Summary: In this sermon we ask and answer all the basic questions about giving to the Lord.
A. The story is told of a pig farmer down south who called a local church and asked to speak to the Head Hog at the Trough.
1. The church secretary said, “If you are referring to our minister, you are welcome to call him Brother, or Reverend if you are so inclined, but it would be improper to refer to him as the Head Hog.”
2. The farmer replied, “I’m sorry. I’m just an old pig farmer and I just sold some pigs and wanted to give $10,000 to your building fund.”
3. The secretary, quite surprised, quickly responded, “Oh, just a minute, I think I hear the Big Pig coming down the hall.”
B. I realize that many people get very uncomfortable when churches and ministers begin to talk about money, but it really shouldn’t be that way.
1. I know that some people approach the subject using a lot of guilt and manipulation, or by giving false promises, but that is not only wrong but unnecessary.
2. God has a lot to say in his Word about the subject of money and the proper handling of it.
3. It is estimated that there are 2,350 passages in the Bible dealing with money and material possessions – that’s more passages than on any other single subject.
4. During Jesus’ ministry he addressed the subject of money more than any other subject.
5. Why is that the case? Because God knows how powerful and damaging the love of money can be and he wants to protect us.
6. Therefore, I would say we should not take lightly what Jesus took very seriously.
C. Over the centuries people have come up with a lot of different ideas about Christian stewardship and giving.
1. There’s a story told about a couple of guys who were discussing their approaches to giving.
a. One man said, “Here’s how I decide how much to give. I cash my paycheck in small bills, then I go home a draw circle on the floor. I throw the money into the air and whatever falls into the circle is God’s.”
b. The other guy said, “I think my way is even better. On payday, I cash my check in small bills. When I get home, I toss the money in the air, and whatever God catches he can keep.”
2. Our methods and principles for handling money and giving may not be as far out as that, but we still may need to grow in our understanding of the Biblical principles that are given about this subject.
3. So, let’s spend some time today talking about some of the basics of giving.
4. Let’s ask and answer some basic questions.
I. Why Should We Give?
A. This perhaps the most important of all the questions we will answer today.
1. There are many answers that can be given to this question.
2. Let me offer just a few of them.
B. First, and foremost, we should give because God has commanded that we give.
1. Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 16:2, “On the first day of every week, each one 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.”
2. In Luke 6:38, Jesus said, “Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”
3. We could go to many other passages in both the OT and the NT that teach this principle, but I don’t think that is necessary.
4. God has made it clear that he expects that his followers will be givers, and to fail to do so would be to live in disobedience.
5. Certainly we all want to live lives of obedience and please God in this way, right?
6. That having been said, let me give us another reason why we should give…
C. Second, we should give because of the great blessings that come through giving.
1. Jesus said that it is more blessed to give than to receive, and he knew what he was talking about! (Acts 20:35)
2. In our Scripture reading from 2 Cor. 9, the apostle Paul points out several of the spiritual blessings that come through faithful giving.
3. What are some of them?
4. First, there is the assurance that God will meet all your needs.
a. Verse 8 reads, “And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.”
b. God promises something here, that we might struggle to believe, and that is that God will make sure that our needs are taken care of.