St. Johns
Hot Mess-Finding God in the Chaos of Life: Generosity
September 29, 2019

Hot Mess-Finding God in the Chaos of Life: Generosity

We have been a Hot Mess at St. Johns for almost 6 weeks, but this will be the final sermon. Twice during this series, the sanctuary air-conditioner failed! This proves that God has a sense of humor! Our sermon for this week is Generosity. Difficult times always test our generosity. When we experience trouble, we usually seek to protect ourselves and our own, but the power of God’s grace can give us a strength to give, even in the most difficult times. Paul in 2 Corinthians 8:1-9 holds up the Macedonian churches as an example of this powerful generosity. Even though they had experienced extreme poverty and hardship, they begged to help the poor saints in Jerusalem! The Corinthians had committed to do the same, but they were slow in fulfilling their commitment. This Apostle realized that they were lacking the generosity which was so evident in the Macedonian churches. However, it was also obvious that the Corinthian’s problem was a poverty of spirit. This was one of the sources of their troubles. Paul uses the Macedonians to show them and us how to live out the grace of generosity, in spite of the chaos of life. As you read these verses, may you experience an active grace that fills your heart to overflowing! 2 Corinthians 8:1-9 And now, brothers, we want you to know about the grace that God has given the Macedonian churches. 2 Out of the most severe trial, their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity. 3 For I testify that they gave as much as they were able, and even beyond their ability. Entirely on their own, 4 they urgently pleaded with us for the privilege of sharing in this service to the saints. 5 And they did not do as we expected, but they gave themselves first to the Lord and then to us in keeping with God's will. 6 So we urged Titus, since he had earlier made a beginning, to bring also to completion this act of grace on your part. 7 But just as you excel in everything-- in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in complete earnestness and in your love for us--see that you also excel in this grace of giving. 8 I am not commanding you, but I want to test the sincerity of your love by comparing it with the earnestness of others. 9 For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich. (NIV)

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