10 Principles For Experiencing The Joy Of Generous Giving – 2 Corinthians 8

From my reading in 2 Corinthians 8 in the One Year Bible New Testament.

Giving is a gateway to joy!

In this passage we can learn several principles of how to experience the joy of generous giving. Note: most of these are not direct commands, but principles I pick up from the passage.

1. Poverty is not an excuse for being stingy.

“They are being tested by many troubles, and they are very poor…” 2 Cor 8:2a

2. Joy is a motivation for generous giving.

“But they are also filled with abundant joy, which has overflowed in rich generosity.” 2 Cor 8:2b

3. Give sacrificially and freely.

“For I can testify that they gave not only what they could afford, but far more. And they did it of their own free will.” 2 Cor 8:3

4. Give eagerly.

“They begged us again and again for the privilege of sharing in the gift for the believers in Jerusalem.” 2 Cor 8:4

5. Give to the Lord first, then others.

“They even did more than we had hoped, for their first action was to give themselves to the Lord and to us, just as God wanted them to do.” 2 Cor 8:5

6. Keep your giving commitments.

“So we have urged Titus, who encouraged your giving in the first place, to return to you and encourage you to finish this ministry of giving.” 2 Cor 8:6

“Here is my advice: It would be good for you to finish what you started a year ago. Last year you were the first who wanted to give, and you were the first to begin doing it. Now you should finish what you started. Let the eagerness you showed in the beginning be matched now by your giving.” 2 Cor 8:10-11a

7. You can excel at giving.

Since you excel in so many ways—in your faith, your gifted speakers, your knowledge, your enthusiasm, and your love from us—I want you to excel also in this gracious act of giving.” 2 Co 8:7

8. Give out of genuine love.

“I am not commanding you to do this. But I am testing how genuine your love is by comparing it with the eagerness of the other churches.” 2 Cor 8:8

9. Jesus is our ultimate example of generosity.

“You know the generous grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. Though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, so that by his poverty he could make you rich.” 2 Cor 8:9

10. Give in proportion to what you have.

Give in proportion to what you have. Whatever you give is acceptable if you give it eagerly. And give according to what you have, not what you don’t have. Of course, I don’t mean your giving should make life easy for others and hard for yourselves. I only mean that there should be some equality. Right now you have plenty and can help those who are in need. Later, they will have plenty and can share with you when you need it. In this way, things will be equal.”  2 Cor 8:11b-14

Which of these giving principles do you need to work on?

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6 Principles for Effective Short Term Missions – Matt 10:1-20

Reflection from my reading in Matt 10:1-20 in the One Year Bible New Testament.

We can learn some valuable principles for how to do short-term trips from Jesus’ instructions. These are NOT commands for all Christians but specific instructions from which we can learn principles.

1. Go To A Specific People Group

“These twelve Jesus sent out, instructing them, “Go nowhere among the Gentiles and enter no town of the Samaritans, but go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” Matthew 10:5–6

Jesus told them specifically to go to the Jews, not the Samaritans or Gentiles. We should love everyone we come across but focus on reaching those we are sent to reach!

2. Preach the Kingdom

” And proclaim as you go, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.” Matthew 10:7

Preaching is still the best way to share the good news! Don’t be afraid to share the good news. Besides, you are only there for a short time so why not be bold?!

3. Meet Practical Needs

Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse lepers, cast out demons. You received without paying; give without pay.” Matthew 10:8

Generously meet the needs of the area. Pray for the sick to be healed and meet other practical needs of the area.  This will draw positive attention to you and open doors for your message.

4. Trust God to Meet Your Needs

“Acquire no gold or silver or copper for your belts, no bag for your journey, or two tunics or sandals or a staff, for the laborer deserves his food.” Matthew 10:9–10

Where God guides, God provides. Don’t let money stop you from going where God called you. Remember, these are specific commands that applied to the 12, but the principle is that we should expect God to provide if we are serving him.

5. Find A Worthy Host

 “And whatever town or village you enter, find out who is worthy in it and stay there until you depart. As you enter the house, greet it. And if the house is worthy, let your peace come upon it, but if it is not worthy, let your peace return to you.” Matthew 10:11–13

If you find someone willing to host you, stay there! Don’t be too proud to accept hospitality. This will open up relational doors to the network of the host and will establish you as a legitimate person in the community. This summer in Germany, our students stayed with host students, loved it and were able to influence more people that way!

6. Harvest The Ripe

“And if anyone will not receive you or listen to your words, shake off the dust from your feet when you leave that house or town.” Matthew 10:14

Move with the movers. And if no one is moving… move on! Don’t pressure people that are not interested in hearing! Move on and find those who are ripe for the good news. One thing that I like to do is to pray that we could find the ripe people to talk to. Imagine a farmer yanking all the fruit off the tree before it’s ripe; that would be silly. As you go, God will bring you some who are ready to hear your message, focus on them!

I love short term trips and hope that more will follow these principles and bring many more to faith in Jesus!