January 27, 2019
By: Jim Eschenbacher
This is a continuation in the series on giving. Drew has tastefully instructed us on the subject of giving without putting pressure on us to give more. This sermon is about the best practices regarding giving as taken from the Bible and his personal experience. He gave us, a departure from the usual, 10 points.
1. God owns everything that we think we own.
Ps. 24:1, Job 41:11, Haggai 2:8,
Job 41:11…Who has first given to me that I should repay him? Whatever is under the whole heaven is mine.
2. Giving is an act of worship.
Philippians 4:18… I have received full payment and more. I am well supplied, having received from Epaphroditus the gifts you sent, a fragrant offering, a sacrifice acceptable and pleasing to God
Paul thanks the church for giving to his need and uses worship words in his thank you. He was given gifts for his natural needs and he called it a sacrifice, acceptable and pleasing to God. God watches our giving.
3. Giving reflects faith in God’s provision.
Mark 12:41-44… And Jesus sat down opposite the treasury and watched the people putting money into the offering box. Many rich put in large sums. And a poor widow came and put in two small copper coins which make a penny. And He called his disciples to Him and said, “Truly, I say to you, this widow has put in more than all those who are contributing to the offering box. For they contributed out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty has put in everything she had, all she had to live on.”
She gave all she had saved, apparently trusting that God would provide. Which do you trust most… your savings, or God’s provision? Jesus contradicts our logic by stating that it is not the size of the offering that matters. At the same time, He did not discount the offerings of those who gave abundantly. Don’t count yourself out because you are poor.
4. Giving should be sacrificial and generous.
The widow gave all she had. She did not hold anything back.
5. Giving reflects spiritual trustworthiness.
6. It is an act of love, not legalistic obligation or guilt.
2 Corinthians 9:7… Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.
Drew made the comment that we would be better off not giving at all if our giving is an act of legalistic obligation.
7. Give willingly, thankfully, and cheerfully.
We should want to give. God knows what is in our heart when we give. I heard a humorous story many years ago:
A young boy was struggling to know what to put in the offering at church. He had a quarter and a dime. He wanted to give the dime but felt obligated to give the quarter. When the basket came by, he tossed in his quarter and felt rather good about it. The pastor said, “When you give God knows what is in your heart.” in the car on the way home the little guy was sobbing. His mom asked him what the problem was. He said, “I put a quarter in the offering but God knows I only wanted to put in a dime, so I wasted 15 cents. Yes, it’s a joke, but it makes the point.
8. Giving should be an appropriate response to real need.
Acts 2:44… And all who believed were together and had all things in common. And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all as any had need.
“As any had need” … They weren’t just giving indiscriminately; they were giving to a pressing need.
One of the points that Drew pressed was that we should be prepared.
That takes planning and forethought. Are you always ready to help someone in need or are you content to put money in the offering and consider everything done?
9. Giving should be planned and systematic. If your neighbor needs $10.00 for his medicine and you only have $5.00, you can’t completely help him.
To know the cost of his medicine, you have to know him.
10. Generous giving results in bountiful blessing. This point is next week’s focus.