This morning, Vincent Carpenter continued our All in All series with a message centered around 2 Corinthians 8 and 9. Throughout this passage, Paul admonishes the church in Corinth to express generosity. The same admonition is for us today. When we give someone what we have, it makes a significant impact in both their lives and in our own. Before we can learn to give, we need to learn how to receive.
RECEIVING IS THE KEY TO GIVING.
It may sound backward because the point of giving is not to receive. But if we want to freely give, we first need to learn how to freely receive from God. In 2 Corinthians 8, Paul alludes to the Macedonians, who are described as living in extreme poverty and overflowing joy. Pause for a second and let the description sink in. It seems almost impossible to be filled with an overflowing joy in the midst of severe poverty, but the Macedonians had learned to receive from God. By the grace of God, they were fully sustained so their financial need didn’t cause a setback. We too, need to learn how to fully receive the grace of God, because when we do, we find that all of our needs are met in God.
When we give out of our own ability we begin to focus on our own achievements or compare ourselves to others. This mindset allows the lie to creep in that says, “my achievements merit the grace of God.” This completely nullifies the grace of God. We can’t earn anything, we just get to freely receive.
When we learn to freely receive, we are able to freely give.
HERE IS WHAT HAPPENS WHEN WE GIVE –
- Everyone is blessed // When we give, not only is the receiver blessed, but so are we. We are all called to help someone, and there is a joy that we receive when we extend generosity to someone else.
- God is glorified // Ultimately, we bring God glory when we give. Scripture says, “others will praise God for the obedience that accompanies your confession of the gospel of Christ, and for your generosity in sharing with them and with everyone else.” (2 Corinthians 9:13) Others will be compelled to give thanks to God when they see that our gift to them is not out of our own abundance, but because of the grace of God.
THREE WAYS WE CAN RESPOND TO THIS WEEK’S MESSAGE –
- Renew your mind with the truth of who God is // This week, ask God to reveal more of His character to you. If we trust who God says He is, we will allow ourselves to freely receive from Him, and trust Him to sustain us.
- Make space to receive from God // Ask God to show you areas where He is wanting to provide. This could be in finances, in relationships or in some other area. Whatever it is, take a step back and allow God to breakthrough.
- Ask God how you can bless someone else // This week, take time to pray and ask God if there is someone you can bless this week.
By Destiny Gonzalez – Communication Staff
Destiny serves as the Communications Coordinator, and manages the blog and social media pages.