Summary: A look at how our giving impacts our worship.
• Denny came to me a few weeks ago and told me it was time to preach on tithing again.
• In the meantime, we talked about some other ways to increase giving – one idea was to recruit some new ushers, or at least train them in some new techniques
• Here’s another possible new look for our ushers
• Or maybe something a little more forceful
• We even thought about uniforms for the ushers
• We researched the latest in church designs
• We even considered some high-tech alternatives
• Someone even suggested an introductory offer
• And it’s our hope this morning that when you leave, this sermon will really make an impact on your giving
Why talk about giving?
• Not so Denny and I can get a raise
• Not because the church needs more money
Two men were marooned on an Island. One man paced back and forth worried and scared while the other man sat back and was sunning himself.
The first man said to the second man, "aren’t you afraid we are about to die." "No," said the second man, "I make $100,000 a week and tithe faithfully to my church every week. My Pastor will find me."...
• Bible mentions it a lot
o Believe, belief, etc – 285 times
o Pray, prayer, intercede – 387 times
o Love – 799 times
o Give, gift, etc. – 2290 times
• Associated blessing I don’t want you to miss out on:
One man gives freely, yet gains even more; another withholds unduly, but comes to poverty. A generous man will prosper; he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed.
Proverbs 11:24, 25 (NIV)
Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this," says the LORD Almighty, "and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it.
Malachi 3:10 (NIV)
Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you."
Luke 6:38 (NIV)
I’ve chosen to sum up that principle this morning by taking some liberty with the Morton Salt slogan “When it rains, it pours”, and changing it to “When He reigns, it pours.”
A lot of people are missing out on those blessings:
• Average Christian give 2.5% of his or her income
• Only 8% of Christians give 10% or more of their income
• 20% give 80% of funds
• 30% give the other 20%
• 50% give nothing
Why my giving releases God’s blessings:
1. It demonstrates the character of God
• It is the nature of God to give:
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son…
• God wants me to become more like Him; when I give, I demonstrate the character of God in my life.
2. It celebrates the provision by God
“But who am I, and who are my people, that we should be able to give as generously as this? Everything comes from you, and we have given you only what comes from your hand.”
1 Chronicles 29:14 (NIV)
3. It stimulates my dependence on God
And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 4:19 (NIV)
4. It communicates the worth of God
…“I will not sacrifice to the LORD my God burnt offerings that cost me nothing…”
2 Samuel 24:24 (NIV)
5. It participates in the work of God
For I testify that they gave as much as they were able, and even beyond their ability. Entirely on their own, they urgently pleaded with us for the privilege of sharing in this service to the saints.
2 Corinthians 8:3, 4 (NIV)
Notice that each of these five items is focused on God:
• His character
• His provision
• His faithfulness
• His worth
• His work
My giving is a good indication of just how important God is in my life. When God is the main focus of my life, then the result is that God rains down his blessings upon my life.
In other words…When He reigns, it pours.
How do I give so God reigns in my life?
Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.
2 Corinthians 9:7 (NIV)
• Like everything else in our walk with Christ, our giving is an outward expression of what’s already in our hearts. If I believe…
o Everything I have belongs to God