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Special Guest Dave Martin
Dave Martin - September 17, 2017

Message Recap

In the wake of the severe weather hardships in the south, people have risen with tremendous generosity.

Would you like to be able to be even more generous? How can we increase our generosity?

Would you like to be able to be even more generous? How can we increase our generosity?

In 2 Corinthians 8, the Apostle Paul describes the generosity of the church in Macedonia, but we could easily apply these words to our church of San Diego, in the midst of the severe trial of the recent hurricanes:

And now, brothers and sisters, we want you to know about the grace that God has given the Macedonian churches. In the midst of a very severe trial, their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity. For I testify that they gave as much as they were able, and even beyond their ability. Entirely on their own, they urgently pleaded with us for the privilege of sharing in this service to the Lord’s people. And they exceeded our expectations: They gave themselves first of all to the Lord, and then by the will of God also to us. So we urged Titus, just as he had earlier made a beginning, to bring also to completion this act of grace on your part. But since you excel in everything—in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in complete earnestness and in the love we have kindled in you —see that you also excel in this grace of giving. 2 Corinthians 8:1-7

Paul’s words describe a lavish, overflowing generosity. The church gave beyond their ability, voluntarily, and disregarding their interest. We have seen such lavish generosity as people have reached out to help the hurricane victims - painting, working, comforting, and providing food, money, clothing, and shelter. This collective giving has had a tremendous impact on many lives.

Giving should move us personally and corporately. In light of this scripture, here are three C’s of generosity that we can all put into practice:

Giving should...

 

1) ...cause us to CELEBRATE.

In the midst of a very severe trial, their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity. (v. 2) abundant joy overflowed…

The church of Macedonia gave joyfully. God can make grace abound, that you would have an abundance to give to every good deed every chance we get. Honoring God with our tithes and offerings should be a joyful celebration.

...they urgently pleaded with us for the privilege of sharing in this service to the Lord’s people. (v. 4)

If we fail to see giving as an opportunity of grace, it becomes a burden instead of a blessing. We don’t have to give to the church -- we get to give. We don’t have to come to church on Sunday -- we get to come to church. We don’t have to serve -- we get to serve.

We are invited to be a part of what God is doing in his kingdom. The church of Macedonia saw a need and they were eager to give, recognizing it as a privilege.

In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’ Acts 20:35

2) ...be a COMPELLING action.

When we give, we grow and become a part of something together that is much bigger than anything we can do ourselves. Giving compels us to be bigger than ourselves. It’s likely that none of us could give $300K to hurricane relief, but all together as a church, we did just that.

And they exceeded our expectations: They gave themselves first of all to the Lord, and then by the will of God also to us. (v. 5)

Paul knew his own reluctance to ask for giving because he knew the challenges faced by this church, and yet they surprised him. The net of their giving was way beyond what he expected. 

Just as the church in Macedonia gave beyond their ability and exceeded expectation, our generosity as a congregation is empowered and enlarged by God. You don’t have to possess large sums to give large sums. Dave shared that when he had the goal of giving $100K to his church, that was beyond his ability at the time, so he began with a challenging $500 and kept on that path of challenging generosity until God finally enabled him to give that amount that seemed so impossible at the beginning.

God loved the world so much that He was compelled to give His only, not the smallest and weakest of His ten sons. The Father was willing to give us His very best - the only Son He had - so this should compel me to give my very best to Him.

This may sound odd, but you can only keep what you give!  The things that last beyond the end of your life are not the boat, the house, or the trinkets you own, but the love you gave, the investment you made in others’ lives, and the kingdom work you did. That which you give away is what remains. 

3) ...should demonstrate our COMMITMENT.

Mindset results in action. If we love our church, we can be committed to our church, and so we act to give to our church. Action naturally follows commitment, as in Dave’s example: it’s easy for him to give to his wife because he loves her and is committed to her.

The church of Macedonia was not made of wealthy people. They were simply willing to sacrifice out of a desire to please the One who gave himself for them. We have that same opportunity to give to the causes of God’s kingdom on earth. We are committed because we love Him and we love our church.

“Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” Luke 6:38

Think about this “good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over” regarding a household trash can. Sometimes before it is emptied, we press down the contents to make more room. We may pull the bag and shake down the contents to make even more room...and then when it is so full and dense, it would spill over!  

Here are three “gives” to remember when we consider our generosity:

Give as it has been given to you
We believers will not all give the same amount. When each one has an opportunity to be generous, s/he should be generous according to his/her ability. Paul reminds us in Romans:

He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? Romans 8:32

Give now.
Don’t hesitate or procrastinate, saying “I’ll start giving next week,” as though it is a dreaded diet or difficult exercise regimen. Putting it off means it may never happen. We don’t need to wait or pray to find out if God wants us to give; of course He does!

Give to the degree that you want to be blessed.
Give with abandon. If you give in teaspoons, He gives to you in teaspoons, according to the same measure (Luke 6:38). If you desire God’s blessing in five-gallon buckets, give with your five-gallon bucket!

Consider that your generosity every day affects somebody’s one day, the day he or she comes to know Christ. Do you remember the day you gave your heart to God? Think about those people and circumstances involved and all the growth and giving over the years that paved the way to your salvation. Somebody paid for the ministry and discipleship of the person who shared his faith with you. Somebody paid for the church seat in which you sat, the staff of the ministry, or even the speakers that proclaimed the message you heard. Your generosity can pave the way for someone else to know Christ!

This Message

In this message, special guest Dave Martin examines scripture to explain three compelling reasons as to why we should give.

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