St. Johns
Life Changing Gratitude: The Tested
November 12, 2017

Life Changing Gratitude: The Tested

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Speaker: Dr Jon Lovelady | Series: Life Changing Gratitude

We continue our sermon series “Life Changing Gratitude,” with the sermon “The Tested.”  Life changing gratitude not only impacts individuals, but it can empower groups to bring out the best in their lives. As the Apostle Paul continued his ministry to the churches ofAsia Minor, he was inspired to take up a collection for the “poor saints in Jerusalem.”  Jerusalem and the area around the city was experiencing a famine, and Paul wanted these Gentile Christians to help their Jewish brothers and sisters as a symbol of unity of Churchof Jesus Christ. The Corinthian church has committed to be part of the offering but Paul is worried they will not fulfill their pledge. In I Corinthians 8:1-9, Paul tells the Corinthians of the Macedonian churches that were experiencing great trial and poverty, but they plead with him to give in the offering to the poor saints of Jerusalem. He encourages the Corinthians who were wealthy and not experiencing extreme difficulty to find the power of giving to others in the name of Jesus. Many times when we experience trouble, hardship or loss we become ungrateful, entitled and angry that our expectations were not met! Something else was at work for the Macedonians because despite great hardship and extreme poverty, they had found an overflowing joy! There are many lessons for us in our quest to find a life changing gratitude as we read 1 Corinthians 8:1-9: And now, brothers and sisters, we want you to know about the grace that God has given the Macedonian churches. 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. Entirely on their own, they urgently pleaded with us for the privilege of sharing in this service to the Lord’s people. And they exceeded our expectations: They gave themselves first of all to the Lord, and then by the will of God also to us. So we urged Titus, just as he had earlier made a beginning, to bring also to completion this act of grace on your part. But since you excel in everything– in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in complete earnestness and in the love we have kindled in you– see that you also excel in this grace of giving. I am not commanding you, but I want to test the sincerity of your love by comparing it with the earnestness of others. For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich. (NIV)

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