by Rick White

The Motivation for Gracious Giving
Rick White
2 Corinthians 8:1-9

Introduction: There is a scene in the movie "A League Of Their Own" (which was about the all female professional baseball team of the 1940's) where all- star catcher Dottie Hinson makes an emotional decision to leave the team just before the World Series and return to the family farm with her husband, Bob, who has just returned from the war. It is at this point in the movie that one of the most inspiring scenes of the entire movie takes place. Coach Jimmy Dugan (Tom Hanks) is trying to persuade his all-star catcher to remain with the team and finish the season. She rationalizes her actions and says that it has all become too hard. Then with the forcefulness of a field commander and the gifts of an orator, he looks her right in the eyes and says; "it's the hard that makes it great. If it were not hard, then everybody would do it."

She leaves the team and heads for home only to turn around and go back and join the team and finish the season. Every moviegoer at that moment is reminded of the power of motivation. I cannot tell you how that one line has stuck with me as a source of motivation; it's the hard that makes it great.

Review: Well it's pretty obvious that Paul knew something about the subject of motivation also when he wrote the second letter to the Corinthians regarding the relief offering that he was taking for the church back in Jerusalem. It is from that same letter to the Corinthians that we discover some very important lessons about the motivation that leads to gracious giving.

The Example Of Others.
Read 2 Corinthians 8:1-4 NIV

The first appeal that Paul makes to motivate the Corinthian believers is the example of the believers in the Macedonian churches (Thessalonica, Philippi, and Berea). He really challenges them and us to remember what other faithful believers have done.

We do not live the Christian life in a vacuu ...

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