Summary: A believer’s giving is the barometer of their faith.
Faith That Gives
Jan. 8, 2006 FBC, Chester Mike Fogerson, Pastor
1 Low pressure-clouds/rain are coming in
2 High pressure-blue skies are starting to show
B Giving is a barometer for your spiritual growth
1 Giving is biblical (faithful)-see it in your life
2 Giving is unbiblical (unfaithful)-see it in your life
C I preach on stewardship every year for several reasons:
4 I don’t beg for money
5 Ministry costs money ($100-25,000 $250,000=most of the budget)
D One man comes to the top of the cream (Old/New Testament) when we look at faithfulness. Abraham.
1 By faith Abraham, when he was called, obeyed by going out to a place which he was to receive for an inheritance; and he went out, not knowing where he was going. 9 By faith he lived as an alien in the land of promise, as in a foreign land, dwelling in tents with Isaac and Jacob, fellow heirs of the same promise 17 By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises was offering up his only begotten son... Heb 11:8-9,17 (NASB) By faith
a Abraham wasn’t great because he was wealthy, good-looking, charitable-it was his faith in God!
b His life was a barometer that showed his faith in God.
2 Abraham (Abram) & Lot had parted company over a dispute over some pasture land.
a Lot went to Sodom & Gomorrah, Abram lived in Hebron
b Five kings from the north came & raided five kings in/around the area of Sodom & Gomorrah
aa v. 11 says they took all their feed
bb v. 12 says they also took Abraham’s nephew, Lot
c Abraham rounded up 318 of his ranch hands
aa Put deputy badges on them, put weapons in their hands & they go out after these 5 kings
bb They were successful (v.16)
3 Then after his return from the defeat of Chedorlaomer and the kings who were with him, the king of Sodom went out to meet him at the valley of Shaveh (that is, the King’s Valley). 18 And Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine; now he was a priest of God Most High. 19 He blessed him and said, "Blessed be Abram of God Most High, Possessor of heaven and earth; 20 And blessed be God Most High, Who has delivered your enemies into your hand." He gave him a tenth of all. 21 The king of Sodom said to Abram, "Give the people to me and take the goods for yourself." 22 Abram said to the king of Sodom, "I have sworn to the LORD God Most High, possessor of heaven and earth, 23 that I will not take a thread or a sandal thong or anything that is yours, for fear you would say, ’I have made Abram rich.’ 24 "I will take nothing except what the young men have eaten, and the share of the men who went with me, Aner, Eshcol, and Mamre; let them take their share." Gen 14:17-24 (NASB)
I Abraham recognized that God already owned it all.
A There are at least three ways God already owned it all...
1 He owns it by right of creation
a Scripture is crystal-clear that God is the Creator in creationism, the intelligence in intelligent design.
aa In the beginning God created... Gen 1:1 (NASB)
bb All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. John 1:3 (KJV)
cc For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things have been created through Him and for Him. Col 1:16 (NASB)
b What He makes, He owns!
2 He owns it by right of sustaining
a Some say God made the earth, wound up the clock, & stepped back...let the earth run itself.
b Col. 1:17 tells us different He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together. Col 1:17 (NASB)
c In other words, God holds it all together, keeps it going.
3 He owns it because He bought it.
a What Adam sinfully sold at the fall, Jesus lovingly brought back at the cross.
b A time is coming, according to Eph. 1 & Romans 8, when Jesus will restore EVERYTHING to its pre-fall condition.
B God owns everything we have.
1 When we give, we don’t give God anything He doesn’t already possess.
a He has placed within our care what we call our incomes
b God has given us every cent that has passed through our hands.
2 We can express our recognition of His ownership over everything by honoring Him with a faithful tithe back to Him.