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Summary: The dynamice example of the Macedonian Church propels us to consider several motivatinal keys to imulate the grace of giving by the brothers and sisters in the first Century

THE GRACE OF GIVING

INTRODUCTION:

1.II Cor. 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.”

2. Four kinds of givers:

· There is the covetous man – he gives but he resents it.

· There is the untouchable man – this man resents all teaching on giving.

· There is the unlearned man – but he can be taught.

· There is the liberal giver –He believes and does! What does the Bible say?

. I Cor. 16:2 On the first day of every week, each one of you should set aside a

sum of money in keeping with his income, saving it up, so that when I come no

collections will have to be made

II Cor. 9:6-7 Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and

whoever sows generously will also reap generously. 7Each man should give what he

has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a

cheerful giver.

Acts 4:32-35 All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any

of his possessions was his own, but they shared everything they had. 33With great

power the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and

much grace was upon them all. 34There were no needy persons among them. For

from time to time those who owned lands or houses sold them, brought the money

from the sales 35and put it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to anyone as he

had need

a. I love to play Monopoly: I got to own land –Boardwalk, Park Place: I get those green houses and replace them with Big Red houses. I love it when people land on my property…I show no mercy…..it is just a game…one of my friends got so frustrated, she said “lets just close the box.”

b. You can close the monopoly box but we need to open the Bible when it comes to money and giving.

3. No greater example was ever set forth then the brothers and sisters in the Macedonian Churches when it comes to giving. Note the Magnitude of their giving.

a. Vs 2 – gave out of severe trial

b. Vs 2 – gave out of overflowing joy

2.

c. Vs 2 --gave out of extreme poverty

d. Vs 3--gave as much as they were able

e. Vs 3--gave beyond their ability

f. Vs 4 --They pleaded with Paul to take their money

4. Yet, while we see this beautiful example, there is not a subject more dreaded,

more looked down upon, Preachers apologize, Members cringe.

5. When we look a the religious world, the Christian Church ranks 30th per capita in

giving.

· Mormons

· Pentecostals

· Baptist

· Free Methodist

· We are 30th. Sometimes we have majored in what the bible says instead of doing what the bible says. James urges us, “Be doers of the word and not hearers only.?

6. Jesus said more about money than any other subject. Why? Giving is the

thermometer of our Love!

a. If you want to be rich –give

b. If you want to be poor –grasp

c. If you want abundance –scatter

d. If you want to be needy –hoard

I Giving is an abused Grace!

A. Some have robbed good people out of millions of dollars

1. Give 7 million or God will kill me.

2. TV-evangelist –heard of a man that was sick –wrote him and told him to send $100 – and God would heal him, but the man had died prior to receiving the letter.

3. Jim Bakker empire fiasco.

II. Giving is a Neglected Grace!

A. The Bible teaches us to give on the first day of the week.

I Cor. 16:2 On the first day of every week, each one of you should set aside a

sum of money in keeping with his income, saving it up, so that when I come no

collections will have to be made

3.

1. We neglect due to the abuse of some never to preach on the subject and some do nothing but preach on giving… There should be a balance!

2. Members neglect to give If People would just Tip God! Illustrate

3. Comment on Bob Russell.

III. It is a Revealing Grace!

A. It reveals where your heart is Matt. 6:21 “Where your treasure is there your

heart will be also.” I have never seen a hearse pull a Uhaul!!!

IV. Giving sometimes is a Disgrace!

A .In Luke 12 -- a man produced a good crop. He said, I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones. I will have plenty of good things laid up for many years. Take life easy, eat, drink and be merry. “Thou fool, This very night your soul will be required of you. Verse 21-- “ This is how it will be with anyone who stores up things for himself and is not rich towards God.

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