Summary: Giving is an important aspect of the Christian life because it has capacity to provoke the blessings of God upon the giver, but most of us are not faithful in our giving.
Study text: I Corinthians 16:1-4
1 Cor 16:1-4: Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I have given order to the churches of Galatia, even so do ye.
2 Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come.
3 And when I come, whomsoever ye shall approve by your letters, them will I send to bring your liberality unto Jerusalem.
4 And if it be meet that I go also, they shall go with me.
-Do you believe you are doing all you can do as a Christian in the area of giving? What do you think hinders you from doing more? People have various reasons for not being faithful unto God in their giving. Some would say :
* If I had a better job, I’d be able to give more.
* If I could get out of debt, I would give more.
-Actually, what most people need is not more money, but more motivation! I have been praying that God will use this message to provide all of us some new motivation, so that we can improve and grow consistently in our giving in the kingdom of God.
- Our study text I Corinthians 16:1-4 is a strategic stewardship scripture that unfold certain hidden truth about the Christian and his giving life to us. As many that are willing to learn will experience transformation in their giving life.
- Here we can see Paul having the burden to issue a call to the Gentile churches to help the poor saints in the Jerusalem church.
- Rom 15:26-27: For it hath pleased them of Macedonia and Achaia to make a certain contribution for the poor saints which are at Jerusalem.
27 It hath pleased them verily; and their debtors they are. For if the Gentiles have been made partakers of their spiritual things, their duty is also to minister unto them in carnal things.
- This scriptures indicates it was looked upon as the repaying of a spiritual debt the Gentiles churches owed to the Jerusalem church as the first of all churches.
-In 1 Corinthians 16 there is An Exhortation - a command, a call to get believers involved in giving. Giving is a Christian responsibility and privilege like prayer and worship and fellowship. Those who are serious about their walk with God know generous giving is a truth straight from God’s Word and they give serious attention to it.
-I Corinthians 16:2 is one of those verses that sums up in a few words God’s eternal principles about giving.
1. As God hath prospered you.
-In the reverse standard vision this verse begins with As God. Do you understand that is how all giving on our part begins --- it begins with the presumption that God has blessed our lives!
-God is our ultimate provider - not your education, not your resume, not your company, not your personality - but God.
-And this God that you have come to know through Jesus Christ our Savior is a good and generous God! For in the reverse standard vision it says, "As God hath prospered you..."
CALLS FOR REFLECTION:
-God has given us health, a job, food, clothing, shelter, friends . . . see what God hath done! -This verse doesn’t say our giving starts when we become prosperous. It says our giving should immediately begin because God has prospered us. I Timothy 6:17 declares it is God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy.
-Some people are always "going to, someday, be able to give". I want to announce to you that your someday has arrived and you are able to give based on what God has already done for you.
-You don’t have to wait to give. It says we need to take in inventory of what God has done for us and on that basis give.
CALLS FOR REJOICING [CELEBRATION]:
-Giving is a means of celebrating the goodness and generosity of God. The Bible says in II Corinthians 9:7 that "God loveth a cheerful giver."
-The word "cheerful" there is from the Greek word hilaros which sounds almost like its English counterpart "hilarious." Why does God love a hilarious giver? Because the hilarious giver has figured out his real source (God) and his real status (blessed).
-Since we have been blessed we need to be a blessing. So there is, then, a call for Release.
CALLS FOR RELEASE:
2. Lay by him in store.
-We are to lay aside a percentage amount -10%. This is what everyone can and should give. There is not a person too rich or a person too poor who cannot at least give a tithe - 10% to the Lord.