(My Anniversary sermon in Humayao Gospel Church, Dasmarinas, Cavite, Philippines)
Our key key word for our theme today is "best".
In my dictionary, the word "best" means having the highest degree of goodness or excellence of the quality or standing.
Paul wanted Christians to live with the highest degree of life when he said "Live an exemplary life" in 1 Tim. 4:12.
According to Swindoll: living beyond an ordinary life.
Jesus taught us "If you love those who loved you, what reward have you? Even the sinners do the same. And if you greet your brethren only, what do you do ’more than others’?
We should live beyond the level of ordinary people. That’s make you different!
I. The Kinds of Giving to God
One of the ministries of Paul was the taking up of "special offerings" for the poor Christians in Judea. He wanted this offerings strenthen the unity of the church of the Gentiles and the Jewish people.
This experience of Macedonian reveals the best examples of giving to God.
1. If we can give in times of "trials"
"severe trials" (v.2a)
Often our attitude is "I’ll do it next time" until we forgot it.
2. If we can give despite of "financial incapacity" (v.2b)
We often said, "The Lord knows my situation, He understand me"
3. If we can give "beyond our ability" (v.3)
"It was said that Mr. Ericsson of Colgate Palmolive Philippines, Inc. gave 90% of his income intead of 10% to God. He challenged the Lord by his sacrificial giving and God bless him more and more."
4. If we c an give "willingly" (v.3)
Sometimes we can comply with the above giving but most of the time we fail to give willingly.
II. The Laws of Giving to God
There are 3 laws of giving in order to experience the blessing of God.
1. The Law of Faith (vs.5,7a)
The law of possibility-that everything is possible through faith.
In fact, God uses finances to test us all the time. Have you ever had to make decision whether to pay your bill or give a tithe? This is a test. Gos is testing you to see how much you trust him. How much you believe.
There are two ways to give: You can give by faith, or you can give by fear. Giving by fear is when you say, "How much can I afford to give?". Giving by faith is when you say, "How much does God want me to give?".
Giving and faith go together. (vs.2-3, Heb. 11:4)
As Paul said "for we walk by faith and not by sight"(2 cor. 5:7). We give because we trust God that he will provide our needs. Our attitude is to put God first and believe that all things will be added.
2. The Law of Love (v.8)
The law of sacrifice-that you can do everything because of love.
Peter said: keep pervent in your love for one another, because love covers the multitude of sin (1 Pet.4:8)
Giving is a fruit of love. Paul said, "love compels us to do" (2cor.5:14) We give because love compels us.
Ask this to yourselves right now:
Why we can’t give to our brethren although we have money? Answer:Because we don’t lovethem.
And why we can give something to our loveones or children whatever they ask though we have no money? Answer: Because we love them so much!
That’s the law of love. True love compels us to do because this love comes from God.
We can give during trials because of love, we can give despite of our financial incapacity because of love, and we can give beyond our ability because of love. We can do everything because love compels us to do!
3. The Law of the Harvest (2 cor. 9:6a)
The law of sowing and reaping-that everything we sow, we reap.
Remember this: "Whoever sows sparringly will also reap sparringly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously"
There is a principle of sowing and reaping that is applicable in all aspects of life.
Whatsoever you sow in life, you’re goingto reap. Whatsoever you deposit is going to be returned to you.
-if you sow criticism in life, you’re going to reap criticism fromother people-count on it.
-if you sow kindness, you will reap kindness in your life-count on it.
-This is the law of the harvest:
-if you plant apple seeds, you don’t get mangoes, you will get apples.
-if you plant bananas, you will get bananas, you don’t get oranges.
WHATSOEVER YOU SOW, YOU’RE GOING TO REAP IN LIFE
-if you sow generousity financially, you will reap generousityfinancially.
-if you sow sparringly financially, you will reap sparringly financially not generousity.
THE AMAZING TRUTH IS THIS
-you don’t just reap what you sow, you always reap morethan what you sow. The farmers understand this more clearly.
-Jesus told about this in Luke 6:36 NASB
Here is a clue-whenever we have a need, we plant seeds because God will multiply everything we give it away (like Macedonian) - This is a law of harvest.
Remember this verse: It is more blessed to give than to received (Acts 20:35)
God is going to bless you if you are willing to give to him your best offering as he is expected to all of us.