Summary: This sermon is presented to teach that God is not just concerned about what we give but in how we give it.
The Spirit of Giving
January 22, 2006
Intro: Have you ever met someone that had a hard time parting with their money? Someone who found it painful to pay money let alone give it? My Grandma used to say that my Grandpa was so tight that he squeaked when he walked.
One thing you’ll learn about the world and the people you pay money to is that they don’t care about how you pay, they just care that you do. Your credit card company doesn’t care if it is painful for you to pay your monthly bill. You electric company is not concerned that you write your check grudgingly. God is different: He is not just interested in what you give but in how you give it. He isn’t just concerned about the amount you give but the attitude in which you give it. God views giving as ministry (vv.1, 12-13): We usually don’t look at it that way but when we give it is actually a service to others and to God. It is an act of worship.
The Spirit in which we should give to God
1. Purposefully (vv.1-5)
a. We must prepare to give: That means we must make provisions, plan to give. The old saying "To fail to plan is to plan to fail" certainly proves true in giving. If you don’t prepare and plan to give, chances are you won’t.
Prov 3:9 says
9 Honor the LORD from your wealth And from the first of all your produce;
b. We must be ready to give: This portion of the Bible is written in order to make sure the Corinthians would be ready. Paul had previously given them instructions on what to do.
1 Cor 16:1-2
1 Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I directed the churches of Galatia, so do you also.
2 On the first day of every week each one of you is to put aside and save, as he may prosper, so that no collections be made when I come.
Some say, “I’ll start giving like I should when I get a ‘round to it” (pass out round tuits)
2. Liberally (vv.5-6, 11,13) There are 2 aspects to giving liberally.
a. The first is giving generously (vv.5-6)
Paul wanted the Corinthians to give freely and not under a sense of obligation.
Wrong Motivations for Giving
1. Some give out of a sense of guilt. There are 2 kinds of givers in the church: Tippers and Tithers. Tippers are those who when an offering plate is passed in front of them they feel guilty so that drop in what they would give a waitress at a restaurant for service.
2. Some give as a payoff to avoid service.
3. Some give in order to be recognized.
ill. The American industrialist, Henry Ford, was once asked to donate money for the construction of a new medical facility. The billionaire made a pledge of $5,000.
The next day in the newspaper, the headline read, "Henry Ford contributes $50,000 to new hospital." The irate Ford was on the phone immediately to complain to the fund-raiser that he had been misunderstood.
The fund-raiser replied that they would print a retraction in the paper the following day to read, "Henry Ford reduces his donation by $45,000."
Realizing the poor publicity that would result, the industrialist agreed to make the $50,000 contribution under one condition…that above the entrance to the hospital was to be carved the biblical inscription: "I came among you and you took me in." (Bits & Pieces, March 3, 1994, pp. 1-2.) Ford truly had been taken in, which is an experience that should never happen in the context of Christian giving. David Owens @sermoncentral.com
4. Some give for what they will get in return.
Paul encourages believers to give generously. He applies the law of the harvest to giving which is we always reap what we sow, more than we sow, and later than we sow.
b. The second is giving genuinely (liberality) (vv.11,13) Liberal is not a popular term in Christian circles but when it comes to giving, God wants us to be liberal. The word liberality means genuineness, not having an ulterior motive, sincere, pure, simple.
3. Cheerfully (vv.7-8)
a. You must give willingly (not grudgingly)
The truth is, you don’t have to give. But I must warn that you are missing God’s mark and forfeiting a blessing of divine proportions.
b. You must give joyfully
ill. • I heard a story once about two wealthy Christians, a lawyer and a merchant, who traveled with a group that was going around the world. As they were visiting in Korea, they saw by the side of the road, a field in which a boy was pulling a crude plow and an old man held the plow handles and guided it. The lawyer was amused and took a snapshot of the scene.