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Gospel-Centered Generosity (4 of 8)
Series: The Gospel Centered Life
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. Accordingly, we urged Titus that as he had started, so he should complete among you this act of grace. But as you excel in everything-in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in all earnestness, and in our love for you-see that you excel in this act of grace also.
I say this not as a command, but to prove by the earnestness of others that your love also is genuine. For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you by his poverty might become rich (2 Cor. 8:1-9).
''HOW MUCH?'' IS THE WRONG QUESTION
[Object lesson: ''I have $1.00 in change in my pocket.'' Show change. Put coins in the offering plate and talk about giving to hypothetical causes. At the end ask the question ''How much is enough?'']
People often ask, ''How much of my money do I have to give?'' The New Testament never gives us the answer to that question. Why? Because ''How much is enough?'' is the wrong question. God doesn't want our giving to be merely a duty; he wants it to be a delight.
THE MACEDONIANS: AN EXAMPLE OF GIVING
The apostle Paul was collecting money to help needy Christians in Jerusalem. In 2 Corinthians 8-9, he encourages the Corinthians to contribute to this collection.
In verses 1-5, the Macedonians are used by Paul as an example of giving. ''We want you to know, brothers, about the ...
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