Summary: This sermon demonstrates that because God is generous and a giver in all that God does, we can't help but become generous and a giver as we go through life.

In It To Win In It We Are Givers

Proverbs 11:18-23 Luke 19:1-10 10/30/2016

Once again we find one of our sports teams that is “In It To Win It” with The World Series. At the moment, the only problem is that there is a team called the Chicago Cubs who are likewise “In It To Win It. For their city.”

Sometimes, we grab a hope, a vision, or a dream for ourselves and we think “we are in it to win it”, until opposition arises which attempts to put an end to our dreams. We are all being opposed by a spiritual Chicago Cubs team that would like to defeat us.

In our series thus far, we have looked at, “We Are The Church”, “We Are One”, “We Are Triumphant” and today we look at “We Are Givers”. When you hear the word givers, “what is the first image that comes to you mind?

Some of you might think of Pastor Toby saying, “what time is it? It’s offering time”, some of you might think of a hand reaching out to help, some of you might think of a person giving a hug, and some of you might think of “oh no, what are we going to be asked to support this time.”

The most incredible giver of all is God. As a matter of fact, whatever God does, God gives in abundance. Who can name all the kinds of flowers God has given us to enjoy, or all the kinds of birds God has given us to admire, or all the kinds of food God has given us to taste.

Who can name all the kinds of gifts God has freely given in our church from music to service, to spiritual gifts. Who can even name all the blessings God has poured into your life many of which we take for granted. Nobody here goes to bed wondering if there will be enough air to breathe tomorrow, or enough water to drink, or if the sun will rise, or if the earth will suddenly stop spinning and all of us will go flinging off the planet into space. God has freely given us all these things, and God has done it in such a way that the supply keeps replenishing itself.

God has not only given us freely and abundantly in physical matters God has freely given to us in spiritual matters. God did not wait for us to deserve for Jesus to come and die for our sins. No, the Bible tells us that it was when we were messed up, banged up, with no hope of getting our lives together, that God sent Jesus Christ into the world to die for our sins so that we could be saved and put back into a right relationship with God.

Did you know that when God called you, God called you for a purpose. God did not save a single one of us, just to take us to heaven. He freely offered us a chance to literally escape having to go to hell to pay for our own sins, by giving us a salvation we could never earn.

Ephesisan 2:8-10 says Ephesians 2:8-10 (TNIV)

8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that no one can boast. 10 For we are God's handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

God saved us, to do good works. Those works involve becoming more like God. If God is a giver and God is generous, then it only follows that God’s children should be givers and should be generous. How many of you know there is no such thing as a stingy Christian? It is hard for you to think of such a creature without saying something is not right here.

Jesus has never been interested in just giving you just enough to make it. Jesus said, “I have come that you might have life, and have it more abundantly.” Do you know why so many of us do not have an abundant life? It is because we want to protect the life we already have and not trust God with our future.

We are not really “in it to win it”. We are more “in it to hold on to it.” It is very easy to become comfortable in a place that God wants us to move out of, so that we can experience His greater blessings.

People who go through life opening their hands enjoy a more satisfying life than people who go through life with tight fists. Proverbs put it this way, Proverbs 11:24 one person gives freely, yet gains even more; but another withholds unduly, but comes to poverty.

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