OceanSide church of Christ




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TEN THINGS MY GIVING DOES

Victor M. Eskew

 

INTRODUCTION

 

A.   We often tell our children not to say four-letter words.

1.    These words are curse words.

2.    They are words forbidden by Scripture (Eph. 4:29).

 

Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that is may minister grace unto the hearers.

 

B.   There are some very good four-letter words that we have turned into “bad” words.  One of these is the word “give.”

1.    The word usually brings out negative emotions in members.

2.    Individuals often assign some evil motive to the preacher or elders when sermons on giving are preached.

 

C.   In this lesson, I want us to tackle our negative emotions.

1.    Giving is not a bad thing.  It is something that has been authorized by God.

2.    Our giving does many positive things.  In this lesson, let discuss the idea:  “Ten Things My Giving Does.”

 

I.             MY GIVING EXPRESSES MY LOVE FOR GOD

 

A.   There two ways we can express our love for God:  say the words and/or doing things that prove our love.

 

B.   God knows that talk can be very cheap.  He wants us to express our love by doing.

1.    John 14:15

 

If ye love me, keep my commandments.

 

2.    I John 5:3

 

For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments:  and his commandments are not grievous.

 

C.   Giving is a command from God.

1.     II Corinthians 9:7

 

Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity:  for God loveth a cheerful giver.

 

2.    When we give, we obey God.  When we obey God, we express our love for Him.

3.    When we put our offering in the collection plate, God will say:  “There is someone who truly loves me.”

 

II.           MY GIVING ENJOYS THE BLESSINGS OF OBEDIENCE

 

A.   For some reason, the word “obey” has become a “bad” four-letter word also.

 

B.   However, it should not be.  Obedience causes the blessings of God to be poured out on the obedient.

1.    Psalm 112:1

 

Praise ye the Lord.  Blessed is the man that feareth the Lord, that delighteth greatly in his commandments.

 

2.    The ultimate blessing of obedience is heaven (Rev. 22:14).

 

Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.

 

C.   Giving involves obedience.  Thus, every time I give I set myself up to be the recipient of God’s blessings.

 

III.         MY GIVING EVIDENCES MY HEART’S LOYALTY

 

A.   Jesus’ teaches us that wherever our treasure is, there is where our heart is (Matt. 6:21).

 

For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

 

1.    It is not, where your heart is, there is where your treasure is.

2.    It is, where my treasure is, there is where one can find my heart.

 

B.   Perhaps now we understand why the Bible commands us to give liberally.

1.    Example:  The poor widow (Mark 12:41-44)

2.    Her giving told Jesus exactly where her hear was.

 

IV.         MY GIVING ENSUES THE EXAMPLE OF GOD

 

A.   There is a saying that states;  “No one can out-give God.”

 

B.   Our God is a giver.

1.    James 1:17

 

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.

 

2.    John 3:16

 

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

 

C.   Let us now listen to Ephesians 5:1.

 

Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children.

 

1.    God is a giver.

2.    When you and I give we are ensuing the example of God as a giver.

 

V.           MY GIVING ENGAGES ME IN THE WORSHIP OF GOD

 

A.   Worship is a time the church assembles and offers sacrifices unto God.

 

B.   A sacrifice is that which costs me something.

1.    I sacrifice my time.

2.    I sacrifice my devotion to other things.

3.    I sacrifice my energy and talents.

 

C.   In giving, I sacrifice something physical that I possess, my money (I Cor. 16:2).

 

Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come.

 

1.    God has prospered us with our income and wealth.

2.    A portion of what has been prospered is laid by in store.

a.    It is kept back from our use.

b.    On the first day of the week, it is given to God.

c.    This is part of my sacrifice, my worship of the Almighty God of heaven.

 

VI.         MY GIVING ENABLES THE CHURCH TO DO MORE

 

A.   The only way the church is authorized to get funds is through the free-will offerings of her members.

1.    Bake sales and yard sales are not authorized.

2.    The church is not supposed to be involved in raffles.

3.    The church does not sell DVDs and CDs for a profit.

 

B.   When you and I give abundantly, we allow the church to do more.

1.    There are basic expenses to cover:  utilities, insurance, supplies, etc.

2.    With more funds, there are more things that can be done.

a.    More benevolence

b.    More mission work

c.    More training of men to preach the gospel

3.    There may be things the church need to be more effective in her work.

 

C.   NOTE:  The purpose of a large contribution is not so the church can save large sums of money.  It is to do more!

 

D.   The example of the Philippian church who gave to Paul while in prison (Phil. 4:18).

 

But I have all, and abound:  I am full, having received of Epaphroditus the things which were sent form you, an odor of a sweet small, a sacrifice acceptable, well pleasing to God.

 

VII.       MY GIVING EVANGELIZES THE LOST

 

A.   The mission of Jesus is simply stated in Luke 19:10.

 

For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which is lost.

 

B.   This should be the mission of the body of Christ today.  For this mission to be accomplished, churches must send preachers into the world.

1.    Romans 10:13-15

 

For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.  How shall they call on him in whom they have not believed?  And how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard?  And how shall they hear without a preacher?  And how shall they preach, except they be sent?...

 

2.    Sending preachers into the world does not mean merely instructing them to go.  It means supporting them in their labors.

a.    This involves money.

b.    That money comes from our bountiful giving.

 

C.   The church also seeks to evangelize it neighborhood:  radio, TV, newpaper, House to House.  All of these things take money.

 

D.   Remember, when we suppose a man in preaching the gospel, we are part of every conversion he facilitates (Phil. 1:4-5).

 

Always in every prayer of mine for you all making request with joy, for your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now.

 

1.    The word “fellowship” means partnership and joint participation.

2.    Because they sent support to Paul, the Philippians shared in the labors of Paul as a preacher of the gospel.

 

VIII.     MY GIVING ENERGIZES THE LOCAL CONGREGATION

 

A.   It is sad to be part of a congregation that has trouble meeting is weekly budget.

1.    The problems:

a.    The members are always wondering:  “What are we doing to do?”

b.    A vicious cycle begins:  preach on giving, bad feelings, contribution drops, so, preach on giving, bad feelings, contribution drops, so…

c.    Leadership has to ask the church for special contributions.

d.    Leadership has to make decisions about cutting various works.

2.    In such churches, a very negative attitude develops among the members.  They seem almost hopeless.

 

B.   Churches that are liberal in their giving, and meet their budgets are energized.

1.    They, too, ask:  “What are we going to do?”  This is a positive.

2.    They can do more.

3.    They can plan for a wonderful future.

4.    They are not worried about unexpected costs.

 

IX.         MY GIVING EXEMPTS ME FROM SOME TEMPTATIONS

 

A.   We live in a very wealthy society.  Satan can use our environment to tempt us.

1.    Materialism

2.    Selfishness

3.    Refusal to assist others

4.    The love of money

 

B.   When we give to God, we exempt ourselves from some of these temptations.

1.    The Lord’s word is put before material things.

2.    It is not about me; it is about the cause of Christ.

3.    I want my money to be used to help others both physically and spiritually.

4.    I do not love my money.  I am willing to freely give it to God.

 

C.   We noted that where our treasure is, that is where our hearts are.  When our money is generously given to the Lord’s work, that is where our hearts are.  We are doing as Paul instructs in Colossians 3:1-2.

 

If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.  Set your affections on things above, not on things on the earth.

 

X.           MY GIVING EXPANDS MY CAPACITY TO RECEIVE

 

A.   Luke 6:38a

 

Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom…

 

B.   One man illustrated it with a pitcher of water.

1.    When the pitcher is full, he asked:  “Can any more water be put into the pitcher?”

2.    Most would answer:  “No.”

3.    But the answer is:  “Yes.”  If some is poured out into another container, more can be poured into the pitcher.

4.    Thus, if we give, God can truly bless us more and more.

 

CONCLUSION

 

A.   Our giving does so many marvelous things.

1.    Things for the cause of Christ.

2.    Things for others.

3.    Things for ourselves.

 

B.   In the Old Testament, God asked Israel to test Him.

1.    Malachi 3:10

 

Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me therewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.

 

2.    I am sure that God would still ask us to prove Him today.  Give, and see all of the good things that you giving will accomplish!