Summary: Faith/Promise Giving vs. Abundance Giving
Sermon for 5/6/2001
** Thanks to Don Robinson for his sermon on Promise Giving (Luke 6:38) on SermonCentral that provided the outline for this sermon
A. Bob Russell, the minister at Southeast Christian in Louisville, said that in the early years of his ministry he used to apologize for giving sermons and even apologize for the offering time to guests.
B. We don’t apologize for the communion time why should we apologize for the offering time.
C. Why should we not apologize? Because of materialism. Our society talks a great deal about money, why doesn’t the church?
D. We will scare people away. Where your treasure is there your heart will be also.
A. There is a difference between promise giving and abundance giving.
B. In abundance giving we ask God, by faith, to supply and then we will give. Bless me Lord so that I can give.
C. In promise giving we give first, believing that God will give it back with increase. I am giving so that the Lord will bless me and meet my needs.
D. Luke 6:38. Last weeks sermon. Give brief summary.
Thesis: This morning we are going to talk about faith or promise giving. What? Problems? How?
A. Look at Mark 12:41-44.
1. Pharisees gave out of their abundance.
2. They made a big show of it. The trumpet. How they took up offerings in the temple.
3. This widow put in all that she had.
4. She had faith in the promises of God that she would be taken care of.
B. 1 Kings 17:8-16.
1. Famine in the land.
2. Widow was making this food for family and then had nothing.
3. Elijah told her to make him something first and then her and her son could eat.
4. Elijah said that it would be all right because the Lord would take care of them.
5. She did it and the food did not run out.
6. She did not have but she gave and then Lord supplied.
C. John 6:8-13
1. Crowd with nothing to eat.
2. This little boy gives up his meal, probably only meal of the day, to Jesus.
3. Jesus takes this meager amount and multiplies it.
4. The little boy had to have faith that something great would happen.
1. Macedonia was in a recession.
2. However, they gave even in the midst of their poverty.
3. Paul says that they gave beyond their ability.
4. Promise giving.
Problems, or obstacles to overcome to be a promise giver.
A. Sight. We walk by faith, not by sight.
B. Being ignorant of God’s promises.
1. God will take care of you.
2. God will take care of you plus.
3. (Mat 6:33 NIV) But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.
C. False philosophies or wrong thinking!
1. Some will say, “Save it for a rainy day.”
a. God’s word says (Prov 11:24 NIV) One man gives freely, yet gains even more; another withholds unduly, but comes to poverty.
b. Some churches think this way.
c. What is a rainy day? Waiting for the next great flood. I know of some churches that have between $30,000 to $50,000 just sitting in a bank.
d. It is all right to have this kind of money, but it must have some goal.
e. This church does not believe that way.
2. Others have the idea that Christians are supposed to be poor.
a. The spiritual people are all poor.
b. The Scriptures that we have gone over tell us that God will give back plus, so that we can give more, so that God can give back more.
c. Under such a cycle a person can attain great wealth.
d. People like Job, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, David, Solomon, Jehoshaphat, Hezekiah, and Barnabas. They were all worldly and wicked because they had wealth. That is not what the Bible says.
e. One time I was working on a farm and happened to be working next to an African American teenager in the fields. We began to talk about Christianity and the church. He began to talk negatively about the church that his family attended. I asked him why he was so down and out about his church. He said that the main thing that bothered him was that if the preacher felt that the people did not give enough during the offering time, then he would have the deacons pass the plate again. Some Sundays they passed the plate three or four times. I told him that I didn’t agree with this procedure.
f. He then began to talk about how preachers would hoard the Lord’s money. The church gave too much to the preacher. He said that a preacher should live a poor life. He said that a preacher should give away to the poor all that the Lord gave to him. He should live a life of poverty because the Lord promises to take care of us. Being a preacher myself, I had to interrupt him. I asked, “He should give away all that the Lord has given to him?” “Yes!” this young man said. “That doesn’t make any sence,” I said. “Why?” the young man asked. “Let me give you an illustration as to why this doesn’t make sense. I work on this farm and I get paid. The good Lord has blessed me with this money. I go out and buy groceries at the supermarket and give all my money away by buying food for the poor. I do this week after week. The Lord blesses me by giving me more money to go out and buy more food for the poor. Week after week this goes on and the Lord continues to bless me with more money and more food to give away. What do you think will be the end result of all of this?” “You will be blessed by God!” the young man said with a smile on his face. “No, I will be dead,” I replied. The startled young man said, “How come?” “The human body can only survive for at most two months without food. You said that I was to give away all my possessions to the poor and one of those possessions would be my food,” I said. I continued, “I could just see it now. I arrive at the pearly gates and the Lord greets me there. I ask the Lord, ‘Why did you not provide for my needs? I starved to death.’ The Lord says, ‘You crazy man. I provided more than enough and blessed you abundantly but you decided to throw it all away. Now here you are and I don’t know why. I had so much more for you to do!’ I got my point across but many people have the same crazy ideas about the Lord and worldly goods as this young man.