Summary: As Christians we should give: 1. faithfully (vs. 5). 2. generously (vs. 6). 3. cheerfully (vs. 7). 4. hopefully (vs. 8-14). 5. thankfully (vs. 15).
How Should We Give?
Sermon by Rick Crandall
Grayson Baptist Church - Sept. 22, 2013
*This morning we are going to talk about giving money to the Lord's church, and that can make some people uncomfortable. But church, we have to talk about money, because the Bible talks about money. Jesus talked about money. One source said that 11 of the 39 parables involve money, and in the Book of Luke, one out of every seven verses mentions money. (1)
*Jesus talked about money. For example, in Matthew 6:19-21, Jesus said:
19. "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."
*Mark 12:42-44 says:
42. And there came a certain poor widow, and she threw in two mites, which make a farthing.
43. And he called unto him his disciples, and saith unto them, Verily I say unto you, That this poor widow hath cast more in, than all they which have cast into the treasury:
44. For all they did cast in of their abundance; but she of her want did cast in all that she had, even all her living.
*And in Luke 6:38, Jesus said: "Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you.''
*God often talks about money in His Word. And He wants us to give, because He is a giver. So, let's look into the Word of God today and see how we should give.
1. First: We should give faithfully.
*This is the message for us in vs. 5, where Paul said: "Therefore I thought it necessary to exhort the brethren to go to you ahead of time, and prepare your bountiful gift beforehand, which you had previously promised, that it may be ready as a matter of generosity and not as a grudging obligation."
*In the New Living Translation, Paul says: "So I thought I should send these brothers ahead of me to make sure the gift you promised is ready. But I want it to be a willing gift, not one given under pressure."
*In order to understand what Paul is saying here, we need to know that he is talking about a special offering for the needy believers in Jerusalem. We know that this offering was important, because Paul spends two whole chapters talking about it in this letter.
*Most of the early churches were involved. And after all the money was collected, Paul wrote about taking this special offering to Jerusalem. In Romans 15:25-27, Paul said:
25. But now I am going to Jerusalem to minister to the saints.
26. For it pleased those from Macedonia and Achaia to make a certain contribution for the poor among the saints who are in Jerusalem.
27. It pleased them indeed, and they are their debtors. For if the Gentiles have been partakers of their spiritual things, their duty is also to minister to them in material things.
*In today's Scripture, they were still collecting this much-needed offering. And the situation in Corinth was that they had made a generous pledge the year before. But they had not followed up. And now Paul has sent an advance team to encourage the people to be faithful to their commitment.
*God wants US to be faithful givers, too, and there is much to say about how to do it.
 First, remember that this was a special offering.
*God's basic plan for giving has always been the tithe, or 10% of our income. The Lord strongly speaks about the importance of the tithe in Malachi 3:8-12. Thus saith the LORD:
8. "Will a man rob God? Yet you have robbed Me! But you say, 'In what way have we robbed You?' In tithes and offerings.
9. You are cursed with a curse, for you have robbed Me, even this whole nation.
10. Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be food in My house, and prove Me now in this,'' says the Lord of hosts, "If I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you such blessing That there will not be room enough to receive it.
11. And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, so that he will not destroy the fruit of your ground, nor shall the vine fail to bear fruit for you in the field,'' says the Lord of hosts;