Giving, yep I already hear the groans! Just kidding, and it may not be what you think. I want to show you all a few things.
And it is because you guys have been being like the Church in Corinth, as it says in
Each one must do just as he has purposed in his heart, not grudgingly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.
As you have been faithful, I am encouraging you to be faithful still. Not that we are hurting for money, just that giving is a Spiritual Discipline in Scripture and I would be a sore Shepherd indeed if I didn’t teach on the things in Scripture. I usually preach on giving this month because so much is asked of us around this time of year. Between Church activities, school fund raisers and family obligations it can be overwhelming. I would like to start by saying thank you all for your giving, we have been achieving our budget goals and have been very thankful for your generous hearts, I kinda feel like Paul in 2 Cor 9:1-2.
For it is superfluous for me to write to you about this ministry to the saints; for I know your readiness, of which I boast about you to the Macedonians, namely, that Achaia has been prepared since last year, and your zeal has stirred up most of them.
A. Don’t need to write
1. Wants it recorded
a. So that people know their generosity
b. Bible says:
“But when you give to the poor, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing,
i. This is about individuals being prideful
ii. Not about letting the world know Christians are generous
2. Paul boasts about others
a. Its OK to boast about others
b. Boast about their Spiritual love for each other
Let another praise you, and not your own mouth; A stranger, and not your own lips.
c. Part of encouraging each other
B. Give with Enthusiasm
1. Giving is fun
a. When we plan and work toward good giving
b. Generosity is fun
Seeing stories on TV, like the Santa Clause who hands out 100 dollar bills. Churches paying off medical bills. It is all amazing and fun to see.
2. Seeing God’s work with it
There is one who scatters, and yet increases all the more, And there is one who withholds what is justly due, and yet it results only in want. The generous man will be prosperous, And he who waters will himself be watered.
a. Saw the pictures
b. God is working with your giving
c. And He is doing even more
i. Bringing on a new full time associate minister
But I have sent the brethren, in order that our boasting about you may not be made empty in this case, so that, as I was saying, you may be prepared; otherwise if any Macedonians come with me and find you unprepared, we—not to speak of you—will be put to shame by this confidence.
A. Give on Purpose
1. Have a plan to give
a. Make it the desire of your heart (Not begrudgingly)
b. Make it regular, like paying your bills
i. Like praying
2. Pray about giving
a. See what the Lord puts on your heart
b. So that you will be prepared and not ashamed
i. Embarrassed before others
ii. Churches closing their doors all the time
A man with an evil eye hastens after wealth And does not know that want will come upon him.
iii. Stinginess gets us nowhere
B. Give your leaders a reason
1. To boast in you
a. Be the example
b. What Paul is saying here
i. Example for other churches getting started
ii. Example for the World
2. Not Ashamed
a. Make your leaderships job a delight
Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they keep watch over your souls as those who will give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with grief, for this would be unprofitable for you.
b. Egg on our face when we face closure
i. So be willing to be generous
ii. That God may bless
iii. So we are not embarrassed before the World for the Lord
So I thought it necessary to urge the brethren that they would go on ahead to you and arrange beforehand your previously promised bountiful gift, so that the same would be ready as a bountiful gift and not affected by covetousness.
A. Arrange Beforehand
1. Make it the first thing
b. Let others help you
2. Will will have Benefits
a. Already prepared to be a joyful giver
b. Ready for the outpouring
“Give, and it will be given to you. They will pour into your lap a good measure—pressed down, shaken together, and running over. For by your standard of measure it will be measured to you in return.”
B. Not covetous
1. Not begrudging the money given
a. Let go with the Open Hand - Dave Ramsey
b. Blessed subtraction
i. Money given is not money lost
ii. Invest in the Kingdom
2. Ananias and Sephira
a. Decided to give but took back
b. Covetous giving
i. Wanted to be something they weren’t
ii. Weren’t prepared
iii. Had a plan went away from it
c. Instead budget and be ready
i. Bountiful and generous
ii. Because it will lighten your heart
Never hated giving. Always blessed when giving.