Monday, December 12, 2011

Radical Generosity

I was just going over the notes from the past two weeks of the Radical Generosity study.  I couldn't not share this on my blog.  It has been on my mind constantly since we first started.  It's so good.

In the study, we're walking through 2 Corinthians 8 and 9.
Luke 16: 10-13 -- One who is faithful in a very little is also faithful in much and one who is dishonest in a very little is also dishonest in much.  If then you have not been faithful in the unrighteous wealth, who will entrust to you the true riches?  And if you have not been faithful in that which is another's, who will give you that which is your own?  No servant can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the otherYou cannot serve God and money.

2 Corinthians 8
1. Radical generosity reveals the grace of God
       2 Cor 8:1-6 -- We want you to know, brothers, about the grace of God that has been given among the churches of Macedonia, for in a severe test of affliction, their abundance of joy and their extreme poverty have overflowed in a wealth of generosity on their part.  For they gave according to their means, as I can testify, and beyond their means, of their own accord, begging us earnestly for the favor of taking part in the relief of the saints - and this, not as we expected, but they gave themselves first to the Lord then by the will of God to us.  Accordingly, we urged Titus that as he had started, so he should complete among you this act of grace.
       Generosity is a matter of the heart.
2. Radical generosity is a spiritual discipline
       2 Cor 8: 7 -- But as you excel in everything - in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in all earnestness, and in our love for you - see that you excel in this act of grace also.
3. Radical generosity reminds us of the cross.
       2 Cor 8: 8-9 -- I say this not as a command, but to prove by the earnestness of others that your love also is genuine.  For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you by his poverty might become rich.
       Jesus had everything in heaven.  And he gave it all up to be a homeless wanderer so that we may be rich.  If you don't get anything else right, make sure you at least take care of the widows and orphans.
4. Radical generosity is something everyone can participate in
       2 Cor 8: 10-12 -- And in this matter I give my judgment: this benefits you, who a year ago started not only to do this work but also to desire to do it.  So now finish doing it as well, so that your readiness in desiring it may be matched by your completing it out of what you have.  For if the readiness is there, it is acceptable according to what a person has, not according to what he does not have.
       Jesus came not to abolish the law, but to raise the standard.  Now it's about the heart of the matter instead of just the act alone.  For example, not only adultery, but lusting in your heart is wrong.
5. Radical generosity uses our abundance to care for the poor
       2 Cor 8: 13-15 -- For I do not mean that others should be eased and you burdened, but that as a matter of fairness your abundance at the present time should supply their need, so that their abundance may supply your need, that there may be fairness,  As it is written, "Whoever gathered much had nothing left over, and whoever gathered little had no lack."

2 Corinthians 9
Radical generosity is:
    First: Contentment in Christ
    Second: A response to God
Luke 21 -- Jesus looked up and saw the rich putting their gifts into the offering box, and he saw a poor widow put in two small copper coins.  And he said, "Truly, I tell you, this poor widow has put in more than all of them.  For they all contributed out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on.
6. Radical generosity positions itself to give anytime, anywhere, anyplace
       2 Cor 9: 1-2 -- Now it is superfluous for me to write to you about the ministry for the saints, for I know your readiness, of which I boast about you to the people of Macedonia, saying that Achaia has been ready since last year.  And your zeal has stirred up most of them.
       God is glorified by your giving.
7. Radical generosity is contagious to others
       2 Cor 9: 2 -- for I know your readiness, of which I boast about you to the people of Macedonia, saying that Achaia has been ready since last year.  And your zeal has stirred up most of them.
       Be imitators of Christ.
8. Radical generosity puts its resources where it's mouth is
       2 Cor 9: 3-4 -- But I am sending the brothers so that our boasting about you may not prove empty in this matter, so that you may be ready, as I said you would be.  Otherwise, if some Macedonians come with me and find that you are not ready, we would be humiliated - to say nothing of you - for being so confident.
       Let your actions reflect your words.  And the Word.
9. Radical generosity is intentional
       2 Cor 9: 5 -- So I thought it necessary to urge the brothers to go on ahead to you and arrange in advance for the gift you have promised, so that it may be ready as a willing gift, not as an exaction(*a gift expecting something in return)
       Pray about what the Lord wants you to do with your giving.
10. Radical generosity is about harvesting righteousness
       2 Cor 9: 6 -- The point is this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.
       It's about the attitude, action, and motivation behind your gifts and your heart.
11. Radical generosity is individual but it is not optional
       2 Cor 9: 7 -- Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.
       It should be a characteristic of your life.

God blesses so that we can be a blessing to others.  And therefore, the needs of the Saints will be supplied.
2 Corinthians 9: 8-14 -- And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work.  As it is written, "He has distributed freely, he has given to the poor; his righteousness endures forever."  He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness.  You will be enriched in every way to be generous in every way, which through us will produce thanksgiving to God.  For the ministry of this service is not only supplying the needs of the saints but also overflowing in many thanksgivings to God.  By their approval of this service, they will glorify God because of your submission flowing from your confession of the gospel of Christ, and the generosity of your contribution for them and for all others, while they long for you and pray for you, because of the surpassing grace of God upon you.  Thanks be to God for his inexpressible gift!

His inexpressible gift is Jesus alive in us.

It's all about your heart.
It's all about glorifying God.

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