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 FIVE. Pastor G is talking about how we decide when, where, how, what and why to give.
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
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
HOW DO WE DECIDE WHAT AND WHEN TO GIVE?
1) Decide in YOUR OWN HEART what and when you will give.
You are deciding in your own heart based on what the Lord is speaking to you in your heart. If God prompts you to give, you need to trust Him to provide a way to make that gift and you need to obey Him.
2) Whenever, whatever and wherever you decide to GIVE, do so in a way that gives you JOY and allows you to GIVE CHEERFULLY.
If we can’t give cheerfully and joyfully then God doesn’t want us to give at all. Not until we get our spirit right again. God doesn’t want that negative energy to flow into the positive things He is creating, nurturing and guiding. Be a joyful, cheerful giver whenever God prompts you to give and if God is NOT prompting you to give, then DON’T GIVE.
And God is able to make all grace overflow to you, so that, always having all sufficiency in everything, you may have an abundance for every good deed; as it is written: “He scattered abroad, he gave to the poor, His righteousness endures forever.” Now He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness; ~ 2 Corinthians 9:8-10
WHY DOES GOD MODEL GENEROSITY TO US?
God GIVES to US so that we can GIVE to OTHERS.
When God’s children become givers like Him, it makes His daddy’s heart proud.
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
When you give extravagantly of your time, talents and treasures wherever God commands you to do so, you will be amazed at how much you always seem to have left over.
Now He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness; you will be enriched in everything for all liberality, which through us is producing thanksgiving to God. ~ 2 Corinthians 9:10-11
All that my eyes desired, I did not refuse them. I did not restrain my heart from any pleasure, for my heart was pleased because of all my labor; and this was my reward for all my labor. So I considered all my activities which my hands had done and the labor which I had exerted, and behold, all was futility and striving after wind, and there was no benefit under the sun. ~ Ecclesiastes 2:10-11
2) The MORE God BLESSES YOU, the MORE God expects you to BLESS OTHERS.
GOD BLESSES YOU FOR THE PURPOSE OF BLESSING OTHERS THROUGH YOU:
Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility consider one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others. ~ Philippians 2:3-4
3) God wants to INCLUDE YOU in His family ministry of GENEROSITY!
It’s the family business. It’s the family ministry. He wants us to expand the ministry He started by giving to those in need. God wants us to follow in His footsteps.
One who is gracious to a poor person lends to the Lord, and He will repay him for his good deed. ~ Proverbs 19:17
Did you catch that? Isn’t that profound? If you help a person in need it is like lending to the Lord and the LORD will pay you back WITH INTEREST! Jesus taught this as well. He once told a parable about a King thanking people for giving him food when He was hungry, clothing when he was naked, and visiting him when he was sick or in prison. The people are confused. They ask Him when did we do all of that for You? Jesus says:
And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it for one of the least of these brothers or sisters of Mine, you did it for Me.’ ~ Matthew 25:40
For the ministry of this service is not only fully supplying the needs of the saints, but is also overflowing through many thanksgivings to God. ~ 2 Corinthians 9:12
PAUL SAYS THERE TWO GOOD THINGS THAT COME FROM BEING GENEROUS
1) People’s NEEDS are MET!
2) People GIVE THANKS to GOD!
When we actually do what we are SUPPOSED to do, Paul says we cause people to thank God, and more than that, we will lead people to trust in God for their salvation. They will confess their sins, receive God’s forgiveness, receive salvation, and receive the promise of eternal life! All because we were faithful to give what when and where God told us to give. Isn’t that amazing? We decided in our hearts to give it joyfully and cheerfully. All because we practiced God’s command of Generosity, people who were not going to be in heaven will now be there. Think about that for a moment. Who is going to be in heaven because of you?
People will be DRAWN TO GOD by YOUR GENEROSITY and SOULS WILL BE SAVED
Your generosity matters! It matters every day in the here and now, but even more importantly, it actually matters for eternity. In what way is God calling you to be a giver today? How are you going to practice the attitude of Gratitude with your Generosity today?