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Summary: Jesus has given us three keys to receiving heavenly rewards in our lives: Generous giving, powerful praying, and faithful fasting.

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TRANSFORMATION #4: THE REWARDS OF GENEROUS GIVING, POWERFUL PRAYING AND FAITHFUL FASTING

OPENING HUMOUR:

Two friends are walking their dogs—a Dalmatian and a Chihuahua—when they smell something delicious coming from a nearby restaurant. The guy with the Dalmatian says, “Let’s get something to eat.” But the guy with the Chihuahua says, “We can’t go in there, we have dogs with us.” So the first guy says, “Just follow my lead.” He puts on a pair of sunglasses and walks into the restaurant. “Sorry,” says the owner, “no pets allowed.” “But this is my seeing-eye dog,” the guy with the Dalmatian says. “A Dalmatian?” “Yes, they’re using them now.”

The owner says, “Very well, then, come on in.” The guy with the Chihuahua repeats the process and gets the same response from the owner: “Sorry, pal, no pets allowed.” “But this is my seeing-eye dog,” says the second guy. “A Chihuahua?” asks the incredulous owner. The man in the dark glasses says, “A Chihuahua?! They gave me a Chihuahua?!”

THE BIG IDEA: Jesus has given us three keys to receiving heavenly rewards in our lives: Generous giving, powerful praying, and faithful fasting.

OPENING TEXT: “Beware of practicing your righteousness before men to be noticed by them; otherwise you have no reward with your Father who is in heaven.” (Matthew 6:1, NASB).

• Reward: things promised under oath; to give back, restore

1. GENEROUS GIVING:

“Therefore, when you give to the poor, do not sound a trumpet before you as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory from men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. But when you give to the poor, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, that your giving will be in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will Himself reward you openly.” (Matt. 6:2-4, NASB).

• When we give with the right heart attitude, God rewards us.

• When we give just to be seen by others, their approval is our only reward.

WHAT IS GIVING? Two different kinds: (1) giving to the poor & (2) giving tithes & offerings

• Rewards of Giving to the Poor: “One who is gracious to a poor man lends to the LORD, and He will repay him for his good deed.” (Proverbs 19:17).

(a) When we give generously to the Lord and to the poor, He will bless is for it!

(b) Practical ways we can give to the poor: Through World Vision Canada & Union Gospel Mission. Also to those who have less than us.

• Rewards of Giving to the Lord in Tithes and Offerings: “Will a man rob God? Yet you are robbing Me! But you say, 'How have we robbed You?' In tithes and offerings. You are cursed with a curse, for you are robbing Me, the whole nation {of you!}. Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, so that there may be food in My house, and test Me now in this," says the LORD of hosts, "if I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you a blessing until it overflows.” (Malachi 3:8-10).


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