Wednesday, December 7, 2016

EmmDev 2016-12-06 [Treasure in Clay Pots (2Cor)] Generosity (9): Consequences of #2

Hi Everyone
I sent this one out yesterday, but it seems to have got lost, here it is again.

Generosity (9): Consequences of #2

This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of God's people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God. 13 Because of the service by which you have proved yourselves, men will praise God for the obedience that accompanies your confession of the gospel of Christ, and for your generosity in sharing with them and with everyone else. 14 And in their prayers for you their hearts will go out to you, because of the surpassing grace God has given you. 15 Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!      (2Corinthians9:12-15)
In the previous eDev we started looking at the consequences of generosity and saw that God makes His grace abound in and through us. that He increases our seed store and that He is glorified.

Today's reading takes this a bit further:
Firstly, good generosity doesn't only meet needs but brings glory to God. There are ways of giving that make the giver look good and there are ways of giving that make God look good. We should strive for the latter.

Secondly, good giving should come from obedience to God's prompting and not from guilt or peer-pressure. When it comes from obedience to God's prompting, people can sense the "right-ness" of the decision and will recognise God's hand in the giving and praise Him for it.

Thirdly, when people see Godly giving at work in the heart of His people, they are moved to prayer (rather than showy displays of gratitude) because they see the kindness of God, who gave His Son, being lived out in His people. Again, this points towards God's glory and not human glory.

And so we complete a marathon session on generosity...
We've seen that:
1. Generosity shown to anyone is actually generosity to God.
2. We do it because of what Jesus did for us.
3. Our thoughts and attitudes are more important than the gift.
4. There is a justice issue of equality around giving.
5. All giving should be done decently and in order.
6. Giving transforms brokenness and so Paul pushes generosity.
7. Understanding that "our stuff belongs to God" will help us give cheerfully.
8. Giving bears good fruit like grace abounding in our lives
9. Giving also transforms the giver and brings glory to God.

I hope you've enjoyed the journey.
Christmas can be a time of generosity - may I challenge you to read through the last few EmmDevs and think through your generosity?
Having reached the end of this section, I'm going to end the edevs for this year. I pray for God's blessing over you and your loved ones over this Christ-mass season and I pray that you may have time to rest, reflect and revive.
I will re-commence when the government schools start up again.
God bless.

Theo Groeneveld
Emmanuel Presby Church Cell: 082-5510752