The Northfield

  2535 Shore Road

  Northfield, NJ 08225

  (609)646-1181

Church of Christ

03/07/2009

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Shining Generosity


"Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, for God loves a cheerful giver" (2 Cor. 9:7).

I have preached a few sermons using this scripture, but I hope this short message will be a little different. In this section, Paul is reminding the people of their promise to help the Christians in Judea who are in need.(V2) I am told that in some secular works of the first century, that the word cheerful is used as "the bright color of gold which has been cast into a furnace." I may be using a little license here but it seems that God wants our giving to be "golden." Since gold is the standard by which we place value on things, whether of substance or meaning, ("that's gold") why shouldn't our giving be considered "golden?"

There are some "bean counters" out there that tell me that almost one of every six verses in the Gospels deals with how someone handles his possessions. That's amazing to me. It is not so surprising that one's generosity is a major subject in our Bibles. There is more said about generosity than about baptism, repentance, confession and Communion. Half on the parables of Jesus deal with material possessions.

What is the implication here for us. Most of us can quote from memory John 3:16. It tell us of the generosity of God. It explains His gift to us. Jesus explains HIS gift of generosity to us as our Shepherd. "The reason my father loves me is that I lay down my life----only to take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and take it up again" (John 10:17 & 18).

Our generosity ought to lie in the example of God and Jesus and their rich gifts to us. It should by example, make our giving bright and golden. God and Jesus' gift to us? GOLD! More next time...

Have a wonderful weekend...May the words on our lips be, "I rejoiced with those who said to me, 'Let us go to the house of the Lord' " (Ps.122:1) Love mark Phil. 4:11

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