Summary: Sermon Series on greater giving, generosity and tithing
Greater Generosity, by Pastor Rob Ketterling
Well, today we are starting a new series, and it's dealing with giving and with generosity. As I was looking for a title for this series, I just was reminded that Greater is the theme of our year. It is not just Greater Presence, which was a great series that we just finished. Greater is our theme. It's a year to see all that God has for us and all that he wants us to step into, so I simply named this Greater Generosity. Kept it simple, kept it easy. Because I'm really believing that this is a year that we are going to step up in our giving, step up in our generosity and see God's hand at work in such a special way.
And I want to let you know that I always look forward to this series. We do a giving series every year at about this time, and I look forward to it. I know some churches, they don't like to preach about money. Some people are shy about it. I'm not. I enjoy it. I have seen God's hand of blessing on my life since the very first time I was given an allowance and I gave ten percent to the Lord. I'll never forget, I was in church, and I just remember the offering for the kids was a little church building that had a little slot on the top, and it was a white church. How many know what I'm talking about? Yeah, it was just fun. I was like, "I'm giving to God. I put it in the church." And it was so exciting to do that. So I love talking about it. I have seen God's hand of blessing on my life. I see it on our kids. I see it everywhere. But I'm surprised at how many churches don't like to do this and talk about giving.
I was also shocked, because I've been reading a lot of Charles Spurgeon's sermons. He was a great, great preacher. Thousands of sermons. And I was looking for some of his stuff on giving, and there is very little. And even when he'd preach on giving, it was always like, you know, "I'm really sorry. God wouldn't let me preach on anything else. I have to talk to you about giving, and I'll get back to the other stuff next week."
And I'm more like, "I love giving!" And it's just kind of funny that this guy who was so bold was kind of like so apologetic there. And I think it's because it really hits people where they live. You can talk about a lot of things in life, and you might cheer me on on a topic that has nothing to do with you, but I expect God to do surgery on this giving series, okay? If you don't amen me, I'm still okay with this series, all right? All right. And I'm believing that one of our campuses is amening me.
Anyway, here is the thing. Money has a lot to do with our heart. The Bible tells us in Matthew 6:21, Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. The Bible is very clear that you can't serve two masters. You can't serve God and money. And Jesus was speaking there and he says, "Hey, where your treasure is, wherever you put that, your heart is going to follow it." If you start putting your treasure, your tithe, your talent, your treasure somewhere, and all of a sudden your heart is going to follow after that. And that's why it affects us so much. Jesus had more to say about giving than heaven and hell combined. It is a very, very serious topic.
We know, again, it is going to be something that is going to hit us. But our church is doing so well, and I want to see us be greater. I want us to do better. I want us to have what I said on Vision Weekend; it's a six arrow year, which means complete victory. I want us to go higher than we've been. I talked to our business administrator. And I wish the numbers were higher, but the national average is about three percent of a church will tithe and give ten percent of their income. Our church is somewhere between 15 and 18 percent of the church, which puts us way above the national average. But that means there is a lot of people that still need to have surgery, so we are going to dig into this, all right?
But we do all that we do at church people say, "How does River Valley do it all?"
It's because so many people have stepped up and said, "You can count on me. I'm going to be a tither. I'm going to give ten percent of my income to the work of the Lord. And I'm going to start with that giving and then go over and above that."