Summary: A look at giving of your knowledge, your time, and your money for the common good. The message discussed our need to use what we have been given to lift up the Body of Christ. The need to use the gift we have been given in accordance with our faith.
It is better to give than to receive. That is what Paul quoted Jesus as saying. It is more blessed to give than to receive. Today we will conclude our series on giving by talking about HOW we give. Last week, you’ll remember, that we said if you are in Christ Jesus, the question was not whether you give, but HOW you give. We are compelled by the love of Christ, but HOW?
I want to talk this morning about what I will call the giving triangle or triple giving. I thought about calling it the trinity of giving, but for some reason that didn’t resonate with me as much as triple giving did. Triple giving - Mind, body, and spirit. Knowledge, money, and time.
It’s interesting how often things show up in the Bible in threes. The number three is important in the Bible. In the first place, there are three Persons in the Holy Trinity: The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Each member is equally God and no less God than the other Members of the Trinity. God is Three in Essence. God is three also in that He is omnipresent (present everywhere at the same time - SPIRIT), omnipotent (all powerful - BODY), and omniscient (all knowing - MIND), therefore three is seen as the number of divine perfection or holiness. God also knows the past, the present, and the future and He abides in all of these.
Three was also the number of major feast seasons for Israel in ancient times. There were three times of daily prayer. There was even a special sacrifice of animals that were three years old. Jesus was resurrected after three days and three nights and He said that if they destroyed this temple (meaning His body), He would be raised again in three days. His earthly ministry took place in roughly three years and that was the number of years of Jesus training of the disciples.
You see, three work together in all these examples as one essence. And I think we can say the this about HOW we give for Christ of our knowledge (Mind), our money (Body), and our time (Spirit). Are you giving all that you should? Are you giving all that you can?
Paul said in Romans 12:1 - “1 Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.”
And in 1 Peter 4:10 we read - “10 Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others.” And I want you to consider, this morning, Are you giving all that you can?
Now often times when we hear the word “giving” or especially “Christian giving” we think about tithing, or, in other words, we think about money. Now certainly tithing is a part of this, but keep in mind the triple giving concept - knowledge, money, and time and look at what it says in 1 Peter - Each of you should USE whatever gift you have received to serve others. You should give to others freely of the gift that has been GIVEN to you. That is why it was given to you. Paul says to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given FOR THE COMMON GOOD and he says SO THAT THE BODY OF CHRIST MAY BE BUILT UP.
You see at the very nature of fallen man are the sins of greed and selfishness. In Christ, we can spend our time giving to others freely from the gifts we were given … AND NOT keep score. And not keep score.
Some of us are very giving people, we are. We spend our days looking out for others, paying attention to the needs of others, anticipating what someone we love might need or want and jumping in when we can to fill that need.
You know I recently thought about this while I was driving. This is where I am tested the most. Where my patience is tried the most. … And, where I need the most practice, apparently, because everyone just seems to be in my way when I get behind the wheel. You ever feel that way?
It was when I was on highway 78, trying to get back to the office before a conference call started, and I was behind someone going, gosh, had to be 15 miles under the speed limit. No one in front of them, no reason, just didn’t have any place to be I guess. Have you ever been behind someone like that?
Probably for the first time, and I’m sure Janie doesn’t believe it, but I took a deep breath, backed off their bumper, well I guess so I could at least see their bumper, and drove slowly along with them. It really was less stressful, but I began to think that we treat each other the same way in many areas of life.