16/02/2020: GENEROSITY

THEME:         “Generosity is an act of Worship”

 

Call to Worship:        Psalm 119:1-8

 

1 Our Lord, you bless everyone who lives right and obeys your Law.
You bless all of those who follow your commands from deep in their hearts
and who never do wrong or turn from you.
You have ordered us always to obey your teachings;
5 I don’t ever want to stray from your laws.
Thinking about your commands will keep me from doing some foolish thing.
I will do right and praise you by learning to respect your perfect laws.
I will obey all of them! Don’t turn your back on me.

 

Contemporary English Version (CEV) Copyright © 1995 by American Bible Society

 

Reading:     Exodus 13:1-3, 11-16

 

1 The Lord said to Moses, “Dedicate to me the first-born son of every family and the first-born males of your flocks and herds. These belong to me.”

 

The Festival of Thin Bread

3-4 Moses said to the people: Remember this day in the month of Abib. It is the day when the Lord’s mighty power rescued you from Egypt, where you were slaves. Do not eat anything made with yeast.

11 The Lord will give you the land of the Canaanites, just as he promised you and your ancestors. 12 From then on, you must give him every first-born son from your families and every first-born male from your animals, because these belong to him. 13 You can save the life of a first-born donkey by sacrificing a lamb; if you don’t, you must break the donkey’s neck. You must save every first-born son.

14 In the future your children will ask what this ceremony means. Explain it to them by saying, “The Lord used his mighty power to rescue us from slavery in Egypt. 15 The king stubbornly refused to set us free, so the Lord killed the first-born male of every animal and the first-born son of every Egyptian family. This is why we sacrifice to the Lord every first-born male of every animal and save every first-born son.”

16 This ceremony will serve the same purpose as a sign on your hand or on your forehead to tell how the Lord’s mighty power rescued us from Egypt.

 

Contemporary English Version (CEV) Copyright © 1995 by American Bible Society

 

 

NT READING:          2 Corinthians 9:1-15

 

The Money for God’s People

1 I don’t need to write you about the money you plan to give for God’s people. I know how eager you are to give. And I have proudly told the Lord’s followers in Macedonia that you people in Achaia have been ready for a whole year. Now your desire to give has made them want to give. That’s why I am sending Titus and the two others to you. I want you to be ready, just as I promised. This will prove that we were not wrong to brag about you.

Some followers from Macedonia may come with me, and I want them to find that you have the money ready. If you don’t, I would be embarrassed for trusting you to do this. But you would be embarrassed even more. So I have decided to ask Titus and the others to spend some time with you before I arrive. This way they can arrange to collect the money you have promised. Then you will have the chance to give because you want to, and not because you feel forced to.

Remember this saying,

“A few seeds make a small harvest, but a lot of seeds make a big harvest.”

Each of you must make up your own mind about how much to give. But don’t feel sorry that you must give and don’t feel that you are forced to give. God loves people who love to give. God can bless you with everything you need, and you will always have more than enough to do all kinds of good things for others. The Scriptures say,

“God freely gives his gifts to the poor, and always does right.”

10 God gives seed to farmers and provides everyone with food. He will increase what you have, so that you can give even more to those in need. 11 You will be blessed in every way, and you will be able to keep on being generous. Then many people will thank God when we deliver your gift.

12 What you are doing is much more than a service that supplies God’s people with what they need. It is something that will make many others thank God. 13 The way in which you have proved yourselves by this service will bring honour and praise to God. You believed the message about Christ, and you obeyed it by sharing generously with God’s people and with everyone else. 14 Now they are praying for you and want to see you, because God used you to bless them so very much. 15 Thank God for his gift that is too wonderful for words!

 

Contemporary English Version (CEV) Copyright © 1995 by American Bible Society

 

RECAP:

 

  • Micah 6:8: A key verse for 2020: “to do justice, to love kindness [mercy], to walk humbly with God”

 

  • John 4:23: Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spiritand in Truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks.

 

  • Psalm 112:9: “the righteous [the ones who act for justice] have freely scattered their gifts to the poor, their righteousness endures forever; their horn will be lifted high in honour.”

 

Study Questions – 2 Cor. 9:

 

What is the key challenge given by Paul in each of the following verses?

 

6]  _________________________________________________________________

7]  _________________________________________________________________

8]  _________________________________________________________________

9]  _________________________________________________________________

10] ________________________________________________________________

11-14] _____________________________________________________________

15]  ________________________________________________________________

 

God bless for the week ahead,

Rev. Tim

 

 

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