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TOPIC: EXCEL IN BLESSING OTHERS

Test: 11 Cor. 8:7
Aim: To lead learners to increasingly put on the habit of self giving in serving others.
Memory verse: 2 Cor. 8:7b
    ……. See that you also excel in this grace of giving.
Introduction:
We live at a time when many Christians seem to believe that it is more blessed to receive than to give. To demonstrate the truth of this matter, let us look at a clear example.
In many cases, when money has to be raised in the church for any project, one of the first things that people think of is to write letters of appeal for financial support. This has caused many Christian to always stay at the receiving end since they conceive projects and different people provide the money. It is not bad to receive a gift. When you receive a gift, you are blessed but when you give, you are more blessed than when you receive. The more you give the more you are blessed. The objective of this lesson is to help you develop the habit of growing in the grace of generous self and material giving to bless others.

Why should we excel in blessing others?
1.    Because God has given us the ability to be generous (vs1)
    Paul told the Corinthians that he did not want them to be ignorant about what God had done in the Macedonian churches. He said that God had given them grace. This means that God gave them the ability and desire to give generously to meet the needs of the poor Christians in Jerusalem. This refers to the grace of God saving you and making you fit for good works that God had prepared for you to do from eternity past (Eph 2:10). Some people may think this means that God gave them a lot of wealth to be able to share large quantities with the poor. Verse 2 of our text says, “for in a severe test of affliction, their abundance of joy and their extreme poverty have over flown in a wealth of generosity on their part.” The overflowing joy is the joy of salvation. The people were going through a trial moment and should have normally been expecting help from others instead they stretched out a generous hand of blessing to others. We learn from here that God moved them in their hearts to give just what they had. We can therefore conclude that it is a favor when God excites in you as an individual to a church a spirit of generosity. Paul informed the Corinthians about this grace so that they could desire to see it at work in their lives. In the same way, you should ask God to activate this grace in your life. The second reason why we should excel in blessing others is that…
2.    Believers must help the needy (Acts 20:33-35)
    Paul reminded the Ephesians that he had shown them that by working hard they must help the weak. He even told them that for all the three years he had lived and worked among them, he never coveted anyone’s property. In II Cor. 12:14 he says, “I seek not yours but you”, meaning that he did not want the riches of the people but wanted them to become rich in Christ. He had a job and worked hard at it to meet his needs and those of others. In acts 20:34 he says, “….these hands have ministered to my necessities and to those who were with me”. To know more about Paul’s hard work, I Cor. 4:12; 1 Thes. 2:9, II Thes. 3:11-12. The lesson we learn here is that believers must work so that they can meet their own needs and those of the needy.
3.     It is more blessed to give than to receive (Acts 20:35)
    Being in position to bless somebody is a condition for which we should be thankful to God because it promotes the happiness of others. There is pleasure in the act of giving when it is done with pure motives. The happiest person is a benevolent (caring) person. On the other hand, the most miserable person is one who has not known the luxury of blessing others. This person lives to gain all he or she can and store up all he/she gains. How is it more blessed to give than to receive?
4.    It  is blessed in the reward that results from it (Matt. 25:34; Phil 4:19)
    God has promised to bless those who give with pure motives. Those who excel in blessing others shall not only receive material blessings in this life but also eternal blessings in heaven. Read Matt. 25:34 and note there that Jesus calls the one who blesses others, “Blest by my father”. It is this truth that Jesus acted on when he came to die for sinners, comfort the hopeless mourners and give peace to the anxious etc. He gave his tears to mourn over human sinfulness and resultant sorrows. He gave his life as a sacrifice for our sin. Now, he wants that same self giving character to be found in his followers. He seeks that those who have money, food, strength, influence should be willing to give freely to save the world.

Application
    Following the example of Christ every Christian should learn more and more to give his/her riches to bless the poor and needy, him/herself to bear the gospel to unbelievers and his/her undivided attention to save the lost world.