2018-02-25
Pastor Jonathan Falwell

Key Verse:
2 Corinthians 8:9
For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that you through His poverty might become rich.

Last week, from Galatians 5

1. Serving is the antidote to selfishness

2. Serving is fulfilling God’s command

3. Serving will keep us together

Last week, we began this sermon of which we will conclude today. It is the final sermon in our series, Difference Makers. Last week we talked about the importance of serving. Today, we continue and talk about giving. Giving is how we serve. Giving of our time, our talent and our treasure. Today, I want to talk specifically about the treasure element of that statement.

But first, let’s take a quick journey through the history of giving our treasure as it relates to the Bible.

Gen. 14 – Melchizadek received a “tithe” from Abraham as he returned from war

Lev. 27 –   400 years later, Moses receives the law which states that they are to give a tenth

Deut. 14 – 40 years later, Moses reminds them, “You must set aside a tithe… Bring this tithe to the designated place of worship…”

Mal. 3 –    1,000 years later.  “Should people cheat God? Yet you have cheated me!  But you ask, ‘What do you mean? When did we ever cheat you?’  You have cheated me of the tithes (mah-ah-SAY-er = a tenth) and offerings due to me.” (Malachi 3:8)

Now, we’ll move into the New Testament. Some have argued that the tithe was an Old Testament thing, under the Mosaic Law, not applicable to the New Testament. However, the New Testament continues to teach regular, systematic giving, to the church. Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 16.

1 Cor. 16:1-2 Now regarding your question about the money being collected for God’s people in Jerusalem. You should follow the same procedure I gave to the churches in Galatia.  2 On the first day of each week, you should each put aside a portion of the money you have earned. Don’t wait until I get there and then try to collect it all at once.

So, a New Testament picture of giving that emulates the Old Testament.

1. First

2. Intentional

3. Proportionate

We have a clear mandate from God’s Word that giving is a critical part of following Christ. Jesus says in Matthew 23:

Matthew 23:23 What sorrow awaits you teachers of religious law and you Pharisees. Hypocrites! For you are careful to tithe even the tiniest income from your herb gardens, but you ignore the more important aspects of the law—justice, mercy, and faith. You should tithe, yes, but do not neglect the more important things.

TO SEND IS TO SERVE, TO SERVE IS TO GIVE, TO GIVE IS TO LOVE

2 Corinthians 8:1-12 Now I want you to know, dear brothers and sisters, what God in his kindness has done through the churches in Macedonia. 2 They are being tested by many troubles, and they are very poor. But they are also filled with abundant joy, which has overflowed in rich generosity. 3 For I can testify that they gave not only what they could afford, but far more. And they did it of their own free will. 4 They begged us again and again for the privilege of sharing in the gift for the believers in Jerusalem. 5 They even did more than we had hoped, for their first action was to give themselves to the Lord and to us, just as God wanted them to do. 6 So we have urged Titus, who encouraged your giving in the first place, to return to you and encourage you to finish this ministry of giving. 7 Since you excel in so many ways—in your faith, your gifted speakers, your knowledge, your enthusiasm, and your love from us—I want you to excel also in this gracious act of giving. 8 I am not commanding you to do this. But I am testing how genuine your love is by comparing it with the eagerness of the other churches. 9 You know the generous grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. Though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, so that by his poverty he could make you rich. 10 Here is my advice: It would be good for you to finish what you started a year ago. Last year you were the first who wanted to give, and you were the first to begin doing it. 11 Now you should finish what you started. Let the eagerness you showed in the beginning be matched now by your giving. Give in proportion to what you have. 12 Whatever you give is acceptable if you give it eagerly. And give according to what you have, not what you don’t have.

TO SERVE IS TO GIVE

4. Giving Is The Pathway To Abundant Joy

– Vs 2 They are being tested by many troubles, and they are very poor. But they are also filled with abundant joy, which has overflowed in rich generosity.

5. Giving Is A Sign Of Spiritual Maturity

– vs 5 They even did more than we had hoped, for their first action was to give themselves to the Lord and to us, just as God wanted them to do.

6. Giving Is A Calling From God

– Vss 6-7 So we have urged Titus, who encouraged your giving in the first place, to return to you and encourage you to finish this ministry of giving. 7 Since you excel in so many ways—in your faith, your gifted speakers, your knowledge, your enthusiasm, and your love from us—I want you to excel also in this gracious act of giving.

– excel in serving AND giving

7. Giving Is A Response To Your Love For Christ

– vs 8 I am not commanding you to do this. But I am testing how genuine your love is by comparing it with the eagerness of the other churches.

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