Summary: Being a giver will impact lives in 3 ways
MONEY IN HD: THE POWER OF POSITIVE GIVING
Play Video From Rob Bell – Nooma: “Rich”
Becoming a giver will do 3 things in our lives. It will…
EXPOSE OUR TRUE COLORS
Look in your notes at what the Apostle Paul said in 2 Corinthians 9:7a. It says, “Let each one [give] as he has made up his own mind and purposed in his heart, not reluctantly or sorrowfully or under compulsion…”
Here’s something about giving: sometimes you give, and sometimes you’re taken from. Sometimes we surrender our resources not because we want to give, but because we feel obligated. Paul is saying don’t give out of compulsion, don’t give reluctantly, don’t fight the opportunity to give. You see, opportunities to give expose our true colors. The attitudes we have toward giving may not be evident to us, but they are evident to God. So when you have a chance to share your resources with others, do it willingly, happily and with a smile.
But why should we give happily, willingly and with a smile? Because giving cheerfully reflects a proper attitude toward all that you have. It shows that we are operating as managers of God’s possessions instead of owners. So a cheerful giver isn’t selfish. A cheerful giver doesn’t give with strings attached. A cheerful giver doesn’t give merely to get something back. God loves a cheerful giver, because when we give cheerfully, we give like God gives. Probably the best verse in all of Scripture that sums up how God gives to us is Romans 5:8, it says, “But God shows his great love for us in this way: Christ died for us while we were still sinners.”
God gave the gift even though we didn’t deserve it. He didn’t say, "I’ll wait until you’ve proven yourselves worthy." He didn’t say, I’ll give if they can pay me back. And God didn’t say, I’ll give if they are sure to tell me thank you. He knew that in giving this precious gift to the world, many people would never appreciate it, many would never accept it, and none of us would ever deserve it... God gave willingly, happily and with a smile BECAUSE WE NEEDED IT. And when we are willing to give like God gives, the power of positive giving will…
CAUSE US TO RELY ON GOD
You know, one of the reasons that we don’t give willingly, happily and with a smile, is because we don’t really rely on God to take care of our needs. But what we need to understand is, if we want to see God’s power, we must first give. Examples, Elijah and Widow, feeding of 5,000. Well, maybe you are thinking, why does God operate that way? Its not fair that in order to receive His blessing I have to take a risk. But let me ask you a question. Especially to you parents. What happens when you just give your kids everything they want, without them asking, or having to earn it? They get selfish don’t they? They think they own it all. That they deserve to be given those things, and they don’t take care of it very well do they? They leave their stuff all over the place, walk on them, break them and lose them. The same holds true for us. We would be unappreciative, selfish, unwilling to give, and be poor managers of what God has given us. That is why many of God’s blessings in our lives require us to give first. You see, God wants us to be willing to give. He wants us to be happy when we give. And to do it with a smile. And when we give that way, the Bible tells us that we can rely on God to take care of us.
2 Corinthians 9:7b “…for God loves (He takes pleasure in, prizes above other things, and is unwilling to abandon or to do without) a cheerful (joyous, "prompt to do it") giver [whose heart is in his giving].” Go ahead and underline the words, is unwilling to abandon. Hebrews 13:5 says, “Let your character or moral disposition be free from love of money [including greed, avarice, lust, and craving for earthly possessions] and be satisfied with your present [circumstances and with what you have]; for He [God] Himself has said, I will not in any way fail you nor give you up nor leave you without support. [I will] not, [I will] not, [I will] not in any degree leave you helpless nor forsake nor let [you] down (relax My hold on you)! [Assuredly not!]”
And when we rely on God for our needs, the power of positive giving will…
You know, the majority of churches in America have less than 100 people in attendance on any given Sunday. As a matter of fact, George Barna, the Christian statistician says that 60% of American Protestant Churches have less than 100 people on a typical Sunday. He cites several reasons for that problem among protestant churches in America, one being that resource wise, small churches just don’t have the ability to offer life changing programs to the people in their communities. Most small churches are simply focused on survival. They just want to get enough each week to pay the pastor and pay the bills. The belief is that if we are keeping the doors open, God is pleased and hopefully the unchurched will eventually just come to our church because our doors are open.