Presentation on theme: "2 Corinthians 8:1-7 And now, brothers, we want you to know about the grace that God has given the Macedonian churches. 2 Out of the most severe trial,"— Presentation transcript:
2 Corinthians 8:1-7 And now, brothers, we want you to know about the grace that God has given the Macedonian churches. 2 Out of the most severe trial, their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity. 3 For I testify that they gave as much as they were able, and even beyond their ability.
Entirely on their own, 4 they urgently pleaded with us for the privilege of sharing in this service to the saints. 5 And they did not do as we expected, but they gave themselves first to the Lord and then to us in keeping with God’s will.
6 So we urged Titus, since he had earlier made a beginning, to bring also to completion this act of grace on your part. 7 But just as you excel in everything—in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in complete earnestness and in your love for us—see that you also excel in this grace of giving.
Giving, Leading and Relying 2 Corinthians 8-13 The last half of Paul’s letter deals with several themes: Giving generously What it means to be a good Christian leader The importance of relying on God in our weaknesses
Generosity Paul tells how the churches in Macedonia are giving to the church in Jerusalem… Not out of their wealth, but out of their poverty. Paul wants the Corinthians to also be blessed by learning to be generous.
2 Corinthians 8 7 But just as you excel in everything—in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in complete earnestness and in your love for us—see that you also excel in this grace of giving.
8 I am not commanding you, but I want to test the sincerity of your love by comparing it with the earnestness of others. 9 For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich.
2 churches in Beloit Giving to Pateros community 2 Corinthians 9 6 Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously.
Leadership Qualifications He struggled to defend his ministry because he had a sketchy resume. He wasn’t one of the 12 disciples, he had persecuted Christians, and he wasn’t an skilled orator, not trained in Greek school.
He was always defending his authority and ministry (Ch. 10, 11): He wasn’t a disciple, but he was called by Christ. He suffered one hardship after another for the sake of the gospel. May not have been a great orator, but his knowledge made him a great debater.
Evidently, there were criticisms that Paul wasn’t a good speaker --- he didn’t have a fee! Paul cautioned about false apostles who may have sounded good but were deceitful.
Chapter 11 4 For if someone comes to you and preaches a Jesus other than the Jesus we preached, or if you receive a different spirit from the one you received, or a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it easily enough. 5 But I do not think I am in the least inferior to those “super-apostles.” 6 I may not be a trained speaker, but I do have knowledge. We have made this perfectly clear to you in every way.
He cautions the people to check what the eloquent speakers are saying. Is it the truth? Is it from the Lord?
Chapter For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, masquerading as apostles of Christ. 14 And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. 15 It is not surprising, then, if his servants masquerade as servants of righteousness.
Strength in Weakness In chapters 11-13, Paul talks a lot about his weaknesses. His hardships & sufferings The “thorn in his flesh”
Chapter 12 7 To keep me from becoming conceited because of these surpassingly great revelations, there was given me a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. 8 Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. 9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”
Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 10 That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
Weaknesses are not something to desire, but when they come, we can choose how to deal with them. We can wallow in them, We can be stubborn, Or we can learn to rely on God’s provision. Strength from God/Help from others.
Visiting people in the hospital/rehab; being blessed by their attitude. Holocaust survivors were those who remained strong in their hope.
Man trapped in storm. Many times God’s help comes through human hands. Unexpected help from church and community have blessed people here. Mutual blessings! Weaknesses allow God’s power to shine through.
Chapter 13 4 For to be sure, he was crucified in weakness, yet he lives by God’s power. Likewise, we are weak in him, yet by God’s power we will live with him to serve you.
Putting it all together Be generous. Time, talent, money, resources, anything that we can share. Giving of ourselves is not just a blessing to the person in need; It is a blessing to the giver as well!
Putting it all together How do we know a leader is a leader in Christ? It is not always the one who is most impressive. It is the one who is truthful and faithful to Christ.
Putting it all together Don’t get stuck in your weaknesses. Let them spur you on. Often our weakness becomes our strength, because we know we need help. Our strengths can becomes downfalls, because we think we can do it on our own. Rely on God’s provision: God’s power and the helping hands that are provided.