Summary: God’s Word shows us great reasons for being a giver.
Part 6 - Great Reasons for Being a Giver
Sermon by Rick Crandall
(2007 Series - Giving to Grow)
McClendon Baptist Church - Oct. 14, 2007
*We are moving forward to a great finish for our Giving to Grow Campaign, and as we do, we are going to be talking a lot about money. That can be a sensitive subject in church. Alan Tison tells us that preaching about money brings out many emotions:
-Feelings of guilt -- (I wish I could give more.)
-Feelings of anxiety -- (I brought a friend today, and we are going to talk about money. They will never come back!)
-Feelings of inadequacy -- (We may feel like the widow giving a small portion. What difference does that make?) (1)
*Money is a sensitive subject, and I want to handle it in a sensitive way. At the same time though, I want to talk about money, because Jesus talked about money. We have to talk about money, because God’s Word talks about money. God’s Word is full of wisdom about money: How to get it and how to keep it from getting us. God’s Word shows us the right attitudes toward money, and the right things to do with our money.
1. One of the best things we can do with our money is to give it away. So be a giver -- first of all, because you will help spread joy to other people.
*Paul gave us a great example of this joy in vs. 10, when he told the Philippians, “I rejoiced in the Lord greatly that now at last your care for me has flourished again.”
*Here’s the background: In Acts 16, Paul and Silas were with the people of Philippi for only a short time. Great things happened while they were there. People were being saved. Then Paul and Silas were severely beaten and thrown into prison. Why? There was a young woman in that city, a slave able to tell fortunes, because she was possessed by a demon. Paul cast the demon out, and her owners became enraged when they realized they couldn’t make any more money off her fortune-telling.
*Then there was the wonderful story of how the jailer and his household got saved. While Paul and Silas were in jail, God sent a miraculous earthquake that loosed their chains and opened the prison doors. Thinking the prisoners had escaped, the jailer started to kill himself. But Paul stopped him just in the nick of time. The jailer rushed in and asked that most important question, “What must I do to be saved?” -- And they answered, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household.”
*Now many years later, Paul was in prison again for preaching the gospel. But this time there was no miraculous earthquake to set him free. He was chained to a guard, waiting to plead his case to case to Caesar. Then one day he has a visitor – a man from Philippi, named Epaphroditus. He brought Paul a gift of much-needed money. And it gave great joy to Paul. This was not the first gift Paul had received from Philippi. Vs. 16 tells us that church helped him many times -- And it gave him great joy.
*I can’t tell you how many expressions of joy I have seen from people who were blessed by your giving. Here is one of my favorite examples from Christmas Giving last year:
*Dear McClendon Baptist Church,
I cannot thank you enough for your generous gifts of money this Christmas. Without going into details, they were surely in answer to prayer! I opened the envelopes and started crying I was so touched and relieved. Gregory, who is 4, assumed I was sad. He doesn’t quite comprehend tears of joy yet but he will.
We have been so blessed this year. I was baptized for the first time at 40 -- you’re never too old! The kids were baptized with me, which was very special. We’ve found a church home [at the Episcopal church] which has been my Mom’s church for over 20 years now.
*Gregory continues to have clear scans at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis. His last one was on December 14th. He has very few side effects from the chemo and we are grateful for his healing. At a glance, you would never know that he was ever sick. God is so good!
*We thank God for all his blessings, both seen and unseen. I believe we never fully know what God has done for us. Your generosity towards and prayers for my family have touched us. We cannot thank you enough.
Your friends in Christ,
Sarah, Gregory and Zoe
2. Be a giver, because you will help spread joy to other people. -- And because the Lord will give you the strength to give.