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,

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