Summary: God evaluates your generosity not in light of how much you give but how much you gave in light of how much He’s given you.
HOW TO GET THE MOST OUT OF GIVING
A. How do I get the most out of giving?
B. Remember that God is more interested in my attitude than the amount.
C. If you’re going to give and get a reward out of it:
1. Give Willingly
A. What’s important is your attitude when you give.
1. The reward for giving is based on willingness not on wealth.
2. People say, "God looks at what I gave last week. I really impressed Him. I tipped Him pretty heavy last week."
3. No, God does not look at the amount you, but rather, God looks at how much is left over.
4. He evaluates your generosity not in light of how much you give but how much you gave in light of how much He’s given you.
B. 2 Corinthians 9:7 “Each one of you should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under pressure.”
1. Never give under pressure. The Bible says you’re not to give under pressure. If you ever feel pressured to give, don’t give because you’re not going to get any credit for it. Never give under pressure.
2. Deuteronomy 25:10 says, Give generously to him and do so without a grudging heart; then because of this the LORD your God will bless you in all your work and in everything you put your hand to.
2. GIVE THANKFULLY.
A. Psalm 116:12 "How can I repay the Lord for all His goodness to me." Answer: You can’t.
1. You’ll never be able to repay God for all He’s done for you.
2. If God never did anything else for me, I still ought to give.
3. If He never did one more thing for me, He’s done so much for me today that I ought to give just out of gratitude.
a. Did you choose to be born in America?
b. You could have been born in Ethiopia during the famine.
4. Every time you give an offering you’re saying thanks to God.
3. GIVE JOYFULLY.
A. 2 Corinthians 9:7b, "God loves a cheerful giver."
B. There is a bumper sticker that says, "God loveth a cheerful giver but He also receiveth from a grouch."
C. The word "cheerful" in Greek is the word hilaros from which we get the word "hilarious".
1. In the New Testament, when they gave an offering, they had fun!
2. In today’s society, when we take the offering, that’s the low point in the service. Everything comes to a standstill. But they were hilarious.
4. GIVE WEEKLY.
A. 1 Corinthians 16:2, “On the first day of every week, each one of you should set aside a sum of money in keeping with his income.”
1. I hadn’t been doing that. I get paid twice a month, so I give twice a month. I get a pay check and write my offering off of it. I give twice a month.
2. God says give weekly. Why? He wants it to be a weekly reminder of who’s first place in your life.
B. Notice it uses the phrase, ".. set aside..."
1. That involves planning.
2. It’s not just impulsive.
C. How much should you give? It says "depends".
D. What you give should be based on what you are WILLINGLY to give
5. GIVE EXPECTANTLY.
A. 2 Corinthians 9:6 "Remember this, whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly and whoever sows generously will reap generously."
1. This is a law that every farmer lives by. He lives and dies by it.
2. When a farmer wants to plant a crop or harvest a crop he knows all he has to do is sow.
3. He doesn’t sow one acre and expect to reap five acres.
4. He doesn’t sow ten acres and expect to reap a hundred acres.
5. Because wherever he sows, that’s where he’s going to reap.
B. You plant the seed and God will provide for your need.
1. God is saying, you get to decide how much you want God bless your life.
2. Right now, you are deciding how much God blesses your life.
3. If you sow generously, you reap generously.
C. What do you need more of?
1. You need more time?
2. You need more energy?
3. You need more income?
4. Give some to the Lord and watch it multiply.
5. If you sow sparingly, you reap sparingly. If you sow generously, you reap generously.
D. The Bible says that the essence of the Christian life -- is giving.
A. Bible Key words: "Believe" is used 272 times; "Pray" is used 371 time; "Love" is used 714 times; "Give" is used 2,161 times.
B. You tell me where the emphasis is in the Bible! If you’re going to study the Bible, you eventually have to study giving.
"God so loved the world that He gave..." and He wants us to become like Him.