Psalm 1 describes the blessed person as one who has dug deep into God’s Word, making it the source of his daily meditation. In pursuit of this kind of blessed life, we briefly review the sermon from the previous Sunday. May you be like a tree planted by streams of water, bearing fruit in its season (Psalm 1:3). This week we look back at Pastor Kim’s sermon on 2 Corinthians 8:1-6.
An excerpt from “Gospel Giving – Less Duty, More Delight”
“As if poverty wasn’t enough, it says, ‘in a severe test of affliction.’ This was likely both the financial climate they are in as well as the persecution they are facing. So beyond being poor, they were suffering. I don’t know about you, but when I am suffering those are often the times that I am least apt to look around and see how I can help others who are also suffering. Suffering often encourages self-centeredness, as James points out in James 1, trials can lead to temptation.
But not for these Macedonians, in their poverty and in their suffering they look around and think, ‘There are some who are in greater need than us, what can we do to help?’ Can you imagine? Struggling to eat, and looking to be generous. Let’s be honest, many of us struggle to be generous in our wealth, but here we have people giving sacrificially out of their poverty.”
Question: Is generosity a struggle? If so, why?
“So grace, changes everything…But grace isn’t simply our ticket into heaven, but we are given a new heart with new affections; the inward bent of our focus is again turned upward and outward so that we can find joy in loving, joy in being generous… The gospel means, my securities aren’t in my bank accounts and so rather than stockpile and save too much, I can be wise with my investments and yet generous with those in need. The gospel means my identity isn’t in what I wear or drive or where I live so I don’t have to have what the world says is important and thus I can use my money to keep missionaries on the mission field. The gospel means my happiness isn’t in things and so I don’t have to have the latest and the greatest and rather can invest my money in the church and the ministry of the gospel.”
Question: How should the gospel encourage your joy in generosity?
Encouragement: Spend some time and dwell on the different facets of the gospel mentioned in the above paragraph and use it to fuel your faith and generosity.