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Monday, December 02, 2013

Sacrificial Summit Prayers of Ascent - Day #2

2 Corinthians 8:1-4 – “1 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."
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I felt it important to allow our hearts to be filled with Scripture as we make our ascent to offering our sacrifices to God in this Banner Years Initiative. The preparation of the heart is critical to the quality of the offering.

I see several Touchpoints in this passage to guide our hearts in this season of sacrifice…

#1 - We give out of the grace we’ve been given. When God gives grace to his church, we graciously give.
#2 - Sacrificial Giving gives out of poverty, not just prosperity. It gives out of trial, not just triumph.
#3 - Rich Generosity can only be so if it’s motivated by overflowing joy. This is not guilt-giving or forced-philanthropy. It’s joyful generosity.
#4 - Sacrificial Givers give according to their ability…and even beyond their ability. We are used to give as we are able, but sometimes God asked us to give more than we are able to see his power in it.
#5 - This act of worship has to be motivated entirely on your own. It can’t be extracted from you, it has to be given. That is why this weekend we will receive this offering, not take the offering. It’s never taken, only given.
#6 - Those who are joyful givers plead for the privilege to be a part of it. They beg for the blessing of sharing their resources.

We might think this is Insanity, but this is Christianity!

God, move in our hearts to have these attitudes and actions coming into the Sacrificial Summit. We want to see your kingdom come as your people respond to your grace with their gifts.

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