2 Corinthians 8:1-5
~By Larry Walters, A Sent One
1. The Macedonian Call (Paul’s 2nd missionary journey)
a. Acts 16:-34
b. Acts 19:10-12 Asia (7 Churches)
c. Acts 19:21-22 Sending Timothy & Erastus to Macedonia.
2. Paul’s 3rd Missionary Journey
a. Acts 20:1-6
b. 1 Cor 16:5
c. 2 Cor 1:15-20
3. A place of “no rest”
a. 2 Cor 2:12-13
b. 2 Cor 7:5-7
a. Romans 15:26
b. 2 Cor 8:1-5 (TEXT)
c. Phil 4:15-19
5. Macedonians are examples to all that believe
a. 1 Thes 1:5-10
b. Acts 17:10-12
Macedonia a region composed of many cities that the Apostle Paul visited during his 2nd and 3rd missionary journeys. He sent others as well unto Macedonia…most noted cities in Scripture are Philippi, Thessalonica, and Berea.
The call to Macedonia and the call to Cornelius’ home both came as visions to the Paul and Peter. We know it was Cornelius who sent for Peter. The man who called for Paul to “come over and help us” remains unknown.
They were called "examples to all believers." Their giving was sacrificial. They gave in spite of the adversities and great trials they suffered. In our key text, 2 Cor 8:1-5, Paul drives home that the grace of God bestowed upon them was a result of their giving.
This “Grace” is mentioned 10 times in chapters 8 & 9. And it comes to us from the Greek word “Charis” (G5485) from “Chairo.”(G5463) Strong’s defines this as:
“To rejoice. Grace, particularly that which causes joy, pleasure, gratification, favor, acceptance, for a kindness granted or desired, a benefit, thanks, gratitude. A favor done without expectation of return; the absolutely free expression of the loving kindness of God to men finding its only motive in the bounty and benevolence of the Giver; unearned and unmerited favor…”
In these chapters, it is translated “grace” 7 times, “thanks” 2 and "gift" 1.
Is it no wonder that the book of Philippians is called “the Book of Joy?” How many sermons have we heard or lessons have we taught on the books that bear their names?
Through their great trials and afflictions their abundance of joy triumphs over their afflictions. They rejoice in being counted worthy to suffer for the Gospel’s sake.
They are true followers of Christ’s example. Even in their “deep poverty” they “abounded unto the riches of their liberality.” They were willing to give beyond their ability to give.
They begged and pleaded not for their needs to be met. Rather their testimony is one of begging and pleading for the opportunity to give. And their giving began with the giving of their own self.
How many sermons have been written and preached from Romans 12:1-2? This is also one of the 1st scriptures memorized in churches today. But the Macedonians lived Romans 12:1-2 for our example.
Not only did they give themselves unto God, they became God’s gift unto the men of God…they “gave…unto us by the will of God.”
Today, this kind of giving might be called “irresponsible, irrational, or illogical.” Their giving reminds me of when Yahshua was sitting watching the people give. And there was a widow which cast 2 mites into the offering. And what did He say? “This poor widow has cast in more than all they which have cast into the treasury: for all they did cast in of their abundance; but she of her want did cast in all that she had, even all her living.” (MK 12:43-44)
How often we cry out to God to do in us what He did in the early church… Are we truly willing to go through what they went through? Are we willing to give sacrificially as they gave? Are we willing to give all like the widow?
When we can honestly answer these questions “yes” then, and only then, will our results be the same.
The church in Philippi not only gave once…they sought opportunity to give again and did so. The church in Corinth was being spurred on by their giving to give again in order to complete the work that was started. So today, we are here to challenge you to give, and give again! For then, as the Apostle Paul told this same group from Macedonia, “But my God shall supply all your needs according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” Phil 4:18
Some basic facts...
"The percentage of adults who tithe has stayed constant since the turn of the decade, falling in the 5% to 7% range. The Barna tracking reported that the proportion of adults who tithed was 7% in 2006 and 2005; 5% in 2004 and 2003; 6% in 2002; and 5% in 2001."
Am I being unjustly harsh on the Church in America? Or, like those who gave in Mark 12, do we justify our small percentages by our large baskets? It is hard to hear that our brothers and sisters in Christ who live in abject poverty are giving in a greater measure, I know… We love this nation and pray for her and our leaders.
One short testimony before I close. While in India we ministered in literally hundreds of villages with more than 15 ministries. We were not there to receive…we were there to give.
One Ministry, Brother G. Joseph and his wife Valentina brought us to their home. They shared a meal with us and their heart for the Rajahmundry region. We went to a village and ministered to orphans and widows.
When the service was over they showered us with the opportunity to serve a meal with the members. They gave us gifts…and then they floored us. Brother Joseph handed me a small change purse. Inside was 31 rupees.
My heart was melted and broken by their generosity. We had already prayed about the seed we were to sow into their ministry…they gave out of their necessity. When we told Brother Joseph that we were there to give…he reminded me that the people in this ministry understand and it is their joy to be able to give.
We had met our “Macedonian Congregation.” We are still in contact with them weekly. And they are asking, like so many others, when are you coming back to India?
We have a simple vision. And we have more than 1000 pastors in place praying with their congregations for our soon return. They are hungry for leadership. They are crying out to God for the opportunity for us to come and impart in them the tools they will need to be effective in reaching India with the Gospel.
Are you willing to step out in faith and become like the Macedonians?
...Then send us...The Nations are Waiting!