Just Announced: Philippians Sermon Series

Summary: Much of the world today believes that Christianity is a big rip off—and it can be if what we preach is unbalanced or partial to the whims of the preacher. GIVING IS NOT A LAW--WE SHOULD GIVE BECAUSE WE LOVE GOD!

If you use any or all of this message--would you be willing to fire off a quick email to:pastorjerryvargo@juno.com? I would like to have an idea of how often my sermons are actually being preached to strengthen the Body of Christ. Thanks!

Giving God’s Way

By Pastor Jerry C. Vargo

Opening Story

A man called the church and asked if he could speak to the Head Hog at the Trough. The secretary said, "Who?" "I want to speak to the Head Hog at the Trough!" Knowing she had heard right, she said, "Sir, if you mean our pastor, you will have to treat him with more respect--and ask for ’The Reverend’ or ’The Pastor.’ But surely you cannot refer to him as the Head Hog at the Trough!" "Oh, I’m sorry," the man replied. "I just happen to have ten thousand dollars I was thinking about donating to the Building Fund." At which point the secretary said, "Hold the line, sir—I think the Big Pig just walked through the door."

--James S. Hewett

“A Gallop Poll of Church Members reported that 17% say that they tithe-- but only 3% actually do. 40% will give nothing in a year. 91% say they make more money than they ever have in their life. 71% of pastors believe that church members have changed from stewards into consumers.”

I. Introduction.

A. Much of the world today believes that Christianity is a big rip off—and it can be if what we preach is unbalanced or partial to the whims of the preacher.

B. In ministry, I try to preach what I have lived or am currently trying to live—in other words, I preach from experience.

C. I strive to serve you well by bringing a balance of topics that help us all live the walk in a way that honors God.

D. With this in mind, I have felt that God wanted me to teach on a subject that I do not preach on very often.

E. Today, I want to teach on the importance of giving! Not token giving—you know…giving $10 bucks to ease our conscience. No, I want us to look at Giving God’s Way—Tithing!

F. If we give our way—it will most often fall short of what God commands. If we give God’s way—it will result in awesome results.

G. Listen, as Christians we tithe (the giving of 10%) because we understand that God owns it all anyway!

H. The unbeliever (or the carnal Christian) does not give or (tithe) for numerous reasons—too many to cover here…but a few reasons are…

Lack of Knowledge of God’s Word on the subject (sometimes purposely)!

Hosea 4:6

"My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge…"

Lack of Trust in God’s ability (or willingness) to meet our financial needs!

Philippians 4:19

"My God shall supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus."

Twisting God’s Word in such a way that we convince ourselves that tithing is not for today!

Hebrews 13:8

"Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today, yes and forever."

I. And so—on and on it goes. However, let me tell you something—If you are not a tither—it is you who are missing the blessing. God does not need your money—He owns the cattle on a thousand hills.

J. Today, I want to encourage you to keep tithing if you currently do—and start tithing if you do not. I mean—WHY WOULD YOU CHOOSE TO MISS THE FULNESS OF GOD’S BLESSINGS?

K. So, with that as my introduction, let me say to you that this may be an approach to tithing that you have never heard before. It might be the nicest sermon you have ever heard on the subject.

II. Body.

A. I do not know about you, but I am so tired of hearing sermons about tithing and giving that somehow make me feel like jumping off the Empire State building!

B. You know what I mean right? It seems like most messages I have ever heard on tithing—by the end of the message I feel like I am the biggest loser on earth…

I do not give enough.

I have robbed God.

I am excessively materialistic.

My motives are selfish.

I do not care about the work of God.

Lastly…I am probably not even saved!

C. These pastors or evangelists have really done the Body of Christ a great disservice. Why? Let me just mention a couple of reasons…

They have convinced the world that we Christians are all after the world’s money (Can I just say that God or I doesn’t NEED their money).

They have misrepresented the heart of the Father with respect to giving (convincing us that giving is the LAW –and it is NOT).

I believe they have actually turned the Body of Christ off to the subject of giving—actually causing a decrease in giving rather than an increase.

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