Summary: This sermon tries to get people to look at their gifts. The gifts given them for service and also their financial gifts.

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Well for the last two Sundays you have been hearing about how the church needs you, We will be finishing up this series today. When we began this series I referenced you to the pledge made by United Methodist all around the world when they join the church, that we will support the church with our prayers, our presence, our gifts and our service.

Today we are going to look at our gifts and service.

There are two kinds of gifts , there are the gifts and talents that you have that you can you in service to the kingdom and then there's that gift that we don't like to talk about to much..... money.

So what kind of gifts do you have that could be used in service to the church? Teaching, singing, are you good with kids? How about teenagers? Maybe your good at nurturing or mentoring.

There are all kinds of ways to find out what your good at. If you want to find out where your gifted in service for the kingdom you can just Google spiritual gift test and it will direct you to several free online test to help you find what you may be best suited for in the church.

Look your church needs you to teach, serve on committees, to encourage and lift up others , maybe you feel called to be a lay speaker, or even a preacher. The important thing is find something you like to do and get involved .

Now I want to talk about another gift you can use to help the church, your financial gifts.

Its ok if you hold on to your wallet while I'm preaching today . I understand, I know times are tough and we all have bills to pay . But we've already taken up the offering

and I'm not going to pass the plate again. I just want to get you to thinking biblically about giving.

Most of the time when a preacher talks about giving he talks about a tithe or a tenth , this comes from the old testament and most of the time we talk about what God says in Malachi 3: 9-10

9 You are under a curse--the whole nation of you--because you are robbing me. 10 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.

The Tithe something that God says "test me on this, give me a tenth and let me show you what faith and trust in me will do".

Well I believe that God does just that . I've seen it happen in my life time and time again. You cant out give God, you just cant.

here's the thing though, I've had people say , preacher I'm a new testament Christian that tithing stuff isn't really mentioned in the new testament.

Maybe not but giving is.

And I think we are held to a higher standard in the story of the widows mite she gave all that she had.

Look at what the Apostle Paul tells us in 2 Corinthians 9:6-7

Now this I say, he who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. 7 Each one must do just as he has purposed in his heart, not grudgingly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.

Brother Paul also gave some advice on when and how much to give

1 Corinthians 16:2 On the first day of every week, each one of you should set aside a sum of money in keeping with your income, saving it up, so that when I come no collections will have to be made.

So when it comes to giving we should give according to our income, not grudgingly, give as we have purposed in our heart or as God compels us and do it cheerfully.

So what do we do , we want to give but cant?

I understand where your coming from I've been there done that and got the T Shirt.

But face it if you cant live on 90 percent of your income you may have bigger problems than paying tithes .

But you gotta start somewhere. The average giving to the church isn't a tenth its more like 2.5 percent.

If your not giving I urge you to start , hey start small 1 percent is better than no percent . Start giving and you'll see God is going to take care of you.

Today's verse is the best way I could explain it . How many believe that Jesus tells the truth?

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