Summary: Three key insights on giving from 2 Cor. 9:6-10 Is your seed in the barn? What are you afraid of? What’s in your wallet?
Did you know that in the Bible mentions:
• Pray or prayer 289 times,
• Love 363 times, and
• Give or giving 1043 times?
God has put a tremendous emphasis on giving in His word. Why?
Because we are naturally selfish and stingy so giving is hard for us, - But God challenges us to give
• Give of our time,
• Give of our finances
• Give our talents
As we do, we increase the kingdom of God here on this earth and receive material, spiritual and emotional blessings in our lives.
I want to bring to your attention three principles about giving this morning
• They are principles that I have learned from an Andy Stanley book entitled, “Fields of Gold” Which is the best book I have ever read on the subject of Giving.
• The book deeply moved me and I would like to share with the things the Holy Spirit emphasized to my heart as I read it
• Each principle is a question
• Main thoughts taken from 2 Cor. 9:6-10
• Please turn there with me & let’s read this passage
Is the Seed In The Barn?
2 Cor. 9:6-10 -- As we read this something is brought out clearly by the Lord
A. The Law of the Harvest applies to your finances
• Yes, the principle of sowing and reaping applies to your giving
We have to have a farming or gardening mentality when it comes to our finances
• This simple observation can revolutionize your perspective on generosity if you really take it to heart
What is the Law of the Harvest? Three simple things:
1) We reap later than we sow
• We don’t sow some seed and expect the next day for a plant to come up. It takes watering, sunshine and time
• So it is with our generosity. We do not reap a return immediately. It takes time, faith & thanksgiving
• But rest assured, just as a seed will produce a plant, your generosity will result in a return – just later
2) We reap more than we sow
• Plant an apple seed – that yields an apple tree
• That apple tree produces apples that all have many seeds in them
• The one seed will produce hundreds of apples, hundreds of seeds
• We are told here in no uncertain terms that this applies to our giving.
• 2 Cor 9:10 – “multiply the seed that is sown”
3) We reap in proportion of what we sow
“Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously” 2 Corinthians 9:6-7 (NIV)
• There is a correlation between how much you give and how much blessings you will receive.
• Just as in farming - The more you sow, the more you will reap
This principle has been taken to extremes – we hear of all kinds of crazy promises from radio and TV preachers –
“Send me a dollar and God will give you 10 back!”
This principle is wrongly used so as to make people think it is a way for God to make them rich.
• Kind of like a heavenly slot machine – put in a dollar, hit three bars and get a bucketful of money
• Paul wasn’t talking to people who were trying to get rich
• He wasn’t trying to get their money. He already had it
• He wants us to go beyond our fear of giving and cross the line to generosity.
• He wants us to know that it is safe to obey God and give.
• This is good news for people who have a problem with giving
When you give away something valuable, it feels like a loss.
• You had something, not you don’t – so you don’t feel motivated to give more
• Here the bible puts it is a different light, a way that we should think about giving
• It is saying that If we give to God’s work, you are not giving something away, but sowing a seed
• It is not a loss, but an investment that will bring returns
The farmer doesn’t lose seed when he plants it in the ground, he gains a crop.
Is Your Seed Still In the Barn? – show power pt. picture of seed sacks sitting in a barn
What rational farmer would say:
“I can’t sow my seed that I have in my barn, because then I would not have any seed any more. What would happen if I needed this seed?”
• Any farmer or gardener knows that if they want a crop, they have to sow their seed.
It doesn’t benefit him to stuff his pockets full, neither does it do any good to pray,