Summary: The "health and wealth" doctrine is a heresy. But it uses many sound Biblical truths in its false teaching. Do you know what one basic truth they’ve left out?
This is critical for us, because otherwise – we look at as our offering as our money.
ILLUS: A U.S. Congressman named Bob McCune, told the story of the time when he took his kids out to eat at a local fast-food restaurant. As he they sat down to eat, Bob smelled the fries in front of one of his sons - and reached over to get one.
To his surprise, the young boy grabbed his dad’s hand, pushed it back, and exclaimed, "Dad, Dad, don’t take my fries!" McCune was stunned. He sat in front of his son in silence and wondered, "What happened?"
Then the meaning of this "teachable moment" hit him. He thought, "My son doesn’t know where those fries came from. He doesn’t realize that about five minutes ago I went to the counter, put my hand in my pocket, pulled out the money and bought those fries for him. I am the source of those fries.
My son doesn’t understand that, if I wanted to, I could take those fries away from him.
He doesn’t know that I don’t even need his fries; if I wanted to, I could go over to the counter and buy my own.
He doesn’t realize that, if I wanted to, I could go over to the counter and buy a dozen orders and cover him with fries.
What I really wanted from my son was his willingness to share w/ me what I’d already given him
SO 1st, God owns my offering.
It isn’t my investment in Him - it’s His investment in me.
2ndly Scripture teaches us that God has asked us to partner with Him.
Look again at 2 Corinthians 9:8
“And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.”
Did you catch that…
“God makes His grace abound to you SO THAT … you will abound in every good work.”
In other words
1. We can’t out give God
2. God expects His church and its ministries to be supported by our free-will offerings
3. God will give to us in abundance, in response to our giving to Him
And God teaches us those three things so that we’ll know that He will supply the resources we’ll need to be able to do ministry.
He gives us seed, so that we can plant it.
ILLUS: They say that John Wesley took this real seriously. Apparently, he set a certain amount that he believed he could live on… and he gave the rest away. Whenever he had a raise – he’d give that extra money to missions and ministry.
One person compared it to the concept of a pipeline.
Water will flow through a pipeline as long as there’s nothing blocking the way.
If you block up the pipe – water will stop flowing.
And that’s what II Corinthians is teaching us. God wants to use us as the pipeline
As long as the resources flow THROUGH US, the flow will continue. But if we stop up the pipe – if we sit on what God has given us - we end up blocking the blessings God wants to give us.
ILLUS: I read a parable once about man in China who was bequeathed a rice field.
The first season the irrigation water ran through his field and made it productive and fruitful but it overflowed into the neighbor’s field and gave him blessings as well.
When the next season arrived, the rice farmer said to himself, ’Why should I permit all the waters to flow through my field into his? Water is wealth, and I need to keep it for myself.’