Posts Tagged 'giving'

2 Corinthians: How Should We Give?

2 Corinthians: How Should We Give?

Deut.15:1-11; 2Cor.9:5-15

I used to work with a Pastor Gary, the most caring minister I’ve ever met. I asked him one day, “How do you do it?” His answer? “Ed, you don’t have to feel it first. Care for others first – the feelings come later.” Caring is an ongoing choice, not a response to an emotion.

Core Concepts of Christian Care

Liberality Leads to Blessing ~ Deuteronomy 15:1-11
The OT Principle:

  • 1/3 God’s people aren’t to hold debt over one another
  • 4/8 God’s people aren’t to allow one another to become poor
  • 9/11 care for the poor to receive God’s blessing (there will always be poor, but we shouldn’t turn our backs on them, especially our family of faith)

Giving Is OnGoing ~ 2Corinthians 9:5-15
The NT Practice:

  • 5/6 “generous” = “eulogy” not just good words, but good DEEDS
  • 7/8 decided in his heart -> conversation with God about what works for you; “able”= God ENABLES grace to you, so you can be ready to help others; in other words, God cares for the poor, and uses US to do it
  • 9/11 God’s gifts/resources are to flow THROUGH us
  • 12/15 when we let “our” finances be used for God’s work, more is in play than material needs: God is glorified because our obedience in letting go of “our” funds causes people to praise God 1) for His provision for their needs, and 2) for our willingness to listen to God’s prompting; there aren’t sufficient words known to describe how cool this is!

We don’t have to work ourselves up into an emotional state to care for others. As parents, there are plenty of days where we care for our children but don’t feel like it first. There are days that we don’t feel like getting up early to care for the animals. We CHOOSE to care – and THAT is how we should give!

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Snapshots from Mark: The Cost of Copper

Snapshots from Mark: The Cost of Copper Sermon Audio Here

Mark 12:38-44

The article “Keeping Score Matters, But Not How You Think” mentions the first ever sports psychology experiment: does a cyclist go faster when riding against their previous best time? Or against someone else?

Does God Keep Score With Our Offerings?

Warnings About Values ~ Mark 12:38-40

  • 38 Warning signs about religious people in power:
    • 1) fancy dress (to look special)
    • 2) salutations (to be recognized)
  • 39
    • 3) first seats in synagogues (to be counted as extra-holy)
    • 4) first seats at dinner (to be considered worthy of honor)
  • 40
    • 5) misappropriation of gifts (subverting offerings into their own pockets)
    • 6) surface words for show (to pretend closeness to God that isn’t there)

Various Worth of Gifts ~ Mark 12:41-44

  • 41/42 setup: as Jesus watches, rich people give abundantly, while a poor woman gives a tiny amount
  • 43 it’s worth noticing to Jesus: He calls the disciples attention; how does God measure our gifts? It goes beyond mere copper/silver/gold
  • 44 this offering is a gift of TRUST; she is trusting God to provide, even as she provides what she can for God’s work. (God can do more with our money than we can)

The gifts of the rich, though large, were easy gifts: the widow’s gift, though tiny, meant a real surrender of herself to God and trust in him, and therefore an honouring of God as God, as the one to whom we belong wholly and is able to care for us.”1


1. (Cambridge Greek Testament Commentary; St. Mark, by C.E.B. Cranfield, p. 387)

Advent: Preparing for the Promise

Advent: Preparing for the Promise Sermon Audio Here

Isa.11:1-10; Rom.15:4-13

Have you ever noticed the emphasis children place on promises? “You PROMISE?” is asked with emphasis on the word. “Pinky swear” has been around since at least 1860. Consider Jepthah’s vow in Judges 11:29-40, and the seriousness with which a vow is considered. Why is a promise given so powerful to us?

Promises are both Given and Received:

God’s Promised Person Will Be… ~ Isaiah 11:1-10

  • v1 a Descendant of David, a fulfillment of God’s promise (2 Sam. 7)
  • v2/5 Judge of Justice, God’s righteousness his foundation (the BELT)
  • v6/10 a Provider of Peace, our reaction to His teaching

Our Part of the Promise Will Be… ~ Romans 15:4-13

  • v4/7 that We Glorify God Together
  • v8/12 that We Receive an Old Promise for New Mercy

CLOSE: Rom.15:13 The Point of the Promise for which we Prepare: to be filled with joy and peace of the Lord, so the Spirit will fill us with His hope.

Trust Before Experience

Trust Before Experience Sermon Audio Here


Ecclesiastes 11:1-10

There is no situation I can get into that God cannot get me out. Some years ago when I was learning to fly, my instructor told me to put the plane into a steep and extended dive. I was totally unprepared for what was about to happen. After a brief time the engine stalled, and the plane began to plunge out-of-control. It soon became evident that the instructor was not going to help me at all. After a few seconds, which seemed like eternity, my mind began to function again. I quickly corrected the situation.

Immediately I turned to the instructor and began to vent my fearful frustrations on him. He very calmly said to me, “There is no position you can get this airplane into that I cannot get you out of. If you want to learn to fly, go up there and do it again.” At that moment God seemed to be saying to me, “Remember this. As you serve Me, there is no situation you can get yourself into that I cannot get you out of. If you trust me, you will be all right.” That lesson has been proven true in my ministry many times over the years. (James Brown, Evangeline Baptist Church, Wildsville, LA, in Discoveries, Fall, 1991, Vol. 2, No. 4.)

How Do We Put Trust Into Practice?

Engage the Activities of Life
(With Ability) ~ Ecc. 11:1-6

  • v1 cast bread – double meaning: 1) sowing seed unexpected return 2) care for poor w/o regard for repayment
  • v2/4 we don’t know outcome; we can’t use it to decide
  • v5/6 engage various ventures; only God knows outcome

Enjoy the Choices of Life
(With Responsibility) ~ Ecc. 11:7-10

  • v7/8 enjoy life, whether sunny days or dark
  • v9 whatever your choices, realize their eternal worth
  • v10 set aside worry, and live well as you can (meaning isn’t found in being young or old)

Share the Blessings of Life
(with others) ~ 2 Cor. 9:6-11

  • v6/7 willingness is key
  • v8 you are surrounded with grace So That you bless others
  • v9 callback to Ecc. 11:1 “cast bread”
  • v10 NOT give to get, but give to give more
  • v11 We Are The Means God Uses To Teach World re: Grace

Psalm 34:6 – taste & see the Lord is good! We have to be willing to step out in faith and trust first SO THAT we learn how Good God can be.


Pastor Ed Backell

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