10 Lessons About Sharing Through Giving for Gospel Purposes.

It is easy to forget that the Church exists for Christ and His mission. Jesus said, "Freely you received, freely give" (Matthew 10:8). The nature of grace is free and generous, and so should be its influence in our lives.

Paul holds up the Macedonian Christians as a personal example of this principle in 2 Corinthians 8:1-3. Last week, we discussed the first of several lessons about giving that we discover in this passage: it is impartial regarding circumstances. The word translated "liberality" can also mean simplicity and single-mindedness. This determined sacrificial giving is coupled with an attitude of joy that is not found in ourselves. It is the work of grace.

Grace Compels Us to Share and Give with a Proper Disposition

The source of grace is Christ. The first impact He makes on a life in salvation continues to influence that life in ever-growing concentric circles.

The Macedonian believers gave "according to their means." This phrase would have evoked a wedding analogy in the minds of Paul's readers. A groom pledged to share his whole being and all his resources with his bride. In a much greater sense, Christ gave us His riches, all of them, without a second thought. That grace teaches us to give ourselves and all we have back to Him and to His purposes and His people in response.

Giving beyond one's ability is generally thought of as a bad thing, but it is not in this context. Giving sacrificially is the automatic response to what we have been so freely gifted with. Motivated believers are always finding ways to take care of people and support the Gospel mission.

Application Points

  • What is the proper disposition for giving or sharing with God's people? Where does this disposition come from? Do you see this operating in your life?
  • How much did Christ give us? Aren't you glad? What should that grace teach us?
  • How can you give of your means to take care of God's people and support the Gospel mission?

A Hymn to Encourage: "All I Have Is Christ"

I once was lost in darkest night
Yet thought I knew the way;
The sin that promised joy and life
Had led me to the grave.
I had no hope that You would own
A rebel to Your will,
And if You had not loved me first,
I would refuse You still.

But as I ran my hell-bound race,
Indifferent to the cost,
You looked upon my helpless state
And led me to the cross.
And I beheld God's love displayed;
You suffered in my place.
You bore the wrath reserved for me;
Now all I know is grace.

Hallelujah! All I have is Christ.
Hallelujah! Jesus is my life.

Now, Lord, I would be Yours alone
And live so all might see
The strength to follow Your commands
Could never come from me.
Oh Father, use my ransomed life
In any way You choose,
And let my song forever be
My only boast is You.

Hallelujah! All I have is Christ.
Hallelujah! Jesus is my life.