THE PROMISE OF CHEERFUL GIVING

There are a lot of misconceptions about giving in our churches. Some dear folk get the false idea that when preachers talk about giving it is all about getting themselves a raise.  Others believe that the preacher is trying to stoke up the offerings for some pet project. Those things may be true in some cases but the right reason for preaching and teaching on what the Bible says about giving is so that my people can know and receive God’s greatest blessing in their lives.There are a lot of misconceptions about giving in our churches. Some dear folk get the false idea that when preachers talk about giving it is all about getting themselves a raise.  Others believe that the preacher is trying to stoke up the offerings for some pet project. Those things may be true in some cases but the right reason for preaching and teaching on what the Bible says about giving is so that my people can know and receive God’s greatest blessing in their lives.
(Philippians 4:17) “Not because I desire a gift: but I desire fruit that may abound to your account.”
The Bible says a lot about giving. Jesus talked about giving. The Apostle Paul talked much about giving so I am confident that it is okay for us to look at that subject too. Paul wrote both of the passages before us and to support his words I want to read something Jesus says that is very similar.

(Luke 6:38) “Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.”

We see that the principles that Jesus taught are repeated by the Apostle Paul in his letters.

THE COMMENDATION FOR CHEERFUL GIVING. Philippians 4:10-18

Unfortunately, a lot of preaching focuses on the negative. The preacher telling us all the stuff we re doing wrong and how we need to do better. Obviously, there is no lack of material for that. But, Jesus and the other New Testament writers also had plenty to commend the people about that they preached and wrote to.

PAUL’S REJOICING OVER THE PHILIPPIAN CHURCH’S GENEROSITY. Vs. 10, 14-16.

PAUL’S BOASTING OF THE CORINTHIANS TO ENCOURAGE OTHERS TO GIVE. 2 Corinthians 9:2-5.

THEIR WILLINGNESS TO GIVE. Vs. 2.

Both of these churches had a heart to give to the work of God. Paul commends these folks for their faithfulness to the cause of our Savior. I want to commend MBC for its faithful interest in and support of the evangelization of the lost to the ends of the earth.

THE IMPORTANCE OF CARRYING THROUGH. Vss. 3-5.

You made a great commitment to give don’t fail to carry through.

THE PROVISION FOR CHEERFUL GIVING.

GOD’S PROVISION TO GIVE. Philippians 4:19.

Verse 19 makes 13 possible.I have had professing Christians tell me over the years that they cannot afford to give to God’s work. I can’t tithe. I can’t give to missions. We need to be careful of our words. We find the money to pay for our cable TV and extra goodies for our phone but can’t find baby steps of a tithe to support the Lord’s work. I try to encourage them the best I can that our Great God will bless them abundantly if they trust Him to give and give generously. Sometimes they launch out in faith, believe God and give and see God bless them. And sometimes they don’t and continue to struggle with their finances. Dear ones, please remember that God will not fail in His promises.
VERY IMPORTANT: God will not tell us to do something that He will not enable us to do.
I have learnt the hard way that it is very easy to spend whatever I make. There must be discipline brought to bear. Careful deliberation has to be made. Can I afford to keep my commitments to the work of God and buy that new vehicle too? Am I over extending myself in indulging myself with this or that thing that I don’t really need.
I believe God and trust Him to supply for all my needs by Christ Jesus.

GOD’S SUFFICIENCY TO GIVE. 2 Corinthians 9:8, 9

Those simple but important words, “And God is able …” say it all. If our faith in God believes those four words the rest is simple. Follow the verse with me, God has the power to make ALL grace, ALL grace (every benefit of knowing Him) abound toward you so that you will ALWAYS have ALL sufficiency in ALL things so that you can abound in ALL and EVERY good work.
How can God do that? Remember dear ones, God says, (Psalms 50:10, 11) “For every beast of the forest is mine, and the cattle upon a thousand hills. 11I know all the fowls of the mountains: and the wild beasts of the field are mine.”
God has the resources to meet any need. Verse 9 is talking about the man that trusts God in just such a way and what is that man able to do? He gives: he is a giver. He seeks to meet the needs of others. Beginning with their greatest need, Jesus Christ.

THE COMMITMENT OF CHEERFUL GIVING. 2 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.”
Our giving to the work of the Lord needs to be purposeful and deliberate. It must not be done haphazardly and left to the last moment. Plan you giving. What are you going to give weekly to the ongoing ministries of your church. One week from today is Faith Promise Sunday. I have been praying for weeks about what God wants us to purpose in my family’s giving for the next 12 months. We will establish that and each week will purposefully give.

THE CHALLENGE TO CHEERFUL GIVING. 2 Corinthians 9:3-6.

The Lord wants us to give cheerfully. Don’t be moaning the whole time you are preparing your offering or grudgingly fill out your Faith Promise Card. We are pretty good at rationalizing what we do, including how we give.

Like the dear mother that wanted to teach her daughter a spiritual lesson. She gave the little girl a quarter and a dollar bill for church “Put whichever one you want in the offering and keep the other for yourself,” she told the girl. When they were coming out of church, the mother asked her daughter which amount she had given. “Well,” said the little girl, “I was going to give the dollar, but just before the collection the man in the pulpit said that we should all be cheerful givers. I knew I’d be a lot more cheerful if I gave the quarter, so I did.”

Frankness of a child. I guess it will be determined by what cheers you. It is interesting to note that the Greek word for cheerful here is “hilaros.” We get our English word “hilarious” from this word. I was going to title this message “Hilarious Giving” but thought better of it.

Understanding that the Lord is going to supply our needs and the more generous that we are with Him the more generous He will be with us. Where do you get that; preacher?

(2 Corinthians 9:6) “But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully.”

The Holy Spirit applies the natural law of sowing and reaping to the measure of His blessing. Question: how big of a blessing do you want from God?

“A faithful old believer was once asked how he could give so much to the Lord’s work and still have great wealth. The old man replied, “Oh, as I shovel it out, God shovels it in, and the Lord has a bigger shovel.”

Two things determine it for me:1) I want and desperately need God’s blessing in my life.2) I long to see the Lord’s work accomplished right here at MBC and on the mission fields of the world.
Those two will be fulfilled by God’s promise for cheerful giving.
Remember what the Lord Jesus said:

(Luke 6:38) “Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.”

THE BLESSING OF CHEERFUL GIVING. Philippians 4:19; 2 Corinthians 9:10.

As we read these passages on giving it is obvious that God blesses us when we give generously to see His work go on.

(Proverbs 3:9, 10) “Honour the LORD with thy substance, and with the firstfruits of all thine increase: So shall thy barns be filled with plenty, and thy presses shall burst out with new wine.”

I am in no way one of these health and wealth charlatans that we see on television trying to get every last dime out of their viewers. But, the truth is that God has promised His blessing on cheerful givers. He will definitely bless those who with  a cheerful heart give to see the Gospel proclaimed right here in Fort Worth and to the uttermost parts of the earth.

CONCLUSION: Church; we are going to hear a lot about missions this week. Messages that will inspire and challenge us about what we can do to reach the world for Christ.
Is our giving mechanical in how we give our tithes and offerings? Who do we give to? Do we realize WHO we are giving to? We don’t give to the preacher. We don’t give to the missionaries. Nor are we giving for this church project or that one. We are giving to Jesus Christ for Him to use as He directs through His church.
This has not been a salvation message today. We haven’t mentioned the Gospel much but you will never be a real giver until you have received the greatest gift ever given by the greatest Giver to any one at any time. That dear friend was the gift of God in giving His only begotten Son to pay the wages of our sin. Receive God’s abundant amazing gift of His grace and you will be transformed into a giver.

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