Summary: You, your money and God - A look at what the Bible says in regards to giving.
You, Your Money & God
If you have your Bibles, please turn to Malachi 3:6-10
My daughter came up to me the other day about nap time and said, "Daddy, if you give me a dollar, I’ll go to bed." I told her, "I don’t think it works that way." I’ll tell you what. It starts young. People and money, there’s just something about it.
Well we are going to spend one Sunday talking about the topic "You, your money, and God."
I want to talk to you today about giving to God. We refer to it as tithes and offering. The tithe is an Old Testament word and it meant to give 10% of what you have to God. An offering is usually defined as anything over and above a tithe. And we’ll speak more specifically a little bit later on the two.
But I want to talk to you today about giving to the Lord. If I asked you to raise your hand if you believed it was important and scriptural to tithe, to give generously to the Lord, just about every hand would go up but when it comes to doing it ourselves that’s another matter altogether.
I love the story about the grandmother who took her young grandson to her Sunday-School class. And when the collection plate came around the young boy held the quarter his grandma had given him in his clenched fist. And she tried to encourage him to put his quarter in the plate and he was reluctant but finally dropped it in.
A little bit later he became restless and she said would you like to go down to the nursery. He said yes, and so they got up and began to leave and on the way out the boy stopped by the class treasurer and said, "Can I have my quarter back, were not staying.
Well we can be reluctant when it comes to giving, and we can even be reluctant when it comes to listening to a sermon on giving. But starting off right now, let me give you four reasons why I’m not hesitant to preach on giving this morning, four reasons why we need to reaffirm this important aspect of the Christian life.
#1 We don’t preach on it very often.
Not that it’s wrong to preach on it, but we just don’t do it. I’ve been here a year and a half and this is the first sermon I have preached on money or giving. Over the last 75 sermons this is the first one. So if you’re visiting with us today and think, Oh no, here we go again, a church asking for money, realize that since I’ve been here this is the first time we’ve preached on money. We don’t preach on it very often.
#2 – Second reason we need to preach on it is that it’s Biblical
The statement has been made in regards to preaching and in regards to the preacher, that I wish he would quit preaching on giving and get back to preaching on the gospel. The truth however, is that you cannot preach on the gospel and not preach on giving. Jesus saw fit to include it in the majority of his teaching.
In fact there are 39 parables in the gospels. Of the 39, over half of them deal with greed, generosity or giving. Our finance, money, generosity, greed are mentioned over 2000 times in the Bible. It’s Biblical.
#3 It’s a needed subject for our culture
Money magazine says not only do we consume like no culture before us, but we pursue money like no other culture. Money has become the number one obsession of Americans, quote, "Money has become the new sex in this country," end quote.
We want the money and we want the stuff the money buys. Whether or not it serves any purpose seems irrelevant at times.
The comic strip Kathy depicts a scene in which she is looking at all the things she has accumulated. She says, "Safari clothes that will never be near a jungle. Aerobic footwear that will never set foot in an aerobics class; A deep sea dive watch that will never get damp; keys to a Four-Wheeled drive vehicle that will never experience a hill; Architectural magazines I don’t read, filled with pictures of furniture that I don’t like; Financial strategy software that I don’t know how to work, keyed to a checkbook that is lost. An art poster from an exhibit I never went to, by an artist I never heard of." And Finally, with a blank stare she says, "Abstract materialism has arrived."
And the "bumper sticker" says it, "I owe, I owe, so off to work I go." What are we living for? To consume.