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Giving-The Gift of

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“The Gift of Giving”

“Keep it Simple—Romans 12:8”

I.       Keep It Simple.

      Introduction

The believer is to have a single-minded devotion to God.

British pastor Martyn Lloyd-Jones told the story of a farmer who one day went happily to his wife and family to report that their best cow had given birth to twin calves, one brown and one white.  The farmer said,

“I suddenly had an impulse that we must dedicate one of these calves to the Lord. We will sell one and keep the proceeds; the other we will also sell, but give the proceeds to the Lord’s work.” His wife asked him which one he was going to dedicate to the Lord. He replied, “There is no need to bother about that now. We will treat them both the same way, and when the time comes, we will do as I say.” And off he went. A few months later the farmer entered his kitchen looking unhappy. When his wife asked him what was troubling him, he answered, “I have bad news to give you. The Lord’s calf is dead.”

      

       We laugh at the story because we all tend to lay up treasure on earth. We want to be rich toward self but poor toward God. Jesus speaks directly to that wrong thinking by saying “Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also” (Matt. 6:21). Your heart and your treasure go together—they both need to be in Heaven. Our Lord is speaking of a single-minded devotion to God and His cause that is undistracted by the world.

       Jesus is not saying that if you put your treasure in the right place, your heart will then be in the right place, but that the location of your treasure indicates where your heart already is. Spiritual problems are always heart problems. God’s principle for His people has always been, “Honor the Lord from your wealth, and from the first of all your produce; so your barns will be filled with plenty, and your vats will overflow with new wine” (Prov. 3:9–10). What about you? Is that the principle by which you live?

A.     The Law of Giving.

1.       Physical and Spiritual Laws.

a)        As Gravity is a Physical Law, so it the law of giving a spiritual law.

1)        Because we do not understand the spiritual law of giving, often we don’t give.

(a)      Since I don’t understand I say, “I’m keeping my money”

               Jesus said, Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you." (Luke 6:38 NKJV)

(b)      Illustration—The Doritos bag is not God in giving—The way I eat cereal is, press it.

2)        You Reap What You Sow (Proverbs 11:24).

Your going to receive in your life what you deserve because of how you’ve given to the Lord.  That message fills the Old Testament, and its also in the New Testament.  What we do affects how we are blessed in the Future.  How much we give to others affects what we will be given in the future.

Paul said it this way, But this I say: He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. (2 Corinthians 9:6 NKJV)

3)        You Can Trust God With Your Money.

God wants you to know you can trust Him with your money. It’s the reverse of what He’s doing to you: He gives you money and asks you, “Can I trust you with this money?” You must prove that He can trust you with the money He gives you by giving it back to Him.

1.         Romans 11:35, Paul asks, “Who has first given to Him and it shall be repaid to him?” In other words, “Show me a case where man has given to God and God didn’t give back several times over.” 

2.         Malachi 3:8-10 – Malachi tells us, this is a spiritual law we can test. 

a.         People say “I can not afford to give,” but I say, “I cant afford to not give.” If we give to God what is God’s and what God requires, then the Lord has promised He will pour out blessings to numerous to contain

2.       How Are We To Give?

a)        Several Guidelines on How to Give.

1)        Give With Simplicity (Romans 12:8)

(a)      Do not give with strings attached.  Don’t put restrictions on your giving, like, “If you use this money, it must go to such & such. 

2)        Give Without Calling Attention To Yourself (Matthew 6:1-4)

(a)      If you give to be seen by men, you already have your reward.

3)        Give Willingly From the Heart.

(a)      Exodus 25:1-2 – God didn’t want anyone to give who wasn’t giving from the heart.  God never wants a person to feel pressured to give to Him.

(b)      Exodus 36:1-7—The people had such a heart to give, they had to command the giving to stop because it was to much.  That is what happens when God moves upon the hearts of His people to give.

4)        Give Cheerfully (2 Corinthians 9:7)

(a)      Don’t gripe and complain about it, if so then just keep it.

(b)      God loves a cheerful giver – (the Greek word for “cheerful” is the term hilaros, which we get our English word “hilarious.”

1.         In the Old Testament they called this kind of giving a “free will offering” to the Lord.

2.         In the same way, Jesus said to His disciples, “Freely you have received, freely give” (Matthew 10:8).

5)        Give Sacrificially – Jesus indicated it isn’t the amount that is important (Mark 12:41-44). 

(a)      Real giving is measured by how much a person has left, not by how much a person gives.

                                    Note several facts.

1.         They all gave an offering to God: both “the people” (Mark 12:41) who had and the poor widow who did not have.

2.         The ones who had plenty gave more money, much more than the widow. Their contributions were generous. Their incomes were large, so their offerings were large.

3.         But in God’s eyes the widow gave more. Why? Because God measures what was kept, not what was given.

Þ    The widow had less remaining; the others still had much.

Þ    The widow had given more of what she had; the others had given less of what they had.

Þ    The widow had sacrificed more; the others had sacrificed less.

In proportion to what she had, the widow gave a larger percent. The others gave a much smaller percent. After they had given they still had 85% or 90% or 95% to spend on themselves.

(b)      The Lesson To Be Learned

God counts what we have left, not what we give. He counts the amount of sacrifice, not the amount of money. The gift that matters is the gift that costs the giver to give.

1.         God gave His only Son (John 3:16), & Jesus willingly gave Himself as a sacrifice for us (2 Corinthians 8:9).

a.         In 1 John 3:17, it teaches us to give the same way.  Jesus laid down his life for us, so we should be willing to give our lives for others

b.         David Hocking; (Passing the Buck p.35, A Wealthy Business Man)

2.         David himself exemplified this (1Chronicles 21:24).

6)        Give Honestly (Acts 5:1-11)

(a)      Do not pretend to give more than you really are.

7)        Give Freely

(a)      Jesus Himself said, “Freely you have received, freely give”

8)        Give Because You Love (1 Corinthians 13:3)

(a)      My giving must be motivated by love (1 John 3:17).   

B.     Giving To Others.

1.       Giving To Others is Giving to God.

       The gift of giving is probably exercised more in what we give to others than in what we give to God.  And the interesting thing is that what we give to the less fortunate, God considers a gift to Him.

a)        Giving To the Poor & Needy

And the King will answer and say to them, `Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.' (Matthew 25:40 NKJV)

                            

1)        God Promises to Bless You If You Will Do This.

He who has pity on the poor lends to the LORD, And He will pay back what he has given. (Proverbs 19:17 NKJV)

(a)      Would you like to lend some money to God?  He pays great interest!

He who receives a prophet in the name of a prophet shall receive a prophet's reward. And he who receives a righteous man in the name of a righteous man shall receive a righteous man's reward.   "And whoever gives one of these little ones only a cup of cold water in the name of a disciple, assuredly, I say to you, he shall by no means lose his reward." (Matthew 10:41-42 NKJV)

2)        We Are Commanded To Give To the Poor.

If there is among you a poor man of your brethren, within any of the gates in your land which the LORD your God is giving you, you shall not harden your heart nor shut your hand from your poor brother,   "but you shall open your hand wide to him and willingly lend him sufficient for his need, whatever he needs. (Deuteronomy 15:7-8 NKJV)

(a)      God has blessed us so much but we must be careful not to close our hearts to those who are in need (1 John 3:17).

 

C.     What Are We To Give?

1.       Give Yourself To the Lord – 2 Corinthians 8:5

               It is the Love of Christ That Motivated Us To Give (2 Corinthians 5:14).

               Christ’s loving, substitutionary death motivated Paul’s service for Him.

2.       Give Your Talents and Your Time.

When we talk of giving, too often we think only in terms of money.  That is the least of what God wants from us.  Don’t ever think that God needs your money, God isn’t broke.  God said:

For every beast of the forest is Mine, And the cattle on a thousand hills. (Psalms 50:10 NKJV)

If I were hungry, I would not tell you; For the world is Mine, and all its fullness. (Psalms 50:12 NKJV)

3.       Give Your Thanks and Praise – Hebrews 13:15

Three times in the Bible we are told to “give to God the glory due His name.”

Six times the Scripture tells us to “give thanks unto the Lord, for He is good, for His mercy endures forever.”

If God tells us something one time we better listen.  But here He tells us nine times, so we need to pay extra special, heavy-duty attention.

HAVE HYOU GIVEN THANKS TO GOD TODAY?  HAVE YOU GIVEN GLORY TO HIM THIS WEEK?

D.     Why Should I Give?

1.       Seven Reasons For Giving.

1)        To Support the Work of the Gospel

1.         Romans 10:14

2.         1 Corinthians 9:3-13

2)        To Help Others in Time of Need

1.         Ephesians 4:28

2.         James 2:15-17

3.         1 John 3:17-18

3)        To Receive A Heavenly Reward

1.         Matthew 19:2 go and sell what you have and give to the poor

2.         Matthew 6:20

3.         1 Timothy 6:17-19

4)        To Have My Faith In God’s Supply To Grow               

1.         2 Corinthians 9:8

2.         Philippians 4:19

5)        To Say “Thank You” To God.

1.         1 Corinthians 9:11-13

6)        To Experience Joy.

1.         1 Chronicles 20:17, 22

7)        To Express My Submission To God.

1.         Proverbs 3:9-10

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