Summary: We handle it, exchange it, spend it, invest it, need it and give our life away for it. Does money stain us, change us, make us do things we don’t want to do? We can make money clean!
Pt. 3 - You Are Seedy!
We have been talking about money in church. Why? Tim Keller says “Our bank statements are perhaps the greatest evidence of having minds that have truly been transformed by the grace of God.”
Craig Blomberg, calls the way we take care of our material possessions “the most important test-case of one’s profession of discipleship,” and said materialism is “the single biggest competitor with authentic Christianity for the hearts and souls of millions in our world today.”
Money is an important topic because we all have to deal with and learn to handle it correctly.
Now most of us have probably really never had any close encounters with money laundering. However, because we all watch movies we can certainly attest to the fact that the people who are involved with this practice can be considered "seedy" at best. With risk of offending right at the outset of this message I want to tell you that you are seedy! In the movies, folks who are seedy try to stay hidden and tend to hang out in the shadows of society. But as I look over some of the seediest people I know I want to encourage you to step out of the shadows and begin to embrace your seediness! Let me see if I can explain.
Text: 2 Corinthians 9:6-11
Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. As it is written: “They have freely scattered their gifts to the poor; their righteousness endures forever.” Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness. You will be enriched in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God.
God can pour on the blessings in astonishing ways so that you’re ready for anything and everything. This most generous God who gives seed to the farmer that becomes bread for your meals is more than extravagant with you. He gives you something you can then give away, which grows into full-formed lives, robust in God, wealthy in every way, so that you can be generous in every way, producing with us great praise to God.
I can teach you several lessons from this passage . . .
The classic lesson is if you sow sparingly you will reap sparingly. W. S. Plumer said it best when he said, “He who is not liberal with what he has, does deceive himself when he thinks he would be liberal if he had more.”
The writer is trying to teach us that we participate with God to determine return! 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.
Proverbs 11:25 - "The generous soul will be made rich, and he who waters will also be watered himself."
I could teach you that it really isn't about the amount it is actually about the attitude. God loves a cheerful or hilarious giver. Sometimes the best giving occurs when it makes absolutely no sense. I could point you to the account in Mark 12 where Jesus observes and then celebrates the widow who gave 2 cents compared to the thousands given by the religious leaders. Generosity is not about what’s in your bank account—it’s about what’s in your heart. In fact, I am not really talking to you today about being generous here inside the church - how can you invade society with generosity? It should start in His house but it should carry over to the houses of others. And although generosity really isn't about money at all it is usually best revealed in money. Generosity is also about forgiveness, grace, friendship, and love. However, usually if a person is stingy in sowing money they will be hesitant to sow anything else. Warren Wiersbe says, "Giving is not something we do, but something we are." So, it invades our entire life!
But instead I want to focus on a couple of things we miss in this passage.
Celebrate Gods Guarantee.
1. He will supply seed.
You are seedy! It is a promise! You should take joy this morning and also become more aware. I remind you that one of the promises is that if we seek His kingdom first He will supply all our needs. I remind you that one of the proclamations that we lay claim to is that we have never seen the righteous forsaken (promised presence) or their children begging for bread (promised provision)!