Summary: The American industrialist, Henry Ford, was once asked to donate money for the construction of a new medical facility.. The billionaire made a pledge of $5,000. The next day in the newspaper, the headline read, "Henry Ford contributes $50,000 to new ho
A. The American industrialist, Henry Ford, was once asked to donate money for the construction of a new medical facility.. The billionaire made a pledge of $5,000.
The next day in the newspaper, the headline read, "Henry Ford contributes $50,000 to new hospital."
The irate Ford was on the phone immediately to complain to the fund-raiser that he had been misunderstood.
The fund-raiser replied that they would print a retraction in the paper the following day to read, "Henry Ford reduces his donation by $45,000."
Realizing the poor publicity that would result, the industrialist agreed to make the $50,000 contribution under one condition.
That above the entrance to the hospital was to be carved the biblical inscription: "I came among you and you took me in." (Bits & Pieces, March 3, 1994, pp. 1-2.)
B. Ford truly had been taken in, which is an experience that should never happen in the context of Christian giving.
1. No one should ever feel like they are being manipulated or arm-twisted.
2. Unfortunately, many worldly tactics have been used over the years to increase church donations.
3. Many ministers have stood in pulpits and said erroneous and horrendous things in order to increase what goes in the collection plate.
4. I hope and pray that that is something that never happens in this pulpit by me or by anyone else.
C. Giving is a very important and spiritual subject that needs to be addressed unapologetically.
1. Why? First, Because God’s word speaks often about the subject of stewardship and giving.
a. Research shows that there are 2,350 passages in the Bible dealing with money and material possessions. That’s more than on any other subject.
b. Jesus talked about the proper approach to money and things more than any other subject – even more than heaven, hell or loving our neighbor.
c. Some of Jesus’ greatest statements are about money. Like, “where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Mt. 6:21), or “It is more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35).
2. But that’s not the only reason giving should be addressed often and unapologetically. Another reason is that faithfulness in giving generously transforms people.
a. When we learn to release our grip on the things of this world, we become liberated from all kinds of bondage and snares.
3. Let me add one more reason to address the subject of giving: Giving is the path to blessing.
a. It is the path to blessing for ourselves, the church and the world.
b. It is one of the best ways for God to be praised and receive glory.
4. Well, with that said, by way of introduction, let’s turn our attention to 2 Corinthians 9:10&11
2nd Corinthians 9:10&11 NIV
10Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness. 11You will be made rich in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God.
And in it says God will reward Thanks giving by giving you Peace that transcends all understanding and we need to focus on the good things of God.
Philip 4:4-7 NIV
4Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 6Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
8Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.
We need to thank God for not only what He does but what He gives us, each other, He has started something in us and only He can finish it.
Philip 1:3-9 NIV
3I thank my God every time I remember you. 4In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy 5because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, 6being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.
7It is right for me to feel this way about all of you, since I have you in my heart; for whether I am in chains or defending and confirming the gospel, all of you share in God’s grace with me. 8God can testify how I long for all of you with the affection of Christ Jesus.
9And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight,