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 “Living Generously"

How much credit card debt do we carry? $14,000

How much car loan debt do we owe? $31,000

How much mortgage debt? $205,000

There are exactly zero promises of God that would encourage us to be comfortable living beyond our means. But plenty of promises that would encourage us to be giving beyond our means. We call that sacrificial giving.

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)

  1. You took a risk of faith and didn’t play it safe
  2. You fulfilled the golden rule of Jesus to love others like yourself.
  3. You taught your family about God, faith, and making a difference.
  4. You learned how good it feels to loosen your grip of greed and selfishness.
  5. You emptied your wallet, for God to fill up even more.

Sacrificial gifts are 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.

They urgently pleaded with us for the privilege of sharing in this service to the Lord’s people. (2 Corinthians 8:4)


Compare the faith of a child to the faith of sacrificial giving and taking God-honoring risks.

Discussion Questions

  1. Compare the faith of a child to the faith of sacrificial giving and taking God-honoring risks.
  2. What did Frank discover about playing it safe and sowing seeds, especially during a family and economic crisis? How can we apply Frank’s discovery to us? Refer to 2 Corinthians 8:1-4.
  3. Explore generosity related to the 3 P’s—poverty, persecution and passing the test. Read about the experience of two churches in Revelation 3:14-22 and Revelation 2:8-11. 
  4. Evaluate this statement that teaches about sacrificial giving? “Are you comfortable with your giving right now? If so, then raise it.”