Summary: A sermon on the motivations for giving (I believe the outline and seed thoughts came from John Maxwell)
Sermon for 10/31/2010
Giving That Feels Good
A. G's of the godly: Grace, Good News, Group, Growth, Gifts, and now giving.
B. Mainly we are going to be talking about giving of money. One time I prided myself on the fact that I only gave 1 sermon on giving of money a year. If I am going to be faithful to the Bible I better change and talk about it more.
F. If I get up and preach on church attendance, everyone would be happy. If I get up and preach on giving of our finances to God, some people are not happy. Why? Because they don't know the benefits of giving.
G. Some people are upset because there god is their money. We are a materialistic society.
Thesis: Let's examine 5 motivations for giving to God. We will start with the least desirable motive and work our way up to the best. We will discuss the strengths and weaknesses of each motive.
I. Guilt (Have to giving, feel bad if I don't give). Least desirable.
2 Corinthians 9:7- Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.
A. Not reluctantly or under compulsion
1. We should not feel forced to give, guilt cannot be a biblical motivator- but it is used a lot!
3. When I was in Christian radio, we had pledge campaigns. "Will these people just give so we can move onto what we like to do?"
* Many times it works.
1. After a while, the people don't want to be around us because we make them feel bad.
2. After a while, guilt no longer motivates and people grow calloused.
3. It does not bring joy and doesn't help people overcome materialism.
II. Responsibility ("Ought to" give)
2 Corinthians 8:6- So we urged Titus, since he had earlier made a beginning, to bring also to completion this act of grace on your part. 10And here is my advice about what is best for you in this matter: Last year you were the first not only to give but also to have the desire to do so. 11Now finish the work, so that your eager willingness to do it may be matched by your completion of it, according to your means.
A. Bring to completion
1. This passage implies a responsibility about giving. They started and need to finish.
2. Paul here is telling them that others have given like the Macedonians to this gift, so they should as well. They ought to because Paul planted the church and he wants them to give.
3. As a member of this church, need to take responsibility and give.
4. Studies on congregational giving indicate that 20% of the members give 80% of the funds, 30% give 20% and approximately 50% give nothing at all.
1. People need to take responsibility, a virtue.
3. We are not able to do this because of lack of money. Whose fault is that? The members.
2. We ask members to give 10% of their income to the Lord. This is biblical.
a. Malachi 3:10- Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this, says the Lord Almighty, and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it.
b. 1 Corinthians 16:2- On the first day of every week, each one of you should set aside a sum of money in keeping with his income, saving it up, so that when I come no collections will have to be made.
3. This is something to strive to do. But Giving solely out of responsibility limits the joy and the amount given considerably. Some ask the question, should I tithe off of the gross or the net?
4. When people give out of a strictly legalistic approach, it's easy to feel, "I've done my part."
5. The Pharisees gave even a tenth of their spices, no more than a tithe.
III. Needs ("Want to" giving to meet a pressing need)
2 Corinthians 8:13-15: Our desire is not that others might be relieved while you are hard pressed, but that there might be equality. At the present time your plenty will supply what they need, so that in turn their plenty will supply what you need. Then there will be equality, as it is written: He who gathered much did not have too much, and he who gathered little did not have too little.
A. Paul here is talking about giving money to the Christians in Judea because they were in great need. Many of them were starving.