Is Giving Cheerfully Possible?
04/05 JULY 2020 | Prayer & Praise Services
Rev Gladwin Lee, Pastor
Scripture Passage: 2 Corinthians 9:6-14 (NIV)
WATCH | SERMON (Video)
(Click on video below)
READ | SERMON NOTES
Summary | Four reasons why it is possible to give cheerfully: giving is a confession of faith, it strengthens friendships, provokes others to serve, and pleases God.
1. Shows the reality of my confession of faith. Firstly, the act of giving is a reflection of the gospel within us. It’s not just about fundraising for the church, it’s about us becoming more like Jesus. So my willingness to give shows how far I’ve grown in my identity in Christ. It’s not about how much financial leftovers I have for God, but how I can steward the resources God has given me. Secondly, giving also reveals my attitude towards material possession. It’s our heart rather than the gift itself which matters to God. A generous heart is what God looks for. Thirdly, our giving reveals our trust in God. It is a sufficiency strongly dependent on God, and not the self. And our attitude should not be to give in order to receive blessings, but to seek to be generous as a result of God’s blessings. God wants us to be transformed in our giving, only then can we be truly cheerful givers. Our attitude towards giving is ultimately a litmus test of our relationship with God.
2. Strengthen Our Friendships.When we give to friends in need, we identify with their plight. In giving, we also identify with the mission of the church. Money is a tool God gives us to serve others, and His work is multiplied through our giving. Covid-19 doesn’t mean the mission of the church is at a standstill. We are working even harder to help the needy especially those in workers’ dormitories. Giving strengthens friendships because it helps to break down divisions and biases and unites the church.
3. Provokes Others.Giving provokes others to look up to God in thanksgiving and lift up others to serve those around them.
4. God is Pleased. If our giving reflects our confession of faith, strengthens our friendships and provokes others to serve, we can then experience God’s approval through His promised provision and manifested presence. So how do we adjust our lifestyles to give more cheerfully? (i) Go to God with our struggles and count our blessings; (ii) Gain (diligence), save (frugality), and give (generosity) all we can; (iii) Be discerning with our expenses in line with consistent Christian character, obedience to God, self-sacrifice, and seeking God’s approval.
(Sermon Notes by Desley Khew)
PONDER | REFLECTION QUESTIONS:
1. Read 2 Cor 8:1-7 and 2 Cor 9. What is the context for this segment of Paul's letter? What was Paul trying to do?
2. According to the preacher, what are the various reasons that makes it possible for us to give cheerfully?
3. The preacher shared that our willingness to give, shows the reality of our personal confession of faith, in at least 3 ways. What are they? How have you experienced God's prompting to grow through any one of them?
4. Read 2 Cor 9:6-8:
4a. What does it mean to give reluctantly or under compulsion (2 Cor 9:7)?
4b. What was Paul trying to convey with this farming analogy?
4c. What are God's promise to those who give generous?
5. The preacher suggested some personal adjustments to help us give more cheerfully. Identify one which you may start this week.
6. Counting our blessings:
6a. How have you personally been blessed by someone's generosity?
6b. Share the various ways where you have experienced God's generosity.