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A traditional church that is passionate about loving our community to the gospel.

Grace Fueled Giving

Transcript

Speaker 1: And that was just perfect timing. All right, welcome, everybody, to the Baptist Tabernacle. We're glad to have you here with us tonight. Let's all stand. We're going to get started by singing page number two hundred and twenty. He is able to deliver the.

Speaker 2: Seeing the first through the third. Tis the grandest theme through the ages, one is the grandest theme to the more is the grandest theme that the world has ever sung are not able to deliver.

Unidentified: He is able to deliver the his. Able to deliver these

Speaker 2: amazing

Unidentified: oppressed go to him for rest, God is

Speaker 2: able to deliver. This is the grandest theme in the earth for warming is the grandest theme for a mortal strength is the grandest theme. Tell the world in our God able to deliver.

Unidentified: This is able to deliver. This is his. Able to deliver the missing oppressed guilt to him for rest.

Speaker 2: God is able to deliver this is the grandest thing that the tidings to the guilty heart, to the sinful soul, his

Unidentified: faith he will make the whole Lord God is able to deliver that. He is able to deliver the.

Speaker 2: Oh, my seeing oppressed go to him

Unidentified: for registar, God is able to deliver the Aymen.

Speaker 1: All right, good job singing.

Speaker 3: Let's go to Law and Order prayer and then I'll let you be seated for some announcements. Heavenly Father, we think for this day. Thank you for each one of the folks that are here tonight. Thank you. For those that are already watching via Live Stream, I pray to God bless each one for making the effort to be a part of the service here tonight. Lord, that you'd help us this evening to bring honor and glory to your name, through our singing, through the message that will be shared, Lord, and to our fellowship together. Lord, we love you so much and we thank you for all you do for us. It's in Jesus name, I pray. Amen. Thank you. May be seated. A couple of announcements for you to be aware of, some things coming up next Wednesday night, we will have missionary Walter Clark and his family missionaries to Germany with us here in the service. And they'll be at the dinner. So we would definitely invite you to come and just get a chance to talk to them before the service. But then during the service, they'll be speaking to our young people for a few moments and then coming in here to share their video and a message from the word of God and some testimonies as far as what the Lord's been doing there in the country of Germany. So please make plans to be here next week for the missionary report April. Twenty third, we have a senior adult activity and is going to be from 10:00 a.m. through lunchtime. They're going to go into the Shepherds Cross Sheep Farm to watch the sheep being sheared. And so there's only a five dollar donation recommended to the farm. And then afterwards they're going to be going to the Apple Barrel Cafe for lunch. And this will be in place of the monthly retreads meeting. So there'll be no retreads on April 30th. And then our excited to announce that April twenty eighth through May 2nd, we are going to be hosting Brother Clarence and Miss Brittany Nettles. This is the potential youth pastor that we have been talking about for the last few weeks. And they're going to be visiting here with us. They'll be here on a Wednesday night to to be in church, stay over for a few days to kind of get an idea of what Tulsa is like. And then there'll be a teen activity on Saturday. And then Brother Clarence will be doing Sunday School for our teens Sunday morning and then preaching to the whole church that Sunday night. And so we'll have more information about some opportunities for our teen, our teen parents to get a chance to visit with him, ask him whatever questions may be on your mind, but just want to give the church opportunity to get to know this couple. And we spent about an hour with him on Zoome Sunday night after the service. And we're able to ask him many, many questions just about his philosophy of youth ministry, how he would handle different, different issues that might come up. And I feel like I went really well. The the deacons and the trustees voted unanimously to to invite him to a visit. And so we're excited about them coming and introducing them to all of you. Please be in prayer for that. Of course, anybody that we bring on staff, we want to make sure that it is God that is leading us in this way. And so please pray for wisdom both on our part and on his part. I would make it clear to him and us whether or not this is the right move for us all to make. May 8th, we're going to be having our mother daughter brunch and that'll be at ten o'clock here at the church. And I hope that you'll make plans to be here for that and to bring someone with you. Then May 9th is Mother's Day and we'll have a small gift for each of our mothers on May 9th. And then that night there will be no evening service. So please keep that in mind. May 9th, Mother's Day, there will be no evening service. And then May 15th, our teens are going on a kayaking trip. The cost is twenty five dollars per person. It'll be from seven thirty in the morning to five o'clock that evening. There is a meeting with Brother Matt Sunday, April 25th, after the morning service for teens and parents who want to kayak. So if you are thinking about going on that trip or your teen is going on that trip, please be there for the meeting on April twenty fifth. Then a couple of things. We do still need prizes. We are gathering up supplies for vacation, Bible school. And so if you can help us with either prizes or items that we can sell in the vacation Bible school store, you say, well, I don't really have anything nice that a kid would want. You'd be surprised what these kids go nuts over. I mean, like a bag of nuts and bolts would probably be a big hit. Um, I mean, just just about anything. I mean, we've sold broken glass. No, we don't do that.

Speaker 1: But just just anything. Old jewelry, old toys, just candy.

Speaker 3: If you to donate a bunch of candy, they'll buy all of it. And so, um, great opportunity for you to clear out some things in your house. So drop those things off at the church office from now until vacation. Bible school starts. And then I want to let you know that this coming Sunday, I don't do this very often, but I don't get this opportunity very often. But I was invited to preach at another church here in Oklahoma. It's nothing funny, so don't get weird about it. Just pastors on vacation. He asked me to fill in, so I'll be preaching there Sunday morning and Sunday night. So the Matt will be filling in for me here at our church and I know he'll do a great job. And so just just wanted you to be aware of that so you don't come and be like, uh, where's the preacher now? You know, and you can tell everybody else that wasn't here, that wasn't watching. So they'll

Speaker 1: know. All right. So those are all the announcements.

Speaker 3: Let's all stand and we're going to sing

Speaker 1: once again, page number four hundred and sixteen. Does Jesus care seeing the first, second and the third?

Speaker 2: Does Jesus care when my heart. It is paying too deeply for mirth and some. As the bird in Cyprus and the cares, distress and the way grows weary and long, oh yes, he cares. I know he cares. His heart is touched with my grief when the days are very long nights dreary. I know. I see your. Does Jesus care when my way is talk with the nameless dread and fear? As daylight fades into team night shades, does he care enough to paint? Oh, yes, he cares, I know he cares, his heart is touched

Unidentified: with my grave when the

Speaker 2: days are triggering the long nights dreary. I know I save your cares. Does Jesus care when I've tried and failed to resist some shonn strong. Win for my deep grief, I find no relief through my tears for all the night long.

Unidentified: Oh yes, he cares.

Speaker 2: I know he cares. His heart is touched with my grief. When the days are weary, the long nights dreary. I know I say your cares. I'm in good

Speaker 1: singing. One last song we're going to sing tonight. We have coming to his house smash the ushers to prepare to come forward at this last verse. We're going to sing the first and the second

Speaker 3: and sing it out. Tonight we have come to his house.

Speaker 2: We have coming to his house, gathered in his hand to worship. And we have come into his house and gathered in his name to worship. We have coming to his house and gathered in his name to worship Cristoff Japan. Saw. So forget about yourself and concentrate on him and worship. So forget about yourself and concentrate on him and worship. So forget about yourself and concentrate on him and worship Hristov or worship him, oh. So.

Speaker 3: Amen ushers come forward at this time and looking forward to hearing our offertory tonight, bye, Miss Annabel Prader and I'll ask Brother Don Agusto if he doesn't mind, pray and ask God's blessing on the offering tonight. I mean, you may be seated.

Speaker 1: Eman, thank you for that, ladies, great job. Can't hear that song without smiling, that's for sure. The. It's upside down. There we go. Little out of the ordinary. This is a. So from Canada. Um. Take vows, you have them and turn to the book of Second Corinthians. You don't have one you can follow along on the screen behind me. Second Corinthians, chapter number eight is where we're going to be tonight. Second Corinthians, Chapter eight. You find your place, you don't mind standing in honor of reading God's word, you're physically able to begin reading tonight in verse number one. Bible says, moreover, Bretheren. We do you to with. You can't say that a normal, normal English voice, you automatically slip into a British voice when you say something like to wit. Of the grace of God bestowed on the churches of Macedonia, how that in a great trial of affliction, the abundance of their joy, their deep poverty bounded under the riches of their liberality. But their power, their record and beyond their power. There were willing of themselves. Paint us with much entreaty that we should receive the gift and take upon us the fellowship, the ministering to the Saints. This they did not, as we hoped, but first gave their own selves to the Lord under us by the will of God and so much that we desired Titus, that has he had begun. So he would also finish in you the same grace also. Therefore, as you bound in everything, faith and utterance and knowledge and all diligence and in your love to see that you are bound in this grace also. I speak not by commandment, but by occasion of the forwardness of others and to prove the sincerity of your love. For, you know, the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, though, he was rich, yet, for your sakes. He became poor. That he threw his poverty might be rich. Here in I give my advice, this is expedient for you who have begun before, not only to do, but also to be forward a year ago now, therefore perform the doing of it, that as there was a readiness to will. So there may be a performance also out of that which you have. For if there be first a willing mind, it is accepted, according to that a man hath not, according to that he have not. For I mean, not that other men be eased and be burdened, but by inequality, that now at this time your abundance may be a supply for their want, that their abundance also may be a supply for your want, that there may be equality as it is written. He that had gathered much at nothing over. He had gathered little had no lack. Let's pray, Lord. I asked you to help us. Now, as we look into your word, give me the word you have me to say you help the folks that are here to listen and apply it to here to their lives. Lord, you know that most of these folks have been working hard all day. They've been going all week. I pray that tonight you would help us to stay alert, to pay attention to things that you have for us here, that we would all be challenged for having spent this time together in Jesus name. I ask these things. Amen. Thank you. May be seated. All right, so we are working our way through the series Grace, through the Bible, and of course, you can tell we're here in Second Corinthians, Chapter eight, and looking forward to getting into this. But tonight's tonight's topic, if we could say that tonight's lesson is this idea of grace fueled giving. Now, I had already finished my message. I had already finished the slides for my message. When it dawned on me that last week the title of the message was The Gift of Grace. Now, if I was a better preacher, I would have flipped it and said the grace of giving it was already done. I didn't want to go back and you don't seem to really care anyway. So anyways, I'm glad I didn't waste my time. I brought a little thing with me today. It's actually not little, it's like it's like, I don't know, bulletproof or something. This was my grandfather's briefcase. My grandfather was a used car salesman. So the whole preachin thing, it was like inevitable. There wasn't a whole lot of difference between the two, I suppose. But, you know, I thought about coming to town. You hey, man, let me tell you about this briefcase. This briefcase has held some really important documents over the years. Let me tell you, this briefcase at one time, it was full of all sorts of money. I mean, this thing has gone and seen things you can't even imagine. But my grandfather lived in Wichita Falls, and there's not much going on in Wichita Falls, so this thing hasn't been to many places. Probably the most interesting things that were in this briefcase were some maybe some contracts for a used car, maybe some people's contact information. Who said they were going to buy a car, never came back and got it. And so it's just your normal little Samsonite briefcase. Nothing too special at all. But what if just for a moment, we could imagine that this represents us, our lives and the things that we have right now, aside from some keys that are rattling around in their. There's nothing it's it's empty in order for something to be in this briefcase, someone's going to have to put something in this briefcase. I know we already took up the offer, but I want to contribute to my briefcase full of cash that is currently cashless. No, well. It was worth a shot if you're not feeling very gracious tonight. Didn't say I deserved any cash, but Grace is undeserved favor, so I thought I'd shoot my shot and see how it went. But it's empty, so if something was going to be in here, somebody else would have to put it in here because we don't live in the world of Toy Story, where this briefcase all of a sudden becomes sentient and goes and starts eating things like that's not going to happen. Anything in this briefcase will have to come from somebody else. That's pretty, pretty close comparison to our lives. We looked last week at the natural state of every person born under Adam. Only thing we have to claim is sin and the penalty of death on our lives. But Jesus Christ was unwilling that we should stay in that that condition. So he showed the gift of grace, the gift of righteousness to us, died on the cross offer to all men. The opportunity to move from being under Adam to being in Christ, to move from being under the penalty of death, to being a recipient of eternal life. And so this evening, if you're a believer, if you're a Christian, your briefcase is not empty and the gifts, the benefits that God has bestowed upon you are overflowing. And I don't know about you, but that's that's a nice, encouraging thing to think about in the middle of a week. We've been talking about this idea of grace to us, grace through us, and so last week, having looked at the gift of grace, which we have received tonight, we want to turn our attention to this idea of grace fueled giving. And in the passage, we're going to see that this extends beyond just the idea of money. OK, so I was reading a lot of jokes today for some reason about Preachers' and whenever you come to you bring a visitor to church, it just always seems like the preacher preaches on money or something else. Weird, you know, but but it's not all about money tonight. Obviously, money is a big part of our concept of giving, is it not? It is it is OK, and that's definitely here in the passage, but we're not going to solely dwell on the issue of money. All right, let's get into the text and see what we can find here, see if there's something we can take home with us tonight. Go ahead and move to that first slide there in the back. Our first point I want you to see is that Paul is going to spend the first three first section of this passage giving us an example of what Grace fueled giving looks like in real life. He points us verse number one to the churches of Macedonia. Now, I don't know if you're a proponent of the the universal body of believers that some people would call the universal church. I think it's interesting, any time you read in the Bible about a group of churches in a region, it's always pretty clear that it's the churches of Macedonia. He doesn't say the Macedonia is a region. It's a geographical like a state. He doesn't say the Church of God in Macedonia. But because there's there's multiple churches in Macedonia and the churches of Macedonia, they had something that was going on that was worthy of pointing out to the Corinthians. He says, verse number two, that during this time, the churches in Macedonia were experiencing, according to him, a great trial of affliction and that they were in deep poverty. There are different Greek words to point out. This idea of poverty and the one that is used for deep poverty is the lowest of the low. There isn't any lower on the economic scale that you can go below deep poverty. And so here is this church. They're under a great trial of affliction. They are experiencing deep poverty. And so he's going to give an example of giving that does not match those circumstances. So many times our concept of giving is directly related to the circumstances that we are experiencing. Last year, for many, many churches around the country, not just ours, though, this is true for ours as well, churches experienced a lot of them, a boost in giving. Now, how is this possible? Everyone is not going to work. A lot of people lost their jobs. How is it that giving went up? Well. A lot of people were making more money on unemployment than they were at their jobs. Then you got the government giving you these stimulus checks. I mean, I've got a couple of kids, I know how those stimulus stimulus checks hit. All of a sudden, you've got people that are getting more money in that they previously are used to large checks hitting their accounts in one shot. And a lot of people are saying that the increase in church giving was based on the circumstances going on in our country, that people had more money. You weren't going out spending money at the grocery store, the going out to eat because everything was closed. You couldn't go anywhere. You can go on vacation. And so circumstances this is what I'm trying to get to precipitated that people had more money and so they gave more. It was an indication of. Circumstantial giving. Now, there were some folks who didn't get the stimulus checks, there were some people who didn't lose their jobs, they continued working their job and maybe last year wasn't as good. And for you, last year, financially, it was sacrificial for you to continue to give in the midst of the pandemic. The Macedonians were going through a difficult time, but look at verse number two and see how their reaction to their circumstances didn't match the severity of what they were experiencing. Bible says that in a great trial of affliction, the abundance of their joy. How many of you are struggling, having an abundance of joy in the midst of the shutdown? Yeah. That was a tough. How many of you were having a hard time experiencing an abundance of joy in some of those dark moments in your life, it's difficult. But for these folks, it's what they what they were displaying, not only was there an abundance of joy that they possessed, but he also states that they were liberal in sharing what they had. I know we're a traditional independent Baptist church, so that word liberal might make some of the hairs in the back of your neck stand up. You know, you have them and but it's talking about they're giving they were liberal in their giving. There were liberal in and sharing what they had. Now, let me ask you, how is it possible that a group of people going through a very hard time in deep poverty could be characterized by joy and liberality of giving? How is that possible? The grace of God. That's exactly right. You go back to verse number one of our passage. Bible says, more of our brethren we do you to wit, we put you in mind of the grace of God bestowed on the churches of Macedonia, the only way that we can go through difficult times, low times, our struggles financially and continue to have joy and liberality of giving is by the grace of God. And then. God's grace empowered them to do what should not have been possible. We'll give our number three. As for their power, I bet a record Yae and beyond their power, they were willing of themselves. Paul shares his observance of what had happened in Macedonia. Humanly speaking, they had reached their limit. They they should have been done with their ability to give. And yet they went past what they were humanly capable of. What does this mean? Well, if a man has ten dollars. Can you give one hundred? Now, what can you give? Ten. All right, so he gives ten dollars, that's all he has, he's got ten bucks. He gives it all to to God to help a struggling brother. Now, what do we know about this guy? Well, I said, guys, who is a man, so he likes the. I don't know if you know this now, but food typically isn't free. He probably needs a place to stay unless he's a millennial still living in his parents basement. That means he has to rent somebody his house. Come on, I'm making fun of millennials, you're supposed to love that. Oh, millennials, they're the worst. No. You hurt my heart. He gives what he has, it gives the ten, that's all he can do. Where does that leave him when the rent comes due? Where will he get the money to buy groceries, you see? Paula, sharing is that the Macedonians had given in a way that the math just didn't add up. They did what was humanly the limit of ten dollars. I give the ten dollars. But Paul knows that this is impossible for them because they still need to live. They had done this without coercion or pressure. Somebody posted a screenshot of one of these televangelists and it was talking about planting your seed money. I didn't know that the cost of seed money had gone up so much. I remember seeing sending one hundred dollars, you know, they said today a thousand dollars. Send in your thousand dollar seed money. That's that's playing with people's emotions. I mean, that's that's twisted. Hey, you said you and your thousand dollars and we're going to pray, we're going to send the healing Holy Spirit of God to your sick loved one. They will rise up from that hospital bed. And that's. Let's take an advantage of people. The Macedonians have not been coerced or pressured, in fact, if there was any pressure that was applied against them, it was that they would not give it version before. The Bible says that the Macedonians praying us with much integrity that we would receive the gift. What this tells me is that as they're trying to give Paul is like, no, no, no, no, no, this is too much. You can't do this, don't you guys can't afford to give this much. And they said, no, Paul, you need to take this palsies. I can't I don't feel right about taking your money. Is it? Paul, we want you to take it. So after much entreaty, they convinced Paul to receive their gift. You know, it's funny. You've seen the cartoons, you've seen the movies. A deal's going down maybe for some stolen military tech, you know, in the guys with black suits and sunglasses, they walk in, they got the briefcase, the godfather sitting there, he says, You got my money. Yeah, we got it. Let me see it, put it on the table, they open it up, it's all there. You know. I'm Italian, but we weren't involved with the Mafia. We were killed by the Mafia. So. Sicilian didn't get us very far anyway. You know, some people, they treat their lives like the Macedonians, where they say there need there's a need. OK, you know what? Here, take whatever you need. He's done a lot in there, I'm sorry, it's all I got, but take what you need. If it can help, take it. Then there are other people not like the Macedonians, maybe more like our friends, the Corinthian's, we really like them. They're a good bunch to make fun of. So are you going to need a hold on? Oh, don't. Is this enough? Can I get you by? I mean, I mean, there's there's not really that much left in there. I mean, this is this is big for me. OK, OK, thanks. Thank you. Thank you. I mean, these people are different the way they approach giving. So people really take that whole idea of being a cheerful giver, which really is the idea of a hilarious giver, a hilarious giver is not like, oh. It's more like when if people were to know what you gave, they would they would laugh at you like, are you kidding? Are you serious? Hegemann. But the Macedonians really take what you need, but you know why they were able to do that, the grace of God. Yes, that's true. It was the grace of God at that point. Because they were committed to having a part of what God was doing in Paul's ministry. If you look at the universe number four, Bible says, take upon us the fellowship of the ministering to the Saints. And so Paul is here. And what he is trying to do is trying to be a blessing to other Christians that were struggling. And so the Christians throughout Macedonia wanted to fellowship with this mission. So basically, Paul is trying to get something done. He is pushing forward. He's trying to be a blessing most likely to the Christians in Jerusalem. But these Macedonians, they're watching Paul Anderson. Man, Paul, you're doing you're helping people. You're you're really making a difference. We want to be a part of that. And so the idea of fellowship is that you would come alongside somebody and walk with them. Obviously, the Macedonians aren't going to uproot and go to Jerusalem. At least we would think so. They say, hey, we can we can give some money to help them. We can give some money to help them. They've been through a famine. Perhaps this would enable them to get some food to to to take care of their children. The reason they were able to do this, if you look at verse number five. There's a very interesting sequence of events, it says this They did not as we hoped, not as we didn't expect this. But they did this because they first gave their own selves to the Lord. And then on the US by the will of God. And so really. Reason the Macedonians were able to open the briefcase of their life and say, hey, take whatever you need is because they had already given their briefcase to God. Really, it was more of Lord. Everything I have in here is already yours. So, God, whatever you want, you can have. God laid it on their heart to help Paul, and so it was no big deal for them to then offer this to Paul. There was a story of a little girl whose dad was having a birthday party coming up soon, and the friends were asking the little girl, what are you getting at your dad for his birthday? So well, my dad really needs some new shoes. And so I'm going to go I'm going to get some new shoes for my dad and the other kids. Shoes are expensive. Where are you going? Get the money for that. You don't have money to buy your dad a pair of shoes. It's like, oh, that's my dad for the money. You know, that's that's exactly what happens when we give to the Lord. He gave us the money in the first place and then we give it back to him. I mean. I I read that I was like, who? Hard to be very proud of what you're doing when God gave it to you in the first place. The only reason it's there in the briefcase to begin with is because God put it there to open up and let God take what's yours is really no big deal. I mean, how many of us really want to say, oh, thanks, Lord, no, you can't have any of it. This is mine. That's what a lot of folks do, though. The gift went beyond money. We said this at the beginning, but extended to their very lives. Cydia says they gave their own selves to the Lord and us. I believe Paul would have said to the Macedonians, some of you guys come. Help in Jerusalem be a big help, a big blessing. There have been people who have done it. I'm pretty sure somebody said somewhere. That where your treasure is. There where your heart be also. Nancy Grace got a hold of their hearts, then their money, then their schedules.

Unidentified: Um, let's see, yeah,

Speaker 1: could do that next one. I tried to picture what's going on here at Macedonia, and if this isn't the way your brain works, that's that's fine. But this is how I imagine what's happening here. You got the church in Macedonia. It's that the rounded circle square thing. And they've got all this pressure from the outside poverty affliction is bearing down on them. A lot of people crumble under pressure. They just they just wilt. I mean, snoozers, a tiny bit of opposition. They're just gone. But as you can see, in addition to the pressure that is coming from outside the church, there is pressure going out from inside the church. They've got this joy that just can't be squelched. They've got this generosity that goes beyond the the poverty that they're experiencing. And right in the middle there, there's something making it all possible. What is it? Grace. So the grace of God at work in Macedonia enabled them to continue to have joy and be generous despite the affliction that they were facing. So the first thing that he does in this in this passage from one to five is to give an example of grace. Which fueled giving in action. So here's the next slide there for us and we'll see the second section of this passage versus six to nine, Paul speaks not only of an example like we saw in the first part, but now the motivation for grace fueled giving. We've seen someone that actually did it. And you can't say, oh, yeah, well, there are circumstances were just right. They were able to do that because God had really blessed them. Now God was testing them and they still gave generous. And so now he's going to turn his attention. He's going to give the Corinthians some motivation for why they, too, should be involved in grace fueled giving. Now, the first thing he mentions in verse number six is that Corinth had apparently made a commitment to participate in giving every year during our missions conference, we give a commitment. That God willing, over the next year will give X amount of dollars to missions, and that appears to be similar to what's going on here. They made this commitment and said, by God's grace, we're going to do this. And so Titus is there in Corinth. You need to check on him, figure out why he's going to Corinth. He's not supposed to be out that late and did you didn't go with him, so anyway, it's OK, but Titus is there and Titus is going to help them fulfill the commitment of grace, given that they had previously made. And we'll say more about this in a minute. But Grace is already at work in many different aspects of ministry within the Corinthian church. I want you to look at verse number seven with me. He says, therefore, as you are bound in everything in faith, utterance and knowledge and all diligence and your love to us, see that you are bound in this grace also. What is this grace also? It's the grace of giving. See, Paul knows that in Corinth. They utterance that speaking knowledge, diligence, love, the Corinthian church is firing on all cylinders. I mean, they're just plugging away. Grace is fueling everything this church is doing and they are good at it. The Corinthian church was a talented church. They were an affluent church. These were not just. Bums that got together and said, hey, you want to pretend we're having church? Yeah, sure. You want to do anything else, just sit there. They were busy, busy, busy, busy. They were active. There were all kinds of ministries going on at Corinth. Corinth was moving. They were grooving. I mean, it was just it was it was a great place to be. But when it comes to giving. Their engine had stalled mid cycle. Everything else, pistons pumping. Giving. Oh. See, they made the commitment, but there was no follow through. They said, hey, we're going to give. But then it never happened. Paul reminds them. As they're stuck. Of the example that was set by Jesus. Verse number nine is free no. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich. Yet, for your sakes, he became poor that year through his poverty. Might be rich is a Jesus actions were also fueled by grace, he took his riches and sacrificed them for humanity. He became poor for the sake of the ones he created. And through his poverty, mankind is rich. Yet another illustration I want to show you. Couldn't help but think of this one. This is your typical Starbucks coffee cup. Any guesses on what that liquid is in there? I. You think these big ears, I could hear everything that was said out there, but I can't. So anyway, nobody wants to share their favorite drink. We'll say it's a cinnamon dolce latte. OK, so anyways. Jesus. Eternal son of God. At home in have. Worshiped by the angels, and some of those angels are pretty weird looking right at the Bible, I mean everything he has everything. Talks about how he was poured out. Emptied himself, he became poor. So we could be made rich. And what does Paul attribute this to, verse nine? You know, the. Grace. You see, Jesus emptied himself so that we could be filled, Jesus became poor, so that we could be rich and this is grace in action in our lives. It is what bills are briefcase. But don't mistake the riches of Jesus. To be equal to the monetary gifts of the Macedonians. There are similarities in that they both made offerings of possessions and self. But the riches that Jesus gave up and that Jesus offered to humanity, they cannot be quantified. We had a story this afternoon about a group of churches that were kind of in fellowship with one another and they were trying to raise money to send it overseas to help get some more churches started. And they had a big meeting in the different churches and sent delegates to to go and bring their offerings to be gathered together and then to be sent to the missionaries. There's this one church that was in a town that had recently been flooded and destroyed by a dam which had burst. And this was many, many years ago. The people of that church, despite the fact that they had just lost everything, their town was under water, somehow they were able to to bring together two hundred and nine dollars to take to that that offering. As the large group was assembled, the the delegates from that church came and presented their two hundred and nine dollars to the pastor who had organized the meeting. Everybody knew what had gone on there. They knew the sacrifice that two hundred and nine dollars represented. And, you know, for us, it's easy to quantify our gifts, you get a giving statement at the end of the year and you see a no. Oh, OK. Well, that's what I gave. But how do you quantify what Jesus gave to us? You can't. It's an unspeakable gift. It's immeasurable. Even if you just tried to tally up the the benefits that he has given to you on this side of heaven. You'd still fall far short of the total benefits of salvation. The grace of God raised Jesus Christ has shown to us the amount you're carrying around in your briefcase is is an unspeakable gift. It can't be quantified. Well, that's great, Gary, I man, praise God, glory to Jesus. How is this a motivation? How is this a motivation for me to give? Are you trying to make me feel obligated to give because he gave me so much? Hey, you know, if he did this for you, you ought to at least be willing to do this for him. Like, you could even begin to make a down payment on repaying the grace that God has shown to you. Is it because we feel obligated? Or is it because that we hope to be more like him? By following his example. What are we predestined to? As Christians, we are predestined to be conformed to the image of his son. As believers, we bring glory to God when we follow Jesus example.

Unidentified: What's that again?

Speaker 1: As believers, recipients of grace. We bring glory to God when we follow his son's example. You see this? In turn is beneficial to us. Because it fills our life with purpose and meaning. Talk to the men for a second. Statistics, polls taken trying to figure out what are men looking for, why are men coming to church? Most men feel like they are missing purpose in their lives. Most men feel like their life has no meaning. I talked on Sunday about how if there's one thing this job isn't, it's not monotonous. Every day is new, every day is different. You never know when some guy's going to walk in and want to spend an hour and a half talking about the law. Like the Bible law, not like Oklahoma law, it's just every day this stuff comes up, you have no idea. But you know what it's like to work in a job where it's the same thing day in, day out, day in, day out. What's the purpose, what's the meaning? A lot of men are struggling with their own self-worth because they feel like their life has no meaning, it has no purpose. But when you and I learn how to imitate Jesus and bring him glory, there is a benefit that we receive in that it fills our life with purpose and meaning. I give because he gave, not because I'm trying to repay him, but so that I can be like him. I want to be like Jesus. And when my life infuses others with grace, then God is glorified and I am fulfilled, and if you don't believe me, why do you think it is that even in the world we have this say it's better to. Give than to receive. Why? Because even the world understands that when you give even with no expectation to receive. That that that connects that that that resonates with something in our soul. So we have the example of the Macedonians where the motivation of Jesus example, lastly, Paul reveals his request for the Corinthians. Says in verse 11. Servers 10, he says here in I get my advice, this is expedient for you, it's good for you. Who have begun before not only to do but also to be forward a year ago now, therefore perform the doing of it, follow through on what you said you would do a year ago. It is good for you not only to honor your word, but to participate in grace fueled giving. If you've never participated in grace fueled giving you all to talk to some of the folks that have been around here for a long time, and they can tell you about the untold blessings that come from being an active participant in giving. And if you can't find an old person that will tell you, come talk to me, I've only been doing it for 20 something years, but I'll tell you about some of the blessings that we've received. Because of our participation in giving. I mean, there were times where when I first got into the ministry, we were making three hundred dollars a week. Oh. Not a lot. Says there was a will to do something, but where there is a will to do something, there should also be a performance of that thing. Not like I thought that I'm performing just like a follow through. You know, I just can't and you can't give somebody else is able to give. Nobody said you had to. Nobody said you had to compare yourself to anybody. In fact, here in the passage is pretty clear. Oh, let's see. The universe from 11, so there may be a performance also out of that which he have not out of that which the Joneses have, that what you have and looking for from 12, it is accepted, according to that, a man half and not according to that he have not remember, if you've only got ten dollars, the most you can give is ten dollars. And he expects you to give one hundred. Look, verse number 13. Paul does not expect them to give beyond their means. This is for I mean, not. That other men be eased and burdened. Paul doesn't want you to empty out your briefcase so that you can turn around and say, oh, stink. Somebody help me. I have no money left in my briefcase. I have nothing left to give to my family. Can somebody help me? Oh, I don't have any anything left in your briefcase. I gave it all away. It's like I'm not trying to burden you so someone else can be EE's don't live beyond your means. Well, you know who had the means to give? The Corinthians. Corinthian's had the means to be a significant source of help. To those that were in need. The next illustration for me, if you would. You and I know that in our world, there are some regions that are known for having more wealth than other regions. Right. Corinth was kind of like. On the level of the New York City, a center of commerce, a place where there was a lot of trade, a lot of tourism, I mean, they just had money coming in from all types of sources. They were in a time of abundance, while others were in a time of want. They would allow the grace of Jesus to work. They would follow his example, follow the example, the Macedonians. Paul says in verse number 14. There could be equality. In that both groups of people could have their needs met. It was funny that that word equality would show up, we hear that word a lot these days, don't we? Paul ends the passage of number 15 by quoting Exodus 16 18. Which addresses the gathering of man, he says, as it is written back in Exodus, he that had gathered much had nothing over. He had gathered little and no lack. You remember the manna. Mannah was to supply for the needs of that day. You'd have. Different generations in the home, young and the old, would go out together. You try to imagine the scene as the grandparents went out with the children to pick up the man of that day. I mean, just try to think back to our Easter egg hunt. What if instead of separating the different groups, we just threw everybody together? And what if instead of stopping at 12, we went up to ninety five? Say, all right, on your mark, get set, go. Those little kids are running out there gathering up the eggs, putting them into their basket. Some of the grandparents or. Moving a little slower. Going out. In the down. Blowing up an egg. And putting it in their basket. Come back to the house, make the 10. Johnny's got. Thirty cakes of Mannar. Grandma has got to. Oh, sorry, grandma. Have been faster out there. This is going to be lean pickings for you today. No. Everybody in the home. We get an equal part in share what they had with one another. So that everybody will get to eat that day. Everyone, regardless of what they gathered, would have received enough provision for the day. You couldn't save the manor for the next day, why it spoiled overnight. See, as that next slide says. Believers in Corinth. It benefited from the grace of Jesus. Paul encourages them to show that grace to others through their giving. Through this means the needs of others could be met. I believe that God never intended the government. To take care of the needs of people. Believe that a church or churches that. Are operating the way they should be operating that are receiving the funds they should receive. We've God intended them to take care of the needs of their members. You see, we, too, have been recipients of God's grace. There are those among us around us and far from us who have far less than we do. And the question that we need to think about tonight is, are we willing to give generously to help meet the needs of others? Now we can get spiritual for just a moment and say, what's the greatest need that people have? Salvacion. Forgiveness of sins, Jesus Christ. But did you know that sometimes by meeting some of the physical needs of folks that will open the door for you to share the answer to their life's greatest need? What does that say? People don't care how much you know, until they. Know how much you care. So what can you do to help others today? You see, as Americans, I'd say we are nearly in the same boat as the Corinthian's. Religiously, we excel at everything. I mean. We're not that great at the whole up front, like putting on a performance thing, but. Pretty solid, I think, I mean, it's not it's not like we're tripping over us. Well, sometimes we do trip. But we kind of got a little bit of our act together, you look at some of these other churches and they've got the lights, they've got smoke. No offense, but they're piano player sits up there and plays while the preacher's preaching. Maybe she has notes and she knows at those points to go down and. She used to sit at the piano when I was a youth pastor and when I was doing the announcements, I'd I'd tell one of my very, very funny jokes and like you, they wouldn't laugh either. And so she did it on the piano and then they'd laugh at her, but not me. But religiously, we excel at everything, look at our little mid-sized church, I mean, right now we've got children's programs going on. We fed, what, one hundred people tonight about. I mean, we can set up, we can tear down, we can host three hundred and fifty people here for an Easter egg hunt. We've got this thing going religiously. We're we're doing pretty good. We've got classes, we've got programs, we've got activities, and let's be honest. We're blessed with abundance. Realized 30 percent of the world's wealth is in the United States. Close to eight billion people on the earth, on the earth now. Three hundred and thirty million people in America. You do the percentages, that's pretty lopsided. Even those who live in what America considers to be poverty are better off than people in most other countries. You see, if you're sitting there and we are really going to throw in some pity parties for ourselves, probably most of you thought, oh yeah, we're just like those Macedonians. Guri, trials of affliction, I mean, can you believe? That that guy at the grocery store asked me to wear a mask. Oh, just felt afflicted. I don't like wearing them either, but it's just. It's just. It's not the mark of the. It's not persecution. It could be a lot worse. Some say. Maybe it'll get worse then we can throw a pity party. We're not under great affliction, we're not in deep poverty. As Christians, we have received the benefits of Jesus, Grace. As Americans, we are what the world would consider to be affluent, as Christians, we are beneficiaries of God's grace. We are rich because he made himself poor. And if we want to be like our savior, we must learn to follow his example. Now, I can say this as a whole, American Christians are quantifiably more charitable than any other group of people. Did you know that, like, you can actually put numbers to it, American Christians give more money to charity than anybody else? Oh, yeah, they give money to their churches. No, no. Actually, regular gifts down there at the bottom. Sixty seven percent of American Christians give twice monthly to a secular charity, and their gifts that they give twice monthly are 20 percent larger than the 40 percent of non Christians who give to the charity. OK, so they give more more of them give and they give more than non Christians. The annual gifts to charity for an American Christian average out to be one thousand five hundred and ninety dollars for a non Christian American. Six hundred and ninety five dollars, that's a little bit of a difference. How many Christians have volunteered for a charity in the last week, according to this? Forty five percent of them in the last week. Forty five percent of American Christians have volunteered at a charity over the last week. Non Christians. Twenty five percent. Now we hear a lot of bad news about Christianity, ordinary Christianity is dead, it's powerless, it's a bunch of lazy bums. Some good news about Christianity. Wouldn't you agree? But give yourself a pat on the back. I can't reach. Why isn't that as exciting as it should be? Well, because hopefully we don't judge ourselves by the averages. That next slide. What we should be interested in tonight. Is are we as individuals showing God's grace to others through our giving? Not not is our church doing well financially? I mean, because we've talked about the numbers last year was great, it's a great blessing, we praise God for it. Just because the church is doing well doesn't mean you're doing what you're supposed to do. Just because American Christians are involved in giving and charitable donations and charitable service doesn't mean you're doing what you should do. You see, we're not interested tonight in the average of all American Christians tonight, what we're interested in is are you as an individual, allowing God's grace to work in your life and then showing that grace to others through giving. Brother Gary. I do a lot of things, I mean, I teach Sunday school, I, I know a lot about the Bible, I mean, just a lot. I could tell you some things maybe you don't even know about the Bible. And, you know, I love the missionaries. I really do. I love, love, love, love, love them. I love them so much, I'd kiss them. I love the missionaries. But don't ask me to give. Don't ask me to give my hard earned money the money that that I made the money. You mean the money that you put into your briefcase? Yeah, yeah, that money. Don't ask me to give that. Well. According to Paul and the Corinthians at everything else in line, but not giving. He said. Your Grace is incomplete. You need to abound in this case also. Grace is going to have its full work in our lives as individuals, then it's going to mean that we're going to be generous and like the Macedonians liberal. In our giving. Aren't you glad this message came up on a Wednesday night, not a Sunday morning? All the visitors were here. Mostly church folks tonight. I praise God for everyone that has allowed God's grace impact where they give to the Lord. Perhaps there are someone there is someone here tonight that says, you know what? I need to let God's grace work more in my life, if that's the case, then I hope tonight was a challenge and an encouragement for you to follow the example of believers who have come before, but more importantly, to follow the example of Jesus Christ. Let's pray, Lord, we thank you for this time that we've been able to spend together and that you would help us, Lord, to allow your Grace to be at work in our lives. And we would even allow it to work in this area of giving. That we would be generous and liberal. With our gifts and re dispersing, distributing the things that you have given to us through your grace, Lord, we love you and we thank you for all you do for us. It's in Jesus name, I pray. Amen. Thank you for your attention if we go ahead and get those lights, and if you did not receive a prayer sheet, if you'll slip your hand up, Brother Carol has those in the back and he will get one of those to you. Maybe one of our younger guys can help him get those spread out across the room. A couple of things that I'm aware of that are new since the bulletin was printed. Being prepared for Miss Terry Short's sister, Kelly, she had a heart attack on Sunday and is in and is recovering from that pray also for Daisy Pippin. She had a fall, fractured her hip and was in the hospital for a few days. But she is home now recovering. And she asked. You think about it, send her a card, give her a call, and I know she would appreciate some some attention there. And so as Miss Daisy Pippin and then pray for Bo Gilbert. Bo is Lauren Fallon's fiancee, and Bo was working today and got hit in the face with a pipe and busted several teeth out and so pray for him. They're supposed to have pictures in a few weeks. Is that right, Miss Linda? So of you guys got some dentures you're not using right now? Oh, my. Appreciate the. Now it's both, but was already making jokes, he said he was ready to go another round with Mike Tyson and, uh, so anyway, pray for Bo is in the hospital tonight and mistresses there with him. But pray that there will be no. He did go home OK? OK, good. Went all the way through. So to be in prayer for him, that he'll have that heal quickly with no complications and. He'll be able to get that all taken care of. Um. Assoon. All right. I think that's all the notes that I was given. Is there any updates or new requests as we go across Michiana? What was his name again? OK. As Ruthie's dad. So pray for Tim's sister in law's dad. Her name is Ruthie, his name is Mr. Patrick. He fell broke his hip. But because of that, they found a clot in his lungs, which is kind of a blessing that they were able to catch that. So just pray for him to heal, recover, be able to get him the medical attention he needs. Anybody else in this section here is, ma'am. OK, so Dorothy Younger is, of course, Chris, the Cameron's youngest daughter. She's there on church family, still awaiting the upcoming appointments, but she's starting to struggle again with her digestion. So please pray for her. She's got a checkup coming up. They'd be able to adjust the medication and keep her comfortable as they await further treatment. But in the section. This section here. Yes, ma'am. For Aria, she has an appointment on Monday. To determine whether she needs to get tubes in her ears. Again. Anybody else in the section, Miss Marie? I'm Don and Darla. Don and Darlene Gaines. Their daughter died Monday. Monday night from cancer. For them, anybody else in the section here? Right over here. Kenny. Is this because of what happened last week? Really, Kenny Hall, he has a CT scan tomorrow. Last week after church, he got home, walked in the door and collapsed and the ambulance had to come out and help him. And so they've got to do some tests to try and figure out what all is going on with brother Kenny. So please be in prayer for him. He'll get the answers he needs for that and it won't happen again. Hmm. Anybody else over here? Yes, sir. And that's right, we've been praying for Miss Shannon for her job opportunity. She had the second interview and she got that job today. And so we praise the Lord for that. Anybody over here? All right, well, thank you all for your good attention tonight. Let's all stand and we'll be dismissed in a word of prayer. And I hope that you have a good rest of your week, please take these prayer sheets home and and pray over them and remember these names, bring them before the Lord. We trust that God will work and each each situation according to his plan. Lord, we thank you for this day and thank you for the folks that are here tonight. God, I pray that you bless them making the effort to be a part of the service. Help us as we leave this place, God, to go out and to be a light for you wherever, wherever we may go. Lord, many requests that we've heard tonight for health and other needs. God, I ask that you would be at work and each situation. Would you give comfort to those that are. Separated from loved ones, this time, those that are struggling with injuries and sickness. I pray that you would give their doctors wisdom that they would have swift healing. Lord, we ask you to be with those that are facing spiritual needs on our list, Lord, those that are in need of salvation, those whose families are experiencing turbulent times. I pray that you would watch over them, that you would bring people into their lives, would be an encouragement to them and point them to you. Lord, we love you so much. We thank you for all you do for us. It's in Jesus name, I pray. Hamen. Thank you. You expressed.

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