Summary: What is to be the attitude of the righteous towards money and what are the underlying principles that should govern our giving?

Based on sermon by Rob Bell- pastor in Michigan.

Talk about money- difficult topic- scandals- church, government, businesses- institutional integrity.

However- root cause is not the institution but the people in the institution- personal moral issue.

None the less money is an important part of our lives.

Some say- all pastors/churches want is money.

Offerings pay my salary- grateful- God is my provider

Jesus says more about money than prayer.

Phil 4:17 Not that I seek the gift itself, but I seek for the profit which increases to your account. NASU

When talk about money- understand the real issues.

Everything has a spiritual foundation- money included

Psa 37:25-26

25 I have been young and now I am old,

Yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken

Or his descendants begging bread. NASU

26 All day long he is gracious and lends,

And his descendants are a blessing. NASU

1. Who are the righteous? Those who …

have a right relationship w/God,

living in harmony w/God,

those who align themselves w/God’s heart.

Biblical principle- righteous will not lack provision.

2. We are dealing here w/practical things- food

God is concerned about the practical issues of life.

3. The children of the righteous will not lack

Parents- our heart towards money will have an impact on our children both in the natural/spiritual.

Look at verse 26 in the NLT …

Psa 37:26 The godly always give generous loans to others, and their children are a blessing. NLT

4. The children of the righteous will also bless others

Rob Bell …

How we live deeply affects t he next generation and how that generation affects the next.

The righteous are generous/give freely to others.

Rob Bell …

Blessing in the Bible is never for you … you are blessed so you can bless others.

God wants to bless the righteous …

… so they can bless others.

We honor God by giving generously/lending freely.

Psa 112:5-9 NLT

Look at the blessings of righteous man- He will …

1. not be overcome by evil

2. be long remembered

3. not fear bad news

4. confidently trust in God’s care

5. have victory over his enemies

What would it be like to be a generous person?

What would it be like to have resources, see a need, and be able to take care of it (secretly).

What would it be like- be part of a church, give generously- every testimony you become part of-

Feeding a meal to children in Guatemala

Supporting God’s people in Haiti

Helping unwed, pregnant girls

Giving a turkey at thanksgiving/Christmas

Giving to victims of Katrina

Helping a single mother

Mtt 6:19-20

19 "Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 "But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal; NASU

Treasures in heaven speaks of eternal riches.

I can easily talk about being …

Spiritual or holy, loving God,

being compassionate … but …

can it be seen in action in my life?

W/money, the intangible suddenly becomes tangible.

You can see by your giving whether you are really …

a loving/compassionate person,

truly righteous.

Money deals with the heart and what we treasure.

Mtt 25:31-40

1. Jesus identifies Himself with the needy

How we treat the needy is how we treat God.

Mtt 25:41-46

2. For Jesus, it is about being a generous person

Judgment- does not fall on generous, but on- stingy.

Practical Comments

Lk 21:1-4

1. Jesus is about proportions, not absolute amounts

God does not expect you to give what you do not have

2 Cor 8:12 For if the readiness is present, it is acceptable according to what a person has, not according to what he does not have. NASU

2. Baby Steps Bob

In Bible- patterns for giving- often see 10%.

Mal 3:8 "Will a man rob God? Yet you are robbing Me! But you say, ’How have we robbed You?’ In tithes and offerings. NASU

Jack Hayford …

God doesn’t feel so “stolen from” in economic terms as in being deprived of the opportunity to bless His people …

If currently not giving/tipping God, start somewhere.

If you are struggling to make ends meet, start w/2%.

When you are successful w/2%, God will call you up to the next step- from 2% to 3%, from 3% to 4%.

Some may be in debt- next step- is to get out of debt.

For those who are giving 10%- next step may be 11%.

When we talk about 10% as a standard that can leave the impression if I reach 10% I have arrived.

God is always calling us upward.

In NT- God owns it all/we are stewards of His money.

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