Summary: By giving, we are to abound in God’s work.
NO LONGER A CONSERVATIVE
C: Tithing, liberality, generosity
Pr: BY GIVING, WE ARE TO ABOUND IN GOD’S WORK.
TS: We will find in I Corinthians 16:1-4 three understandings about giving that will enable us to abound in God’s work.
The ____ understanding about giving is that it is…
I. INSTRUCTED (1)
II. PLANNED (2)
III. MANAGED (3-4)
PA: How is the change to be observed?
• Don’t settle for the minimum.
• Give as a matter of worship.
• Express the priority of your faith.
RMBC 22 May 05 AM
ILL Giving: Personal
I was walking by the bushes along the side of the church the other day, considering their condition, which is pretty sad.
The deer that live on the back end of our property have eaten them for supper too many times.
Have you ever tried to take bushes out of the ground by hand?
It is hard work.
You dig and you pull.
You dig and you chop, and you pull again.
You dig some more, you chop some more, and you pull some more.
And it occurred to me, the hard word of getting a bush out of the ground is what it is like to get money from a stingy person.
It is hard to get money from a stingy person.
It is hard work.
Have you ever struggled with giving?
Are you known as a generous person, or is stinginess a more accurate description?
ILL Giving: Giving the Worst to Church
Around Thanksgiving about 15 years ago, radio commentator Paul Harvey shared a true story of a woman and her frozen Thanksgiving turkey.
The Butterball Turkey Company set up a telephone hotline to answer consumer questions about preparing holiday turkeys. One woman called to inquire about cooking a turkey that had been in the bottom of her freezer for 23 years. That’s right — 23 years. The Butterball representative told her the turkey would probably be safe to eat if the freezer had been kept below zero for the entire 23 years. But the Butterball representative warned her that even if the turkey was safe to eat, the flavor would probably have deteriorated to such a degree that she would not recommend eating it.
The caller replied, "That’s what I thought. We’ll give the turkey to our church."
Sometimes, I wonder what we offer to the Lord doesn’t seem more like leftovers.
There is no doubt that giving is a serious topic.
But we don’t talk about it because God needs our money.
He is not poor.
But we give because God is the most generous giver.
Everything we have is a gift from God.
And so, in turn, God wants us to grow in grace, and this only happens if we learn to be generous.
1. When it comes to our faith, we are to go all out (15:58)
Do you remember how we ended last week’s study in I Corinthians 15?
Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.
Paul tells us here that we are to be deeply and firmly rooted in the truth.
It is the idea of being settled and firmly situated.
As believers in the Lord Jesus, we are to know who we are, what we are about, why we are here, and where we are going.
We don’t settle for less, for we are to be fully engaged in God’s work.
The thought Paul has here is of exceeding the requirements.
We are not to be satisfied or content with doing the minimum.
There is no plateau that we reach and then stop.
That is not Christianity.
That is not true faith.
We are to work uncompromisingly as the Lord gifts us and leads us.
We are to use our time, energy, talents, gifts, bodies, minds…and our money so to be fully engaged in kingdom work.
2. BY GIVING, WE ARE TO ABOUND IN GOD’S WORK.
But how do we do that?
How do we get ourselves to the place that we are giving in such a way that is pleasing to God?
There is help for us.
3. We will find in I Corinthians 16:1-4 three understandings about giving that will enable us to abound in God’s work.
(1) Now concerning the collection for the saints: as I directed the churches of Galatia, so you also are to do. (2) On the first day of every week, each of you is to put something aside and store it up, as he may prosper, so that there will be no collecting when I come. (3) And when I arrive, I will send those whom you accredit by letter to carry your gift to Jerusalem. (4) If it seems advisable that I should go also, they will accompany me.