Summary: let’s see a better and clearer picture (vision) of the results of genuine Biblical Christian giving. Main Scripture is 2 Corinthians 9:7-15. Outline taken from Gil Rugh in Giving: A Result of Grace, Chapter 3
Sermon for 8/5/2007
A New Vision for Giving
A. Visualization is so important these days. Basketball (shot like James) , baseball (hit like Bonds), football (pass like Manning).
B. Visualize success in our lives. If we are successful what will it look like?
C. Visualize the future for Mount Airy Church. New building!
D. Visualize the North Pointe Church in Statesville. Church of 200!
E. Give us a picture for the future. So many cannot visualize things and so I and others try to give pictures of how things could be to inspire and motivate!
B. Yes, this morning we are talking about money. Why now? So many job losses.
C. many times when the offering plate is passed we think: Show Cheerful Giver video (Sermon Spice Video)
D. We have many images, pictures, visions for communion, the Lord’s Supper, but we are lacking when it comes to visualizations for the offering. A dollar bill is not very inspiring.
Thesis: This morning let’s see a better and clearer picture, vision, of the results of genuine Biblical Christian giving.
I. Pleases God (God loves) 2 Corinthians 9:7
A. Now God loves everyone but it seems that it puts a smile on his face for us to give.
B. (2 Cor 5:9 NIV) So we make it our goal to please him.
II. Manifests Righteousness 2 Corinthians 9:10
A. The essential idea with righteousness is rightness. Only through Christ are we made righteous. Only through Christ can we display righteousness.
B. The health and wealth gospel. If you have enough faith, you will always be healthy and wealthy. Give so that you will be blessed 3 fold.
C. Ray Stedman shares the story of a man who lived in Houston that received a letter from a large international radio broadcast seeking support from Christians for their broadcasting. The appeal of the letter was the God cannot be out given, that if you give to God, he will give back to you. They announced that they needed a certain tremendous sum of money to maintain their broadcast. They had figured the number of their listening audience and they said in the letter that, if every person who heard their broadcasts would send in $76, this need would be met. Furthermore, they would guarantee, on the principle that God cannot be out given, that he would find a way to give that $76 back three times over. This was, therefore, the appeal of the letter: Send us the $76 and God will give back to you; just watch how he does it. Well, the man in Houston said he wrote a letter back which said, “Sir, I believe what you have written; I believe it is true that God cannot be out given; and I believe you have a tremendous need for funds. But I would like to suggest that you send me the $76 and God will give back to you three times over. You can get rid of your debt a lot faster that way.” I’m told that they took him off their mailing list.
D. These teachers are right that God will give back to you but he doesn’t give back to us so that we can indulge ourselves. God is generous to us so that we may be able to give generously to others.
E. It is for a harvest of righteousness, not a harvest of selfishness.
III. Meets physical needs 2 Corinthians 9:12
A. I had a need at one time. Went to leadership and they said, “The Lord will provide.” Didn’t give me any money or help. The Lord did provide; not through them. May the Lord work through us and not have to work around us!
B. Our benevolence ministry.
C. A church once sent a box of new toys to a small town in India. When the missionary received this box of toys, it caused him to have an idea. He thought of how some Indian children in a nearby orphanage were without any toys. His idea was to take that same box, have the children take the new toys, and then refill the box with old toys given by the children, and then the old toys would go to the orphanage. He told the children of the village and they loved the idea. So one week later the missionary came to collect the toys and found the box full of the new toys exactly as they had left them. The children simply gave him the box they had received a few days earlier. When asked why they did this, a little girl said, “Think what God did when He gave his Son, could we give him less than our best?”
D. (Mat 25:40 NIV) "The King will reply, ’I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.’