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March 11, 2018

Sermon: Generosity: Growth

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Scripture Lesson

Psalm 112:1, 9; Isaiah 55:10-12; 2 Corinthians 9:6-10

Blessings of the Righteous

Praise the Lord!
Happy are those who fear the Lord,
who greatly delight in his commandments.
They have distributed freely, they have given to the poor;
their righteousness endures for ever;
their horn is exalted in honour.

For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return there until they have watered the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and succeed in the thing for which I sent it. For you shall go out in joy, and be led back in peace; the mountains and the hills before you shall burst into song, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.

The point is this: the one who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and the one who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each of you must give as you have made up your mind, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to provide you with every blessing in abundance, so that by always having enough of everything, you may share abundantly in every good work. As it is written, ‘He scatters abroad, he gives to the poor; his righteousness endures for ever.’ He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness.

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Sermon Outline

Rev. Jonathan Swanson
Generosity: Growth
Psalm 112:1, 9; Isaiah 55:10-12; 2 Corinthians 9:6-10

I. Introduction: Blondie
II. Series: Generosity (2 Corinthians 8-9)
     A. Paul’s collection for Jerusalem
     B. Encouraging generosity
III. Generosity is like planting seeds (2 Cor. 9:6-10; Ps. 112:1, 9)
     A. Sowing and reaping (9:6)
     B. Who is the “he” of “he scatters” (9:9; Ps. 112:9)
     C. More seeds (9:10)
IV. Paul is echoing Isaiah 55:10-12
     A. Not just one verse, but the whole passage
     B. God’s cycle of provision
         1. “Rain and snow . . . from heaven” (55:10)
         2. “Giving seed to the sower and bread” (55:10)
         3. “My word . . . shall accomplish . . . [my] purpose” (55:11)
         4. This cycle is wondrous (55:12)
V. What is Paul saying about generosity?
     A. God is source of all generosity (9:8)
     B. Give more, have more, give more, . . .
     C. This is a fantastic cycle
     D. Do we want to be a part?
VI. Conclusion: Charles “Chuck” Feeny (1931- )
         The Atlantic Philanthropies


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