04 JULY 2021 | PLEDGE SUNDAY | PRAYER & PRAISE SERVICES
Rev Lilian Ang
Scripture Passage: 2 Corinthians 8:1-12 (NIV)
WATCH | SERMON (VIDEO)
READ | SERMON NOTES
Summary | Stewardship is not just about meeting the financial needs of the Church but a life-long process of understanding, growth and decision in our journey towards Christian maturity.
This Bible passage 2 Cor 8:1-12 pertains to a specific incident, but it gives inspiration for Christian giving. Paul asks the affluent church in Corinth to make good their promise to financially help the struggling church in Jerusalem. Paul emphasises giving willingly and graciously not out of guilt nor duty. He contrasts the poverty-stricken but generous Macedonian church with the rich but reluctant Corinthian church.
What causes Christians to lack generosity in their giving? Is it because of the present uncertain economic situation?
Christians will be generous givers when their hearts are fired by God’s grace which is the foundation of giving.
Grace-giving is an expression of the grace of God working in the heart of the child of God and is only possible when we truly understand what God has done in our lives. Grace is the inflow and giving is the out-flow!
What evidence is there to show that we have been fired by God’s Grace?
- Willingness To Give – v3-5 the willingness to give independent of our financial situation, because of what God has done for us (v9). Any amount is acceptable according to what we have, not what we do not have as before (v12).
- Earnestness To Give – The ability to give in spite of circumstances. In v3 the poor Macedonians, fired by God’s grace, begged for the privilege of sharing their limited resources. Our hands are moved by the grace of God felt in our heart and thus our giving demonstrates our genuine and sincere love for God.
We often have the good intention to give but God desires loving sacrifices more than verbal promises. Let us emulate John Wesley who was frugal with himself in order to be generous with others. May we excel in the grace of giving as we seek to be faithful disciples of Jesus Christ.
(Sermon Notes by Frances Lim)
PONDER | REFLECTION QUESTIONS
1. How would you describe your current way of giving?
2. Describe a time when you felt giving was natural and spontaneous.
3. Grace-giving is only possible after we have truly experienced God’s grace. Share how your giving is related to God’s grace.
4. What steps can you take to excel in the grace of giving? How can you grow as a giving disciple?
5. Look out for opportunities to be generous this month. What makes it easy to be generous? What makes it difficult to be generous? What keeps you from giving?