Summary: Why do we take up an offering each week? It is more than just to pay the bills!
• SLIDE #1
• There was this $100-dollar bill and a $1-dollar bill talking to each other. As they were lying there side by side the $1 dollar bill said to the $100 dollar bill, "Hey man, where have you been. I haven’t seen you in a long time?"
• The $100-dollar bill replied, "Man I have been having a ball! I been traveling to distant countries, going to the finest restaurants, to the biggest and best casinos, numerous boutiques, the mall uptown, the mall downtown, the mall across town and even a mall that I just newly built.
• "In fact, just this week I’ve been to Europe, a professional NBA game, Rodeo Drive, the all-day retreat spa, the top-notch hair salon and the new casino! I have done it all!"
• After describing his great travels, the $100-dollar bill asked the $1-dollar bill, "What about you? Where have you been?" The $1 dollar replied, "Well, I’ve been to the Baptist church, the Methodist church, the Presbyterian church, the Episcopalian church, the..." "WAIT A MINUTE! WAIT A MINUTE!!" shouted the $100-dollar bill to the $1 dollar bill. "What’s a church?" (Pastor Bill Burnett, New Life Chapel Foursquare Church, Hesperia, CA. April 12, 2015)
• Money related issues are the second most covered topic in the writings in the Bible, behind love.
• Of the thirty-eight parables of Jesus in the Bible, sixteen of them deal with how to handle possessions; all told, 288 verses in the Gospels — one out of every ten — refer to money. Over two thousand Bible verses talk about our personal resources, compared with approximately 500 on prayer and fewer than 500 on faith. We can’t conclude from these statistics that Jesus’ heart was focused on money, but rather that he knew ours would be. (Tim Rolen, New Hope Community church, Clovis, CA. Jan 11, 2015)
• Money is a something that everyone of us think about, stress about, and pray about.
• Whether you are a Christian or not, money is one of the things we all have in common today.
• When you think about money, do you feel secure because you have enough, or stress because you do not have enough.
• What would you be willing to do to receive $10 million? In their 1991 book written by James Patterson and Peter Kim, they reveal some statistics concerning how far people in this country are willing to go for money.
• According to Patterson and Kim’s research they found that of those surveyed…
• (25%) Would abandon their entire family
(23%) Would become prostitutes for a week or more
(16%) Would give up their American citizenship
(16%) Would leave their spouses
(10%) Would withhold testimony and let a murderer go free
(7%) Would kill a stranger
(3%) Would put their children up for adoption (Pastor Bill Burnett, New Life Chapel Foursquare Church, Hesperia, CA. April 12, 2015)
• I would imagine since 1991 the numbers would look worse.
• At FCC, we are take up a weekly offering, much the same way a typical church does.
• The practical reason we do so is so that we can fund the work God has called us to do; however, there are some deeper reasons we take up our offering each week, and it has nothing to do with separating you from your money.
• If you are here for the first time today, the subject of this message my fit into your stereotype of what church is all about; however, I want to assure you that the stereotype that all the church talks about money is not true at FCC.
• Today we are not presenting this subject to get something from you, but rather we are trying to do something for you by explaining the issues of offer or giving.
• Today I am going to explain the deeper reasons we take up a weekly offering.
• Let’s begin with looking at 2 Corinthians 9:6.
• SLIDE #2
• 2 Corinthians 9:6 (HCSB) Remember this: The person who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and the person who sows generously will also reap generously.
• SLIDE #3
Taking up an offering allows one to experience…
I. The principle of reaping and sowing.
• If you are not a follower of Jesus, you may look at this point with some suspicion. Paul who wrote 2 Corinthians is pulling an illustration from the area of agriculture to make the point.
• If you are farming the ground, the harvest that you will reap when it comes harvest time is directly tied to the amount of seed you put into the ground.
• This is nowhere in the ball park, but if you sowed 500 seeds, the most plants you would expect to harvest would be 500, and that is all the seeds germinate, don’t die or get eaten by the birds.