Sunday, November 8, 2020

It's Time to Celebrate God's Work

2 Corinthians 9:11-15

2 Corinthians 9:11-15 (CSB) You will be enriched in every way for all generosity, which produces thanksgiving to God through us. 12 For the ministry of this service is not only supplying the needs of the saints but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God. 13 Because of the proof provided by this ministry, they will glorify God for your obedient confession of the gospel of Christ, and for your generosity in sharing with them and with everyone. 14 And as they pray on your behalf, they will have deep affection for you because of the surpassing grace of God in you. 15 Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!


The grand finale of generosity is gratitude. When people are generous, it produces thanksgiving. Generosity and gratitude are not identical twins, but they’re really close friends. It’s almost impossible to find one without the other.


In this passage, we find three groups of people, and all are filled with gratitude because of this act of generosity.


1. Those watching are grateful.


The apostle Paul has been part of this special love gift since the beginning, but he’s in a unique spot. He’s not the one giving the gift, nor is he the one receiving it. He’s encouraged it and coordinated it, but he’s outside the act of generosity. He’s sitting on the front row watching the generosity of the Corinthians as well as some other churches. But he’s not watching dispassionately. He’s watching like a cheerleader, and when he sees generosity, he starts shouting “Hallelujah!”


2. Those receiving are grateful.


The church in Jerusalem would certainly contribute to the many expression of thanks to God when they received the love offering from these other churches. They would glorify God because of the way this act of generosity was a clear demonstration of the gospel.


The generous gifts from the churches in Macedonia and the church in Corinth proved the transforming power of the gospel and demonstrated the presence of deep and abiding love for others. It also proved that Gentiles had experienced the saving grace of God and were part of God’s family. Their generosity was proof the gospel was real and present in these churches.


3. Those giving are grateful.


We have received Jesus—the greatest gift, and every time we give generously, we experience more of His grace. His grace is necessary for us to give anything. But to give deeply and sacrificially requires us to draw deeply from His grace. The more we give, the more grace we experience. We rejoice because we experience more and more of His grace the more generous we are.


Now He gives us grace to live like He did. He gives us an unlimited source of power to display His values of kindness, compassion, mercy and generosity. The grace of Jesus is a well that never runs dry, a battery that never need to be charged, a tank that is never empty. It surpasses our weakness and sin, our selfishness and envy, our stinginess and fear. The grace of Jesus is what produces generosity, so when we are generous, we thank Jesus for producing it in us.