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First Baptist Church of Rockville

The Service of Giving

There was this $100-dollar bill and a $1-dollar bill talking to each other. As they were lying side by side the $1-dollar bill said to the $100-dollar bill, "Hey man, where have you been. I haven’t seen you in a long time?"

The $100-dollar bill replied, "Man I have been having a ball! I been traveling to distant countries, going to the finest restaurants, to the biggest and best casinos, numerous boutiques, the mall uptown, the mall downtown, the mall across town and even a mall that I just newly built. "In fact, just this week I’ve been to Europe, a professional NBA game, Rodeo Drive, the all-day retreat spa, the top-notch hair salon and the new casino! I have done it all!"

  • After describing his great travels, the $100-dollar bill asked the $1-dollar bill, "What about you? Where have you been?" The $1 dollar replied, "Well, I’ve been to the Baptist church, the Methodist church, the Presbyterian church, the Episcopalian church, the..." "WAIT A MINUTE! WAIT A MINUTE!!" shouted the $100-dollar bill to the $1 dollar bill. "What’s a church?"

* Words of wisdom: “There’s a fine line between a long, drawn-out sermon and a hostage situation.”

* Two things ruin a church—loose living and tight giving.

Theme: “The purpose of giving is to teach us to put God first in our lives. God doesn’t need our money. Instead, He wants what our money represents: our priorities, passions, purposes. Giving is a privilege and responsibility for those who have received from God the gift of eternal life. Instead of being fearful of giving let’s get excited about what we can accomplish for the Kingdom of God with our gifts.”

* For the past three weeks I have been preaching a series on ‘Back 2 the basics’. Junior church has been studying these same topics.  We looked at Salvation, Baptism, the Church and this morning we will be studying the Service of Giving. We want you to talk to your children about giving.

* Jesus had many things to say about giving, so we will begin and end with the words of Jesus.

Luke 11:42, “Woe to you Pharisees, because you give God a tenth of your mint, rue and all other kinds of garden herbs, but you neglect justice and the love of God. You should have practiced the latter without leaving the former undone.”

* This is the only time Jesus refers to tithing and notice he says they should practice it as well justice and the love of God.

* I would say that our society could use a little justice and love of God!

* This morning, I would like to share with you the following lessons.

  1. Generous giving brings its own rewards.

2 Corinthians 9:1-2, “There is no need for me to write to you about this service to the Lord’s people.For I know your eagerness to help, and I have been boasting about it to the Macedonians, telling them that since last year you in Achaia were ready to give; and your enthusiasm has stirred most of them to action.”

*  The Grace of Giving!  2 Cor. 8:7. Chapter 8 tells us that we are to look at giving through the eyes of what God has given.  First, we much give of our self.  He becomes our Savior, Lord, Savior.

* Chapter 8:3, they gave beyond their ability. Verse four, they plead for the privilege of giving.

* Tithing is the basic of giving in the Old Testament. New Testament is sort of silent on tithing.  It does not validate it or set it aside.  So we can assume that the pattern is still acceptable in the sight of God.

* Giving should be planned, regular and a spiritual sacrifice.

* Unique phrase ‘service to the saints’. Achai is in Greece.

* Enthusiasm stirs up others.

* The power of promises.  Promises are in every part of our lives but when it comes to God’s work we have a problem with promises.  Why would that be? 

* Necessary reminders.

* Principles are so much better than laws.  That’s why we as Christians we want laws.  We want to know the least amount that will make God happy. Give me the law the principle is too difficult.

* Proverbs 11:24, “One person gives freely, yet gains even more; another withholds unduly, but comes to poverty.”

* Proverbial statement not a promise but Paul wants the people to know this principle.

2 Corinthians 9:6, “Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously.”

* Stingy sowing, stingy reaping.  Crazy sowing equal crazy reaping.

* I’m not trying to take anything away from you.  I’m trying to help you in the eyes of our Lord and Savior Jesus.

  1. Generous giving begins in the heart.

2 Corinthians 9:7, “Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.”

* Paul teaches us that giving comes from the heart and not compulsion.  Our circumstance differs from each other.  Some have disposable income that others do not have.

* How much money should I give?

* Giving is personal, determined and cheerful.  In the Greek, the word comes from our word ‘Hilarious’. 

* How many of us give with your hands and pull it back with your eyes.  We really don’t want to give. 

* God looks at the eyes of our hearts and is not impressed with our giving.

* We are to give regularly. The money you give cares for the church building and those who work there but most of all to support the expansion of His kingdom by spreading the gospel and ministering to the community for His name’s sake.”

1 Corinthians 16:1-2, “Now about the collection for the Lord’s people: Do what I told the Galatian churches to do.On the first day of every week, each one of you should set aside a sum of money in keeping with your income, saving it up, so that when I come no collections will have to be made.”

* Giving is not a matter of can and can’t, but will or won’t.”—Unknown

  1. Generous behavior is being like God.

2 Corinthians 9:10-11, “Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness.11 You will be enriched in every wayso that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God.

* People give money to their church because God wants them to share what He has given to them.

* Verse 10 and 11 tells us that God increases our ability to give.

What happens to the money people give?

* The generous man will be refreshed and those who receive will be thankful and then God will be praised. 

2 Corinthians 9:12-13, “This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of the Lord’s people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God.13 Because of the service by which you have proved yourselves, others will praise God for the obedience that accompanies your confession of the gospel of Christ,and for your generosity in sharing with them and with everyone else.”

* Answer.  It blesses others.

* Our obedience in giving is a confession of the gospel of Christ.

* Paul is suggesting that we will never give generously without discovering that God will supply our needs so we can give generously again. Only then will we become one of the generous.

* Giving is connected to the Gospel of Christ.   2 Corinthians 9:13, “Because of the service by which you have proved yourselves, others will praise God for the obedience that accompanies your confession of the gospel of Christ, and for your generosity in sharing with them and with everyone else.

“Generous people are rarely mentally ill.”—Carl Menninger

Luke 6:38, “Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”

* Essentially what Jesus is saying is this: It pays to give!

Alex and the Lemonade Stand;

“So, what are you going to do with all the money?” Mr. Jones asked as he took the glass of lemonade that Alex handed him.  Alex smiled as he thanked Mr. Jones for the fifty cents. 

I saw this new game at the store.  If I can raise $10.00, I’ll be able to buy it.”

Mr. Jones drank the lemonade and handed the glass back to Alex. ‘Well, good luck.”

“Thank you! Come again!”  Alex called out as Mr. Jones continued walking down the street.  The sun was beating down on Alex, but he didn’t mind.  The hotter the day, the more lemonade he would sell.  He looked down at his money box.  It had been a great day.  Almost everyone who walked by had stopped to buy a glass of lemonade.  Mrs. Parker had gotten each of her twins a glass.  Bobby, his next door neighbor, had come out just to buy some lemonade. There was only a little bit of lemonade left in the pitcher when Amy stopped by.  “I’ll have a glass of lemonade,” she said as she handed Alex fifty cents.

“You’re in luck”, Alex replied.  “This is the last of it.”  Amy quickly drank the cool drink.  “Yum! This sure tastes good on a hot day.” She handed the glass back and turned to go.  “See you tomorrow in church.”  “See you tomorrow!” Alex called as Amy rode off on her bike.  Alex was excited as he counted his money.  Ten dollars. It was just enough for the game he wanted to buy. Suddenly, he remembered what Amy had said.  Church! He had forgotten all about it.  He looked at his money box.  What should I do? He really wanted that game, but if he bought it, he wouldn’t have any money left to put in the offering.  But if he took some of the money for the offering, he’d have to wait another week to raise the rest of the ten dollars.

Alex thought about what to do as he cleaned up his lemonade stand.  He really wanted that game.  But Alex loved Jesus with all his heart and wanted to please Him.  He looked at the ten dollars in his hand and realized that he knew exactly what he was going to do.”

* If you were Alex, what would you do?

 

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