Summary: This sermon is about being Set Free To Love by choosing to be willing to give to support the ministry of Christ Financially.
Set Free To Love
We are in a new series entitled Set Free. How many of you know we all have something in our lives that we need to be set free from. Pastor Toby preached last week on Set Free To Worship. will preach on being Set Free To Love, and Pastor Kellie will preach on on being Set Free To Serve. Each week you will receive a card with today’s topic on it. You fill out the back, and make it your aim to go home and do it.
Have you ever blessed someone with a surprise gift that you knew he or she was going to love? There was a sense of expectation of joy and delight in your own heart as the person open the gift. Sometimes the person’s smile or ahhh made it worth it to you to have paid for the gift. You recognized that there is a special joy in being a blessing to someone else. When you are free to love others, you can be a tremendous blessing.
But then there is also a sort of dark side to be a blessing. Take for instance Karen who was a single mom. Even though times were hard, she saved together $75 to have a special day for her 12 year old son John. Karen decided she would give John $50 to go buy some shoes and she would spend the $25 on herself. She took the money out of her special hiding saving place and called in John. She said “today is our special blessing day”. John was as delighted to receive the $50 as she was to give it. She put the other $25 back into the hiding place.
John rushed down to the store to purchase the shoes. The ones he intended to purchase came to 48.99 with tax. But John saw a later style of shoes and they came to $74.88 with tax. John then decided to go back home and get some of the money he saw his mother hide away. John took the money out of the place and went and bought the shoes.. Boy, was he ever going to impress his friends with the new shoes that he had brought.
When Karen comes home, she sees a piece of paper on the floor. It’s a receipt for a pair of shoes, $74.88. Karen goes to her secret hiding place and looks for her special day blessing envelope. It’s not where she placed it. She finally discovers the envelope in the trash torn in half. If you were Karen, how would you feel inside. Hurt, Angry, Disappointed, Sad. Would you rush to find John, or would you wait for him to come and admit what he had done?
Suppose you put the envelope on the table at dinner time, and asked him, “John did you get the shoes and were you thankful.” Suppose he ignored the envelope and said “yes mom, I got the shoes and they are wonderful. Thank you so much for blessing me with them.” Now how are you feeling about the gift and about John.
Well you may have a glimpse of what goes on in the heart of God when He blesses with things to make us happy only for us to come back and take from Him. You see, all the money that we have comes from God, because everything in the world belongs to God. God says here, I give you this money. You keep 90% of it and let me have the other 10%. At first we are glad to get such a huge amount, but then we go out and we see things that we want. And rather than wait to get them, like John, we sneak back and take the 10% that God had wanted to use to bless others. How many of you here intended to tithe, but then the car note was higher, the cell phone bill was more, or the mortgage with taxes, costs more than you had thought it was going to. There’s a lot of John lurking in the hearts of believers.
When we talk about love, there is always going to be a cost involved. It costs the good Samaritan something to love his neighbor. He was set free from his fears of what might happened if he went over to help. He was set free from his prejudice of what if this guy is a Jew. He was set free from his money of what if I don’t have enough to take take care of me in the end.
How many of us would like to be set free to trust and to love God. God trusts you far more than you trust God. God was long ago set free to erntrust us with all his possessions. If I entrust you with a $1000 of my money, how much do I expect to get back when I come to get it.