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Summary: We give and we give to this and to that... we take up offerings and write out tithe checks, but what is the most important aspect about giving? In our story today we find 2 people whose heart was NOT right when giving to God and they are harshly dealt wit

Sermon Brief

Date Written: October 10, 2011

Date Preached: October 16, 2011

Where Preached: OPBC (AM)

Sermon Details:

Series Title: A Sermon On Stewardship

Sermon Title: The Heart of True Stewardship

Sermon Text: Acts 5:1-11 [ESV]

1But a man named Ananias, with his wife Sapphira, sold a piece of property, 2and with his wife’s knowledge he kept back for himself some of the proceeds and brought only a part of it and laid it at the apostles’ feet. 3But Peter said, "Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and to keep back for yourself part of the proceeds of the land? 4While it remained unsold, did it not remain your own? And after it was sold, was it not at your disposal? Why is it that you have contrived this deed in your heart? You have not lied to men but to God." 5When Ananias heard these words, he fell down and breathed his last. And great fear came upon all who heard of it. 6The young men rose and wrapped him up and carried him out and buried him. 7After an interval of about three hours his wife came in, not knowing what had happened. 8And Peter said to her, "Tell me whether you sold the land for so much." And she said, "Yes, for so much." 9But Peter said to her, "How is it that you have agreed together to test the Spirit of the Lord? Behold, the feet of those who have buried your husband are at the door, and they will carry you out." 10Immediately she fell down at his feet and breathed her last. When the young men came in they found her dead, and they carried her out and buried her beside her husband. 11And great fear came upon the whole church and upon all who heard of these things.

Introduction:

There are MANY subjects on which I could preach that would risk offending those here in our congregation. The subject of sex is a very sensitive subject and I will admit it is not a subject I have preached much about, but one that should be addressed more and more by the church as our culture is saturated more and more into a sexual context… but sex is not the most sensitive subject out there!

There is the subject of politics that seems to polarize the community of faith more than just about any other subject. There are those who believe the pastor should keep his mouth shut about politics and mind his own business… and there are those who think the pastor doesn’t say enough about who we should vote for or what we should vote against…

This is a touchy subject, but the pastor should NOT avoid this subject as it is vital to our congregation to know what God’s word has to say about citizenship and being a responsible believer… but politics is NOT the most sensitive subject out there…

Just a couple of weeks ago I made a statement in our church where I asked if we should welcome homosexuals to attend our church… there was an eerie silence that morning when I made that statement. While the homosexual lifestyle is an affront to God and a sinful choice by those who live in it… those people are not abandoned by God and we should not turn our backs on them OR any other sinner who comes thru our doors… or any other sinner we meet on the street!

God has called us ALL out of sin into His kingdom… we are all welcomed by God’s grace when we open our hearts to His love! But the subject of homosexuality or sexual sin is STILL NOT the most sensitive subject I could talk about from the pulpit…

Have you figured out what that subject is? Well the sensitive subject I am speaking about this morning is a subject that Jesus taught about MORE than any other subject. In fact if you take all the subjects Jesus taught about, this subject equals to the total of all the other subjects added together…

Jesus believed that teaching on this subject was VERY CRUCIAL to our spiritual growth and maturity… The subject I speak about this morning is the subject of stewardship… or more commonly referred to as MONEY or TITHES and offerings to the church…

I once heard a story about a preacher who was bound and determined to see more giving in his church so he wired the pews of the church to a powerful electrical current…

The next Sunday he challenged the congregation to give… “Who will give $500 to the Lord… STAND UP!” – then he hit the switch and 25 people jumped out of their pews!

That worked so well the preacher said, “Who will give $1000 to the Lord… STAND UP!” he hit the switch again and another 10 people jumped up! Getting excited he asked one more time, “Who will give $5,000 to the Lord!” The preacher hit the switch and all 25 of his deacons were electrocuted…

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