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Summary: The Gift of Giving (PowerPoint slides to accompany this talk are available on request - email: gcurley@gcurley.info)

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Readings:

• 1 Corinthians chapter 9 verse 7-14.

• 2 Corinthians chapter 8 verses 6-15.

• We tend not to get too much teaching on money & giving?

• Over the past 5 or 10 years;

• I could count on one hand, the sermons on this subject.

• Probably because the subject of money / giving we find embarrassing;

ill:

• Speaker you find treasurer putting things in your pocket.

• Ill: Bob Telford. (bill for hymn books).

The New Testament has a lot to say concerning both money & giving:

• In Matthew, Mark, and Luke’s gospels 1 in every 6 verses deals with money.

• Of the 29 parables Christ told, 16 deal with a person and his money.

• Both money and giving are open topics in the New Testament.

• So it is a doctrine we ought to be clear about in our thinking.

Question: How does God provide?

Answer:

(1). Through his people!

ill:

Personal true story:

• Lady in Southampton who wanted to give me a gift, but couldn’t;

• Because: "I lived by faith".

• Now I do not know how she imagined we got our support;

• But I can assure her 100% that our support as ‘so called full time workers’:

• Comes directly from God’s people;

• e.g. Churches & individuals who choose to support work.

(2). All Christians are called to give!

ill:

Man being baptized (“Wallet and all…”).

• If God’s way of providing is through his people:

• Then we need to ask the next question:

Question: Who should we give to?

Answer:

• I would suggest our giving should involve,

• Some of these aspects:

(1). Local Assembly:

I would suggest that the local assembly is where we give the most to:

(a):

• Obvious reasons:

• Maintenance. (General bills & upkeep of building.)

(b).

• Members in need.

• Elders have the insight & wisdom to help out individuals during those hard times.

(c).

• Evangelistic thrust.

• Everything we do involves some sort of expense.

(2). Missionary’s full time workers:

• Think back to our first Bible reading 1 Corinthians chapter 9 verse 7-14.

• The apostle Paul’s teaching in these verses is very clear:

• To help us understand in verse 7 he uses 3 illustrations,

• 3 pictures from everyday life are used to underline his main point.

ill:

• No soldier has to provide his own rations,

• So why should a soldier of Christ be different?

ill:

• A man who plants a vineyard will share in its fruit.

• Why should a man who plants churches be different?

ill:

• A shepherd of the flock will get his food from the flock.

• Why should a Christian shepherd (pastor/elder) be different?

The apostle Paul then backs up his illustrations with scripture:

• He quotes from the Old Testament book Deuteronomy chapter 25 verse 4:

• "Do not muzzle an ox while it is treading out the grain".

Ill:

• Owners were forbidden to put a leather muzzle on their ox’s;

• Which would of course prevent them eating any corn during the treashing process.

• God introduced a law which said;

• An ox while serving his owner was allowed to be rewarded as it worked,

• In reward for its hard work;

• The ox was allowed to eat some of the corn to renew its energy and maintain its health.

In 1 Corinthians chapter 9:

• The apostle takes this law regarding animal rights and applies it to Christian workers;


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