Summary: The Gift of Giving (PowerPoint slides to accompany this talk are available on request - email: email@example.com)
• 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;
• 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?
(1). Through his people!
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!
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?
• 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:
• Obvious reasons:
• Maintenance. (General bills & upkeep of building.)
• Members in need.
• Elders have the insight & wisdom to help out individuals during those hard times.
• 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.
• No soldier has to provide his own rations,
• So why should a soldier of Christ be different?
• A man who plants a vineyard will share in its fruit.
• Why should a man who plants churches be different?
• 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".
• 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;
• He takes a very practical law and gives it a spiritual application.
• On our all-age H.P’s in the Midlands we never gave our speakers a gift from funds.
• Instead we had an Ox Box.
• The principle was; if you are blessed spiritually,
• You should return that blessing materially.
• So the box was next to the pulpit and folks gave as they felt led.
• That was what we felt was right in that situation!
(3). Christian works and organisations.
• Many of the same reasons;
• Covered in the previous points could be repeated.
(4). Poor and needy (Home and abroad).
• If you read through the Bible;
• Sooner rather than latter you will be reminded that God cares for the poor & needy.
• And if God provides through his people;
• Then obviously we too need to care for the poor and needy!
• Proverbs chapter 19 verse 17:
• "He who is kind to the poor lends to the Lord, & he will reward him for what he has done".
• Proverbs chapter 21 verse 13.
• "If a man shuts his ears to the cry of the poor, he too will cry out & not be answered".