2 Corinthians 8 & 9
Theme: This week our focus is on re-engaging in generosity. Generosity is a characteristic that can’t be overlooked when we think about the nature of God. He so loved the world He GAVE his only son (John 3:16). Christ generously, and willingly, gave his life as a ransom for His people (John 10:18). This means that as we seek to know God on a deeper level we find that generosity is who we are in Christ. Our hope is that in our reading this week we would all have a deeper understanding of what generosity is, how it was modeled, and how we can live in it in response to what Christ has done.
(The most generous person ever) Ch. 8 vs.9 reminds us that Christ is our ultimate example of generosity. When we look to the Gospel we find that Jesus didn’t give 10%, he went the full 100% for his people. Generosity wasn’t an action he performed, it was who Christ was. His entire life was characterized by a sacrificial living to advance the kingdom of God (everything he had was used for the good of others and the glory of God). We see it in the way Jesus treated those around him (multiple examples all throughout his time on earth), and we see it in the mirror each day. When we wake up and realize we have access to God again even though we could never earn that right, we should remember that it’s all due to the generosity of our model, Jesus Christ. “The Gospel produces generous people”.
(The most generous church ever) Ch. 8:1-5 points us to a church that walked in Christ’s example. Paul has given us one avenue to examine our lives (Christ), now he’s adding a second measure (the church in Macedonia). This wasn’t a church that had tons of resources to give, they were in the midst of severe affliction, but their abundance of Joy in Christ and extreme poverty overflowed in a wealth of generosity. The inward work of grace in their hearts began to spill out of them in their actions. They were cheerful in their giving, they went above and beyond, and their generosity proved that God was first in their lives. Money is usually a good indicator of where our treasure is. If we trust in the provision of Christ then we will never be reluctant to practice generosity. On the other hand, if we are closed off to generosity it’s usually because we trust more in our own provision than we do in Christ’s ability to provide. The Macedonian church is a perfect example to use when examining our own hearts.
(Where are we?) If all of this is true then we have to examine our own lives in light of God’s word. This can be challenging because it typically leads us into a place where we have to adjust our lives. This is usually uncomfortable for people but that’s what it takes to be shaped into the image of Christ. Looking to Paul’s advice for the Church in Corinth is a great place to start.
How has your week been spiritually? / What is God teaching you?
What sins are you struggling with that you need to confess?
What makes Christ the best model for generosity & what scripture led you to believe that?
How can you make a habit of sacrificing for the gain of others?
Share the last time the Gospel humbled you to the point of practicing generosity.
Have you ever practiced generosity in the midst of a hardship?
What can you do to go above and beyond in generosity for the kingdom today?
If money is an indicator of what’s first in your heart, what’s first in your heart?
If we are managers of God’s resources & you were in God’s shoes, would you trust you with your resources?
What are your next steps in re-engaging in generosity?