Welcome and Happy Thanksgiving
2 Corinthians 9
Thanksgiving is a day that we set aside to thank God for all he has blessed us with. House, family, friends, salvation, maybe your job?
But as I thought about being thankful I asked myself the question. I asked myself whats the result of it?
Whats the difference between a thankful Christian and an unthankful person? The most simple answer I came up with is that a thankful christian knows everything he has is Gods!
And one of those possessions that we have that sometimes we think are ours is money!
We are going to be looking today at the result of thankfulness as it relates to our finances
I believe that a thankful person and a thankful giver are directly linked
I've entitled my message this morning “Thankful Giving”
I want to focus my message around the word give
We are going to be looking at what a thankful giver looks like
On a day set aside to be thankful for what we have, I want us to see what it means to be thankful for what we give
Let's read 2 Corinthians 9:6-15
In this passage we are going to be looking at 5 ways a thankful giver gives.
A Thankful Giver Gives Bountifully (vs. 6)
Paul begins this section by using a farming illustration in relation to giving
The more seed you sow, the more crop you will reap.
Now someone can say, "I don't have a lot of seed". Or what they mean is "I just don't have a lot of money”
Mark 12:41-44 Jesus has an answer for that comment. 41 And he sat down opposite the treasury and watched the people putting money into the offering box. Many rich people put in large sums. 42 And a poor widow came and put in two small copper coins, which make a penny. 43 And he called his disciples to him and said to them, “Truly, I say to you, this poor widow has put in more than all those who are contributing to the offering box. 44 For they all contributed out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty has put in everything she had, all she had to live on.”
Jesus makes it clear, a thankful giver doesn't just give out of the abundance of what he has, he is willing to give sacrificially!
Henry Crowell, founder of the Quaker Oats Company and a significant contributor to the work of Moody Bible Institute knew how to use money wisely. As a young man, he received Christ as his Savior. When he began his business career in a little Ohio factory, he promised God that he would honor Him in his giving. God’s blessing was upon him; and, as his business grew, he increased his giving. After more than forty years of giving 60 percent of his income to God, Crowell testified, “I’ve never gotten ahead of God. He has always been ahead of me in giving.” A thankful giver is a bountiful giver
2. A Thankful Giver is a Cheerful Giver (Vs. 7)
There is a story of a mother who gave her little girl a quarter and a dollar before church, “Put whichever one you want in the collection plate and keep the other for yourself,” she told the girl. When they were coming out of church, the mother asked her daughter which amount she had given. “Well,” said the little girl, “I was going to give the dollar, but just before the collection the man in the pulpit said that we should all be cheerful givers. I knew I’d be a lot more cheerful if I gave the quarter, so I did.”
As funny and cute is that story is, I wonder sometimes if we give with the same mindset.
$25 in left pocket and $100 in your right pocket. Its announced that the missions fund is under budget and they are taking an offering for it. I want you to think to yourself which one are you going to give? Then I want you to ask yourself the question why are you giving that amount. If we say we are going to give the $100 bill but do it reluctantly that's not being a thankful giver. And if we say were going to give the $100 bill but do it out of guilt or feel like we're forced to, that's not being a thankful giver either. And if in your mind you gave the $20 bill, then this sermon is for you!
24 One person gives freely, yet gains even more;
another withholds unduly, but comes to poverty.
25 A generous person will prosper;
whoever refreshes others will be refreshed.
2 Corinthians 8:1-4
A person who lives thankfully for what God has blessed them with will not be a reluctant giver A cheerful giver gives to please God and not themselves!
3. A Thankful Giver Gives Expectantly (Vs 8-10)
Malachi 3:10 10 Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the Lord Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it.
When we give to the Lord he will multiply our gift and our blessings
Brother Kuykendal was a pastor in Texas when H. Z. Duke, founder of Duke and Ayers Nickel Stores, asked him if he believed in tithing to which he replied that he did. Mr. Duke then asked him if he practiced tithing. He answered, “No, I do not. I believe in tithing, but I cannot practice it. You see, I have thirteen children at home. Every meal fifteen of us sit down at the table. I receive only $125 a month, $1500 a year, as salary. I have to maintain my own horse and buggy for constant traveling. It is just impossible to take care of all the needs of a family of fifteen out of $125 a month and have money left to tithe. So I believe in tithing, and I preach it, but I cannot practice it.”Mr. Duke then said, “I want you to set out to give God at least $12.50 every month as soon as you get your salary. Then as you feel led, you may give more. I promise you that if you need help, I will give it. Simply write me a letter and say, ‘Brother Duke. I am giving a tithe, but I miss the money. I need it for my family. I have given this year so much.’ I promise you that I will send you a check by return mail. Are you willing to try tithing on that basis? ”Brother Kuykendal was very excited at the offer and began tithing. That year God took care of his needs in unexpected ways so that he never had to send that letter to Mr. Duke. Near the end of the year he realized that he had trusted Mr. Duke’s promise to provide for him more than he had trusted God’s promise. He said, “I had taken the word of a man when I did not take the promise of God! Now I had proven God’s promises and found that He took care of me and my big family on a small salary. I found that $112.50 per month took care of our family better, with God’s blessing, than $125 did without being under the blessed covenant which He has made with those who seek first the kingdom of God and who tithe.”
Verse 10 tells us we cannot out give God. When we give we can expect God to take care of our needs.
4. A Thankful Giver Gives Missionally (Vs. 11-14)
Giving to the work of missions allows us to partner with the missionary in spreading Gods love to others.
In vs 11,12 we see that thankful giving to missionaries encourages them and their work.
I want to read vs 13 because I believe that it is the heart of thankful giving to missions. Vs 13.
The heart of thankful giving comes from our submission to the gospel If we can't physically go, as the great commission states, we can financially give so that others can!
5. A Thankful Giver Gives Worshipfully (Vs. 15)
Giving is an act of worship
We understand what God has blessed us with physically and we worship him by giving back what is his already
9 Honor the Lord with your wealth and with the first fruits of all your produce; 10 then your barns will be filled with plenty, and your vats will be bursting with wine. When we worship God through thankful giving we are expressing our appreciation for his blessings on us
So as we reflect back on these verses today and we think about all we were thankful for, can we say we are thankful to give? You see thankful giving is a heart issue When our heart is aligned with heart of God, thankful giving radiates from us. It's no longer a burden but enjoy! Pray