Pastor's Sunday School Blog
Sunday School Lesson
“Once Greedy, Now Generous”
May 20, 2018
2 Corinthians8:1-15; 9:6-15
Pastor’s Notes (Some additional thoughts for your Sunday school lesson):
The challenge: “Moreover it is required in stewards, that man be found faithful” (1 Corinthians 4:2).
Attitude determines one’s giving; recognizing and appreciating God’s graciousness toward you. Giving is a response to what has been given. We love God because He first loved us ... We give to God because He gave to us ….
Biblical giving is not measured by the amount we give, but rather by the amount we have left after giving … See Mark 12:41-44 (The widow’s mite).
The mandate to give – Malachi 3:10
God’s Response to Biblical giving – Luke 6:38
Motivation in Giving – Luke 12:33-34
Giving to God often takes the form of giving to others – Matthew 25:34-40
Giving is a ministry of compassion – Luke 3:10-11
God calls us to be generous as He has been generous (2 Corinthians 8:1-9).
Giving flows out of the experience of God’s grace.
The church at Macedonia gave sacrificially for the ministry in the midst of their own struggles. Instead of focusing inward, they focused outward … not on their own struggles, but the struggles of others. Even though they had little above what they needed, they gave.
Not often do church members associate “giving” with “joyfulness.” Giving to God, motivated by one’s appreciation for God produces joy.
We should see our giving as an opportunity to “share” in the ministry of others.
Biblical giving follows personal commitment to Christ. If He has our hearts, He will be in control of our finances.
The church at Corinth has earlier started to collect a love offering for the persecuted saints in Jerusalem, but had failed to complete the offering.
WHY does Paul refer to giving as an “act of grace?”
Giving tests the genuineness of your love a faith (See 1 John 3:16-18).
Jesus stands as our example for giving. Jesus was willing to sacrifice personal comfort for the needs of others …
God gives us wealth that we might share it with others (2 Corinthians 8:10-15).
Zacchaeus demonstrated this reality upon his relationship with Christ … he was willing to give what he had to the poor.
Discussion – When Paul says that giving is “profitable for you,” is he teaching that we give in order to receive?
God doesn’t ask us to give what we don’t have, but to give from what God has given us. You don’t bring financial misery upon yourself in order to alleviate the financial needs of others. “equality” refers to your sharing what you have beyond your need for the basic necessities of living. In other words, it is wrong for you to have an abundance, if you fail to assist those in need.
God calls us to give cheerfully out of gratitude (2 Corinthians 9:6-15).
If you are not willing to give, then don’t expect God to bless you.
Giving principle – God gives to those who are willing to give to Him by giving to others.
We shouldn’t give because we have to, but because we have the opportunity to express appreciation for what God has done for us and to demonstrate God’s love to others.
We can give sacrificially, cheerfully, when we believe God will supply our needs (See: Philippians 4:19).
DISCUSS THE FOLLOWING - Television Evangelist – “If you plant a financial seed into my ministry God will be obligated to save your children.” What do you think of this statement? Is this what Paul was teaching about giving? NO!
You should never give to receive!!! You give because you have received.
When you give you reflect God’s giving.
Theological Theme: Believers are entrusted stewards of God Who owns all things.
Christological/Christ Connection: Christ Jesus is the believer’s model and motivation for giving. His sacrifice serves as our example and encouragement for sacrificial giving.
Missional Application: God blesses us so that we might be a blessing. We should see giving as an opportunity to share the grace and goodness of God. Our giving reveals the heart of God to a world in need.