Just Announced: Philippians Sermon Series

Summary: Good stewardship is more than just giving of money, time or things to God. It is about the HEART of stewardship - a heart of worship (love for God), a heart of faith (trust in God) and a heart of generosity (gladness).

This is the last of a series of 5 messages on stewardship, and probably the most important.

Good stewardship is more than just giving of money, time or things to God. It is about the HEART of stewardship.

• In order words, good stewardship is a matter of ATTITUDE. The attitude behind our giving and our service to God.

• It is not the ACT of giving that is important but the HEART of giving.

• It’s not just what you give or what you do for God; it’s WHY you do it.

If stewardship is just about the size of the contributions we make for God, then the rich who give would be highly honored and high achievers would be greatly praised.

• But the Lord did not praise the Pharisees in His time, although they were religious and pious. He says they have the ACT but not the HEART.

• They give, not for the love of God but the praise of men.

• If we give money (your resources) or do ministry (serve the church) with such attitudes – a desire for self-glory, popularity or out of pride, we're not being good stewards.

We need to give out of a HEART OF WORSHIP to God, a heart of LOVE for God!

• Don’t give just out of need, although we are often challenged to give out of needs. We highlight the needs of the poor, the hungry, the sick, and people do give.

• But our motivation must go beyond just needs; we give out of a love for God and the passion to see His will be done in our world today.

[Young people, if you have already started working and earning, give a small token to your parents… not because they need it but because you love them. It is a way of honoring them.]

When you read the Scripture you’ll find that the people who are singled out for their giving to God would not have given if they had made their decision based on reason.

[1] The poor widow (Luke 21) would not have given her two small copper coins if she had acted strictly from reason.

• She gave because she worships God. Her giving was not out of reason or need, but of love and faith.

• By human reasoning, she should not have given (she is poor) but she did. It’s love that did it.

[2] Mary who broke the alabaster jar of very expensive perfume (John 12) and anointed Jesus.

• And Judas was angry at such a waste, complaining that it could be sold and the money given to the poor.

• That’s human reasoning, but she did that out of a love for Jesus.

[3] The little boy would not have given his meal to Jesus if he had acted on reason (John 6).

• Giving away means he would have nothing. And moreover, it would be too little to be of any use.

• But he acted on faith instead of reason, and gave it. And the lunch fed not only him but everyone else – all 5000 men and beyond.

[4] If the Christians in Macedonia (mentioned in 2 Cor 8) had acted only from reason they would never have given to help the poor Christians in Jerusalem.

• Paul says that they gave out of their ‘severe trial and extreme poverty’ (8:2) and gave ‘even beyond their ability’ (v.3).

• If they had sat down and carefully calculated how much they can afford to give, they would not have given anything.

• But because they were prompted by love, they were able to give and give generously.

You see, if you work strictly from reason - add up your income and subtract your expenses, whatever is left over after you have given to yourself, you give to God - you would probably not give.

• Most likely, you won’t have enough. Or at least, you’d tell yourself you don’t have enough. Frankly, who would like to say they have enough?

• So we learn to give, not what we can afford, but with love (heart of worship) and in faith…

• God challenges us to return the tithe to Him; it is the first fruits, not the leftovers. It is an expression of our trust in Him.

We give with a HEART OF FAITH.

2 Cor 9:6-11

6 Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. 7 Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.

8 And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. 9 As it is written:

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