Summary: 4 Different Kinds of givers (outline taken from Damluka Friday Pele)
Started a series for Youth Group called Generation Change that talks about financial matters. Learned something about John D. Rockefeller in the video but now let’s hear the rest of the story. The very first person to reach the status of billionaire was a man who knew how to set goals and follow through. At the age of 23, Rockefeller had become a millionaire, by the age of 50 a billionaire. Every decision, attitude, and relationship was tailored to create his personal power and wealth. But 3 years later at the age of 53 he became ill. His entire body became racked with pain and he lost all the hair on his head. In complete agony, the world’s only billionaire could buy anything he wanted, but he could only digest milk and crackers. His personal, highly skilled physicians predicted he would die within a year. That year passed agonizingly slow. As he approached death he awoke one morning with the remembrances of a dream. He could barely recall the dream but knew it had something to do with not being able to take anything with him into the next life. The man who could control the business world suddenly realized he was not in control of his own life. He was left with a choice. He called his attorneys, accountants, and managers and announced that he wanted to channel his assets to hospitals, research and mission work. This new direction eventually led to the discovery of penicillin, cures for current strains of malaria, tuberculosis and diphtheria. The list of discoveries resulting from his choice is enormous. But perhaps the most amazing part of Rockefeller’s story is that the moment he began to give back a portion of all that he had earned, his body’s chemistry was altered so significantly that he got better. It looked as if he would died at 53 but he lived to be 98. Rockefeller learned gratitude and doing so made his whole.
One of the challenges we face in church is the economic diversity of the people. Some are rich, some are middle class, and some are poor. We are not John D. Rockefeller so this does not apply to us. We have the perception that some are funders of the church and others are fundees. Is it true that some people are to be the givers while others are to be the receivers?
No, giving is for everyone regardless of economic standing. Everyone, whether wealthy or poor, is under Christ’s authority when it comes to finances. Putting Christ at the center of life, including our financial life, is one of the most important principles to teach.
Thesis: Let’s talk about 4 different kinds of givers
In the days of Haggai the prophet, the Israelites were so busy making money and other things that they had no time for God. Sound familiar?
““Is it a time for you yourselves to be living in your paneled houses, while this house remains a ruin?” Now this is what the LORD Almighty says: “Give careful thought to your ways. You have planted much, but have harvested little. You eat, but never have enough. You drink, but never have your fill. You put on clothes, but are not warm. You earn wages, only to put them in a purse (a bag) with holes in it.” This is what the LORD Almighty says: “Give careful thought to your ways. Go up into the mountains and bring down timber and build the house, so that I may take pleasure in it and be honored,” says the LORD. “You expected much, but see, it turned out to be little. What you brought home, I blew away. Why?” declares the LORD Almighty. “Because of my house, which remains a ruin, while each of you is busy with his own house.” Haggai 1:4-9, NIV.
If we want to prosper personally, we need to be interested in the church. If we want God to bless our houses, begin to bless His house.
How much should I give? “The entire tithe of the herd and flock--every tenth animal that passes under the shepherd’s rod--will be holy to the LORD.” Leviticus 27:32, NIV.
“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 you will not have room enough for it.” Malachi 3:10, NIV.
Now wait a minute, we live under the NT, where is this in the NT? “On the first day of every week, each one of you should set aside a sum of money in keeping with his income, saving it up, so that when I come no collections will have to be made.” 1 Corinthians 16:2, NIV.