Summary: We are called to be a GIVING people. Few Christian people will give their finance in the right way if they have not discovered the higher call to a life of giving.
Whenever we mention GIVING we immediately think MONEY – it’s natural I suppose.
Yet as ‘supernatural’ people we are called to see a broader dimension. We are called to be a GIVING people. Few Christian people will give their finance in the right way if they have not discovered the higher call to a life of giving.
In life there are GIVERS and there are TAKERS!
There are those in whose nature it is to GIVE and those who by nature TAKE!
Givers never seem to struggle for friends and takers don’t seem to have friends for long.
Proverbs 18:16 “A gifts opens the way for the giver and ushers him into the presence of the great”
Characteristics of a GIVER
Thoughtfulness, consideration, compassion, sensitivity, generosity, kindness.
Characteristics of a TAKER
Ingratitude, selfishness, self-centredness, thriftiness, insensitivity.
Even in the Church there can be givers and takers! Yet God wants us to be GIVERS!
God is the greatest Giver!
As a Creator: Genesis 1:29 Then God said, "I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food.”
As a Redeemer: John 3:16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
You may be by now expecting a message about tithes, offerings and the like. Well you’ll either be pleased or displeased. Because the actual giving of money is not the primary issue in Christian giving (stewardship).
Unless you can grasp the FIVE truths I will outline this morning you will always find giving a constant challenge.
TRUTH # 1: GIVING IS NOT AN ACTION – IT’S AN ATTITUDE!
2 Corinthians 8:1-7 “excel in the GRACE of giving”
You can never give properly until you give PROPERLY i.e. There is a right way and a wrong way to give.
2 Corinthians 9:7 Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.
(whether in finance, ministry, helps – this is how to give)
Jesus talked about HEARTS ‘n’ TREASURES - Matthew 6:19-21 (read)
This reminds us that your attitude to what you have is vitally important to how you use it.
GIVING starts in the heart and becomes an action that is driven by what you feel or see.
That is why Paul urges CHEERFUL giving – because giving can be a hugely enjoyable experience.
TRUTH # 2: JESUS ASKS FOR MORE THAN MONEY
Mark 8:34-37 (Read)
Jesus encountered someone who took pride in what they gave.
Some have placed their tithe in the offering basket thinking they’ve done their bit for God and the Church – RUBBISH – God wants you more than your money.
Rich young man and Jesus – Matthew 19:21 "If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me."
It’s as if Jesus was telling him to get rid of the riches that held him so that Jesus could have what really mattered – Him.
Financial giving is important but not as important as what God wants most of all – YOU. You are more valuable than pounds and pence.
TRUTH # 3: GIVING IS AT THE HEART OF CHRISTIAN LIFESTYLE
Jesus explains the greatest kind of giving – Matthew 10:5-8 “…….freely you have received freely give”
You are a walking talking bank vault of spiritual wealth ready to be given away. Every impulse of Jesus was to give – healing, feeding, loving, freeing etc…
He taught his disciples that giving is a way of life – Matthew 5:40-42
Being a disciple of Jesus should make us GIVERS not TAKERS. Looking for an opportunity to give.
TRUTH # 4: THE KINGDOMS PRINCIPLES ARE UPSIDE DOWN
Acts 20:32-35 (Read *v35)
This is the reverse of the wisdom of this age – the so called wisdom of a National Lottery, Prize Draws, Gambling and Gaming culture. The catch phrase of modern Britain is ‘It’s more blessed to receive than it is to give’.
Satan and society has hoodwinked some Christians into believing the same. They are the consumer Christians who come to Church to TAKE and not to GIVE. They measure a meeting by what they didn’t receive.
TRUTH # 5: EXTRAVAGANT GIVING COMES FROM THE HEART
Jesus unlocked the heart of a woman that led to her extravagant giving – Mark 14:3-9 (Read)
Her giving had actions to it. She broke the seal on her gift, removed the lid and poured it out. Yet she was not capable of such extravagance had it not been for how her heart had been touched by Jesus.