Rooted: Week Three – Generosity and Sacrifice
Rooted: Week Three – Generosity and Sacrifice
Generosity and Sacrifice
2 Corinthians 8:1-7
We want you to know, brothers, about the grace of God, granted to the churches of Macedonia: During a severe testing by affliction, their abundance of joy and their deep poverty overflowed into the wealth of their generosity. I testify that, on their own, according to their ability and beyond their ability, they begged us insistently for the privilege of sharing in the ministry to the saints, and not just as we had hoped. Instead, they gave themselves especially to the Lord, then to us by God’s will. So we urged Titus that just as he had begun, so he should also complete this grace to you. Now as you excel in everything—faith, speech, knowledge, and in all diligence, and in your love for us—excel also in this grace.
2 Corinthians 8:1-7 HCSB
Helpful Hints – Persecution and Famine impoverished Christians in Judea.
- Acts 11:27-30 – Agabus’ warning about famine.
- Josephus records the famine in his history. Antiquities of the Jews 22:2:5
- Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians – Now about the collection for the saints…set something aside…so that no collections will need to be made when I come. When I arrive… to carry your gracious gift to Jerusalem. 16:1-4
Why people who are rooted in Christ give sacrificially and generously.
Gift #1 – Their affliction and testing inspired them to have joyful generosity.
During a severe testing by affliction, their abundance of joy and their deep poverty overflowed into the wealth of their generosity. 2 Cor. 8:2 HCSB
Gift #2 – Together they chose joy and generosity over other responses.
I testify that, on their own, according to their ability and beyond their ability. 2 Cor. 8:3 HCSB
Gift #3 – Generosity was a privilege to share in ministry to others.
They begged us insistently for the privilege of sharing in the ministry to the saints. 2 Cor. 8:4 HCSB
What do trials produce in me?
Consider it a great joy, my brothers, whenever you experience various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. But endurance must do its complete work, so that you may be mature and complete, lacking nothing. James 1:2&3 HCSB
And not only that, but we also rejoice in our afflictions, because we know that affliction produces endurance, endurance produces proven character, and proven character produces hope. Romans 5:3&4
Do I give generously out of my own accord?
Remember this: The person who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and the person who sows generously will also reap generously. Each person should do as he has decided in his heart—not reluctantly or out of necessity, for God loves a cheerful giver. Romans 9:6&7 HCSB
Is my giving a privilege of supporting God’s ministry?
I rejoiced in the Lord greatly that once again you renewed your care for me. You were, in fact, concerned about me but lacked the opportunity to show it. I don’t say this out of need, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. Philippians 4:10&11
Why are people who are rooted in Christ sacrificially generous?
They begged us insistently for the privilege of sharing in the ministry to the saints, and not just as we had hoped. Instead, they gave themselves especially to the Lord, then to us by God’s will. 2 Corinthians 8:4&5
“Who then is a faithful and sensible slave, whom his master has put in charge of his household, to give them food at the proper time? That slave whose master finds him working when he comes will be rewarded. I assure you: He will put him in charge of all his possessions. Matthew 24:44-47 HCSB
That slave whose master finds him working when he comes will be rewarded.
Now the One who provides seed for the sower and bread for food will provide and multiply your seed and increase the harvest of your righteousness. You will be enriched in every way for all generosity, which produces thanksgiving to God through us. For the ministry of this service is not only supplying the needs of the saints, but is also overflowing in many acts of thanksgiving to God. They will glorify God for your obedience to the confession of the gospel of Christ, and for your generosity in sharing with them and with others through the proof provided by this service. And they will have deep affection for you in their prayers on your behalf because of the surpassing grace of God in you. Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift. 2 Corinthians 9:10-15
For Small Group Discussion
Opening Question: If resources were not a hindrance, how do you wish you could be a blessing to someone else?
Main Point: What we see as sacrifice when we steward our finances biblically, is actually a blessing. That blessing is manifested both personally and in the corporate body together. Biblical sacrifice leads to blessing.
Main Scripture: 1 Timothy 6:17-19
- What is the difference between an attitude of expecting benefits because I gave, versus enjoying/receiving blessings because I gave?
- What do you think sacrifice is, in our current culture? Is it really a sacrifice if it’s more blessed to give than to receive?
- What provision do you benefit from on a regular basis that is easy to take for granted?
- We don’t always get to see the outcome of our generosity. What helps you remain faithfully anyway?
- How can you express gratitude to God for His provision in your life?
- If and when things get hard, what area(s) of your life would you like to remain resilient?
Additional Scripture: 2 Corinthians 9:11-12, Galatians 2:20, Acts 20:35
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