GIVING BEYOND OUR MEANS

Americans just accept that we’re going to be in debt, as consumers and as a country. If we are so comfortable living beyond our means, then what about giving beyond our means?

Notes And Next Steps

2 Corinthians 8:1-4 + Part 5 of the series “Ten For Ten"

How much credit card debt do we carry? $7,000
How much car loan debt do we owe? $28,000
How much student loan debt? $48,000

There are exactly zero divine promises that would encourage us to be comfortable living beyond our means. But what about giving in a way that seems beyond our means? We call that “sacrificial giving.”

In the Bible, we see that sacrificial gifts were never made under compulsion, but out of cheerfulness; never out of fear, but out of faith; never out of obligation, but in response to an opportunity provided by God.

“In the midst of a very severe trial, their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity. For I testify that they gave as much as they were able, and even beyond their ability.” (2 Corinthians 8:2,3)

A disciple does not ask, “How much can I keep?” but, “How much more can I give?”

CROSSTALK

  1. As you watch today’s episode of “Living Generously,” what did Frank discover about “playing it safe” and sowing seeds, especially during a family and economic crisis?
  2. How can we apply this to the Macedonians and us? (2 Corinthians 8:1-4)
  3. As a church, let’s explore the Macedonians’ generosity related to the 3 P’s—poverty, persecution and passing the test. Read about two other churches in Revelation 3:14-22 and Revelation 2:8-11.
  4. Paul never mentions the word “money” when talking about the Jerusalem offering. Consider the list of words he prefers. Why does he choose these? What do they mean for you as you pray about growing in generosity?

NEWS AND NOTES

Are you a CrossLife family member? Do you have your commitment packet? Please read the letter, use the planning tools included, and prayerfully consider what your response will be. Plan to return your giving plan next Sunday, sealed in an envelope that does not contain any offering except the desire of your heart written on the plan. Envelopes will remain sealed, then returned to you after 10 weeks.