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Faithful Giving

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Faithful Giving

2 Corinthians 9

 

Introduction:

Our topic this morning is again one of giving.  In the 16+ years that I have Pastored here you will not find one time that I have spoken on giving two weeks in a row.

I was pleased last week with the comment that someone made on the way out.  They said, “Never apologize for preaching the truth, if the Word of God teaches it, then preach it the way it is.”  I appreciate that attitude in this Church. 

Joke:

One Sunday morning the pastor encouraged his congregation to
consider the potential of the church. He told them, "With God's help we can see the day when this church will go from crawling to walking."

The people responded, "Let the church walk, Pastor, let the
church walk."

He continued, "And when the church begins to walk, next the
church can begin to run."

And the people shouted, "Let the church run, Pastor, let the
church run!"

The pastor continued, "And finally the church can move from
running to flying. Oh, the church can fly! But of course, that's going to take lots of money for that to happen!"

The congregation grew quiet, and from the back, someone mumbled, "Let the church crawl, Pastor, let the church crawl."

This morning as we once again think about giving, I want to look at three aspects of giving:

1.      The character of godly giving

2.      The benefits of godly giving

3.      The example of godly giving

I.                   The character of godly giving

In vv. 1-5 we see Paul reminding the Church of Corinth of their pledge to give earlier.  Paul had been “bragging” to the others about their willingness to give.  Now he is sending someone to make sure the gift is ready when he comes.  In doing this he shares with them the character that their giving should take.

1.      They need to give bountifully v. 6

Bountifully means not skimping or sparingly

The illustration is one of sowing and reaping

A farmer knows that if he skimps on the seed he plants, he will not have a great harvest.

A farmer who wants to have a good harvest knows that he cannot plant just a little bit of seed.  A little seed leads to a little harvest.

The same is true of giving. 

What is bountiful giving?

*Giving what we can:  This is not the type of giving that says, “Well I can give $100.00 but I will just give $25.00 so that I      have more for later.”

*Giving sacrificially:  Even the world apart from God is willing to give if they have enough, true Christian giving is willing to sacrifice.

Proverbs 11:24-25

There is one who scatters, yet increases more; and there is one who withholds more than is right, But it leads to poverty.  The generous soul will be made rich, and he who waters will also be watered himself.

Proverbs 22:9

He who has a generous eye will be blessed, For he gives of his bread to the poor.

2.      They need to give deliberately v. 7

“As he purposes in his heart.” 

1) A willingness to give:  Paul commended them for their willingness v. 2

People should never feel “fleeced out of their money.”

Illustration of Henry Ford

            *Asked to donate to construction of Medical Facility

            *Donated 5,000.00

            *Next day paper reported he had given 50,000.00

            *When he called to complain they agreed to print retraction

*Next day headline read, “Henry Ford reduces donation by 45,000.00

*Realizing the poor publicity Mr. Ford agreed to give the additional money if they would inscribe the following over the entrance to the hospital, “I came among you and you took me in.”

In Christian giving a believer should never feel, “taken in.”  We should never use the tactics of the world. 

A believer needs to give willingly as he purposes in his heart between he and the Lord

2)  Giving systematically

1 Cor. 16:1-4

They were to bring their gifts the first day of the week and set it aside

Illustrations:

*I know a lady who writes out a check for her Church every week, even if she does not go

*Others miss a service and send check in mail

*Some give once a month

Idea is systematic giving as the Lord blesses and lays on our hearts to do so.

3.      They need to give cheerfully v. 7

Not grudgingly:  To give with regret

Not of necessity:  Simply because we feel we have to

Illustration:

Mother one day gave her daughter a dollar and a quarter

Told her she could put whichever one in offering she decided

When coming out of Church asked her daughter which she gave

Daughter replied, “Well I was going to give the dollar, but just before the offering the Pastor said that we should all be cheerful givers, so I decided that I would be a lot more cheerful if I gave the quarter.”

We can give cheerfully, as we discussed last week, knowing that we are giving back what God has blessed us with, and knowing that God will use it to accomplish His work.

1.      We give bountifully or generously

2.      We give deliberately (willingly and systematically)

3.      We give cheerfully

II.                 The benefits of godly giving vv. 8-14

1.      It gives happiness and joy to the one giving

If we give according to verse 7 then it leads to joy in ourselves

Always a certain amount of joy in being able to give

2.      It brings the blessings of God v. 8

We saw this as well in verse 7

Read a book recently that said that if a farmer sowed 1 bushel of wheat he would reap 100 fold of that.  He went on to say that if we sowed 5.00 we would be rewarded with 50.00 and so on

This passage and the Bible do NOT teach that.

As we give God will bless.  Some in this way.

How?  V. 8-11 Our needs will always be met!! 

                         Rewarded for our righteousness into eternity

3.      It gives thanksgiving to God v. 11

As we give to the Lord’s work and to the needs of others we are really giving thanks to God for what He has blessed us with.

Causes others to give thanks as well through the fact that God has met their needs!!

4.      It helps out others v. 12

5.  It causes others to worship God v. 13

      Simply put, it causes other to turn to the Lord

                  Some see God’s greatness

                  Some see God’s love

                  Some see God’s faithfulness

                  All in some way see God through our giving

III.              The example of godly giving v. 15

Just as we saw last week the greatest example of giving is God’s giving to us

His gift is beyond our description, beyond our ability to really grab a hold of

1.      Because of His nature:  who He is

2.      Because of His purpose:  why He came

3.      Because of His grace in coming:  He did not have to

4.      Because of what He does for us!!

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