Serving in the Church
God tells us in 2 Corinthians 9 that when we serve, sacrifice, or give for the good of his church there is a cascading series of positive effects that should encourage and motivate us to keep at it. He begins with the most obvious benefit that comes from our generous service. God tells us that needs get met (2 Corinthians 9:12). This is obvious, but important. When we get involved, the church is bettered and the people of God are served. God loves that. Secondly, he tells us that when we give of ourselves for the benefit of the church there is also “an overflow of thanksgiving to God” (2 Corinthians 9:12). When Christians are served with excellence and their needs are adequately met, they are prompted to respond with praise and gratitude to the Lord. In this God is directly glorified. Thirdly, our service says something positive about us. It appropriately substantiates our reputation as regenerate servants of Christ (2 Corinthians 9:13). After all, such acts of good are what God said we should be known for (cf. Matthew 5:16; Titus 2:14; Ephesians 2:10; et al.). Fourthly, 2 Corinthians 9 tells us that God’s people will be prompted to “pray” for those who serve them (2 Corinthians 9:14). When we sacrifice for the good of Christ’s followers, they tend to respond by upholding us in prayer. And we all certainly need that. Lastly, we are reminded that when we generously give of ourselves to benefit the church, we are echoing the nature and character of God. The chapter simply ends by comparing such service with God’s grace by adding: “Thanks be to God for his inexpressible gift” (2 Corinthians 9:15). So while you may have many reasons for not serving, sacrificing or giving, be sure to spend some time remembering some of God’s reasons for why you should.
-- Pastor Mike
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