Wednesday, September 18, 2013

September 19, 2013

“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 saints. 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”   II Corinthians 8:3-5

These Believers who belonged to the church at Corinth were generous givers, as evidenced by the hearty commendation they received from Paul. He praised them for giving "beyond their ability".

Responding to that statement we asked, "How can you give beyond your ability?"

The best way to accomplish that is the Faith-Promise approach mentioned in the previous post. By covenanting with God you can see Him provide beyond your means, often supernaturally, to help meet a need.

I want to share a second way you can give beyond your ability to give. While this method may not involve supernatural intervention, it can expand your ability to give. I am talking about self-denial.

Self-denial simple involves giving up something you enjoy and contributing that amount of money toward the need. For instance, you may decide to fast a meal per week or per day and give the money toward a cause. Or, you may get rid of cable TV service and contribute the monthly fee amount toward some outreach ministry.

Another version of self-denial might involve selling an item that is very dear to you and donating the proceeds of the sale to missions. Perhaps it is a second car, a motorcycle, a boat, or a piece of jewelry that you sell in order to raise money for a ministry need. 

We saw the early Christians demonstrate self-denial in the second chapter of Acts. Their kindness and generosity had a profoundly positive impact on their community.

Self-denial is quite different from Faith-Promise but it is nevertheless an effective way to give "beyond your ability".

Faith-Promise is a wonderful of learning to trust God and and expand your giving.

Self-Denial can be an equally effective way of raising funds for missions or local outreach.

Doing both will double your generosity!