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Summary: A simple but profound little sermon delivered on Family Sunday--gently challenging us to reflect: does giving to God make me smile? Several Object lessons and stories were used, keeping the many children in mind.

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When all the fruit and vegetables and grain are ready to pick, we say

• “The Harvest is reaaaadddyyyyy!!!! The harvest is what you get for sowing seed!

• If you plant a little . . . you get little!

• If you plant a LOT . . . you GET a LOT!!

That is just like a giver!

• If you give a little . . . you get little!

• If you give a LOT . . . you GET a LOT!!

• You get a Harvest of RICHES

What kind of riches do we harvest?

• Is God going to give all cheerful givers 10 new Playstation 3’s, 5 laptops, 26 pets, a mansion and a private jet and a Ferrari (really cool, red hot car . . . ) and maids and butlers? NO . . . even though he can.

• But you can trust he will give you what you need . . . so you don’t have to worry. If you worry, you can’t be cheerful.

o Givers (moms and dads, friends . . . ) are you worrying? Don’t! God’s hand is on you, especially cheerful givers.

Debt-Ridden Couple Learns to Give First to God

In a sermon on giving, a former fellow college student, Dave Ferguson, pastor of Community Christian Church in Naperville, Illinois, read this letter from Jeff and Julie, who attend the church:

[They were in a bad situation. They had no money and owed everybody.

• We were behind

o in our rent and

o our car payments.

o We had back-IRS payments,

o 16 credit cards with more than $40,000 in debt,

• and not enough food in the fridge to keep our tummies full.

o on occasion Julie and I were so broke that we ended up going to a friend’s restaurant to ask for free food.

• And on top of all that, we decided to start a business.

[They were trying to figure out how they could give to the church]

After prayer and discussion, we decided that God would get the first portion of every check . . . We learned to make God the first priority in our lives, and we had no idea how we’d get by.

During the week after this decision, my brother and I were dropping off flyers at a construction site looking for work. We’d started a carpentry company. We met a builder, and he asked if we would be interested in doing their work. He had a house that was ready for us to start immediately and about twenty more to do during the next twelve months.

[They realized how good God was to them and decided to give even more.] No one told them they had to give more. They just wanted to (, Dave Ferguson, pastor of Community Christian Church in Naperville, Illinois, from sermon "Here Is My Investment Strategy")

SHOW the offering bags:

We “take an offering” every week because we are glad God has blessed us.

I can’t promise how God will bless you. I can’t say how much will be money, how much will be other needs. I do know that Paul IS reassuring the Corinthians that they will be blessed enough with money or things, but he is also saying they will be enriched in many ways:

• They will be enriched because they know that the people they help will be so happy that they will praise and thank God

• That the people they help will be so glad and thankful, they will pray for the givers. They will pray and pray and pray for the givers and ask God to bless them with their needs.

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