The Grace of Giving
Dr. Fred Lowery
2 Corinthians 8:1-5; 2 Corinthians 8:11; 1 Chronicles 29:14; John 3:16; Luke 6:38
W. Fields opened Mrs. Fields cookies--some great cookies. She was age 20 and for several days she didn't have one single customer and then she got this idea. She filled a platter with cookies and she went out on the sidewalk and started giving cookies away and then people started following her into the store to buy cookies. So, there's something about this principle that giving away is what really matters in life--that giving is living and what the Bible teaches that what you give comes back to you but it comes back even in greater portions than--than you gave. God has given us 3 ways to invest in eternity--3 ways to invest in eternity. Two of them, you love to discuss and you like for me to do sermons on them--you're open minded about it. The 3rd is considered nobody's business. Three things that you invest in eternity--2 of them, open discussion. The 3rd one--nobody's business. The first one you know is "time". Time is a precious commodity. We can spend it only once. We have one shot at it. So you love to hear talks about how to make the best use of your time. We all struggle there. We're not ever offended by that in any way. "Talents"--we have gifts and skills--different skill sets and we wanna know how to better use those gifts and those skills that God has given us and we like to hear sermons or talks about that or read magazine articles and try to improve ourselves and certainly to use these gifts in God's work. We're not offended at all about that. But the 3rd would be "treasures". As soon as the preacher starts talking about money and treasures we say well, all he's--such and such--all he talks about is money…reminds me of a pastor friend that -- that preached one Sunday on giving. He didn't preach on it often. In fact, I very seldom ever preach on money---maybe once a year and -- but on this Sunday he preached on--on money--what we do with our money and about giving and 2 days later he got in the mail a letter from a local attorney who said every time I come to church all I hear is give, give, give. Also, that's an indication of how often he comes to church. So the preacher wrote him back a letter and he said thank you for your letter and thank you for giving me the most beautiful definition of the Christian life I've ever heard -- give, give, give and that certainly is what the Bible teaches. And to be honest, doesn't it seem weird that we Christians even need a sermon on giving? Isn't that strange? That we would even need anybody to talk to us about giving; that we would need to be encouraged about giving when God has given everything to us.
For 7 chapters, Paul has been talking about the blessings of God. When we were in Ephesians we talked a lot about the blessings of God and they're too numerous to even count. Paul talked about God being our Comforter and our Helper and our Strength and our Guide and our So ...
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