Summary: God is expecting his children to give Him their highest degree of giving.
(My Anniversary sermon in Humayao Gospel Church, Dasmarinas, Cavite, Philippines)
Our key key word for our theme today is "best".
In my dictionary, the word "best" means having the highest degree of goodness or excellence of the quality or standing.
Paul wanted Christians to live with the highest degree of life when he said "Live an exemplary life" in 1 Tim. 4:12.
According to Swindoll: living beyond an ordinary life.
Jesus taught us "If you love those who loved you, what reward have you? Even the sinners do the same. And if you greet your brethren only, what do you do ’more than others’?
We should live beyond the level of ordinary people. That’s make you different!
I. The Kinds of Giving to God
One of the ministries of Paul was the taking up of "special offerings" for the poor Christians in Judea. He wanted this offerings strenthen the unity of the church of the Gentiles and the Jewish people.
This experience of Macedonian reveals the best examples of giving to God.
1. If we can give in times of "trials"
"severe trials" (v.2a)
Often our attitude is "I’ll do it next time" until we forgot it.
2. If we can give despite of "financial incapacity" (v.2b)
We often said, "The Lord knows my situation, He understand me"
3. If we can give "beyond our ability" (v.3)
"It was said that Mr. Ericsson of Colgate Palmolive Philippines, Inc. gave 90% of his income intead of 10% to God. He challenged the Lord by his sacrificial giving and God bless him more and more."
4. If we c an give "willingly" (v.3)
Sometimes we can comply with the above giving but most of the time we fail to give willingly.
II. The Laws of Giving to God
There are 3 laws of giving in order to experience the blessing of God.
1. The Law of Faith (vs.5,7a)
The law of possibility-that everything is possible through faith.
In fact, God uses finances to test us all the time. Have you ever had to make decision whether to pay your bill or give a tithe? This is a test. Gos is testing you to see how much you trust him. How much you believe.
There are two ways to give: You can give by faith, or you can give by fear. Giving by fear is when you say, "How much can I afford to give?". Giving by faith is when you say, "How much does God want me to give?".
Giving and faith go together. (vs.2-3, Heb. 11:4)
As Paul said "for we walk by faith and not by sight"(2 cor. 5:7). We give because we trust God that he will provide our needs. Our attitude is to put God first and believe that all things will be added.
2. The Law of Love (v.8)
The law of sacrifice-that you can do everything because of love.
Peter said: keep pervent in your love for one another, because love covers the multitude of sin (1 Pet.4:8)
Giving is a fruit of love. Paul said, "love compels us to do" (2cor.5:14) We give because love compels us.
Ask this to yourselves right now:
Why we can’t give to our brethren although we have money? Answer:Because we don’t lovethem.
And why we can give something to our loveones or children whatever they ask though we have no money? Answer: Because we love them so much!