Summary: A sermon on giving
Sermon for 4/29/2001
Receiving Through Giving
Mother Teresa visited Australia. A new recruit to the Franciscan order in Australia was assigned to be her guide and “gofer” during her stay. “Thrilled and excited at the prospect of being so close to this woman, he dreamed of how much he would learn from her and what they would talk about. But during her visit, he became frustrated. Although he was constantly near her, the friar never had the opportunity to say one word to Mother Teresa. There were always other people for her to meet. Finally, her tour was over, and she was due to fly to New Guinea. In desperation, the friar spoke to Mother Teresa. “If I pay my own fare to New Guinea, can I sit next to you on the plane so I can talk to you and learn from you?” Mother Teresa looked at him. “You have enough money to pay airfare to New Guinea?” she asked. “Oh, yes,” he replied eagerly. “Then give that money to the poor,” she said. “You’ll learn more from that than anything I can tell you.”
** (Mal 3:10 NIV) Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this," says the LORD Almighty, "and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it.
B. We need to go by the New Testament.
1. (1 Cor 16:2 NIV) 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.
2. (Acts 4:34 (quickview)  NIV) There were no needy persons among them. For from time to time those who owned lands or houses sold them, brought the money from the sales (Acts 4:35 (quickview)  NIV) and put it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to anyone as he had need.
C. I once heard a Bible teacher say that the tithe was no longer binding on New Testament Christians. In a restaurant…
D. God honors those who honor Him. Exalts those who are faithful.
E. Give of more than money. Tithe of our time.
3. Bible Study
G. I like what Wuest’s Expanded Translation of the Greek New Testament said, “Be constantly giving, and it shall be given you, a generous measure that has been pressed down hard and which has been shaken thoroughly and which is running over shall they give, for with the measure by which you are accustomed to measuring by, it shall be measured to you again.
H. Most people try to have by hoarding, but God says the way to have more is through giving. Blessed is that person who has learned the lesson that God honors those who give.
I. Howard Hughes- For many years he was considered the world’s richest person. During the 1930’s and 1940’s, he gained fame as a motion-picture producer and aviator. Then, in the mid-1950’s, Hughes deliberately dropped out of sight. He became a mysterious figure who never appeared in public and even refused to have his photograph taken. When Howard Hughes died, he was living in a small apartment and was malnourished and had few possessions. He seemed to be a poverty sticken depressed man, when he really was one of the richest people on the earth. At the time of Hughes death in 1984, estimates of the value of his estate went as high as 2 billion dollars. Why did he live in such poverty? We don’t know but I am sure that a dose of generosity may have helped him overcome his demons.