How many of you, when were a kid, you hoped to be rich when you grew up? In this series, Pastor Greg wants us to realize that, as Christians, and especially as American Christians, we ARE rich in many different ways. This series focuses on teaching that instead of trying to GET rich financially, we must realize that we already ARE rich financially AND with God’s help we can ALSO be rich in what matters most.
This week is PART THREE. Pastor G is talking about giving STRATEGICALLY and EXTRAVAGANTLY. He’s also teaching the Biblical principles of Priority Giving and Percentage Giving.
WHY DID GOD MAKE US RICH?
1) God wants us to enjoy what He’s given us.
2) God wants us to be generous with what He’s given us.
Now God who provides seed for the sower and bread for food will provide and multiply your supply of seed and will cause the harvest of your righteousness to grow. You will be enriched in every way so that you may be generous on every occasion, which is producing through us thanksgiving to God, because the service of this ministry is not only providing for the needs of the saints but is also overflowing with many thanks to God. ~ 2 Corinthians 9:10-12
Recognize that you’re rich. Take MOST of what God has blessed you with and enjoy it. But the other reason God has made us rich is He wants us to take some of it and give it to someone else in such a way that they actually give thanks to God.
Instruct those who are rich in this present world not to be conceited or to set their hope on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly supplies us with all things to enjoy. Instruct them to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, storing up for themselves the treasure of a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is truly life. ~ 1 Timothy 6:17-19
God has blessed me with more than I need. I will not trust in riches, but in Him who richly provides. Because I have more, I will give more.
The Bible is consistently teaching, the more God gives us, the more we should give away.
TWO WAYS TRULY RICH PEOPLE GIVE
1) Rich people give strategically.
Now I say this: the one who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and the one who sows generously will also reap generously. Each one must do just as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. ~ 2 Corinthians 9:6-7
IF SOMEONE ASKS YOU TO GIVE AND YOU FEEL RELUCTANT
1) Perhaps you’re just being selfish in your heart – that’s possible. Be sure to check your spirit in prayer and make sure you aren’t just being stingy.
2) Maybe you just haven’t given it enough thought or prayer yet. The idea has been sprung on you and you need some time to consider it.
3) Perhaps God wants you to give someplace else or give some different amount in some other way.
AFTER you have prayed about it, if you still don’t feel right about a giving request DON’T GIVE.
Giving spontaneously is good but don’t stop there. Give with an intention, prayerful, strategic plan.
TWO BIBLICAL PRINCIPLES OF GIVING STRATEGICALLY
1) Priority Giving
Honor the Lord from your wealth, and from the first of all your produce; ~ Proverbs 3:9
Before we invest one penny in our own kingdom we are to FIRST invest in God’s kingdom. Make a life of generosity a priority with Priority Giving.
2) Percentage Giving
Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, so that there may be food in My house, and put Me to the test now in this,” says the Lord of armies, “if I do not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you a blessing until it overflows. ~ Malachi 3:10
TITHE = 1/10 = 10%
“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint and dill and cumin, and have neglected the weightier provisions of the Law: justice and mercy and faithfulness; but these are the things you should have done without neglecting the others. ~ Matthew 23:23
He’s upset with them because they tithe but they don’t practice justice, mercy and faithfulness. He tells them they should be doing BOTH. Do the right things AND tithe.
Jesus actually raises the bar and so does Paul. They make it clear that the tithe is actually just the MINIMAL STARTING PLACE for Christ followers. The New Testament actually calls us to give much higher gifts to charitable causes than just the tithe. The tithe is kind of ground floor giving.
If 10% feels too challenging, prayerfully pick 5% or 7% or 3% or 1% or whatever percentage, but pick a specific, strategic weekly or monthly percentage that you can start with and then be willing to build and increase from there as God increases your faith, your wealth and blesses your giving. Each year, I challenge you to prayerfully consider raising your percentage by 1% or 2%. However the Lord leads you.
The purpose of tithing is to teach you always to put God first in your lives. ~ Deuteronomy 14:23b
Tithing teaches me that the 90% I have left over, with God’s blessings, somehow supernaturally, goes further than a 100% without God in the mix.
I’m NOT saying God is some kind of cosmic genie. You know, you rub Him just right, you put your money in, and “Poof! You’ve got a boat!” I’m absolutely NOT saying that. I’m also NOT saying to play God like the roulette wheel on the ninth island of Las Vegas and if you put a little money in God will always pay out 36-1. I’m also NOT saying getting more blessings from God should EVER be the motive for us giving generously. I’m not saying ANY of those things. But what I am ABSOLUTELY and COMPLETELY saying is that God proves Himself faithful and we cannot out-give God.
Giving is the only place in all of Scripture where God says, “You don’t believe me? Try me. Test me. Test to see if what I am telling you is true” he says.
“Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, so that there may be food in My house, and put Me to the test now in this,” says the Lord of armies, “if I do not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you a blessing until it overflows. ~ Malachi 3:10
You cannot outgive God. The more you give, the more you love giving. The more you want to give, the more strategically you plan your giving, and the more God provides for you to give.
Rich people give strategically. The second way rich people give is:
2) Rich People Give Extravagantly.
A) Solomon gave 1,000 bulls when he was only required to give 1.
B) David gave a huge gift from his personal wealth to fund the temple. Most scholars say it’s one of the largest known gifts in recorded human history. It would have been recorded today in the value of billions and billions and billions of dollars he gave.
C) A forgiven woman pours a year’s wages worth of perfume over Jesus’ head in worship.
If you decide NOT to give to Waikoloa Community Church’s ministries, I really hope you WILL give to some other church; some other charity, some other person in need. I am compelled by God to exhort you to do so. I am confident that God will continue to bless WCC with more than we need. We will not trust in our riches, but we will trust in Him who richly provides. I will say, if you DO prayerfully decide to give HERE, both strategically and extravagantly like we rich people should, then we will be able to give more to the needs of our community. The more YOU give, the more WE will give AWAY because we know we can’t out give God. And one day, because of your generosity, I guarantee you, there will be many people, around the world, thanking God because of you.