Summary: If we have really given our bodies to Christ then giving our wallets will be easy. The reason we struggle to give our wallets to Christ is because we don=t trust the Lord with what we already have, i.e. our bodies.
Purpose: To encourage biblical giving.
Aim: I want the listener to learn how to worship God with their giving.
INTRODUCTION: Why did Paul say: “Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship.” (Romans 12:1, NAS)
Paul is saying that we should worship God with our very lives because of all of His “mercies”. He had already explained the greatness of God’s love, grace, righteousness, and the gift of faith. All of this is available to us because Jesus gave His very life for us. The only right response to God’s great love for us is a willingness to give everything we can to Him.
If we have really given our bodies to Christ then giving our wallets will be easy. The reason we struggle to give our wallets to Christ is because we don=t trust the Lord with what we already have, i.e. our bodies.
So far we have looked at nine guidelines for giving to God in chapter 8.
8:1-3 I. Give Freely even When it’s Hard to Give “in a great ordeal…great poverty”
#1 Give based on what you have “according to their ability”
1 Corinthians 16:1 . . . each one of you is to put aside and save, as he may prosper . . . (NAU)
#2 Give sacrificially “beyond their ability”
#3 Give willingly “of their own accord”
8:4 II. See Giving as a Privilege “the favor of participation”
8:5-8 III. Give Every Part of Your Life to God “first gave themselves to the Lord”
8:9 IV. Give as Christ Gave to You “for your sake He became poor”
8:10-12 V. Give—don’t just Intend to Give “finish doing it”
8:13-15 VI. Give Because Others Have Less than You “that there may be equally”
8:16-17 VII. Give as God Leads Godly Leaders “God who puts…earnestness…in the heart of Titus”
8:18-23 VIII. Be Careful Who You Trust with Your Giving
Vs.18 A. Trust those with a passion for the Gospel “fame in the things of the gospel”
Vs.19 B. Trust those with a good reputation “appointed by the churches”
Vs.20-23 C. Trust those who allow accountability “honorable…in the sight of men”
Vs.24 IX. Give Because You Love Believers “proof of your love”
Now, let’s begin looking at the results of this kind of giving in chapter 9.
Vs.1-11 I. What Happens When We Practice God Centered Giving?
The Pharisees gave money to their religion, but they did it to impress God (or perhaps just to impress others) instead of giving because they loved their God. “But woe to you Pharisees! For you pay tithe of mint and rue and every kind of garden herb, and yet disregard justice and the love of God; but these are the things you should have done without neglecting the others” (Luke 11:42, NAS).
Instead, God is only interested in receiving what is given out of a love for Him. A good example of this is when King David asked the people to donate toward the building of the Temple in 1 Chronicles 29:3-9 AMoreover, in my delight in the house of my God, the treasure I have of gold and silver, I give to the house of my God. . . Then the people rejoiced because they had offered so willingly, for they made their offering to the Lord with a whole heart, and King David also rejoiced greatly. (NAU)
Vs.1-5 A. God centered giving encourages others to give “your zeal has stirred up most of them”
The generous promise that the Corinthian church made to give encouraged many others to give, too.
“The interesting thing is this: Paul had used the zeal of the Corinthians to challenge the Macedonians; but now he was using the Macedonians to challenge the Corinthians! A year before, the Corinthians had enthusiastically boasted that they would share in the offering, but then they had done nothing. The Macedonians had followed through on their promise, and Paul was afraid that his boasting would be in vain.” 
Phillips’ translation of this verse is colorful: “For, between ourselves, it would never do if some of the Macedonians were to accompany me on my visit to you and find you unprepared for this act of generosity! We (not to speak of you) should be horribly ashamed, just because we had been so proud and confident of you.”
Our generous giving is a way of encouraging other believers. Hebrews 10:24 and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, (NAU)
In order for others to be encouraged through our giving we must do two things:
Vs. 1-2 1. We must decide to give “I know your readiness”
Paul was saying that they were prepared to give. Very little giving happens until we decide ahead of time to do it.