by Erin Bird
If you were with us this past Sunday for our third birthday celebration, thanks for celebrating with us what God has done! Here's to not just three more years of Jesus changing lives through His gospel, but countless years of seeing hundreds and thousands find Jesus and follow Him. (Glad you are on this journey with us!)
Today on the blog, we conclude our short series on the topic of generosity. We've been walking through 2 Corinthians 9. And this week, we also finish with the last three verses (verses 13-15), which say...
"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!"
Let me help you get your bearings since we are jumping into the middle of one of Paul's thoughts.
But I want you to see one thing, found in two places in these last three verses.
The first instance is in verse 13 when Paul says, "they will glorify God because of your submission flowing from your confession of the gospel of Christ."
Those who receive the financial gift of your giving will glorify God. But notice what the motivation is behind the gift. It isn't simply to make them happy. It isn't to make them impressed. Your gift was given because of your obedience, your submission to God which flows from your identity in the gospel.
This means your giving isn't a duty - it's worship. It is to be a response to the person and work of Jesus.
That's why Paul concludes this section with verse 15 (our second instance) - "Thanks be to God for his inexpressible gift!" God's greatest gift was Jesus, who died on a cross for the payment of our sin. And when you realize how great His gift is, one of the ways you express your thanks is through giving. Because God gave so generously, we feel compelled to give generously.
This is why a Jesus-follower doesn't just drop $10 in an offering plate on a Sunday morning as if he or she were paying for a movie and popcorn. Our giving (and I am talking about our FIST (finances, influence, skills, and time) not just money) is to be generous, extravagant, gospel-fueled, because of what God has done for us.
I want to see you experience this. I want Jesus to be Lord over your entire life, and that includes your finances.
This is why we are offering Financial Peace University. We want to help you get to a place where you can give freely, joyfully, and generously, and not be trapped in debt or unhealthy patterns. To sign-up for this nine-week class, simply email Jeff. It will be an investment you won't regret. (Scholarships are available.)
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