Summary: we ask the question: Why? Why do we provide the opportunity for us to give financially? Equally as important, why do we give of our offerings when we have the opportunity?
Date Preached _________
Where Preached ___________
Why Do We Do What We Do?
Why Do We Take up an Offering Each Week?
When things are tight financially, you do what you have to do. A particular circus was having a bad year, and one Friday the owner called his troupe together to make the dreaded announcement. He said, "I’m sorry, but there is only enough money to pay three of you this week. It was a tough choice, and have given it a great deal of thought before reaching a decision. The three people who can pick up their checks are...Benny the Bone Crusher, Sampson the Strong Man, and Ivan the Knife Thrower."
Let’s look at our scripture this morning and ask the question, “Why do we take up an offering each week?” Look at 1 Corinthians 16:1-4: “1Now about the collection for God’s people: Do what I told the Galatian churches to do. 2On the first day of every week, each one of you should set aside a sum of money in keeping with his income, saving it up, so that when I come no collections will have to be made. 3Then, when I arrive, I will give letters of introduction to the men you approve and send them with your gift to Jerusalem. 4If it seems advisable for me to go also, they will accompany me.”
Every week without fail, in thousands upon thousands of churches, at some point during their worship experience, ushers or servers move through the rows of the people and pass a plate to take up an offering. Why do we do that? Simply answered is that our giving is an act of worship!
Today, as we have over the last few weeks with the other aspects of our worship, we ask the question: Why? Why do we provide the opportunity for us to give financially? Equally as important, why do we give of our offerings when we have the opportunity?
I want to give you three reasons why we take up an offering each week. All of these reasons are important, but when we get to the 3rd reason, I think that you can see why it may carry a little more weight than the others.
1. First, we give and receive offerings in order to provide ministry through the church.
God set it up this way. This is how we survive as our congregation by going through this process. We see this in the Old Testament with what they called the Levite offering that they used to provide for the ministry of the Temple. We see that in Deuteronomy 14:28-29. Listen to this, “28 At the end of every three years, bring all the tithes of that year’s produce and store it in your towns, 29 so that the Levites (who have no allotment or inheritance of their own) and the aliens, the fatherless and the widows who live in your towns may come and eat and be satisfied, and so that the LORD your God may bless you in all the work of your hands.”
And in the New Testament even in the passage from 1 Corinthians 16 that we read today the early church took up offerings to provide for the needs of the newly formed congregations. Without the people of the church giving, the church would have a very hard time even existing.
I hope that I get this right, but if it is not exactly right then it is close. Out of every dollar that you give 41 cents of that goes for salaries, and 47 cents goes toward ministry and upkeep of the building. We are an independent Christian Church, which means that we do not answer to any organization other than to the Bible and God Himself. We do not have to answer to some headquarters. But it also means that if we are going to do anything that involves money then we need to take it from the offerings each week. We are self supporting.
Not too long ago I read of a young woman who brought her fiancé home to meet her parents. After dinner, her mother told her father to find out more about the young man. The father invited the fiancé into his study. "So what are your plans?" the father asked the young man.
"I am a Bible scholar," he replied.
"That’s great,” said the father, “But what will you do to provide a nice house for my daughter?”
"I will study," the young man replied, "and God will provide for us."
“And how are you going to buy her a beautiful engagement ring?" asked the father.
"I will pray," the young man replied, "and God will provide for us."
"And children?" asked the father. "How will you support children when they come?"