Summary: We will look at our giving as worship to God and what it shows about our love and faith towards others.
Today we are continuing our series on pleasing our King in our worship of Him as His spiritual priesthood. We will continue to build on the foundation that we have laid on the authority of our King and the spiritual nature of our worship as priests to God. Today we will be looking at what the Lord shows us about giving which pleases Him. We will talk about our giving as worship to God and what it shows about our love and faith towards others.
A. OUR GIVING AS A "SACRIFICE"
1. Begins with a full self-sacrifice (Rom 12:1-2)
a) The Macedonians (2 Cor 8): give us a great example of this self-sacrifice that we need to have in our giving.
b) A heart given to the Lord will show as it does with the Macedonians. It shows in:
(1) A joyful attitude in our giving, even when it is done when we are lacking. We give graciously and joyously because of what God has done for us. If we have a attitude that gives grudgingly, how does this display a heart that is being fully sacrificed to God? Giving is not something that the people of God should feel forced to do!
(2) Generosity in our giving. We desire to give as God has given to us. We do not have the kind of attitude that asks, “How much do I have to give.” That is the wrong question to ask. Instead we have the attitude that says, “What can I give to meet your need,” even to the point as the Macedonians of begging for the opportunity to help!
2. Our sacrifice of giving
a) In the context of where Paul is giving examples of the life that has been fully sacrificed to God, he says to “Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality” (Romans 12:13). One of the many things that we do in our spiritual service and worship to God is to give to help others, especially our brethren.
b) As we give to the weekly collection and also as individuals, we are offering sacrifices in worship and service to God.
(1) Hebrews 13:15-16 – “Through him then let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge his name. 16 Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.”
(2) Philippians 4:18 – “Indeed I have all and abound. I am full, having received from Epaphroditus the things sent from you, a sweet-smelling aroma, an acceptable sacrifice, well pleasing to God.”
B. WHEN SHOULD WE BE GIVING?
1. There are many passages we can look at in the New Testament
a) 1 Corinthians 16:1-2, 2 Corinthians 8-9, Romans 15, etc.- The majority of the commands given to a congregation in the New Testament deal with the special collection for the Jerusalem saints. For this contribution, Paul commanded them how and when to collect. He commanded them to do it every first day of the week, and this was to be done until the funds were picked up to be taken to the Jerusalem saints. Although the collection we have is not the same kind of collection that they had in these passages (ours is more of a general collection which is for many purposes), we can see in this passage that the Lord approves of us giving into a collection to meet the needs of Christians on the Lord’s Day when we come together.
b) With this said, there are some examples of Christians giving to a collection in which we are not told the day of the week. We should not limit our giving to the first day of the week if there are pressing needs that need to be met.
(1) Acts 4:32-37; 2:44-45 – In these examples we see disciples selling property and possessions and giving the proceeds to the Apostles to be distributed to Christians who were in need. We are not told the day of the week in these passages in Acts. I believe these would authorize us to pool our resources together to meet needs on other days of the week also.
c) There are also many opportunities for us to give as individuals to certain needs. There are many general commands and many examples we can point to which show that we need to be looking for opportunities as individuals to serve others with the resources that God gives us.
(1) “So then, while we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, and especially to those who are of the household of the faith” Galatians 6:10
(2) One example is the text that we looked at in Hebrews 13:16: “Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.”