Purpose: Pointing out the necessity and blessings of giving.
1. As Christians, we are commanded to partake of five different acts of worship.
2. Often, the act of worship that is most neglected and under-appreciated is the act of giving.
3. What we often do not realize is that this act of worship gives God great pleasure when we do it correctly.
4. It should also give us great pleasure.
5. We know from First Corinthians 16:1-2 that we are to give on the first day of the week and that that giving is part of worship.
6. In the passage which I have chosen to use as my text, Paul is exhorting the brethren of Corinth to give to the contribution for the poor saints of Jerusalem.
"But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully. Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work: (As it is written, He hath dispersed abroad; he hath given to the poor: his righteousness remaineth for ever. Now he that ministereth seed to the sower both minister bread for your food, and multiply your seed sown, and increase the fruits of your righteousness;) Being enriched in every thing to all bountifulness, which causeth through us thanksgiving to God. For the administration of this service not only supplieth the want of the saints, but is abundant also by many thanksgivings unto God; Whiles by the experiment of this ministration they glorify God for your professed subjection unto the gospel of Christ, and for your liberal distribution unto them, and unto all men;" (2 Corinthians 9:6-13).
A. First, let's make sure that everyone knows that they cannot buy blessings from God.
1. These television evangelists who tell us that if we give, we will receive an hundred-fold are just lying. If they truly believe that, why don't they give so that they can receive an hundred-fold.
2. If we give simply because we want to receive more money; then we are giving for the wrong reason.
B. God will provide for our needs: (Proverbs 11:24). Just like a single apple seed can sprout into a tree and produce truckloads of apples. So do our blessings multiply.
1. Our physical and spiritual needs (2 Corinthians 9:8).
a. Notice that all grace will abound.
b. Notice also that we will have all sufficiency in all things.
2. This is not simply because of the money or time that we give but is because it shows our love for God. Plentiful giving is a symptom of a deep love for God!! (2 Corinthians 9:9).
3. What do I mean by plentiful giving?
a. Doesn't refer to the amount given.
b. Paul never wanted to financially burden the brethren (2 Corinthians 8:12-13).
c. I believe it refers to sacrificial giving (Mark 12:41-44).
4. The purpose of providing for our needs is so that we might abound toward all good work. Not to make us rich.
C. Not giving plentifully is a symptom of unthankfulness.
A. We are to give according as we have purposed in our hearts. (See also 1 Corinthians 16:2).
1. We should plan to give. Make preparation.
2. We does your contribution fit into your budget?
3. Is it at the top as one of your priorities or is it at the bottom feeding on the leftovers?
B. We are to give with a cheerful heart and not out of necessity.
1. It is all in our frame of mind.
2. Do you come to worship because you want to praise God or because you feel you have to?
3. The same goes with our giving. We should desire to give and give as much as we can.
4. God loves a cheerful giver!!!
C. We must remember that all of our possessions don't really belong to us anyway.
2. We are merely stewards of the things which God has given us.
3. Remember the rich fool (Luke 12:16-21).
A. The needs of the brethren are met.
1. Not only the saints but all men (v.13).
2. In this congregation alone, we have been able to help many of our number.
B. God is glorified.
1. When people see that we are willing to help, it glorifies God; not us.
2. Again, there are examples of this in this congregation.
1. Giving is a great blessing.
2. Do you view it that way?
3. Do you love God and trust him to provide for the things that you need?
4. Please see Plan of Salvation
-- Ralph Price, March 2000 --