Is my Giving in Vain
5. Therefore I thought it necessary to exhort the brethren, that they would go before unto you, and make up before hand your bounty, whereof ye had notice before, that the same might be ready, as a manner of bounty, and not as of covetousness.
6. But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully.
7. Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.
Is My Giving in Vain
2 Corinthians 9:5-7
Today, can we take inventory, can we investigate, can we evaluate our churches today, and come to the conclusion that what we are doing is of real value. Can we look at our method of worship and say that our worship is real?
Can we showcase our song service, or can we scroll through our prayer service and declare that those words that we are saying are coming from our hearts.
Can we shine light on the pulpit,
Can we search the corridors and confines of each auxiliary,
Can we summons the works of the entire congregation and make a bold statement that our methods and our manners are real.
Today, can we sit around the offering table, and watch those that come and give in the offering. Can we make a bold declaration to God that we, as a church, is real in our giving.
Our churches today have been so mislead, we’ve been so mis-guided, we have been so misunderstood about God’s words that it has caused us to drift into left field, and we are like sheep who has gone astray from the fold, we can’t see far enough to get back to where we need to be.
Deception is the number one tactic of the devil and he is using it wisely within the church. As I look through out the bible, I see that the Bible only recognizes the devil three times. 1) when he spoke to Eve. 2) when he spoke to Job, and 3) when he spoke to Jesus.
In all three instances he tried to deceive. He was only successful with Eve. Out of that deception of Eve, came a curse from God, but out of the times when Job and Jesus held on to their integrity, God blessed them.
Today, we’ve got to learn how to stop allowing the devil to deceive us in our giving, and learn how to hold on to our integrity.
Let look today at the church at Corinth, and let’s compare our giving to how God commanded them to give, and we will indeed find out if our giving is in vain.
You know the story. Paul felt like he was responsible for what had happened to the church at Jerusalem. The saints had scattered abroad, and now the church was suffering financially. So, the sister churches was taking up an offering and sending to the Mother church at Jerusalem, which was to be delivered by Paul himself.
Paul says to them in the first verse, “it is superfluous that I write to you” meaning that “it is very important that I say these things to you”. See, the devil have deceived many people, many church through their giving. He knows that if he can cripple our giving, he can cripple our worship and praise.
Watch this, if you can’t give, God can’t bless. And we only worship and praise God for what He has done for us. You might as well get real this morning. I know many of you talk about God blessed me to get up this morning and that’s enough for me.
If any man sit here this morning and say that he doesn’t want God to bless him financially, he is a lie and the truth is not in him. Why do we love God? The Bible says, we love Him, because He first loved us! Why should we give to God. We give to Him, because He first gave to us. John 3:16.
I need to put a pin here, so many people won’t give today because they feel like they are giving to the preacher, you are not giving to me. Even when you put money directly in the Pastor’s support tray, you are not giving to me, you are giving to God. What you are doing in your giving is helping the Word of God go forth.
Why is it that you don’t complain when you go to Wal-mart, Sears, Belk, JCPenney, Cato, all they really want is your money. But the preacher is trying to give you the Word of God, something that will save your soul. But you don’t want to support that. You don’t mind giving to the department stores. You don’t mind dressing up the part that is destine to died, but you don’t want to put nothing on the part that is directed toward eternal life.
That’s what we suppose to be doing as a church any way, is getting out the Word. Now, if I don’t use that money in the right way, God is going to punish me, not you. You will still get your blessing. That’s is the biggest way that devil deceives us through our giving, we want to know what is happening to the money we give, you just give, and God will multiply your seed.
Paul said to them, now I’ve been bragging on y’all to other churches. I’ve been telling them how that you got your offering ready a year ago, and that has inspired many others to give.
So, Paul said, I sent some brethren to make sure you’ve got your offering ready. Because I don’t want to get down there and especially if some of these brethren from Macedonia come with me, we get down there and y’all ain’t ready like I’ve been bragging on you, y’all will make me look like a fool.
Because of that, I though it was necessary to send these brethren before hand, so that they can collect your offering and have it ready when I get there.
The first thing we need to look at is the manner. I want you to remember this, if you will give God all that you’ve got, God will make sure you’ve got enough of what you need. And it’s strange to me that we can go anywhere or invest in anything and we won’t complain about the cost of it. But when it comes to the church, we feel like we are giving too much.
The Lord promised us in Luke 6:38, “Give, and it shall be given unto you”. Now, the Lord said, I’m going to give you a “good measure”. Which means that it doesn’t matter what you give, what God is going to give back to you, will be worth more than what you gave.
It might not be money, or any material thing, but it will be worth more than what you gave. That’s why Grandmomma them use to say, “You can’t beat God giving”.
I believe that Paul had heard somebody say, “you can’t beat God giving”, so he said to them in verse 6, “But this I say: He who sow sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully”.
I wished y’all could see this principle. The farmer which sows a big garden has a better chance at a bigger harvest, than the farmer which sows or plants a little garden. The investor which deposits a large amount of money in the bank will have a better dividend than the one who deposits little.
The more gas you put in a car, the further you can go. You can go further off of a full tank, than you can if you just had a ¼ of tank. It works the same way in church, the more you give God, the more God will give back to you.
Now, before you get to wondering should I give more to God, you need to look at and remember Romans 8:32 “He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?” God didn’t waste any time thinking about giving His only Son for you, yet you’ve got to sit here and wonder if you should give more to God.
If we are going to “be Holy as God is Holy, we must follow God’s Holy example”. God is only asking us for some, but He gave us all.
The next thing is the method. Verse 7a. “Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give”. I know that all of your life you’ve have heard that we are suppose to give God ten percent of all of our earning.
Some folks have even watched the financial report to see if others in the church is giving what they suppose to be giving. But tithing was commanded in the Old Testament, not in the New Testament.
What you need to understand first is that in the Old Testament they were under the Law, today we are under Grace. With God, Grace ALWAYS makes up the difference. Under Grace giving, there is no certain amount as to what you must give.
Let me tell you this, God doesn’t take pride in the size of your gift. Remember the little ole Lady with just the two little mites. She put in less when it comes to how we value things, but in God’s eyes, she gave more than any one.
God know some of us can do better than others can. But He also knows that some of us can do better too. Look at Acts 11:29, “Then the disciples, each according to his ability, detemined to send relief to the brethren dwelling in Judea”. It is not the size of your offering that pleases God, but your sincerity in giving.
What you feel is right down in your heart, that is what you ought to give. Under Grace, not only does God lives in the heart, He observes or He searches the heart. Now, you’ve got to watch yourself. Because the Devil will try to deceive you and get you to pay let than what your ability is. When it comes to Grace giving, Ability and Sincerity goes hand in hand.
Remember this, it is according to your ability and what you feel is right. There are some folks here today that has not only the ability to pay 10%, but you can pay 30%. But there is on the other hand, some who is only able to pay 5%. God knows your ability. The thing that all of us must do is be real and sincere in our ability.
That is what God is looking at, your sincerity in your ability. Y’all watch this, you do remember Ananias and Sapphire don’t you? If you are holding back some of the money that you are able to pay in the church, you are lying to the Holy Spirit. Now, did Peter say in Acts 5, you are lying to the preacher, NO. He said, “you are lying to the Holy Spirit”. So that proves that your giving is to God, and not the preacher.
I know and you know for yourself, some of you are able to pay more than a dollar in church. You want to bring God a dollar, but you want Him to bless you, and work a miracle so that you can pay your light bill.
Actually what God is going to do, is curse the money that you’ve got left. Look at Malachi 3:9. “ye are cursed with a curse”. After you walk up here so proudly and put that dollar on the table, when you get back to your seat, God have cursed those big head hundreds you’ve got stashed away. Time you break one, it won’t last no time. You must give with the right method.
The last thing is the right motive. The last part of verse 7, “Not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver”. As I said earlier, you must understand that when you give to the church, you are not giving to any individual, you are giving to God. Your giving, no matter how it is used, it is for the uplifting and building of God’s kingdom. The church has got to have money!
I don’t care if I got the dollar in my pocket that you put in the tray, you gave it to God. Some folks will cut back on their giving because they think their dollar is going to help me, but you need to understand that I’ve got to do the same thing that you’ve got to do to get my blessings. If I don’t give right, God is going to curse me, just like He will you.
If the Lord say the same, I’m going to talk about this next week, but If I do give right, it is God who will multiply and increase my seed, and there is nothing you can do that will stop God from blessing me. Really all that is happening is that the devil is deceiving you out of your blessing.
You can’t give “grudgingly”. When you really get down to the bottom of it, it really means, “because of”. You can’t give a dollar because you think if you give more, Pastor is going to get it all. That is the wrong motive.
Paul said in Romans 12, as Christians, we’ve got to renew our mind. You need to understand that whatever you give, it is for the work of the Lord. Those of you that is giving less because of something that happened in the church and you don’t agree with it, you are giving grudgingly.
Perhaps the brethren did something that you didn’t want them to do, or perhaps they didn’t do something that you wanted them to do, and you just decide that because they didn’t do like you wanted them too, you just ain’t going to give all that you can. That is giving grudgingly.
All of us can understand Christianity better when we realize that we made a covenant relationship with God. You never made a covenant with the pastor but with God. We can sing better if we can learn that we are singing to God and not to the congregation. We can pray better when we stop trying to impress people and start talking to God. We can give better when we stop worrying about who is doing what, and start giving your best to God.
Not only can we give grudgingly and be wrong, we can give out of necessity and be wrong as well. Now this mean that no one else should have to make you give a certain amount. This is one reason why I don’t push a lot of pledging, because we might be making folks pay something that they don’t want to pay.
This also can mean that you are not to give just because you know that God is going to give back to you. Your motive must be in the right place. You must give with the intent to help build the church of God. God loveth a cheerful giver. Now the word “cheerful” is the same Greek word that we get our word “hilarious” from. So it really means that God loves someone who is crazy about giving.
Now before I go any further I need to warn you that this passage is talking about money, but it has an application to every part of our daily lives. We are to give God our time and our talent as well.
When you haven’t got anything else to do, you ought to be able to come to the church and say, Lord, I’m going to fix some of the things that is broke around here, and I’m going to do it so that this church will be a better place for us to come and worship you.
I’m going to give my time, and I don’t want my time to be in vain.
If you can sang, you ought to be sanging in one of these choir, helping to lift up the Name of Jesus through song. No matter what your ability may be, you ought to be able to use it for the going out of God’s Word.
Somebody, need to hear, that God is a lily down in a valley.
Somebody, need to hear, that God is a root out of dry ground.
Somebody, need to hear, that God will rock you late over in the midnight hour.
Somebody, need to hear, that the Lord will pick you up when you fall down.
Somebody, need to hear, that God will provide everything you need.
Somebody, need to hear, that God watch over them, through danger seen and unseen.
Somebody, need to know, even though, my child is in trouble,
The Lord will make a way.
Somebody, need to know, even though my bills are overdue,
God is going to see me through.
Somebody, just need to know, even though all hell has broken loose,
Folks talking about you in the streets,
Scandalizing your name, all up and down the highways.
God, wouldn’t have brought you to it, if He wasn’t going to see you through it.
Somebody, need to know, Jesus died