Words to Live By: Generosity

Posted on 11/12/17 by David Lindell in Words to Live By

In this message, Pastor David Lindell shares an encouraging sermon titled, “Words to Live By: Generosity.” Join us as we read about the extraordinary generosity of the Macedonian churches in 2 Corinthians 8:1-5 and learn four motivations that lay the foundation for a generous life. Our prayer is that this message would encourage you to embrace a lifestyle of generosity that touches every area of your life.

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Words to Live By: Generosity

2 Corinthians 8:1-5 ESV
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.

1st We Give Because God Gave to Us

2 Corinthians 8:1 NIV
And now, brothers and sisters, we want you to know about the grace that God has given the Macedonian churches.

John 3:16 NIV
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

Matthew 10:8b NIV
Freely you have received; freely give.

Matthew 10:8b MSG
You have been treated generously, so live generously.

2nd We Give Because God Created Us to Get Joy from Generosity

2 Corinthians 8:2 NLT
They are being tested by many troubles, and they are very poor. But they are also filled with abundant joy, which has overflowed in rich generosity.

Acts 20:35 NLT
“You should remember the words of the Lord Jesus: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’”

“Our research…revealed, donating money results in a greater return for our wellbeing than buying material goods for ourselves. Neuroscientists have discovered that the regions of the brain that are activated when we receive money (based on fMRI brain scans) glow even brighter when we give money. According to Jordan Grafman, a neuroscientist at the National Institutes of Health, these reactions in the brain ‘help us plan into the future, feel emotionally closer to others, and give us a sense of reward after a behavior — which reinforces that behavior, making it more likely we will do the same thing again.’”
-Gallup News

Hebrews 12:2 NIV
fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

3rd We Give Because We are Part of the Family

2 Corinthians 8:3-4 NIV
For I testify that they gave as much as they were able, and even beyond their ability. Entirely on their own, they urgently pleaded with us for the privilege of sharing in this service to the Lord’s people.

2 Corinthians 8:3a NIV
For I testify that they gave as much as they were able, and even beyond their ability.

2 Corinthians 8:3a ESV
For they gave according to their means, as I can testify, and beyond their means…

Leviticus 27:30 NLT
“One-tenth of the produce of the land, whether grain from the fields or fruit from the trees, belongs to the LORD and must be set apart to him as holy.”

Malachi 3:10 NLT
“Bring all the tithes into the storehouse so there will be enough food in my Temple. If you do,” says the LORD of Heaven’s Armies, “I will open the windows of heaven for you. I will pour out a blessing so great you won’t have enough room to take it in! Try it! Put me to the test!”

2 Corinthians 8:4b NIV
Entirely on their own, they urgently pleaded with us for the privilege of sharing in this service to the Lord’s people.

4th We Give Because We Know What Life is About

2 Corinthians 8:5b ESV
they gave themselves first to the Lord and then by the will of God to us.

“If one first gives himself to the Lord, all other giving is easy.”
-John Bonnell

Matthew 25:23 ESV
“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.’”