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Summary: This message looks at Christ as the model for our giving. Christ gave willingly, Joyfully, and Sacrificially. Our problem with giving is forgetting who gave first.

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GIVING MODELED AFTER CHRIST

JOHN 3:16

INTRODUCTION: I am amazed at some of the models in the Hobby Shops. Some of them are so expensive. Now, there are some cheap ones there, but if you really want a good and accurate model – it is going to cost you some money! You see, ultimately the model is only as good as the original it is modeled against. If you have a good original, then you will have a good model. If you have a bad original, then you will have a bad model.

Many of the things we have learned and now do, whether habits, behaviors, or activities are foundationally “modeled” activities.

Even Jesus modeled activity -- John 5:19-20 Jesus gave them this answer: "I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does. 20For the Father loves the Son and shows him all he does. Yes, to your amazement he will show him even greater things than these.

As believers, our lives are supposed to be modeled AFTER Jesus. We are to do what we see Him doing! Jesus modeled EVERY area of life for us – EVEN giving!

I would like to share with you three ways in which Jesus modeled giving, and how we should model giving:

Jesus modeled giving WILLINGLY

Jesus modeled giving JOYFULLY

Jesus modeled giving SACRIFICIALLY

I GIVING MODELED AFTER CHRIST IS GIVING WILLINGLY

John 3:16 "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

A Willingness is based on love

1 For God “SO LOVED” the world

a “BECAUSE” – for this reason

2 Giving to a need is based on my love for that need

a God gave because he loved me

b God gave because He knew what sin would do to me

THE GREATER THE LOVE – THE GREATER THE GIFT!

B Willing giving is based on the intended results

1 God gave so we might believe

Romans 5:8 But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

2 God gave so that we might have life

1 John 3:1 How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him.

WE WILL NOT GIVE BIBLICALLY IF WE ARE NOT GIVING WILLINGLY!

FOR A GIFT TO BE A GIFT IT MUST BE GIVING WILLINGLY – AN UNWILLING GIFT IS LITTLE MORE THAN A TAX DEDUCTION

IF I HAVE NO SENSE OF RESULT MY GIVING HAS NO MEANING!

II GIVING MODELED AFTER JESUS IS GIVING JOYFULLY

Hebrews 12:1-2 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. 2Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

A Sin AMBUSHES joy

1 We get entangled (the word means encircled) – surrounded

2 If there is a sinful facet of an activity, we cannot have joy or be joyful in that same activity.

a Adultery and Marriage

b Finances and Giving

3 If we are not tithing – then we are sinning in the area of giving

a We cannot give joyfully to the church because fundamentally we think what we have is ours.

b Here is what God says:

Malachi 3:8 "Will a man rob God? Yet you rob me. "But you ask, ’How do we rob you?’ "In tithes and offerings.

1) We are stealing from God

2) The tithe is NOT mine to use!

4 If we are gambling we are sinning

a We are asking God to bless a sinful activity – “Oh, if I just won, I would give to the church.”

b We are unsatisfied with what we have and our wants exceed our needs.

Proverbs 28:19-20 He who works his land will have abundant food, but the one who chases fantasies will have his fill of poverty. 20A faithful man will be richly blessed, but one eager to get rich will not go unpunished.

ILLUSTRATION: One of most unusual sights in Haiti is all the “banks” along the road. Some little more than shacks, they dot the roads. Boldly painted on each building is the words, “bank – Guarantee”. When I asked about all of these banks – quite unusual for the poorest country in the northern hemisphere, I was told that these were not banks at all but places where people could bet on the lottery numbers in America. If they won, the place guaranteed to pay

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