Summary: There are many misconceptions about a Christian’s responsiblity to give to the Lord. In this message we will examine what the Bible says regarding giving to the Lord.
A Closer Look at: Giving
I like the old story about the guy who came to church with his family. As they were driving home afterwards he was complaining about everything. He said, “The music was too loud. The sermon was too long. The announcements were unclear. The building was hot. The people were unfriendly.” He went on & on, complaining about virtually everything. Finally, his very observant son said, “Dad, you’ve got to admit it wasn’t a bad show for just a dollar.”
Giving is the issue that people least like to hear about and preacher’s least like to preach about. It may be the hardest subject to address. The Bible commands a preacher to preach the whole counsel of God, and giving is included in this, but at the same time a preacher does not want to sound like a collector. I must confess that giving is a subject that would be easy to shy away from, but it is important to preach to God’s people what God’s people need to hear. I am aware that the congregation here is a very giving congregation, and that is to your honor. Because of that faithfulness to giving much has been accomplished from the giving of God’s people here at Oak Grove Christian Church.
Even though much has been accomplished because of the giving here, we still need to be exhorted to continue in our faithfulness to giving and even to be more faithful in our giving. We are at a stage at Oak Grove, where giving is very important. In order to accomplish the goals that have been set for the body of Christ here, the giving of the church is a very important aspect. I am not here today to tell you how much you need to give, or to beg for money, because that is not the right way to handle things, but I am here speaking from God’s Word of the need that exists and our responsibility to meet those needs. I ask today that you search your hearts and see if you are giving to the Lord as you should be giving.
Many try to down play the Biblical commands for giving, but the scriptures do not hold back on this issue. The Bible does give specific commands for God’s people to give of their money to the Lord. I have heard it said that Jesus spoke more about money than he did anything else. Even though money is not everything and has very little to do with eternal things, but the way that a Christian spends and uses their money shows something about their heart. I hope that today as we continue in this New Year that we can take a look at what the Bible says about our duty to give. Also as we continue in this year that we will consider our commitments to the Lord as far as our wallets are concerned. I wish that it was easy enough to stand here and tell you exactly how much the Lord requires of you, but the Bible does not say that much. God does not require equal gifts from every person, but he does require equal sacrifice. Sacrifice, is a word in which our world in very unfamiliar with. People today are unwilling to sacrifice anything of their own no matter what the cause may be. We live in a world which is consumer driven, and motivated by what they can gain in this Earth.
A young man had an accident while driving his car that was quite spectacular. When the policeman arrived he found the young man standing near his car mumbling. As the officer approached he overheard the young man saying, ’Oh, my BMW, oh my BMW, oh my BMW’.
Looking at the young man the policeman said, "Are you nuts, look at the condition of your arm, your left are is all mangled’. The young man looked down and said, ’Oh my Rolex, oh my Rolex, oh my Rolex’....
I believe that we would see great things happen in the church if we would put others above ourselves, and sacrifice our time, money and energy in order to meet others needs.
Text: Malachi 3:6-10
I. Reasons to Give
I believe that there are many reasons that the Bible provides that we should give to the Lord and His work. Sometimes we need reasons to do everything; sometimes we need something to motivate us to action. When someone tells us to do or not to do something the first thing we ask is, “why?” God gives us reasons why we should give of our income to the church.
a. needs of the saints
One of the main reasons that Paul urged the giving among the Corinthian churches was the needs of their brothers and sisters in Christ. Paul was addressing a people who had been financially blessed and encouraged them to sacrifice so that the needs of other Christians around the world might be met. As bets as we can tell the churches jumped at these opportunities to meet the needs of the saints. We read in the book of Acts that the Christians gave generously and that nobody had suppressing needs. We do not have apostles alive today to preach to us and tell us the needs of brothers and sisters throughout the world, but I do not think that it takes an apostle to come to us and tell us that our brothers and sisters around us have needs. There are people in the world who are starving, and cannot even meet their physical needs, and we sit here miles away in our plenty. We talk a lot about the needs of the local churches and the churches in our country, and sometimes it seems that we have a fend for yourself mentality. We worry so much about issues pressing us, but there are serious needs of our brothers in sisters on the other side of the world. We have a duty to help meet their needs. If we are properly giving and spending the Lord’s money there should not be people that cannot survive. One reason that we should give is so that our brother’s and sister’s needs around the world will be met.