Summary: A 4-point sermon about giving. Includes tithing our time, energies, talents, and even our money to the Lord’s kingdom. Full text and MP3 will be placed at www.sermonlist.com
I normally preach twice a year about giving. It is my duty as a pastor to give you all of God’s word, even those parts that we might not like to hear. But why would I choose the month of Christmas, the most expensive month of the year, to talk about giving to the church? Jesus. That is the reason. Let me explain.
Jesus gave all He had for us. I think that during this season where Jesus is on everybody’s mind, it is only appropriate to talk about sacrifice; both the sacrifice He made for us and the sacrifice we should be making for Him.
I was visiting one of the inmates in Claremore this past week, and the subject came up about giving money to the church. He said it seems like churches are all about money and very little else. To the unchurched, it might seem like that at first glance, but there is much more to it than just putting some of your money in a collection plate.
For the true Christian, giving is an act of worship. It says the giver trusts God so much; He or she is willing to give a portion of their money to Him so He can use it to help others in His kingdom. This is an astounding type of love, because we tend to hold on to our money tighter than anything else we have.
Did you know what we think about money will not only affect our walk here on this earth, it will also affect our eternal lives as well?
Today, I want to talk about money. I realize this is a sore spot with many people, but we have to realize that it is also a sore spot with God, but in an entirely different way.
For the most part, we don’t have a problem with giving, as long as we can give an amount that we are comfortable with. The problem is that puts us in control of our finances instead of letting God take control of them. I want to talk to you today about Christian giving, but I want to do it in somewhat of a different context.
First of all, let’s go back and start with the Bible. I took “Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance” and I counted how many times the word pray, in any format, is mentioned. Prayer is mentioned over 500 times.
I did the same thing with the word ‘love’. It is mentioned nearly 400 times.
Now, let me ask you a question. Do you think God would have gone to the trouble of making sure all those references were in His word unless He actually meant for us to adhere to them? When God repeats Himself, it is only for once purpose: To let us know just how serious He is, about our doing whatever it is He is talking about.
Now, with that in mind, let me tell you how many times the word ‘giving’ is mentioned. It is mentioned nearly 2,000 times! Why do you suppose God mentioned it that many times? To make us focus on giving!
God has given us resources and He expects us to share them. He wants us to give of our time, our skills, and yes - even our money. As we do these things, we are building increase for the kingdom of God here on this earth. And as we do that, He will reward us in kind.
‘Remember this; whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, but whoever sows generously will also reap generously.
‘Each man should give what he has already decided in his heart to give, freely and not under any pressure, as God loves the one who cheerfully and willingly.
‘And for doing that, God is able to pour out His blessings on you, giving you back more than you will ever need, and He can make you succeed in everything you do.’
Many people think the time, energy, or money that is given to charities, to the poor, or even to the church is money thrown away. But God tells us that if we give to such places with the proper heart, it is like a seed that is planted. That seed will eventually grow into a large plant. And the money we have given will cause something to bloom in God’s kingdom.
It is true that we should never throw any of our God-given resources away, including our money. We need to be wise and careful, making sure that our gift is what we should give, and given where we should give it. Humans tend to waste what we have on our own desires and hold back from giving to those who truly need it.
It is especially hard on us to give away our money, even to God. There is the story of a man who was dying and he decided he was going to take all his money with him. He instructed his wife to take out all the money from the bank and put it in a sack and hang that sack on one of the rafters in the attic.