Family Bible Study lesson for Dec. 7: Excellence In Giving : Friday, Nov 14, 2003
November 14 2003 by Claude Frazier

Family Bible Study lesson for Dec. 7: Excellence In Giving : Friday, Nov 14, 2003
Friday, Nov 14, 2003

Family Bible Study lesson for Dec. 7: Excellence In Giving

By Claude Frazier
2 Corinthians 8:1-24

Starting and Finishing the Work

2 Corinthians 8:1-5

Believers are to give with willingness and desire and according to their means. Sometimes people are contagious about giving to a need or to "new causes" that they believe are worthwhile and helpful; but as time goes givers do not continue with their commitment. Such was with the Church at Corinth and Paul is encouraging the Corinthian Christians to complete the "giving" they had generously begun of helping the saints in need.

Why give?

2 Corinthians 8:7-12

Paul gave these Christians reasons to give and to be generous; the churches of Macedonian had given more than could be expected and even being poor they helped others and did it with gladness and joy, according to their ability and beyond their ability.

Paul reminded them how Christ had left His glory and riches of heaven and came to earth for our sakes; He became poor so by His poverty, we might become rich. This was the ultimate example of generosity and unmerited favor and should serve to make us go forward with our giving to God's work and service.

Paul commended the Corinthians for their previous giving; describing it as "gracious." He said they gave of themselves and no gift can really be a gift unless the giver gives a part of himself. The Bible teaches that God did this with the gift of His son and showed us "grace" in its fullest measure.

There might be a desire to help others and give to a special offering to the church, but unless an action is taken that desire dies and no help is given to a person, our church or to the advancement of the kingdom of God. This is one sure way to block blessings that could be ours if we obeyed the Word and gave according to our ability and in relation to the needs that are shown to us.

Too many people exhibit a self-centered attitude when it comes to their own financial resources, and their giving is geared to provide for their own personal wants.

We are to give not on what is left after we satisfy our own desires but on what we have to help others and particularly fellow believers. It is an advantage to be able to give, continue what we started earlier, and to do it with desire.

Give from equality

2 Corinthians 8:13-15,17

Paul reminded the Corinthians that life has a strange way of evening up and it seems that we are measured by the same standard we use for others. Paul said giving was not for the ease of others or for affliction of the giver, who gives beyond his means, but by way of equality. Everyone can give accordingly as he has been given.

Paul referred to Exodus 16:18. In this passage the Israelites were in the wilderness and God gave them manna to eat. If they gathered much, they did not have too much and if they gathered little, they had enough.

Paul was cautions to keep everything orderly and to keep critics from discrediting the work. Titus, out of his heart and own accord along with others, traveled with Paul to ensure getting the collections delivered to Jerusalem without enemies and critics making false accusations. This scripture shows Paul as a writer and theologian, but also with the accuracy and care of an accountant when the offerings were entrusted to him.

Fruits of giving

2 Corinthians 8:24

Paul had confidence in the Corinthian believers and their love. He encouraged them to use their generosity as proof of their love and as a reason for him to boast about their willingness and attitudes in giving.

11/14/2003 12:00:00 AM by Claude Frazier | with 0 comments




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