Summary: Second of three messages dealing with giving and money.
Every Christian serious about a deeper walk with God and greater impact in our world must incorporate some disciplines indented to increase capacity for a deeper walk as a way of life.
One such discipline has to do with personal sacrifice. Someone estimate that 17% of what Jesus said related to wealth and money. Scripture boldly addresses issues related to money – perhaps more than many other subjects. Its mention would at least rank in the top ten most addressed topics of the Bible. Paul clearly warned of its destructive power.
For the love of money is a root of all sorts of evil, and some by longing for it have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs. 1 Timothy 6:7-10
Jesus drew clear lines when it comes to money.
"No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth. Matthew 6:24
The only way to prevent money from capturing our heart is to become stewards rather than owners. We need to become conduits rather than consumers. We need to be motivated by grace not greed. The only way to do that is to develop a healthy habit of giving.
"The kingdom of heaven is like a treasure hidden in the field, which a man found and hid again; and from joy over it he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field. Matthew 13:44
We are reluctant to give sacrificially because we have not discovered the treasure. Where are you storing your treasure?
I.Benefits of Faithful giving
A. Develops and demonstrates devotion to God.
B. Provides for eternity and binds the heart to eternal concerns
C. Releases the heart to fully serve God.
D. Brings satisfying eternal reward now and later.
E. Develops unity among believers
F. Reflects the giving nature of our Heavenly Father
Understanding the benefits of faithful regular giving is only a part of embracing the discipline.
We need to know and embrace some basic Biblical fundamental financial principles.
II.General Financial Principles
A. Proper approach to Wealth
1. Realize that all wealth belongs to God
"But you shall remember the LORD your God, for it is He who is giving you power to make wealth, that He may confirm His covenant which He swore to your fathers, as it is this day. Deuteronomy 8:18
It is the blessing of the LORD that makes rich, and He adds no sorrow to it. Proverbs 10:22
2.Invest in eternal pursuits.
"Do not lay up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal; for where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. Matthew 6:19-21
storing up for themselves the treasure of a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is life indeed. 1 Tim. 6:19
"But God said to him, ’You fool! This very night your soul is required of you; and now who will own what you have prepared?’ "So is the man who lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God." Luke 12:20-21
You ask and do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, so that you may spend it on your pleasures. James 4:3
I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need. I can do all things through Him who strengthens me. Philip. 4:12-13
For we have brought nothing into the world, so we cannot take anything out of it either. And if we have food and covering, with these we shall be content. But those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a snare and many foolish and harmful desires which plunge men into ruin and destruction. 1 Tim. 6:7-9
Let your character be free from the love of money, being content with what you have; for He Himself has said, "I WILL NEVER DESERT YOU, NOR WILL I EVER FORSAKE YOU," Hebrews 13:5
4.Share with those in need
Let him who steals steal no longer; but rather let him labor, performing with his own hands what is good, in order that he may have something to share with him who has need. Ephes. 4:28
We know love by this, that He laid down His life for us; and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. But whoever has the world’s goods, and beholds his brother in need and closes his heart against him, how does the love of God abide in him? 1 John 3:16-17