Summary: This sermon discusses the need to tithe, and the difference between tithing and giving.
The Habit of Giving
December 28, 2003
I. I want to look at another habit that we need to develop as Christians. This is a subject that I don’t preach about a lot but it is a habit that we need to develop.
A. I want to now look at the habit of tithing or honoring GOD with my giving. Every time that I say something about this subject I have to live down all the TV evangelist that have ever miss used it. In the past few years there have been a lot of people that have abused people’s obedience to giving to God, but that does not mean that it is not to be one of the basic habits of Christians.
B. Why is this one of the basic habits? The Bible is a book about giving. The Bible talks more about giving than it talks about either heaven or hell. Jesus talked more about giving than almost any other subject.
1. Over half of His parables have to do with money. There are more promises in the Bible related to giving than any other subject.
(1 Cor 16:2 NIV) On the first day of every week, each one of you should set aside a sum of money in keeping with his income, saving it up, so that when I come no collections will have to be made.
2. Notice that it says "the first day of every week". Is that a habit? Yes.
(2 Cor 8:7 NIV) But just as you excel in everything--in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in complete earnestness and in your love for us --see that you also excel in this grace of giving.
C. Let me put into perspective what the Bible says. In the key words that are used in the Bible, the word "believe" is used 272 times; the word "pray" is used 371 times; the word "love" is used 714 times; the word "give" is used 2162 times.
1. God is a giver and God wants us to become like Him.
II. I want to give you seven reasons that God wants us to give.
A. FIRST GIVING MAKES ME MORE LIKE GOD.
1. God is a giver and if we re going to be like God, we ve got to become givers too.
2. The Bible says (John 3:16 NIV) "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
3. He loved, so He gave. You can give without loving, but you cannot love without giving. Christians are to be the most giving people in the world because we’re to be the most loving people in the world.
B. GIVING DRAWS ME CLOSER TO GOD.
1. (Mat 6:21 NIV) For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
2. "Wherever I put my money shows my priorities. If I put my money in my house, that s where my heart is. If I put my money into eating out, that s where my stomach is! If I put my money into clothes, into a hobby... that s where my heart is.
3. The question then becomes, Where do you want your heart to be? Wherever you want your heart to be, that s where you need to put your money. Where you treasure is, there your heart is also. The fact is, every time you give back to God, you re drawing closer to Him.
C. GIVING IS THE ANTIDOTE TO MATERIALISM.
1. We live in a materialistic world. What is materialism? It s get. Get all I can, can all I get, sit on the can, and spoil the rest. Get! Get!
2. What is the opposite of getting? Giving. Giving is the antidote to materialism. The only way I can know if I m having victory over materialism is if am I willing to part with some of what I ve got.
(1 Tim 6:17-18 NIV) Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share.
Notice he says, "Command those who are rich " Everybody in this room is rich. Everybody who lives in America is rich compared to the rest of the world. Most of the world would love to have our problems.