Summary: Believe week 19 - our focus is on giving our resources, namely money.
Believe 19: Giving our Resources
March 1, 2015
Have you ever heard of Don Lapre or Dave Del Dotto? I remember watching these guys in the late 1980's. They were on late night television all the time.
Don Lapre told us how he made over $50,000 dollars a week by placing tiny classified ads in newspapers. He made it sound so believable, and he reminded you how simple it was.
After all, for a small fee, he would teach you how to create one tiny ad and place it in the classified section of a newspaper. If the ad made just $30 dollars a week and you place it in 3,000 other newspapers you can earn $90,000 per week. Not bad.
While in seminary I went to a Dave Del Dotto seminar. He had a cash flow scheme that allowed you to invest with no money. Sounds great! I should have known it was a farce simply because he came on the stage in a bright cranberry suit and told everyone how they could make money off of foreclosures and he went on with such excitement that I was hooked. But there was a catch. It would cost you $400 or more to buy his system. UGH! Good thing I’m cheap!
Eventually, Del Dotto was accused of false advertising, and got out of the business.
Lapre was convicted of defrauding people out of $52 million, was arrested and eventually committed suicide in prison.
Who wouldn't want more wealth, freedom and financial stability? What was it that hooked me and hooks thousands of people? We all know the answer. We say we want financial security! But is that really it . . . OR . . . is it that we really want to total control over everything in our lives. Of course, we forget money will not buy joy, peace and love, nor will it buy health and salvation.
Today we are on week 19 of the Believe Series and we are looking at Giving our Resources. We’re going to look at a passage from the Apostle Paul in 2 Corinthians 9. Paul organized a collection of money to be given to the church in Jerusalem. The church in Corinth had agreed to give money and Paul was reminding them of this opportunity to help another church. Beginning in verse 6 – Paul tells the church ~
6 The point is this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.
7 Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.
8 And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work.
9 As it is written, “He has distributed freely, He has given to the poor; His righteousness endures forever.”
10 He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness.
11 You will be enriched in every way to be generous in every way, which through us will produce thanksgiving to God.
12 For the ministry of this service is not only supplying the needs of the saints but is also overflowing in many thanksgivings to God.
13 By their approval of this service, they will glorify God because of your submission that comes from your confession of the gospel of Christ, and the generosity of your contribution for them and for all others,
14 while they long for you and pray for you, because of the surpassing grace of God upon you.
15 Thanks be to God for his inexpressible gift!
Before we get into some practical thoughts about our resources, I want to dispel something you may read into this passage. Some people believe if they just give they will be blessed with more money. That’s not the way it works. That would be really nice, though, wouldn’t it? We would be amazing givers. But that would be living life on the condition that God will reward me if I follow the rules. In the end, we would not be living by grace, but by the law.
Paul is telling us we need to give freely, willingly, joyfully, cheerfully! In Greek, the root word of cheerful means “hilarious!” Isn’t that a great way to give? We give laughing, with a spirit filled with God’s joy. We don’t always do that, do we? We get all antsy when the pastor is talking about money.
Yet, Jesus spoke more about money and possessions than heaven and hell combined. You see, Jesus knows where our hearts are at. He knows what moves us away from the kingdom. We don’t mind reading about it in the Bible when Jesus is talking about some ‘rich young ruler,’ but Pastor don’t get too personal and step on my toes.