Excelling in Giving, by Rev. John Kwasi Fosu

Amazing Grace Baptist Church, Hamburg

Bible study material on 2 Corinthians 8:1-7 & 2 Corinthians 9:6

Introduction
One of the greatest opportunities in the life of the Church and for that matter, in the Christian’s life is the time to give during harvest and fundraising periods. Fundraising periods constitute the time to meet needs and thus worship God. It is against this background that Paul challenged the Corinthians to give in 2 Corinthians 8 using two big examples: that of the Macedonian churches (Philipi, Bereans and Thessolonica) and that of Christ. For the Corinthians had stopped what they started in this act of giving. Paul further outlined the blessings they would receive if they would obey.

The Example of Macedonian Churches
The Macedonians gave during hard times (2 Cor 8:1-5). They gave in times of great difficulty and poverty. In spite of these challenging situations, they gave more than Paul expected. To them giving was a privileged responsibility in that they had first dedicated themselves to God.

The example of Christ
The example of Christ in this grace and ministry of giving is seen in his making of great sacrifice of his own life to us. In fact, no amount of money in this world can equate the dignity and quality of human life. Yet Christ vicariously offered himself for us. As a great sacrifice Jesus’ sacrifice was blameless and thus perfect. He offered himself ones and for all. Not only did Jesus offer himself for us, he also identified himself with us in our humanity by becoming poor so that we will be rich. This then presents the challenge to us to give.

The importance of taking part in annual harvest

1. Fundraising constitutes the opportunity to show how much we expect God to expand our territories. Taking part in fundraising has the dimension of natural principle (2 Cor 9:6). It follows the principle of sowing and reaping. The blessing of God through giving is also a spiritual principle. God’s word has it that God loves a cheerful giver.

2. Fundraising constitutes the opportunity to show how much you love God. The Macedonians first gave themselves. Intimate relationship with God precedes Christian giving.

3. Harvest service constitutes the opportunity to express your appreciation to God. Count your blessings and name them one by one. Our blessings ranges from spiritual to physical areas. To this David once said ‘what shall I render unto the Lord for the benefits’ (Psalm 116:12-13).

4. Fundraising constitutes the opportunity to deliver our local church from its current financial limitations. Let us examine the limitations our local church is encountering in the area of financial difficulties and determine to change the circumstance through our financial giving effort. Here taking part in fundraising is to be considered as meeting needs in the Church
5. Fundraising service constitutes the opportunity to make eternal investment. In Philippians 4:17, Paul explains the ultimate reason for collecting some offerings from the believers by pointing out that it was to advance their eternal investment. And so giving has a dimension of eternal reward.

Questions
1. How does the example of the Macedonians motivate you to give?
2. How does Jesus’ pattern of giving encourage us to give.
3. Taking part in Church harvest shows how much we love God. Explain.
4. Give some hindrances to giving.

About revfosu

Rev. John Kwasi Fosu is an ordained Baptist Minister of the Gospel, a Biblical Theological Lecturer and a Doctoral Candidate at Hamburg University
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