Summary: Here's a sermon to preach when your congregation needs to hear about giving to help the poor. It includes a true story to keep them interested.
God's Hand in Giving
38 Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you."
What's your definition of Christianity?
Here's the definition according to Jesus: give, give, give.
John 3:16, "For God so loved the world that He gave. . .
Matthew 20:26, "The Son of Man came not to be served but to serve and to give His life as a ransom for many."
Jesus said in Matthew 5:42
Give to him who asks you, and from him who wants to borrow from you do not turn away.
Going further in the New Testament, we find these words:
Romans 6;23, "For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus."
Romans 8:34, "He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things?"
I have a story to tell you today
about a man named George Whitfield
This story takes us to England back in the 1700s.
Whitfield was going from town to town preaching the gospel.
One day as he was preparing to leave for his next preaching engagement,
he met a mother struggling to feed her family.
She was also about to be evicted for not paying rent.
Whitfield decided to help the woman.
He gave her ten guineas, all the money he had in his wallet.
That was a lot of money in those days
and by giving it away, Whitfield had nothing.
Whitfield and his companion rode off on horseback
toward the next town.
The man riding with him was angry with Whitfield.
Whitfield no longer had enough money to care for himself.
The companion thought Whitfield was foolish
to give his last few guineas towards the woman's rent.
The anger burst out in conversation as the two rode on.
The companion told Whitfield how irresponsible he had been.
Jesus Loves Those Who Give With The Right Attitude
So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver.
Our hesitancy to give
tells Jesus where our hearts are.
Remember the rich young ruler?
He wanted to become a follower of Jesus.
What did Jesus tell him?
Then Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, "One thing you lack: Go your way, sell whatever you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, take up the cross, and follow Me." 22But he was sad at this word, and went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions. 23Then Jesus looked around and said to His disciples, "How hard it is for those who have riches to enter the kingdom of God!"
Jesus doesn't expect us to sell everything we have
and give it to the poor.
He doesn't want all of our money
He wants our hearts.
Jesus says in Matthew 6:19-21
"Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; 20but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
George Whitfield was laying up treasurers in heaven
when he helped that poor widow.
What treasurers have we been laying up in heaven?
OR...do we have an attitude like the man who was traveling with Whitfield?
Jesus also tells of a widow who gave all.
Now Jesus sat opposite the treasury and saw how the people put money into the treasury. And many who were rich put in much. 42Then one poor widow came and threw in two mites, which make a quadrans. 43So He called His disciples to Himself and said to them, "Assuredly, I say to you that this poor widow has put in more than all those who have given to the treasury; 44for they all put in out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty put in all that she had, her whole livelihood."
You see...it isn't the amount that we give.
It's how much of what we have that we give that counts.
Jesus wants us to have faith in Him.
He wants us to trust Him.
Jesus said in Matthew 7:2
with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you.
Our giving reflects our faith.
Riding between towns was dangerous in England in the 1700s.
Poverty forced many men to become a "highway man."