Summary: Part 3 of a 3 part series on Stewardship
Why Give to God?
March 2, 2015
TEXT: 2 Corinthians 8
Joke: Today we’re going to talk about giving, and it reminded me of a story I once heard: Two men were shipwrecked on an island and the minute they got there one of them started frantically screaming and yelling, “We’re going to die! We’re going to DIE! There’s no food! No water! WE ARE GOING TO DIE!”
The second man was propped up against a palm tree, acting calm as a cucumber.
The first man said, “Don’t you understand? We’re going to DIE!”
The second man nonchalantly replied, “No we’re not. I make $100,000 a week.”
Dumbfounded, the first man looked at him and asked, “What difference does THAT make? We’re on an island with no food or water! We’re going to DIE, man!!!”
The second man answered, “You just don’t get it, do you? I make $100,000 a week and I tithe ten percent on that $100,000 a week. My PASTOR will find me!”
To those without Christ, this whole thing about giving to God is mystifying. Even many believers in good Bible-believing churches are under the mistaken impression that they need not or cannot give to God.
So my question for each one of you today is “WHY Give to God?” Does the Bible have anything to say about giving, or is it just something left to each individual believer’s personal whim? Are there blessings promised to those who give, or is it merely a Christian DUTY we have to get out of the way each Sunday with a stiff upper lip?
Now first of all, let’s define our terms so that we’re all reading from the same sheet of music. Some people don’t understand the different kinds of giving in the Bible.
JOKE: It reminds me of the little boy who, when the offering plate was passed, took off his little clip-on tie and put it in the offering plate.
His mom grabbed it back out and whispered, “Johnny, why in the world did you put your TIE in the offering plate?”
“Well,” Johnny replied, “the pastor told us to give our TIES and offerings.”
Johnny didn’t quite understand the meaning of the word “tithe,” but he did have a good heart.
So let’s define our terms (Write these in on the reverse side of your study sheet):
• The word “tithe” itself simply means “10 percent.” – Giving a tithe is when a believer gives back to God into the storehouse of his local church ten percent of his income as a reminder that ALL he has belongs to God and to put God FIRST.
• An “offering” is what you give to God above the 10 percent. – I believe that can go to your local church, or be given outside your local church as the Lord directs.
• A “faith promise offering” is a special type of offering. It’s a promise to give above your regular tithes and offerings on a systematic basis for a specific period of time for a specific need. – Most churches use faith promise offerings to raise money for missions, as we do, but it can also be used to raise money for other things.
Now that we’ve defined our terms, let’s address the question of WHY we should give to God at all in the first place. Why not keep it for ourselves and use it for our own personal benefit? Let me give you three reasons why believers should give to God.
I. FIRST, BECAUSE GIVING TO GOD PAYS SOMETHING – 2 Corinthians 9:6 – “But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully.”
In 2 Corinthians 8-9, Paul is really talking about an offering the churches had promised to give over a year’s time toward the relief of believers in Jerusalem during a famine—in other words, a “faith promise” offering.
But the principles he mentions concerning giving a Faith Promise offering actually apply to all types of giving because they’re all mentioned elsewhere in Scripture. One principle is that if you’re stingy with God, God will be stingy with His blessings; but if you’re a generous giver, He’ll be a generous blesser in your life.
Jesus put it this way in Luke 6:38 – “Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.” (ACT OUT THE UNDERLINED PORTIONS.)
This is what God wants in your life. He wants for you to be so full of His blessings, you can hardly pack in another one! But before the reaping there must first be the sowing; before the blessings there must first be the giving. “Give…and [THEN] it shall be given to you…”