Summary: In this message we will discuss everyone's favorite spiritual growth habit... The habit of GIVING...
The Habit Of Giving
When they grew up, Abel became a shepherd, while Cain cultivated the ground.3 When it was time for the harvest, Cain presented some of his crops as a gift to the LORD. Abel also brought a gift—the best portions of the firstborn lambs from his flock. The LORD accepted Abel and his gift, but he did not accept Cain and his gift. This made Cain very angry, and he looked dejected. – Genesis 4:2—5
Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, 20 but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal.21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. – Matthew 6:19-21
Jesus sat down near the collection box in the Temple and watched as the crowds dropped in their money. Many rich people put in large amounts. Then a poor widow came and dropped in two small coins. Jesus called his disciples to him and said, “I tell you the truth, this poor widow has given more than all the others who are making contributions. For they gave a tiny part of their surplus, but she, poor as she is, has given everything she had to live on. - Mark 12:41-44
NOW FOR – several weeks we have being talking about several habits that if you embrace and live thme out will help you to GROW UP in your salvation…
SO – does anyone out there want to grow up?
AND SO FAR – we have looked at, the habits of…
• Regular church attendance
• Doing life together
• Sending time in God’s Word
• Talking to God in prayer (A.C.T.S)
• Having a daily quiet time (R.E.L.A.X.)
AND THIS MORNING (9/8/19) – we are going to be looking at the 6th and final habit… The Habit Of Giving…
QUESTION – how does the topic of (giving/money) make you feel?
• Defensive, afraid, uncomfortable…
Does it make you wish you stayed home…
YEAH - what a day to come to church, right?
NOW - I think one of the main reasons why money is such an uncomfortable topic, at its core, is a fundamental and basic misunderstanding of the Christian faith.
Let me explain. IMAGINE - if you will, that your life is a dresser…
NOW HERE’S HOW – many people think about their faith…
WE THINK – that our faith is simply one of the drawers in the dresser of life. YEAH - you know, it’s one of many drawers.
AND THERE’S - the relationship drawer, the work drawer, the recreation drawer.
AND THEN - there’s the money drawer, and then of course there’s the faith drawer.
AND – we may even make that the top drawer.
AND SO - we’re okay with coming to church and letting the preacher open up the faith drawer, because that fits. That makes sense.
“And so, yeah, go ahead preacher. Open up the faith drawer…. rummage around if you want, after all we are at church.
HOWEVER - if a preacher tries to open up the money drawer, there’s a good chance he’s going to get his fingers slammed, right? BECAUSE - church is a place where we talk about faith and, okay, maybe relationships (if it does not get too uncomfortable), but money?
NOW THAT’S - a different category, a different compartment altogether.
BUT B/S – here’s what we need to understand.
THE MOMENT - we start compartmentalizing our faith we are no longer talking about the Christian faith, because the core of the Christian faith is the ‘all inclusiveness’ of the lordship of Jesus Christ.
OKAY – what I am trying to say, and I am not sure I am sayng all that well…
IS THAT WHEN - when we, as Christians, say, “Jesus, You are my Lord and my Savior,” we are in effect saying,
“Jesus, You are my life…
AND - my faith is not merely a drawer instead is the dresser that all the other drawers of my life fit into.
BECAUSE - every area of my life is under the authority of Jesus Christ, is under His lordship.
R U tracking with me…?
THEREFORE - the minute we start saying, “No, my faith is just a drawer; it’s just a compartment,” we’re no longer talking about the Christian faith… AND THAT’S WHEN - talking about things like money in church can become a little bit uncomfortable because we have failed to understand that He’s in charge of that, too.
One of the authors I read this week in preparation for this message wrote…
“Anytime we compartmentalize our relationships with God, we create problems. Lordship is all encompassing. We cannot make certain things off-limits to the Lordship of Christ.