Have you ever said or thought to yourself., "if I only had the money I would love to give thousands o dollars to the needs of our missionaries all around the world." Although we may not have the resources right now to do that, God does! All that He wants is for us to be channels through which He can give that others might hear the gospel and be saved. God is not willing that any should perish, so He has a plan for world evangelization It is by and through the local Church. Note the definition of a faith-promise offering.
"A faith-promise offering is money that God will give through you, which, He might never give to you, if He saw He could not trust you to pass it on to others."
It is very exciting to become one of God's channels through which He gives so that every man might hear and come to the knowledge of His Truth.
READ TEXT: 2 Co. 8:1-9
Notice verse 3. "For to their power, I bear record yea, and BEYOND THEIR POWER they were willing of themselves."
Question: How can one give beyond the limits of his own resources?
Answer: Through a "Faith-Promise" offering.
Paul turns their attention to the churches of Macedonia (Thessalonica, Berea, and Philippi). He does this not to command or force something on the Corinthian believers (cf v.8). but to suggest that they might learn from the Macedonian churches, experience of giving and thus experience similar blessings.
Consider some principles of giving that can be drawn from this account in Scripture.
I. One's ability to give is not dependent upon the size of their bank account.
A. The believers in the churches of Macedonia were extremely poor.(v.2)
1. Not only were they poor.. but they had experienced persecution because of their new-found faith in Christ.
2. The mathematical equation in this verse doesn't make sense to the world or to the carnally-minded Christian.
3. Affliction + poverty + joy = liberality
B. They had received the Grace of God upon them.
1. There are many kinds of 'grace' that God bestows upon His children: saving grace, strengthening grace, and grace for giving.
2. Note another equation here in Scripture: Grace + Obedience + Faith = Abundant Life
3. They received God's grace, they were in obedience to His Word doing what they could, and then by faith they went beyond their own resources that others might hear the Gospel!
II. God's giving to us is often directly proportionate to our giving to Him.
A. 2 Co 9:6, What kind of harvest do we want?
B. Luke 6:38, We give to get to give again.
C. Mal. 3:10, God challenges us to try to out- give Him. We can't win, but it is wonderful to try!
III. All true giving begins with the giving of ourselves. (v.5)
A. It isn't easy!
1. It is much easier to give of our substance than to give ourselves.
2. It is much easier to pay the Pastor or staff to do the ministry of the church than to find our ministry and give of ourselves and time to perform it.
B. It is a matter of Lordship.
1. A person will always have difficulty accepting the biblical principle of giving until he has first given himself completely to God.
2. He must acknowledge the Lordship of Christ over himself and all of is possessions.
3. We can never know the joy the Macedonian believers experienced until we are willing to give ourselves and all that we have to Christ.
4. Note: Lk. 14:33, 'forsaketh' doesn't mean we have to throw everything away it simply means we must release control and allow Christ to be Lord of ALL!
IV. What we give proves how much we love. (v.8)
A. The opposite of love is not hate, it is selfishness.
1. Jn. 3:16, "For God so loved the world, that He GAVE..."
2. In giving His Son on the cross, God proved the sincerity of His love forever.
3. Compare that with v.9 and we see how much Jesus Christ loved us by His giving!
B. If God measures my love for Him by what I have given to Him, how great is my love?
1. Faith-promise allows us to demonstrate and give evidence of our love.
2. Note Jesus' soul-searching questioning of Peter in Jn. 21:15-17.
3. The Macedonian churches roved the sincerity of their love by giving over and above their means.
4. Someone has said, "You can give without loving, but you cannot love without giving."
Faith-promise giving is biblical. Our ability to give is not determined by the size of our bank account. God's giving to us is often proportionate to our giving. It all begins with giving of ourselves. Our giving proves our love. Please pray about what God would have us give.