May 5 - A Call to Generous Giving
During his third missionary journey, Paul had collected money for the impoverished believers in Jerusalem. He found the Macedonians to have such generous, giving spirits that he used them as an example for the Corinthians. Even today they are a great example for us, so be ready to take notes!
2 Corinthians 8:1-7 Now I want you to know, dear brothers and sisters, what God in his kindness has done through the churches in Macedonia. They are being tested by many troubles, and they are very poor. But they are also filled with abundant joy, which has overflowed in rich generosity.
For I can testify that they gave not only what they could afford, but far more. And they did it of their own free will. They begged us again and again for the privilege of sharing in the gift for the believers in Jerusalem. They even did more than we had hoped, for their first action was to give themselves to the Lord and to us, just as God wanted them to do.
So we have urged Titus, who encouraged your giving in the first place, to return to you and encourage you to finish this ministry of giving. Since you excel in so many ways—in your faith, your gifted speakers, your knowledge, your enthusiasm, and your love from us—I want you to excel also in this gracious act of giving.
The churches in Macedonia—Philippi, Thessalonica, and Berea—had given money even though they were poor and they had sacrificially given more than Paul expected. Not only were they willing to give, they “begged us again and again for the privilege of sharing the gift for the believers in Jerusalem.” How many times have we begged someone to let you help them financially? What was the Macedonian’s motivation for doing that?
They gave out of:
Dedication to Christ
Love for fellow believers
A desire to reach those who are spiritually lost
For some of us, that kind of generosity may sound unbelievable, even impossible. So what makes us think we’ll ever see this kind of giving in our lives?
Look back at all the lives that have been transformed as a result of the ministries of Newstart. Think about what a blessing our trips to Mexico, Costa Rica, Nicaragua and Guatemala have been, not only to the villages we’ve visited, but to those here who made the trip possible. And what about the young adults who grew up in our children’s and young adult ministries and are now out in the world spreading the Word of God to others? And aren’t we in the process of expanding our reach throughout Delaware County by merging with Highpoint?
What makes us think we’ll even see this kind of giving in our lives? We’ve seen it before! If it wasn’t for all the Newstart Christians before us (and among us) who were filled with abundant joy which overflowed in rich generosity, we wouldn’t see the outpouring of blessings that we do today. Why have so many people here given generously and faithfully?
They understand that:
Financial = Spiritual. So many here recognize that we are stewards of what God has given us, not owners. Knowing that everything we have comes from God, many have decided to break the chains of selfishness and give profusely of what they have been given.
Our financial generosity is a clear representation of our spiritual maturity. As we grow in Christ, we aren’t just willing to give, but like the first century Macedonian Christians, we become eager to give because Jesus matters so much to us and we want others to know about Him too!
The expansion of the Kingdom of God requires funding. Because of generous giving, we have been able to assemble an incredible, faithful staff here at Newstart who has proved to be a blessing to each one of us. Additionally, we are in the process of relocating to a much, much larger building which will enable us to grow God's Kingdom even further. You don’t need a financial advisor tell you that ain’t free!
Here at Newstart, we want our money to be used for the dramatic advancement of Jesus’ Kingdom. Aren’t you excited to be part of that?? If you’re ready for to use what God has given you to be a blessing to others, pray this prayer today:
Father, open up incredible opportunities for me to give generously to the ministry of Jesus through Newstart Church.