Summary: Giving is an act of worship and an act of faith that is necessary in growing in our relationship with God.
The Malachi Test
1 Tim 6:10 -11, 1 Chr 28:2 - 3, 1 Chr 29:2-13, 10-17, 2 Cor 9:6 - 11, Mal 3;10-11, Heb 11:6
November 15, 2002
I. If you have not figured it out by now, I am preaching about some of the basic foundational principles of the Christian life.
A. Trust, worship, prayer, and ministry are basics of the Christian life, and the fact that I started by saying that is proof that there is another basic that I am going to talk about.
B. This is something that people think I need to talk about more.
C. The subject that I am talking about is giving and it is a very ticklish subject for churches today because of some unethical people who have abused it.
D. To the outsider it may seem like the church is all about money, but that is not true, money is a part of it for sure.
E. We all like having a nice building to meet in with comfortable places to sit, and the temperature at a nice level, and many other things, and those things are important, whether they should be or not in reaching other people, and the bottom line is that they cost money.
F. The church has operating expenses just like any other organization
G. But in the case of a church there’s more to it than just collecting money for operating expenses.
H. For the Christian, giving is an act of worship and an act of faith.
I. Giving says that God and His work are important and it says that the giver trusts God with his or her resources.
J. And giving our money is not the only way that we can give and we should give of all of the things that we have.
1. We are to give our time. Studies have proved that in our generation time is the most valued commodity that we have as a society and we should give of our time to God.
2. Time is something that is associated with giving of our talents and using our spiritual gifts for God, which we talked about last week.
3. And we are to give our money because in the type of society that we live in it takes money to keep anything operating.
K. How we handle our money is something that is important to God.
(1 Tim 6:10 -11 NIV) For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs. But you, man of God, flee from all this, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness.
L. How we handle our money can greatly effect our lives. And, there are more parables in the gospels that relate to money than any other single topic. So apparently it is an important subject.
II. A mother wanted to teach her daughter a moral lesson. She gave the little girl a quarter and a dollar for church. "Put whichever one you want in the collection plate and keep the other for yourself," she told the girl. When they were leaving church, the mother asked her daughter which amount she had given. "Well," said the little girl, "I was going to give the dollar, but just before the collection the man in the pulpit said that we should all be cheerful givers. I knew I’d be a lot more cheerful if I gave the quarter… so I did."
A. The mother may not have agreed with her daughter’s reasoning, but at the heart of what she did is a fact, and that is that we, and the daughter give way we believe.
B. King David did that in I Chronicles. David believe that God was worthy of a nice place to worship and he led the people to believe in what they were giving to.
C. David believed that God deserved a nice place that people could worship him in, but God would not let him build it, because: David was a man of war & blood. That was not the type of man God thought should be building the Temple.
D. I am not sure I quite understand that, because David was a man of war because he had to be to do what God had called him to do, but I will leave the details of working that out up to God.
(1 Chr 28:2 - 3 NIV) King David rose to his feet and said: "Listen to me, my brothers and my people. I had it in my heart to build a house as a place of rest for the ark of the covenant of the LORD, for the footstool of our God, and I made plans to build it. But God said to me, ’You are not to build a house for my Name, because you are a warrior and have shed blood.’