Summary: Are you Giving God what is Left or what is Right? Let us explore the three R’s of giving; the Requirement, the Reason, and the Reward.
Let’s Be A "Liberal" Church
Burt Reynolds starred in an old movie entitled The End. In this film he decides to commit suicide by swimming out as far as he can until he is exhausted and then just go under. After going under he is looking at the surface from the deep and decides that he cannot go through with it. As he breaks the surface of the water he screams, “I want to live! I want to live!” He then begins to try to swim back to shore, but he is so far away that he can’t see the shore line. Now he begins to bargain with God. First he promises to obey all Ten of the Commandments, and then realizes that he doesn’t know all of them so he promises to learn all of them. In a panic he says, “Lord, if you get me out of this I will give you 80% of everything I have.” But time passes, he is still going strong and now he can see the shore. As he continues to swim he feels his strength holding out and says, “Lord, if you help me get to the shore alive I promise I will give you 10% of all my earnings.” And finally, he struggles to the place where he sees he is going to be able to make it and he says, “Well, Lord, let’s just forget what I said before. I think I can make it on my own.”
Illustration taken from Rodney Buchanan at sermoncentral.com
• This is the attitude of many toward giving today.
• The popular slant is you only give to get something in return.
Giving to God or living for God is thought of as “paying your dues.”
People today don’t like to talk about their personal finances. It’s a taboo subject. No one discusses their offering to God, “It’s between me and God.” God has made the advancement of His cause dependent upon money. When we aren’t giving liberally to the Lord’s church then we are hindering the spreading of the borders of the Kingdom of God. Giving is one of only six areas of worship authorized by God in scripture. Equal to Prayer, Praise, Teaching, Singing and the Lord’s Supper in the fact that we cannot worship God acceptably if we aren’t giving right.
Are you Giving God what is Left or what is Right? Let us explore the three R’s of giving; the Requirement, the Reason, and the Reward.
I. The Requirement.
A. The requirement from our text is not one of direct command but of inference.
B. 1 Corinthians 16:1–2
1. On the 1st day of every week
2. According to your income (as prospered)
C. The Tithe
1. Are Christians bound to tithe?
a. No where in the NT do we find the doctrine of tithing.
b. Not even the Jews gave 10%.
(1) They gave MORE!
(2) Jews gave three tithes
(a) Two every year
(b) one every three years
(c) additional “free will” offerings
(d) annual claim of the first fruits
(3) A devout Jew gave at least 30% of his income to God
(a) Figure your percentage
(b) How do you measure up? According to Time December 16, 2002 the percentage of income in the US that goes to charitable giving is 2.5%
(c) Does all this really matter?
c. No, the NT does not teach tithing. It teaches to those who were already accustomed to giving 30% to give liberally.
d. Give generously in light of the fact that they had been freed from the old law of sin and death and received salvation.
2. How much do you TIP a waitress when you eat out? 10–15%?
a. Is God serving you well?
b. Is he giving you everything you need?
c. Are you leaving God with a decent TIP?
3. No, the NT does not teach tithing. Yet I fear that too much teaching on this one fact alone has given us the false impression that giving less than 10% is acceptable to God.
II. The Reward.
A. Reap a generous harvest. 2 Cor. 9:6
B. God will increase your store. 2 Cor. 9:10
C. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over. Luke 6:38
III. The Reason.
A. To supply the needs of God’s People. 2 Cor. 9:8–11
1. We are to be distribution centers, not warehouses.
2. We are to be like funnels. Open to receive more from God to pass on to others.
3. When we shut off the valve, we limit what God wants to do through us.
B. Results in God being glorified. 2 Cor. 9:12–15
IV. Giving is never a matter of the wallet, it is a matter of trust.
A. The bible says you can’t serve both God and Money.