Summary: We give to God based upon what we believe about God. What do you believe?
The following sermon was used in conjunction with the book "Take God at His Word, Book 2: Expect a Harvest" written by Dr. Kregg Hood, Sweet Publishing (5750 Stratum Drive, Fort Worth, Texas 76137)
Dr. Hood has an excellent packet to go with this sermon series that would be well worth your investigation.
OPEN: A mother wanted to teach her daughter a moral lesson. She gave the little girl a quarter and a dollar for church. “Put whichever one you want in the collection plate and keep the other for yourself,” she told the girl.
When they were leaving church, the mother asked her daughter which amount she had given.
“Well,” said the little girl, “I was going to give the dollar, but just before the collection the man in the pulpit said that we should all be cheerful givers. I knew I’d be a lot more cheerful if I gave the quarter… so I did.”
APPLY: The mother may not have agreed with her daughter’s reasoning, but at the heart of the matter is this fact – the daughter gave in the way she believed.
AND IT’S TRUE OF ALL CHRISTIANS – we give as we believe
I. In I Chronicles David led the people to believe in what they are giving to.
David believed that God deserved Temple. At first God would not let him build the temple. He was not allowed to because as I Chronicles 28:2-3 tells us: David was a man of war & blood. That was not the type of man God wanted to have building the Temple.
BUT David still believed that a temple for God should be built, AND SO (vs 2ff) he dedicated his own wealth to the project. And his vision is so INFECTIOUS that (vs 6) the other leaders dedicated money for the Temple. And then (vs 9) the people gave freely and wholeheartedly to the new Temple.
And because of their VISION and because of their BELIEF Israel built a temple to God that was so beautiful that it shone like a golden sun on Mt. Zion, AND it testified to the glory of their God for next 350 years. But they gave and they built because they believed in a vision.
II. This congregation is now about 29 years old.
It started as a church plant in a home, then it moved to the YMCA, then to a Funeral Home, then to an old drafty church building and now a fellowship hall. Everything I’ve seen about this church speaks of a belief in a vision.
When you bought here, you bought enough land to expand. When you built the building you had 3 sides bricked and the last had siding so that when you built the new worship center that was where it would be. When you paved parking lot you built it with enough room for more people to park when the new building was built. When you hired Brad (our youth minister) you did so in the belief that this would help us grow to the point that a new worship area would be justified.
THE REASON I PREACH A SERMON every year on stewardship and giving is because I believe in the same vision you do. AND I KNOW you can’t grow if you don’t give.
ILLUS: Flip Wilson was a popular comedian several years ago, and one of his characters was a Preacher at the “What’s Happening Now Church.” Flip did a Skit where he told about this preacher. He’d shout out:
"IF THIS CHURCH IS GOING TO SERVE GOD IT’S GOT TO GET DOWN ON ITS KNEES AND CRAWL!!!"
And the audience yelled back "Make it crawl preacher, make it crawl!
"AND ONCE THIS CHURCH HAS LEARNED TO CRAWL, IT’S GOT TO GET UP
ON ITS FEET AND WALK!!!"
"Make it walk preacher, make it walk" the audience moaned.
AND ONCE THIS CHURCH HAS LEARNED TO WALK ITS GOT BEGIN TO LEARN TO RUN!!!"
"Make it run, preacher, make it run!"
"AND IN ORDER TO RUN, ITS GOT REACH DEEP DOWN INTO POCKETS AND LEARN TO GIVE!!!"
(pause) "Make it crawl preacher, make it crawl."
A Church can’t grow if it doesn’t give. And if it doesn’t give… it’ll crawl.
NOW HOPEFULLY, you don’t give to the building project, and you don’t give to the preacher. Hopefully you give to God, to Glorify Him & Build up His kingdom. Hopefully, you give with a vision that God is going to do something special because of your faithfulness.
III. Now when David wanted to inspire people in their giving – he set the example.
He said – this is what I’m giving. Then the leaders in the congregation stood up and they set the example, the pattern.
I’M GOING TO DO THIS MORNING – what David & those leaders did then. On January 30th I’m going to challenge you to tithe. Diana & I have committed to the tithe. Brad & Beth (our youth leaders) have you been committed to tithe?