.
- Gal 6:10 Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.