What Does God Really Want? by James Merritt

What Does God Really Want?
Dr. James Merritt
2 Corinthians 8:1-5
3/16/03

INTRODUCTION

1. [Heart transplant] - "John Q."

2. There was only one thing that John Q's son needed and wanted - a heart. The one thing his dad was willing to give him at all costs was his heart.

3. God loves you so much He gave the heart of His own Son for you. The reason He did it was grace.

4. You will never understand the Bible unless you understand it is a story of grace. Grace is simply God giving to us what we do not deserve. God created this world but He didn't have to. God created you but He didn't have to. God sent His son Jesus Christ to die on the cross for our sins, but He did not have to. God offers every person an opportunity to receive eternal life and go to heaven, but He doesn't have to. It's all about grace.

5. The passage we are going to study today tells us what God really wants from all of us. Paul was on a journey taking up an offering for the needy saints in Jerusalem, and he was asking the church at Corinth to contribute. But what Paul was trying to explain to the church at Corinth really was grace, and he used a group of Christians at a place called Macedonia to illustrate what God really wants.


I. God Wants Us To Know His Grace

1. "Moreover, brethren, we make known to you the grace of God bestowed on the churches of Macedonia:" (v.1) There was something special about these Macedonian Christians; they knew the grace of God. They did not just know about the grace of God, they knew the grace of God. How did Paul know that they knew the grace of God?

2. "Though they had been going through much trouble and hard times, their wonderful joy and deep poverty have overflowed in rich generosity." (v.2 - NLT) When someone really knows the grace of God, other people can see it. They can see it in their GLADNESS and they can see it in their GIVING. Grace brings gladness. These people at Macedonia were under g ...


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