THE CHRISTIAN'S GIVING
1. 1 Tim. 6:17-19 - Rich charged to set his mind on God - Be ready / willing to give / share.
2. Matt. 6:19-21 - We lay up treasure in heaven whenever we obey Christ from the heart.
3. Giving on the first day of the week is one way of laying up treasures in heaven!
I. GOD-APPROVED GIVING BEGINS IN THE HEART.
A. Must First be Given to the Lord - 2 Cor. 8:1-5.
1. Where sincere devotion to God exists, the joy of generous giving abounds! - cf. 8:7-8
2. Our giving is as expression of our sincere desire to serve God with our whole being (Jno. 4:23-24).
3. 2 Cor. 8:10-12 - We must have the will to give plus the actual giving!
4. 8:1-4 - How ready / willing hearts give.
B. A Heart that is Given to the Lord's Work - 2 Cor. 8:4.
1. Desire to participate in the Lord's work motivates our giving.
2. cf. 9:12 - Fills a need (God's work).
C. A Christ-Like Heart Is Vital - 2 Cor. 8:9.
1. Christ emptied Himself! Our example!
2. Jno. 3:16 - Love will motivate our giving.
D. Our Giving Must Express Our Complete Dependency upon (Faith in) God - Mk. 12:41-44.
1. A heart that is given to God all week will not have a problem giving on Sunday!
2. Our giving reflects our trust & confidence in God -- Expression of faith!
II. GOD-APPROVED GIVING REQUIRES:
A. A Regular Collection in the Worship Assembly. 1 Cor. 16:1-2
1. LOGIA - "To collect," common usage assigned to religious collections.
2. v. 2 - A formal collection - NOT putting aside money at home.
3. On a regular, weekly basis - 1 Cor. 16:2.
a. Not sporadically (when you feel like it).
b. cf. Vacation / Illness.
B. Personal, Individual Responsibility - 16:2.
-"Let each one of you...." All classes & ages are included.
C. As Each One Has Prospered - 1 Cor. 16:2.
1. The basis for determining how much to give.
-Not a tithe (tenth) of all earned / Give in proportion to prosperity.
2. As income increases - Giving should!
D. With Purpose of Heart - 2 Cor. 9:7.
1. Deliberate choice, not last minute decision! (whatever's in wallet)
2. 1st priority on our budgets.
E. Cheerfully - 2 Cor. 9:7 (cf. 8:2). -God's pleasure is obtained.
F. With Liberality - Rom. 12:8; 2 Cor. 8:2.
1. Simplicity, sincerity, singleness of heart (toward God & His work). Shown in generous giving.
2. Liberality involves attitude(2 Cor. 8:12) & amount - (2 Cor. 8:10-11, per ability).
3. Prov. 11:25 - No one ever made poorer by giving in God's way!
III. GOD WILL NOT APPROVE OF WRONG ATTITUDES.
A. Grudgingly or from Necessity - 2 Cor. 9:7.
1. Grudging regret / compulsion - 1 Jno. 5:3.
2. Devotion to God eliminates this!
B. For The Sake Of Appearance Or Praise - Acts 5:3-4, 8.
-They wanted appearance of liberality & purpose. They lied to God! cf. Matt. 6:1
C. To "Pay the Bills" or "Make Ends Meet" - 2 Cor. 9:6.
1. Misses whole point of giving -- Views the church as a business.
2. Benefits (when we give properly) come to the recipient (2 Cor. 8:14) & to the giver (2 Cor. 9:8-11). - cf. Mal. 3:8-10
3. Provisions are being made for the work of Christ here and elsewhere.
a. cf. Neh. 10:37; 13:10-13 - The work of the temple (house of God) suffered when Israel did not tithe (Levites had to survive by going back to the fields)!
b. cf. Our present giving assures the work of the house of God can be done! (Preaching, Lk. 10:7; Needy saints, Acts 4:35; edification, cf. Heb. 10:25)
1. We have received so much! But it is more blessed to give than receive! Acts 20:35
2. Give your life to God...Then you will give your possessions, too!