Summary: The first step to revival is prayer and the second step to revival is giving – for many this is the largest and most difficult step to take.
How to receive New Wine in 09
Step 2: “Giving”
Thesis: The first step to revival is prayer and the second step to revival is giving – for many this is the largest and most difficult step to take.
Opening Video Illustration: Shindlers List - Oskar Shindler saved 1,100 lives by his sacrifice of Finances, Time and Resources. The descendents of the Shindler Jews is well over 6,000 today as a result of his commitment to save those condemned to die by the Nazi’s. He was a man who knew what it meant to sacrifice for others.
Objects on Stage: Clock = Time, Money = Finances, Books, car = Resources – I believe in a principle I will call 10 3rd power. The Clock represents our time and parallels to the one who actually gave us all the gift of time – His name God the Father. The second object is money, which represents Jesus Christ the one who gave the biggest sacrifice for you and me. He gave his precious costly life. The third item is a book, cell phone, car and the like represent resources that we possess and parallels what the Holy Spirit gives to us which is God’s resources.
For those who recall your math 10 to the 3rd power is not 10+10+10=30. It is 10x10x10=1000.
I believe we need to give 10% of our time to God, 10% of our finances to Christ, and 10% of our resources to the Holy Spirit.
I Timothy 6:6-12 (NIV)
6But godliness with contentment is great gain. 7For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. 8But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. 9People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction. 10For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.11But you, man of God, flee from all this, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness. 12Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses.
I Timothy 6:6-12 (The Message)
A devout life does bring wealth, but it’s the rich simplicity of being yourself before God. Since we entered the world penniless and will leave it penniless, if we have bread on the table and shoes on our feet, that’s enough.
But if it’s only money these leaders are after, they’ll self-destruct in no time. Lust for money brings trouble and nothing but trouble. Going down that path, some lose their footing in the faith completely and live to regret it bitterly ever after.
Hebrews 13:5 (NIV)
5Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said,
“Never will I leave you;
never will I forsake you.”
Hebrews 13:5 (The Message)
Don’t be obsessed with getting more material things. Be relaxed with what you have. Since God assured us, “I’ll never let you down, never walk off and leave you,” we can boldly quote,
“God is there, ready to help;
I’m fearless no matter what.
Who or what can get to me?”
Today we are focusing our attention on the 2nd Step to revival. We all say we want revival but many throw away the second step - but you cannot have revival without taking the second step to revival. This is step impacts the life and effectiveness of our church, and it determines the impact this church will have on our community. It’s a subject that has held the church back from reaching the world for Christ for centuries. More Christians and ministers have fallen as a result of having an unbiblical view of this important topic. Listen to some recent statistics on how this step is avoided and even ignored by Christian people:
• George Barna reports that giving to churches dropped significantly last year. In 2000, 70% of Christians gave to the church, compared to 84% in 1999. Barna’s survey also showed that while 32% of Christian claimed to have tithed, a check of the household income showed that only 12% actually did.
o The truth is many lied to themselves and to others.
• The average Christian only gives 2.5% of their income to the Lord.
• Yet they spend 2x more on entertainment than on God’s work.
• Christianity Today \’s Cover Story Dec. 2008 issue “Scrooge Lives.” They noted this about American Christians Giving: …Of all Christian groups, evangelical Protestants score best: only 10 percent give nothing away. Evangelicals tend to be the most generous, but they do not outperform their peers enough to wear a badge of honor. Thirty-six percent report that they give away less than two percent of their income. Only about 27 percent tithe… The $85.5 Billion Gap - American Christians’ lack of generosity might not be as shocking if it didn’t contrast so starkly with their astounding wealth. Passing the Plate’s researchers say committed American Christians—those who say their faith is very important to them and those who attend church at least twice a month—earn more than $2.5 trillion dollars every year. On their own, these Christians could be admitted to the G7, the group of the world’s seven largest economies. Smith and his coauthors estimate that if these Christians gave away 10 percent of their after-tax earnings, they would add another $46 billion to ministry around the world… One early finding: That estimate of $46 billion in additional giving is unrealistic. Not because it’s too big, but because it’s too small. Estimating 10 percent giving for every committed Christian in the U.S. neglects two groups: those who truly can’t afford to give 10 percent (due to illness or unemployment or similar reasons), and those who are already giving more than 10 percent (more on this group in a moment). If you calculate that 10 percent of Christians can’t give because of their financial limitations, most of the rest give 10 percent, and a handful of generous givers continue their current generous giving pattern, committed American Christians could realistically increase their giving by $85.5 billion each year.