Summary: Shows how to release the blessing in ones life.
Releasing the Blessing
Text: Ecc 11:1-6
Ecc 11:1-6 NKJV Cast your bread upon the waters, For you will find it after many days. (2) Give a serving to seven, and also to eight, For you do not know what evil will be on the earth. (3) If the clouds are full of rain, They empty themselves upon the earth; And if a tree falls to the south or the north, In the place where the tree falls, there it shall lie. (4) He who observes the wind will not sow, And he who regards the clouds will not reap. (5) As you do not know what is the way of the wind, Or how the bones grow in the womb of her who is with child, So you do not know the works of God who makes everything. (6) In the morning sow your seed, And in the evening do not withhold your hand; For you do not know which will prosper, Either this or that, Or whether both alike will be good.
One of the greatest mistakes, I think, that we make when we talk about money in the church is that we often do it in the context of a special appeal or in a crisis situation.
If I stand up & tell you that there are thousands of starving people who need our help & we’re going to take up an offering to send food - if that strikes your fancy - you’ll probably give & maybe even give sacrificially to help meet that need.
Or if I remind you that this is "Miracle Sunday" & we need your gift to help us build our new church building, & you feel that that’s a legitimate need, then you will give generously in response to that need, too.
And the result is that too often Christian people have been conditioned to think that the only time they really need to get serious about giving is when there is a need that appeals to their particular emotion. And some needs are just more appealing than others, aren’t they?
So we like to say, "Well, I gave to build the new church building," or "I gave to feed a hungry child." But to say, "I gave to pay the electric bill," or "I gave to buy some Sunday School books," is not very appealing. You see, our giving is oftentimes determined by the heart appeal of a particular need.
D. But the problem actually starts with us, with people who don’t recognize that the teaching of Scripture is not to give to needs but to give to God.
And when that is done properly & scripturally, the problems that we have been hearing so much about will be avoided because God has a system of safeguards to prevent just such misuse of His funds.
And that system is housed in the local congregation, the Church. It is a system of checks & balances within the body of the church to make sure that His funds are not misused. That’s a part of God’s economic system.
Solomon here is teaching an important principle. I call it the “Principle of releasing”. It goes something like this:
Principle: “When we release something into God’s hand he will always bless it.”
In verse 2 he expounds this principle. In verse two he says, Give a serving to seven, and also to eight, For you do not know what evil will be on the earth. Another person said, “Don’t put your eggs all in one basket”. Why? If you drop the basket then all you eggs will be lost. Here he says release but when you release have more than one area of releasing. Have more than one area in which you are giving into and giving up to God.
This principle of releasing is not a new principle. Actually you hear about it all the time. The problem is you only hear about it when it comes to finances. You only hear about it when some person is trying to raise their budget for the month or the year. Now I believe it can be applied to finances: tithes and offerings and we will see that in a moment. But I don’t want you to be limited to that. I believe the principle of “Principle of releasing” extends out to other areas. I believe that the Lord says any thing whether finances, time, praise, etc. When we release them to the Lord. In other words we give them with no obligation to the receiver with no rights of our own then the Lord will bless.
In verse 3 we are told that things happen. There is a principle to what happens. Verse 3 we learn that there are things that happen and cannot be changed. In other words if a cloud is full of rain it will eventually rain. If a tree falls it will fall, whether to the north or to the south it will fall, don’t expect it not to. It will land. In other words there are some things we can expect.