Summary: God's blessings on believers characterized in two words: giving and receiving.
Introduction: Believing In Anything
G.K. Chesterton once said, "It is often supposed that when people stop believing in God, they believe in nothing. Alas, it is worse than that. When they stop believing in God, they believe in anything."
Without God the only standard of TRUST - of right and wrong - is what appeals to you. And that's a shifting standard. It all depends on what I want, what I like, what I accept, what pleases me.
But scripture says: "All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God" My standards are all warped. My morality is riddled with impurity. And if I base what I TRUST on that warpedness/ impurity, then I'm going to embrace whatever gods allow me to do what I want to do.
It's insanity. When I stop trusting in the God of Scripture... I'll believe in anything, and eventually that will lead me to destruction. But now, by contrast, if I trust in the God of Scripture I'm no longer led by MY righteousness and holiness. Instead I'm trusting a God who is so holy and so righteous that my tendency will be to build my life around Him (rather than Him around me).
I'll use His standards of right and wrong -- not mine.
I'll build on His morality in my life -- not mine.
I'll build on His expectations for me... not mine.
AND I know if I trust in Him in these matters... I will be blessed.
Source: Jeff Strite
I. Give 27-31
A. Give What Is Good 27
27 Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, When it is in the power of your hand to do so.
1. The sure knowledge of God
The LORD will open to you His good treasure, the heavens, to give the rain to your land in its season, and to bless all
the work of your hand. You shall lend to many nations, but you shall not borrow.
2. Thanks to the LORD (this sentence appears in the OT 5x)
Oh, give thanks to the LORD, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever.
3. Be ready to give
Let them do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to give, willing to share,
B. Give What Is Needed When It Is Needed 28
28 Do not say to your neighbor, "Go, and come back, And tomorrow I will give it," When you have it with you.
1. What does the LORD require of US?
He has shown you, O man, what is good; And what does the LORD require of you But to do justly, To love mercy, And
to walk humbly with your God?
2. A big part of “doing justly” is knowing what to do and when to do it.
3. Bro John Kern used to be fond of saying, “I’d rather give to 100 people that really don’t really need it than fail to give to the one person who does.”
4. If you see your neighbor coming across the lawn to borrow, seize that opportunity not only to lend, but to witness!
C. Give What Is Wanted 29
29 Do not devise evil against your neighbor, For he dwells by you for safety’s sake.
1. Bro Ricky has some great neighbors.
2. They routinely dump their trash and booze bottles in his back yard.
3. It’s obvious they do not care about being his neighbor.
4. What if he started dumping his trash on their cars and doorsteps?
a. Their might soon be a new reality TV Show called “Neighbor Wars”!
b. Do you think they don’t know he is a preacher?
c. What would it do for his witness if he treated them as he is being treated rather than the way he would prefer to be treated?
D. Give What Is Warranted 30
30 Do not strive with a man without cause, If he has done you no harm.
1. Now if we were in the OT, Bro Ricky could lawfully go to war with his neighbors.
2. But we are not in the OT era, we are in the NT era.
3. Jesus taught
But love your enemies, do good, and lend, hoping for nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High. For He is kind to the unthankful and evil.
E. Give What Is Owed (Worship) 31
31 Do not envy the oppressor, And choose none of his ways;
1. Reject the temptation to follow the world.
a. You don’t need the biggest house
i. “ “ “ the newest car
ii. “ “ “ the newest car
iii. “ “ “ designer clothes
iv. “ “ “ steak, lobster and caviar