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Going Far Enough for the Fun (1 of 5)
Series: Stewardship--Taking God at His Word
2 Corinthians 9:6-11
Introduction: Most of us can relate to the little girl whose mother had given her money for Sunday School. She wanted to teach her daughter a lesson on generosity. She gave the little girl a quarter and a dollar. Mom told her, "Put whichever one you want in the offering and keep the other for yourself." On the way home the mother asked her daughter which amount she had given. "Well," said the little girl, "I was going to give the dollar, but just then the teacher said that we should all be cheerful givers. I knew I'd be a lot more cheerful if I gave the quarter. So I did!" (Bits & Pieces, February 4, 1993, p. 23.)
On the surface the phrase in our text sounds like a contradiction--a cheerful giver. We tend to make the opposite connection. We talk about, "Giving 'til it hurts." Why do we have such a hard time making the connection between cheerfulness and giving? I think I know the answer. Many of us don't go far enough for the fun!
Some of the best things of life can never be experienced until we go far enough for the fun! Consider a child who wants to go swimming but refuses to let go of the side of the pool! He later decides that swimming was not nearly as much fun as he expected. What would you think of a vacationer driving half way across the country to visit the Grand Canyon but never getting out of the car to walk to the scenic overlook and actually experience the wonder of it all? So close but yet so far!
I will say it again. Some of life's greatest rewards come only to those willing to go the next step. This is just as true of our faith-life. Some of the ultimate joys of following Christ are missed by some who pull up short, who stop just short of fully trusting him with every area of life.
The one area that proves the most difficult for many is money. That's why for the next four weeks we are going t ...
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