In Genesis, God reaches out to a righteous man name Noah. And he tells Noah to build him a boat. Now they would probably be familiar with boats, but a boat that big? How big, big enough to fit two of every animal and survive for about a year. Why? Because God was going to send rain, a deluge like never before. Rain? What’s rain, you see before Noah there was no rain. And not only rain but waters from inside the Earth, he was going to wipe out mankind because of their sin. So here’s a man who has to build a boat never seen, for rain that’s never been seen for a catastrophe that has never been seen, now that’s vision. God calls us all to a great vision, just as it says in 2 Cor 9:12
For the ministry of this service is not only fully supplying the needs of the saints, but is also overflowing through many thanksgivings to God.
We cannot see what God is doing, we cannot see the end result, but like Noah and like the Corinthians, if we are just obedient to the Word of God and the vision of God, all things will be revealed to us in time. They would have no idea that the Church would like as big as it does today, but they were willing to trust God, are we?
Vision of Giving
Vision of Giving
This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of the Lord’s people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God.
A. Provides for Saints
1. Provision for those in need
a. Those who were focused on ministry, like Paul
b. Missionaries headed out
c. Those who cannot afford
2. They had many more working for the Church
a. lived on very little
b. They needed a big support system
i. Didn’t have the Church like today
ii. Now we operate a bit more efficiently
iii. Still good to employ folks who serve
iv. But everyone worked
For even when we were with you, we gave you this rule: “The one who is unwilling to work shall not eat.”
B. Overflows to Others
1. Overflow blessings
a. To other congregations
b. Loving the whole of God’s family
2. Not just the Church
a. to the Lost
b. Showing hospitality
3. All to a purpose, to Show people who God is
a. That’s the vision
I will take you as my own people, and I will be your God. Then you will know that I am the Lord your God, who brought you out from under the yoke of the Egyptians.
Because of the service by which you have proved yourselves, others will praise God for the obedience that accompanies your confession of the gospel of Christ, and for your generosity in sharing with them and with everyone else.
A. Proof of Ministry
1. He is saying look what God has done
a. In their faith
b. Their love for one another
2. Look at what your obedience has brought
a. People knowing God
Whoever heeds discipline shows the way to life, but whoever ignores correction leads others astray.
b. The Gospel moving
i. in the saved and lost alike
ii. They were going out and elevating within
B. Overall Vision
1. Going Out
a. Bringing the message to those who need it
i. Thanksgiving boxes
b. Showing our communities who God is
i. SO they will know he is God
c. Called to evangelize
2. Elevating Within
a. Taking the people of God and loving them
b. Showing them how to grow in Christ
i. Mentor each other in Christ
ii. The “older” teaching the younger
You then, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable people who will also be qualified to teach others.
C. Vision of Gracious giving
1. Overflowing from you
a. Just like it was back then
b. Giving to see the kingdom grown
c. Never asking what do I get but what can I do for the kingdom
i. Make it successfull
2. Moves beyond these walls
a. As we look at what God has done
b. As we have a vision of what God is going to do
Vision is God’s
Vision is God’s
And in their prayers for you their hearts will go out to you, because of the surpassing grace God has given you. Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!
A. Yearning for the Body
1. Part of giving
a. As a reminder of the body
b. Our focus is God, but each other in God as well
i. Love God, Love the family
2. Prayer and Grace
a. These are also gifts to give
Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.
b. Grace when we mess up
i. we will mess up
3. Then people see God through the Church
a. No other organization gives like us
b. Not other organization cares like us
c. Sure we get it wrong and we can be hypocrits
i. That’s what giving grace is about
ii. Remembering we are all trying to do our best in the Lord
And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.
d. That how this chapter ties together
B. Thanks be to God
Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
1. For the Proven Visions
a. All that has come before
b. All that He has done through us this past year
2. For Future Endeavors
a. What He is already planned for us to do
i. New budget of $200,000
ii. Its a God sized vision, but it is possible
iii. Are you willing to be a part of that vision, to grow the kingdom
To Go Out and Elevate Withing
iv. Its going to take a heap of Time, Talent and Treasure, are you willing to give yours?
v. God says you can do it
For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?”
b. Just like here in Esther
i. We were created for times such as this
And so we give so we are a part of the kingdom. Specifically in this series we give of our treasures and you have done well this last year. Now I encourage to do even better by dipping in and finding God in all three: Time, Talent and Treasures. We still have work to do, in this community and in the World, we still have people who don’t know Christ and we still need to lift each other up. So let us remain steadfast in giving and in the love and grace and God!