Deal or No Deal: The Choice Is Yours
It’s Not My Treasure, It’s His!
Last week, we began a new sermon series entitled Deal or No Deal? The Choice is Yours! And I said that for the next six weeks, I wanted to talk about making the choice to obey God and not waiver from His ideal for your life in the following areas of your life: Your Time * Your Treasure * Your Temple * Your Testimony * Your Talents
Our theme verse for this series is a verse that summarizes this so clearly and profoundly:
I Corinthians 6:20 For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.
There is even a more succinct verse that captures the same theme:
John 3:30 He must increase, but I must decrease.
This series is all about making a CHOICE on how to use this life of yours. And my prayer is that you make the choice to follow God’s Way – every time – and never consider an offer or temptation to compromise.
…Which leads me to our theme today: “It’s Not my Treasure…It’s His!” Today, we make our one singular choice to Follow God’s Way…with the resources that God has placed in our care. To be good stewards of those resources.
And I would like to reference a few things about giving that my Father also taught us as well - with regard to being good stewards of our treasure. And the point he made over and over and over again is the point that we make today: “It’s Not my Treasure…It’s His!”
On Sunday Evening, July 6, 2003, my Father preached a sermon entitled, “Stewardship is a Spiritual Matter” and I’d like to echo some familiar truths regarding Giving God our Treasure that have been proclaimed in the walls of this church since its inception. And these truths remain equally as powerful today.
I want to highlight five attitudes about giving.
Attitude #1 - We should give out of CONVICTION.
A conviction that our giving should be based on scripture!
“So I want you to consider making your life one long gift to others. And why not? All you have is on loan, anyway. All that lasts is what you pass on.” Jerry Falwell
Prov. 3:9 Honor the LORD with your possessions, And with the firstfruits of all your increase; 10 So your barns will be filled with plenty, And your vats will overflow with new wine.
Attitude #2 - We should give with CLARITY.
The bible is clear - not confusing - with regard to issue of Giving. We should know why we give to God and to know its purpose.
2Cor. 11:3 But I fear, lest somehow, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, so your minds may be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.
“There is a “simplicity that is in Christ,” II Corinthians 11:3 provides an elementary infrastructure for all areas of obedient living including the giving of our time, talent treasure temple and testimony. The first tenth of all our increase is God’s. The first tenth is to be given on the first day of the week, Sunday. I Corinthians 16:2 says, On the first day of the week let each one of you lay something aside, storing up as he may prosper, that there be no collections when I come.” - Jerry Falwell
Attitude #3 - We should give out of our desire to CARE for the needy.
And if it takes a level of sacrifice to meet the needs of those around us, then scripture calls for us to do so.
“Sacrificial giving is that kind of giving which could affect one’s lifestyle. The churches of Macedonia who gave did just that. II Corinthians 8:1-2 says, Moreover, brethren, we make known to you the grace of God bestowed on the churches of Macedonia: 2 that in a great trial of affliction the abundance of their joy and their deep poverty abounded in the riches of their liberality.”
In addition, to your giving to the church, you give to those who have a need when the occasion arises.
Matthew 25:34-40 Then the King will say to those on His right hand, ‘Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: 35 for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; 36 I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.’ 37 “Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink? 38 When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You? 39 Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ 40 And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’
Matthew 10:40-42 “He who receives you receives Me, and he who receives Me receives Him who sent Me. 41 He who receives a prophet in the name of a prophet shall receive a prophet’s reward. And he who receives a righteous man in the name of a righteous man shall receive a righteous man’s reward. 42 And whoever gives one of these little ones only a cup of cold water in the name of a disciple, assuredly, I say to you, he shall by no means lose his reward.”
Attitude #4 - We should give to our CHURCH.
“The first tenth is to be given in the first house, God’s church. Malachi 3:10, Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, That there may be food in My house, And try Me now in this,” Says the LORD of hosts, “If I will not open for you the windows of heaven And pour out for you such blessing That there will not be room enough to receive it.”
Question: Have you ever asked, “How do we actually give to God? I mean, aren’t we really giving to an organization…and they call it “Giving to God?”
Answer: You give to His God-ordained entity that He placed in the middle of this dark and wicked world to fulfill His purposes while we are here on this earth – the church.
When we gave our tithes and offerings this morning…we believe that we gave it “to God.” You may say though, I didn’t write my check out “To GOD”…I wrote it to “TRBC?” So, how is that “giving to God?”
True, you made a check to TRBC. True, you placed it in an offering plate. We have a very secure and elaborate system in place to securely and respectfully handle funds at this church so we can always be above reproach when it comes to finances. Just as we are called to be good stewards personally of our treasure, this church must also be a good steward of the treasure that each of you place in its care. Because we are a very large piece of the Kingdom puzzle…and because God has gathered many, many people to worship together, we have to be very organized, systematic, and have good business practices when it comes to money.
BUT, you need to get beyond the “organized religion” and see that you indeed “give to God” when you put your offering in the plate here at TRBC…because God himself, while on this earth, informed us that THROUGH HIS CHURCH – believers in Jesus CHRIST – He will reach the world! It is through the collective body of believers where we can pool our resources and meet needs that we could not otherwise meet if we did not, as His collective “church,” join together to accomplish.
God, works through leadership…and I promise you that our Leadership team never ceases to be keenly aware of our finances and prayerfully sensitive as to how to use the funds received to meet the needs of the people of our church, the mission of our church, and to fulfill the Great Commission. Because we want God to work through us to fulfill His purposes through this local church for His glory. Our mission is to WIN THEM TO CHRIST, GROW THEM IN CHRIST, AND SEND THEM FOR CHRIST!
Now, this isn’t about politics or “taxing the rich.” The Bible simply teaches that because he has given you the mind to manage finances, unique skill to produce wealth, you are both skilled & blessed…and you need to demonstrate to God that you are grateful to God for all that he has equipped, empowered, enabled you to be able to do! He has given you the mind! He has given you the energy. He has given you the trust to be good stewards of His resources.
I Timothy 6:17-19 Command those who are rich in this present age not to be haughty, nor to trust in uncertain riches but in the living God, who gives us richly all things to enjoy. 18 Let them do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to give, willing to share, 19 storing up for themselves a good foundation for the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life.
Attitude #5 - We should give out of COMPASSION for the lost!
“Spiritual giving is committing to God what you do not have, but, because the Holy spirit led you to promise “beyond your power,” you made the pledge, trusting God to enable you to honor your commitment. II Corinthians 8:3-5 says, For I bear witness that according to their ability, yes, and beyond their ability, they were freely willing, 4 imploring us with much urgency that we would receive the gift and the fellowship of the ministering to the saints. 5 And not only as we had hoped, but they first gave themselves to the Lord, and then to us by the will of God.
If I can leave you with one thing this morning, it would be this, when it comes down to it, do you know why you should give to a ministry that is reaching the community with the truth of Christ?
Not to hit a quota. Not to out-give the next guy. Not to get a tax write-off.
You give to the work of the ministry because there are
too many families that are being torn apart,
too many people who are bound in the chains sin,
too many people who are misguided and deceived by the prince and power of this world – Satan,
too many loved ones have been lulled into a false sense of security by blasphemous, yet seemingly harmless, doctrines of men.
And I’m here to tell you, you don’t have to be a pastor for long to take upon yourself the burden of these families, friends, and neighbors to the point that you want to do all you can to declare to the world that “THERE IS A BETTER WAY! YOU CAN BE HEALED! YOU CAN BE SAVED! YOUR FAMILY CAN BE RESTORED AND WE HAVE THE ANSWER!”
And that if they had access to the love, compassion, and spiritual guidance of God’s Word from this ministry, and other churches like this, and the people sitting in those churches – we can change the world! We ask you not to give your money to make anyone rich… but to reach the WORLD with the life-changing truth of Jesus Christ!
That’s why we give, and if you are sitting in this room today, and your life has been changed by one of the ministries here at TRBC…I am sure you know exactly what I am saying. And that’s why you should give with your whole heart. So, I am asking you today, to commit to give to God’s mission through His church – in order to offer hope and salvation to a lost & dying world!
Because “It’s Not my Treasure…It’s His!” So, this question is for you to answer:
“Deal?” Or “No Deal?” The Choice is Yours!
God’s Way? Or “Your Way” God’s satisfies eternally…Your way gives temporary satisfaction.
Right now, your flesh may be fighting back as hard as it can, saying:
“Don’t give to God!”
“Is it really worth it?”
“What’s the payback?”
“Why should I part with the money that I’ve earned?”
Let me tell you…because He gave His All for us! We must give our All for Him! He gave us His teachings to learn. He gave us an example to follow. He gave us the hope of His coming.
And, He gave us His Son! We must give our All for Him!
If you have never really accepted Jesus as your personal Savior, would you do it right now? Do not delay or put it off. If you would like to receive Christ by faith, pray this simple prayer in your heart:
Dear Lord, I acknowledge that I am a sinner. I believe Jesus died for my sins on the cross, and rose again the third day. I repent of my sins. By faith I receive the Lord Jesus as my Savior. You promised to save me, and I believe You, because You are God and cannot lie. I believe right now that the Lord Jesus is my personal Savior, and that all my sins are forgiven through His precious blood. I thank You, dear Lord, for saving me. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
If you prayed that prayer, God heard you and saved you. I personally want to welcome you to the family of God and rejoice with you.