Faithlife Sermons

Stranded: When We Give

Matt Redstone
Stranded  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  29:51
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Over the course of June we are exploring the question, "What if you were stranded on an island of faith?" What are the things we would need to spiritually survive?

starting a new series Stranded: Surviving a Deserted Island of Faith
brings us to the first question

What is one item you’d want with you on a deserted island?

go ahead, yell out your answers
asking this question at youth group was always fun
teacher’s pet, “The Bible!”
Best answer ever, “A fully charged satelite phone.”
You win
Island of Faith
truth is, some of you have been on an island of faith
been secluded from the faith community is many ways and need to try and find a way to survive
Over the next number of weeks, we are going to look at some of the most important teachings Jesus ever gave us in regards to our faith
These are things that Jesus expected we would be doing as believers, and so he wanted to teach us to do it right
how do we know these things were expected


Jesus starts off each of these teachings with ‘when’ statements.
It is important to understand that there is a big difference betweem when and if.
If statements insinuate that there is a scenario in which the following may not apply
When statements imply that this going to happen
Big difference between ‘if I get out of debt’ and ‘when I get out of debt’. Big difference between ‘if I get better’ and ‘when I get better’
growing up, when it was time to take the garbage out and there was an added task, it was usually phrased, “When you take the garbage out, do this as well.” When meant this was a non-negotiable
if Jesus is making a when statement, it is always something that is meant for our benefit, and over the course of June, Darren and I are going to suggest that these when statements are necessary for our spiritual health.
so as a little set up for Matthew 6, for those who may be new to the bible. Matthew 6 is part of a larger portion of scripture called the sermon on the mount. Chapters 5-7 describe Jesus speaking to a large crowd of people, teaching them things about faith that may have been miscommunicated. Jesus will often say, “You’ve heard it said… But I say.” Or, as you will see in the next four sermons, “Others may do it this way, but you will do it like this...”
with that, Matthew 6:1-4
Matthew 6:1–4 ESV
“Beware of practicing your righteousness before other people in order to be seen by them, for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven. “Thus, when you give to the needy, sound no trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may be praised by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.
What Does Giving have to do with spiritual health?
Why start a series about surviving life’s islands with a message about giving?
Let me ask you this. If you were stranded on a desert island, does it matter how big your house is? Does it matter what car you drive? Does it matter how much you’ve got invested or how much your clothes cost? NO! When you are on a deserted island, all that matters is surviving
The same applies to the islands of life we find ourselves on. When life isn’t going our way, and things feel empty or we are depressed or anxious, it doesn’t matter how much money we have. All that matters is getting out of the headspace we find ourselves in.
The problem is that often, money can get in the way of our spiritual health. Jesus says this later on in Matthew 6
Matthew 6:24 ESV
“No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.
Paul also says this about money.
1 Timothy 6:10 ESV
For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs.
Who is the master?
when it comes to money, it goes one of two ways. Either your money works for you or you work for money.
If you are working for money, then you will find that you never have enough. You are always finding ways to make more, so you can spend more
The easiest way to tell if you are working for money is this; how generous are you with your money? The greediest people are also the least generous
The problem is, money is a terrible master. It makes all kinds of promises, demands all kinds of sacrifice, and only ever asks for more
It is often money that strands us on life’s island. What are we most prone to be anxious about? Money. What do we fight about most in marriage? Money. What stresses us out most, epsecially at tax time? Money.
The easiest way to ensure that money is not your master is by giving it away; treating it with an open hand because we recognize that everything we have comes from God
so what does generosity look like from a Christian perspective?
well, the easiest way to understand generosity is this. In the Old Testament, it was taught that the first 10% belongs to God. In fact, Malachi says this
Malachi 3:6–10 ESV
“For I the Lord do not change; therefore you, O children of Jacob, are not consumed. From the days of your fathers you have turned aside from my statutes and have not kept them. Return to me, and I will return to you, says the Lord of hosts. But you say, ‘How shall we return?’ Will man rob God? Yet you are robbing me. But you say, ‘How have we robbed you?’ In your tithes and contributions. You are cursed with a curse, for you are robbing me, the whole nation of you. Bring the full tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. And thereby put me to the test, says the Lord of hosts, if I will not open the windows of heaven for you and pour down for you a blessing until there is no more need.
Generosity Starts at 11%
So according to the law and the Old Testament, the first 10% belongs to God, period. 10% of what? 10% of everything.
Which means, generosity actually begins beyond the tithe
The first 10% belongs to God, and you have officially crossed into generosity when you give beyond the tithe.
Now if you’re new to church, you might be thinking, “Wow! 10% is a big chunk of change! I can’t do that.” Look what God says in Malachi. Test him in the tithe, and see how God pours out blessing on you
From personal experience, the times in life when I have failed to tithe, or even since Michelle and I have been married, if we missed the tithe and had that extra 10%, we never seem to have enough to get to the end of the month. However, when we tithe, we always seem to have more then enough.
If you don’t think you can afford to tithe, let me tell you; you can’t afford not to tithe
when we practice tithing and generosity, we open ourselves up to experiencing God’s blessing, and we actually set ourselves up to avoid many of life’s islands.
Let’s pray
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