Summary: Our motive and mode of giving matters to God.
GRACE & GIVING
Christians should take seriously the discipline of giving for the Lord’s ministry. Others thought that this is optional and can be replaced by other forms of service. But the Bible is clear that giving materially for the Lord’s work is equal in importance compare to that of faith and love for the Lord and others.
SEE 2 Corinthians 8:7 But just as you excel in everything-- in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in complete earnestness and in your love for us--see that you also excel in this grace of giving.
This morning I would like to speak on the subject of grace and giving. God is so gracious to us in many ways and He desires the same attitude from us by giving and supporting His agenda in this world. The church was commissioned to continue Christ’s work until He returns and it requires our financial and personal support.
In the Old Testament, the Israelites were commissioned to be a blessing to other nations by being obedient to God and proclaiming His grace and mercy. The work is spearheaded by the priests and the temple activities. The giving of tithes and offerings are not just an Old Testament practice. During the time of Christ, they still practice this discipline of giving and in fact He took it seriously.
Please open your Bibles to Mark 12:41-44 and let us find out why we should take giving seriously. (Read the text).
We need to take giving seriously because OUR MOTIVE AND MODE OF GIVING MATTERS TO GOD.
1. OUR GIVING MATTERS TO GOD (v. 41)
41Jesus went over to the collection box in the Temple and sat and watched as the crowds dropped in their money.
In the temple, there is a section called court of the women which both men and women were allowed to come, and where the temple treasury was located. The Bible says that Jesus sat down on a bench where he could watch the people bring their offerings and put them in one of the thirteen trumpet-shaped collection boxes used for the purpose receiving various dues, tithes, and freewill offerings of the people. These offerings would be used to sustain the temple worship and other services. His observation was:
DELIBERATE – He intentionally took a bench and observed how people give.
COMPREHENSIVE – He observed everyone. No one had escaped his attention. Even the poor widow.
What do you think? Is God observing the way we give today? I believe He does. Worship is our response to God’s revelation of Himself and God’s participation in our lives by sustaining and securing each one of us. In worship, we express our gratefulness through prayer, praise, and giving of offerings.
The movement of our activities in worship is from self to God. The attitude is not what we can get but what we are ready to give to God as an expression of worship. When we sincerely have this attitude, then God will reveal His glory and will to His people. Part of this attitude is seen in our practice of giving. Our giving matters to God. And He looks at each one of us, not only what we give, how we give, and why we give.
Why do you think God take seriously our giving?
2 Corinthians 9:10-11 Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness. You will be made rich in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God.
a. Giving is an evidence of God’s providence – We are able to give because He provides. He owns everything in this world and makes everything productive so we can benefit and be His instruments.
b. Giving is an implementation of God’s will - God supply and increase our resources so we can do the will of God – to expand His kingdom and bless the lives of others.
c. Giving is an evidence of good stewardship – Material blessings should be used appropriately. It requires planning and budgeting. In His budget sheet, He stipulated that 10% of His wealth is to be used for his kingdom agenda while 90% is for your personal needs.
Leviticus 27:30 A tithe of everything from the land, whether grain from the soil or fruit from the trees, belongs to the LORD; it is holy to the LORD.
Sometimes an individual fails to give his tithes not because he does not have anything but because of poor stewardship. Perhaps he spent more than 90% that God allocated for him. Remember – our giving matters to God due to following reasons – God’s providence, God’s will, and Good Stewardship.