Summary: Attitude in giving is more important to God than the amount. What should my attitude be when giving to God’s work?
TALK ABOUT MONEY AND YOU CANT WIN
Run after money and you are materialistic.
Don’t get it and you are looked on as a loser.
Get it and keep it and you are a miser.
Don’t try to get it and you lack ambition.
Get money and spend it and you are a spendthrift.
Still have it at the end of your life and you are a fool;
you never had any fun with it.
Yes, when you talk about money, you can’t win. Especially if you preach a series of sermons about our stewardship of money. At least, that’s what some people think.
I, for one, disagree. I believe that in preaching on giving and
stewardship I am in good company. Nearly 60% of the Bible speaks to the question of how one should exercise stewardship over his money and property. Jesus taught that one’s attitude toward God is reflected by his attitude toward giving and stewardship. Therefore, if one who is right with God is forgiven, forgiving toward others, and for giving to God’s work!
In this series of messages we are taking a ‘Dragnet” approach to the subject of giving, looking at the “facts on giving,” the “what,” the “how,” and the “why” of giving. Last time, we considered the “What of giving, and said that every believer should give themselves to God; give their substance to God’s control, and give their support to God’s work. Now today, we will consider what the Bible tells us about “how” we are to give. With God, that which one is blessed for is not so much the amount given as the attitude with which it is given.
“God loves it when the giver delights in the giving.” - 2 Corinthians 9:7 (The Message)
There’s the story of the old tight wad who tossed a $100 bill into the collection plate thinking it was a dollar. When he saw his mistake he asked to have it back. The usher refused, to which the tight wad replied, “Oh well, I guess I’ll get credit for it in heaven.” The wise usher responded “No you won’t. You’ll only get credit for the dollar.”
How should I give? Well, I want us to think along the lines of the song writer, who wrote, “Give as ‘twas given to you in your need; Love as the Master loved you.” As we look to our text for today, let’s consider how God has given to us.
How should I give? From the example of our heavenly Father here in John 3:16, we find that we should give . . .
1. Lovingly - “For God so loved the world that he gave”
Even as God gave out of a heart of love for us, we should give out of a heart of love for God. Paul said, in 2 Corinthians 9:7 that we should not give reluctantly or our of compulsion, cheerfully, out of a heart of love.
A pastor encountered a little boy standing in the hall during Sunday School crying. When he asked what was wrong, the boy pointed back inside the classroom and said, “That teacher took my nickel!”
Sometimes we give to God with much the same attitude—as if God was taking something away that belongs to us. But the truth is, all we have belongs to Him. What is amazing is that He allows us to use so much of it for ourselves and asks so little in return!
Out of a heart of love, we should give to the support of God’s work through our church, realizing that what I give to my church, I am
giving to God.
Years ago it was customary for people to bring their offering to the front of the sanctuary. In one church one Sunday, when the time came for the offering to be received, a young lady with a handicap hobbled along at the end of the line. Pulling a ring from her finger, she placed it in the offering and made her way back to her seat.
After the service an usher was sent to bring her to the pastor’s study. The preacher said, “My dear, I saw what you did. It was beautiful. But the response of the people to the offering today has been so generous that we don’t feel right about keeping your treasured ring, so we have decided to give it back to you.”
To his surprise the young lady vigorously shook her head in refusal. “You don’t understand,” she said. “I didn’t give my ring to you, I gave it to God!”
Give as you would if an angel awaited your gift at the door,
Give as you would if tomorrow found you where giving is o’er;
Give as you would to the Master if you met His loving look.