Summary: Message about giving.
Cheer Up – It’s Time to Take the Offering!
September 23, 2001
Well, I’m sure that the vast majority of the regular attenders of this church have been just bursting with a desire to hear a message about giving in the last year since I started preaching here.
You are about to get your wish.
The looks of unspeakable joy on your faces just does my heart a world of good.
Richard Halverson, the chaplain of the U. S. Senate, pointed out something that bothers a lot of people and excites a few. He said,
“Jesus Christ said more about money than about any other single thing because, when it comes to a man’s real nature, money is of first importance. Money is an exact index to a man’s true character. All through Scripture there is an intimate correlation between the development of a man’s character and how he handles his money.”
Why is that, do you suppose?
It may have to do with Jesus’ words in Matthew 6:
"Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
“Where your treasure is, there your heart is also.” Ouch.
Our hearts are too often tied to our money.
The passage we are exploring this morning gives us some important principles in the area of giving, and how to become people who allow God to use our pocketbooks for His glory rather than our own.
I ask that you hang on through the message, and not put on your “I’ve already heard all this before, Preacher” earplugs until I’m done, okay? I’d appreciate it.
Turn with me if you will to 2 Corinthians 9:6-15. If you are using the Bibles in the seats, this is found on page 820.
Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. 7 Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, 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 in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. 9 As it is written:
"He has scattered abroad his gifts to the poor; his righteousness endures forever."
10 Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness. 11 You will be made rich in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God.
12 This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of God’s people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God. 13 Because of the service by which you have proved yourselves, men will praise God for the obedience that accompanies your confession of the gospel of Christ, and for your generosity in sharing with them and with everyone else. 14 And in their prayers for you their hearts will go out to you, because of the surpassing grace God has given you. 15 Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!
There are three main principles I want to cover this morning. My purpose in giving this message is not to brow-beat you, but rather to encourage you to step out in faith and experience the wonder of giving to a God who blesses not only the gift, but the giver as well.
By the way, I’m not campaigning for a new building program, or anything like that, okay? I just think it’s time we had a message about giving, that’s all.
The first principle I want to focus on today is…
I. Giving originates with God.
The idea here is that anything we have, we have only because God gave it to us in the first place.
We have air to breathe only because He gives it. We have food to eat, and the ground to grow it in only because of God.
He gives it to us. We don’t deserve it. His grace makes it possible.
I want to focus on a couple things He makes possible through His grace, and the first is..
A. His grace makes survival possible.
Look back at verse 8:
And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.