Summary: This sermon gives the top ten reasons why to think of giving as a good thing.
March 25, 2001 2 Corinthians 8-9
“Top ten reasons to think of giving as a good thing”
1. It shows your TRUST in God to take CARE of you. (8:2; 9:8)
2. It is a recognition of the fact that God OWNS us. (8:5)
3. It helps to make sure that no one GOES WITHOUT. (8:13-15) cf. Acts 4:32-35
4. It is an INVESTMENT with GUARANTEED returns. (9:6)
The stock market has taken a dive over the last 2 weeks.
But what if you were given a tip on a sure-fire mutual fund in the stock market on which you were guaranteed a huge return. How would you respond to that opportunity? You would beg, borrow or steal to find the funds to invest for the privilege of getting involved.
When we put money in the offering plate, we think of it as money gone. But instead, thank of it as an investment. You will see it again, and it will be multiplied many-fold. That makes it a little easier to give.
(Prov 11:24 NIV) One man gives freely, yet gains even more; another withholds unduly, but comes to poverty.
Usually high return requires high risk. With God, there is no risk, but there is high return. (Mat 6:19-20 NIV) "Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal.
5. It makes God HAPPY. (9:7)
Just because you can’t be cheerful about giving doesn’t give you justification for not giving.
The cheerfulness doesn’t usually happen when you first start giving. It takes a while.
But it really takes a hold of you when you get to see the impact that your giving has on the lives of people.
6. It provokes THANKSGIVING to God. (9:11)
7. It gives evidence that you have truly SUBMITTED yourself to God in ALL things. (9:13)
One preacher of the past has said that the checkbook is the last part of a person to get saved.
8. It is an act of OBEDIENCE to God. (Mal. 3:8-12)
God commands it.
Obedience is a good thing.
Failure to give is actually stealing from God.
God gives a standard for the level of giving that He expects. The tithe equals 10%.
“I don’t like a standard. I’m going to give what I can afford or what I want to give."
You accept standards in other things. In a restaurant, you give at least 10% to the waitress, and that’s if she’s done a bad job. If she did a good job, you give 15%. Many people give more to the waitress who only served them food that she didn’t even prepare than they do to the God who made them.
It’s tax time. How would the government like it if you set your own standard for what percentage you were willing to pay on your taxes? They would be sending an I.R.S. agent to your door!
9. It helps to carry on the WORK of God around the WORLD.
10. It puts us in good COMPANY. (8:1-4; 8:9; 9:15)
Other believers (8:1-4); the members of the Macedonian church, the widow’s mite, the boy who gave his lunch in order that 5000 might be fed, the ones who have given in order that we might exist as a church and keep on paying our bills.
The Father (9:15)
Each of these persons gave out of limited resources. The believers gave out of their need. They didn’t have a surplus of money that would allow them to give without it really costing them anything. Their giving was a sacrifice. When it comes to Jesus, though He had all the resources of heaven, He had only one life. He gave that which He had the least of. And with the Father, He owns the cattle on a thousand hills, but He only had one Son.
All of these gifts were sacrifices. In fact, it is only sacrificial giving that really catches God’s attention and pleases Him. David, the second king of Israel, knew this principle. When he was searching for a place where Solomon his son could build a temple for God, he was offered a piece of land for free. We’re looking for land right now. How would we react if someone offered us a piece for free? We’d say, “Hallelujah!” But that’s not how David reacted: “…I will not sacrifice to the Lord my God burnt offerings that cost me nothing.” (2 Sam. 24:24)
The boy who gave his lunch to Jesus, the widow who gave her all, the Macedonians who gave out of their poverty, King David, Jesus, God the Father – sounds like a pretty impressive group of people. Would you like to be counted in that group? All of them were givers – sacrificial givers.