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Summary: Sermon about stewardship/giving

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Thank You God!

You have already heard form Jimmy and Cheryl thins morning

I n a strange way, I feel just a little like I think President Obama probably feels…

Most people have already made up their minds on the subject. Some are in full agreement and others already hate anything I might say on the subject. So the problem is that I am afraid that our time this morning may be completely wasted.

• The percentage of income that Christians give to God’s work declined for 30+ year!

• Larry Burkett of Crown Financial Ministries had estimated that only 5% of Christian gave 10% or more to the Lord.

• Barna Research reports that although 17% of Christians say they “tithe”, only 3% actually give 10% or more of their income to God’s work.

• 85% of pastors feel unequipped, uncomfortable and untrained to teach biblical financial and giving principles.

So how do you expect me to start off this morning. Most of you are probably expecting me to pound the pulpit that to tell you that the Bible calls for a 10% tithe of all that you have should go to God. So there I said it.

I will tell you that it is absolutely True…

SLIDE – 10 of a tie…

At this moment some of you have started reviewing excuses …well reasons why that is not possible. It is funny but the neither the OT or NT list any excuses for people to bring their tithe to the church. Even the poorest of the poor were to bring an offering to the temple.

Some of you may be thinking that The law was abolished and there for the tithe is no longer a biblical standard.

Let me simply say that God’s Expectations and Standards never change. What changed was the requirement of the Law to command an exact response. The wealthy Jews of the day gave out of their wealth. They were so exact the meet the standard that they even measured out 10% of their spices raised in their little gardens.

They were totally sold out on meeting the standard. They met the standards of the whole law and made the necessary offerings when they messed up. Jesus was angry with them because they were into pure ritual and no emotion. They responded to God out of a respect for the rules…do this get that…Their response was simply a programmed response.

There are plenty of Christians today that don’t adhere to the Mosaic Law but they still respond out of duty.

The tithe is a Biblical standard that is a target of a minimum. John Wesley was a strong believer in the 90/10 basis of giving. However, he personally reversed the numbers. He made it a practice to give 90% of his income to the Lord’s work and lived on 10%.

He lived on a stipend (fixed income) form the Church of England his whole life. He did end up with additional income but held to this percentage of giving.

A famous quote form Wesley: Make all you can, save all you can, give all you can.”

Folks making money, having money is not an evil thing. Our culture has changed since the days of Jesus and the apostils.

Most of us modern city folks don’t directly depend on rain and sunshine to make our living. Most of us have lived a life of work where we exchange our time for our living.

It is easy to separate the provision of God from our income when we go to the store and there is always fresh food stacked up.

There is a pattern all through the bible that is pretty simple. God takes action, and waits for a reaction from man.

The response expected form man is expected to be based on the acceptance of the love of God….It should be based on love of man toward God. It is basically an expression of worship for the provision already given by God.

Have any of you been blessed by God this week? Raise you hand if you have.

Wow I would have expected every hand to go up!

Maybe I need to review some of the things God did for me just this week.

My Body functioned all week long.

I did not miss but one meal this week and that was my choice.

Money appeared in my bank account this week from my secular job.

I still have a secular job.

My blessing are already continuing this week.

I woke up this morning.

I have already taken several breaths today.

I have already had one meal today and I expect at least two more. I don’t think that is to much of a stretch.

So what is my response to God’s provision…

Because of my Love of God, I respond my preaching, I study the bible and prepare for all kinds of service and ministry. That is basically time, talent and service.

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