Summary: Dispel the myth that preachers just want you to give so they can line their pockets. There are even greater benefits for the giver.
Church 101: A Beginners Guide to Church
Part 3 - Giving and Church
“God loves it when the giver delights in the giving.”
1 Corinthians 9:7 (MES)
“To the LORD your God belong the heavens, even the highest heavens, the earth and everything in it. “
Deuteronomy 10:14 (NIV)
1 Corinthians 16:1-2 (NIV)
1 Now about the collection for God’s people: Do what I told the Galatian churches to do. 2 On the first day of every week, each one of you should set aside a sum of money in keeping with his income, saving it up, so that when I come no collections will have to be made.
To the outsider it may seem like the church is all about money
To be sure, the church needs to meet operating expenses just like any other organization
But there’s more to it than just collecting money
For the Christian, giving is an act of worship
It says that the giver trusts God with his or her resources
Giving can be done in a variety of ways because we have a variety of resources
What are those resources? Or What can we give?
Time – a commodity that seems rare but that we all have. Must be budgeted
Talent – everyone can do something. No one is without some ability unique to them
Treasure – The focus of tonight
Why is it important that we focus on money?
1 Tim 6:10 – “For 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.”
What we think about and how we handle money can affect our eternity
There are more parables in the Gospels about money and wealth than any other single topic
Jesus thought it was a very important issue
So tonight I want to focus on money
Why should we give?
What should we give?
To whom should we give it?
When should we give?
I hope to answer these kinds of questions tonight.
Because how you answer those kinds of questions will tell you how giving will affect you on TUESDAY AFTERNOON
Before we look at some of the basic principle of giving I want to briefly touch on four laws of the harvest
These can and will impact your entire week
And they go to the heart of why we take an offering each week
Some of these will overlap a bit with the principles below
THE LAWS OF THE HARVEST
# 1. WE REAP WHAT WE SOW
Proverbs 11:18 - The wicked man earns deceptive wages, but he who sows righteousness reaps a sure reward
Proverbs 26:27 - If a man digs a pit, he will fall into it; if a man rolls a stone, it will roll back on him
In other words; sow good, reap good…sow bad, reap bad
Not just a financial sowing and reaping
# 2. WE REAP IN A DIFFERENT SEASON THAN WE SOW
1 There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven:
2 a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot,
You have to be patient
God will give the increase to our sowing when HIS time is right, not ours
ILLUSTRATION: Buying Netscape Stock (AOL Today – 52 5/8)
# 3. WE REAP MORE THAN WE SOW
Matthew 13:8 - Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop—a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.
One apple seed will grow an entire tree which will obviously reap lots of apples.
# 4. WE REAP PROPORTIONATELY TO WHAT WE SOW
2 Corinthians 9:6 - Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously.
If you plant 2 tomato plants you will get two plants worth of tomatoes
But if you plant 100 tomato plants…wow
PRINCIPLES OF GIVING
1. The Primary Principle
Deuteronomy 10:14 – “To the LORD your God belong the heavens, even the highest heavens, the earth and everything in it”
When you give to the church you are giving to the Lord.
And you must remember that he owns it all anyway
So you are simply giving back to him that which he already owns anyway
It’s called stewardship
Stewardship says that God has loaned you what you have and wants you to use it properly, not waste it
Parable of the talents Matthew 25
You can either be a good steward or a poor steward
Either way, God will reward you appropriately
2. The Purpose Principle
1 Corinthians 16:1 – “Now about the collection for God’s people…”
This principle tells us what the money we give is for