Summary: The earthquake in Haiti calls God’s people to a higher standard of giving.
January 17, 2010
Text: 2 Corinthians 9:6-15
Subject: Providing Assistance for the Needy
Title: Giving For the Kingdom
As we all know from the news reports this week, the nation of Haiti is in turmoil from the magnitude 7 earthquake that hit on Tuesday of this week. A nation that is the poorest nation in the Western Hemisphere, where the average annual earnings is $1,800.00. It is a nation that is plagued by government corruption – a nation also plagued by daily murder, rape, and other acts of violence on an hourly basis.
On the surface the official national religion of Haiti is Catholicism. Beneath the surface lies a dark religion that lurks as the true national religion of Haiti – Voodoo. In Haiti, voodoo coexists with Catholicism. In fact Voodoo incorporates Catholic prayer and ritual in its practices – not to the pleasure of the Roman Catholic church.
The Assemblies of God have two missionary families in Haiti. One of our missionaries is the son of Pastor David Lloyd of Calvary Assembly in Winfield, MO. As of the latest report we have received both missionary families are safe.
You’ve heard the president saying that he was pledging $150 billion to the relief effort. Unfortunately, in a country where corruption abounds you can rest assured that the amount that will go to the relief effort will be far less than that. Much of it will go into the pockets of corrupt government officials.
However, we have an opportunity to provide assistance through our Assemblies of God relief efforts in conjunction with Convoy of Hope. Our financial aid will provide food, clean water through filtration systems, and medical supplies to those in great need.
Above and beyond that, the doors are now wide open for the gospel of Jesus Christ to infiltrate the island nation like never before and it will be done through these relief efforts from church organizations. The walls have been literally broken down and the people of the voodoo religion can no longer trust their “spirits”, who could not provide them protection from devastation, but now may turn to a loving God who is at work through His people in providing for their needs.
At the end of the service today I will ask you to prayerfully and generously provide for this special need through your giving, so that the gospel may go forth in action and in truth.
2 Corinthians 9:6-15. (prayer)
Why do we give?
I. WE GIVE BECAUSE SOWING PRODUCES REAPING. 6Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously I want to begin by reminding you of one of the things that we talked about last week. For every promise and every biblical principle found in the bible there is a God-side and a man-side. In order for us to understand the man-side we need to get a deeper understanding of what the God-side is. In this case we are talking about giving – sowing seed. So let’s look at our responsibility in this. First, we are supposed to be like God. 2 Corinthians 3:17-18, 17Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. 18And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit. Second, If that is the case, then the way we sow should be the way that God sows. He gave His only Son and in doing so billions have come to Him as adopted sons and daughters. We also should be willing to give our best to further the kingdom of God if, in fact, we truly are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory. The God-side is that God gives to us – remember from last week? – God’s gives to us generously/liberally and richly and He gives freely. The man-side is that we should strive to be like Him in all areas of our lives including the way we give. Another aspect of the God side is that He has promised that if we give generously (the same way He did) we will sow generously. . 7Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. Look at the phrase, what he has decided in his heart… When we talk about the heart we mean the center of a man – what He is on the inside; the spirit of a man. So when we give our responsibility is not to give in order to satisfy self. Our giving should always be what we feel led in the spirit to give. …what he has decided… isn’t talking about a decision that has come from the mind or the psuche of a man. He has decided or purposed in his heart or in the spirit man (pneuma), so he is giving as he is led by the Spirit. If you are doing that then your giving will not be under compulsion of the flesh or outside pressure from someone else but is under the influence of the Spirit. Listen to me on this. The Holy Spirit will never ask you to give more than He is willing to give back. As a matter of fact, He will always give back more than you gave. It’s the Law of the Harvest. Mark 4:20, Others, like seed sown on good soil, hear the word, accept it, and produce a crop—thirty, sixty or even a hundred times what was sown.” Seed that is sown according to the Spirit is always sown on good soil and will produce great returns. 8And 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. 9As it is written: “He has scattered abroad his gifts to the poor; his righteousness endures forever.” Sow in the Spirit and 1) God is able to make all grace abound… That tells me that if you sow according to the flesh without being led by the Spirit then you hinder God’s work I your life. 2) You will have everything that you need. Philippians 4:19, And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus. 3) Everything you do will prosper. …you will abound in every good work…. The word translated “abound” means, “to super abound” or “to be in excess”. Verse 9, As it is written: “He has scattered abroad his gifts to the poor; his righteousness endures forever.” If we are supposed to be like God, if we are supposed to give in accordance to the prompting of the Spirit, if we are to receive abundantly above what we have given, then we have to give the same way God gave… He has scattered abroad his gifts to the poor…