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Anne O’Brien’s

WEDNESDAY

BIBLE STUDY

This study notes provide the core content of a group of bible studies on the Book of Joshua. While the core message of the study has been captured for you to read, written text can not fully express the sense of anointing upon the discussion of the word or the joy of corporate fellowship. We encourage you to pray before you begin reading that the Lord would open your heart and mind to be receptive and responsive to God’s message contained within this study. There may be times when you find it difficult to reconcile God’s truth to your own opinion or worldview, God’s truth is eternal, it does not change, our understanding of the truth does change as we allow God to work in our hearts and minds.

Some thoughts on

GIVING 2 Corinthians 8 & 9


Some thoughts  on  giving  from  2  Corinthians  chapters  8&9     To  make  sense  of  these  chapters  we  first  need  to  read  Acts  11  verses  27-­‐30.  These  verses  explain  why  Paul   was  collecting  money  to  take  back  to  Jerusalem.  The  prophecy  of  Agabus  came  true  and  there  was  indeed  a   famine  in  the  years  AD  46-­‐47,  not  only  in  Israel,  but  also  in  Egypt.    

Read  2  Corinthians  8v1-­‐7  Although  themselves  suffering  from  poverty  -­‐  the  churches  in  Berea,  Philippi  and  Thessalonica  had  given   richly  to  the  offering  for  their  brothers  and  sisters  in  Christ  who  were  suffering  in  Jerusalem.  They  saw  it  as  a  privilege  –  verse  4.   And  so,  Paul  urges  the  Corinthian  church  to  do  likewise  –  to  excel  in  the  grace  of  giving.    

Q. What  do  you  think  Paul  means  by  “the  grace  of  giving”?  Think  about  the  meaning  of  the  word  grace  (a  benefit   that  is  not  earned  –  a  gift).     Read  verses  10-­‐15    Paul  gives  Christ  as  an  example  of  giving  sacrificially  –  this  is  how  he  wanted  the  Corinthians  (and  us?)  to  give.     It  seems  they  had  the  desire  to  give  (v  10)  but,  in  proportion  to  their  means,  they  had  not  given  much.  We  are  to  give  according  to   what  we  have.      

Q. Paul  knew  the  requirement  of  God’s  law  was  to  give  ten  percent  –  a  tithe.  Why  did  he  not  ask  for  this?  Is  a  tithe   enough  ...  too  much  ...?   God  allows  us  all  to  be  in  different  circumstances  and  with  different  means.  But  his  desire  is  that  we  are  all  equal  –  and  he  puts  the   onus  on  us  to  share  what  we  have.  We  are  encouraged  to  bless  others  and  when  we  are  in  need  God  will  use  them  to  bless  us.  In   verse  15  Paul  cites  the  example  of  the  Israelites  collecting  manna  in  the  wilderness.  They  all  had  just  the  right  amount.  If  they  got   greedy,  the  extra  went  off!     Read  verses  16-­‐24  Paul  is  sending  Titus  with  the  letter  and  he  will  be  collecting  the  money.  Interestingly  we  are  given  an  insight   into  how  careful  we  need  to  be  with  the  Lord’s  money  and  how  we  are  held  to  account.  Verses  18&19  show  how  that  the  money   was  properly  accounted  for  and  looked  after  (in  order  to  avoid  criticism).  This  was  necessary  but  also  proved  to  be  a  very  sensible   thing  –  because  when  Paul  returned  to  Jerusalem  with  the  money,  there  were  those  (Judaisers)  who  accused  him  of  fiddling  the   accounts  in  order  to  make  trouble  for  him.  (The  charge  was  found  to  be  untrue.)  Verse  21  is  important  advice  for  us  all.  We  are   answerable  to  God  and  to  our  fellow  beings.  Verse  22:  Another  brother  also  accompanied  them  with  the  money  –  he  was  zealous;   perhaps  he  was  the  one  who  preached  and  got  results!     Read  2  Corinthians  9v1-­‐5  In  our  culture  of  not  talking  about  how  much  we  give,  it  seems  strange  to  us  that  Paul  would  confront   the  Corinthians  in  this  way  and  make  them  feel  guilty  if  they  didn’t  give.    

Q. Would  you  think  this  was  acceptable?  Perhaps  we  should  think  their  culture  and  background  and  why  they   needed  such  encouragement.     Read  verses  6-­‐11  Paul  gives  us  several  basic  Biblical  principles  here:   • Whoever  sows  sparingly  will  reap  sparingly   • Whoever  sows  generously  will  reap  generously   • God  loves  a  cheerful  giver   • If  we  give,  we  will  be  enriched  in  every  way     Q.  Have  you  ever  tried  giving  what  you  can  barely  afford?  What  was  the  result?  Did  you  suffer  or  do  you  consider  it  helped  you?     Read  verses  12-­‐15  Our  giving  is  a  way  of  expressing  our  thanks  to  God  for  the  things  we  do  have.  Our  giving  is  the  means  of  bring   blessing  to  others,  so  that  they  know  God  cares  for  them.  Paul  finished  as  he  started,  with  the  example  of  Jesus.  God  gave  us   everything.  Why  should  we  hold  back?    

Q. What  effect  should  these  verses  have  on  us  when  we  know  that  there    are  thousands  of  Christians  who  are   suffering  around  the  world  today?   A  verse  by  D.  De  Haan:   One  grace  each  child  of  God  can  show   Is  giving  from  a  willing  heart   Yet,  if  we  wait  till  riches  grow   It  may  be  that  we’ll  never  start.     Anne  O’Brien  November  2014  

Giving  

Some thoughts on 2 Corinthans 8 & (

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