Monday, March 3, 2008

3/2/08 AM - Giving and Sharing


The Ten Commandments of Personal Finance – This list will vary, but for Christians, there is an obvious omission – Giving and Sharing.

Giving and sharing has always been an essential part of God’s economy and there for is a Christian responsibility.

EXAMPLE: Old Testament financial requirements:

#1. The Levitical Tithe – 10% - this to support the priest, Levites, tabernacle, temple worship

#2. The Festival Tithe – 10% - brought to the tabernacle for use in celebration and worship by worshippers and priests Duet. 12:6 & 7

#3. The Welfare Tithe – 10% every third year – to help take care of non-jews, Levites, widows, orphans Duet. 14:28-29

#4. Profit Sharing - Share your blessings. Lev. 19:9 & 10
Today the above two items are taken care of, in large part, by the taxes that we pay..

#5. Free Will Offerings – voluntary giving because want to and are able to give more than required. Some examples: Ex. 35:5 – 10, Ex. 36: 2-7

#6. Personal Benevolence – meeting individual needs as they are encountered and as able to meet the needs

#7. Family inheritance - they were expected to leave an inheritance to pass down to future generations.

These began as a requirement, but became the mindset and philosophy of the people.
500 years later. Examples: Prov. 11:25, 22:9, 28:27, 19:17

This doesn’t mean that all Jews were generous. The thing is that those who were not seeking God came to recognize that the righteous, wise, Godly people had developed an attitude of generosity.

In the New Testament there is: less requirement, ie. no law, no specified amount, giving is not necessary to salvation.
But there is: greater expectation because we’ve experienced God’s grace in Christ.

It is not about a greater % of giving, but developing a heart of giving and a habit of giving.
Note the promises in these scriptures. Luke 6;38, “Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, …..”
Heb. 13:16 – “And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.,
2 Cor. 9:6
- “…whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly….”
Acts 20:35
– “….the Lord Jesus himself said:’It is more blessed to give than to receive.’”

I. Why give

1. To honor God. New Testament sacrifice is obedience, the act of worship, showing faith and confidence in God, supporting and building the Kingdom and Kingdom work.

2. To bless others. This means to meet needs, share the blessings, encourage the recipients, build community, and benefit society. We’re to be salt and light and make a difference in the world, and change the world.

3. To benefit yourself. Nearly every verse about giving includes a promise of blessing for giving. Giving builds your faith in God, develops a heart of giving, makes you aware of your blessings, makes you more sensitive to needs, and makes your subject to rewards.

In summary, Jesus said, “the first and greatest commandment is to love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind and soul, and the second is to love your neighbor as yourself.” All the law is fulfilled in these two. You reap benefits of honoring God and helping others.

II. How to Give

1. Cheerfully
2. Gladly
3. Thankfully
4. Humbly
5. Proportionally & systematically – set aside according to your income and systematically – it accumulates and builds up. 1 Cor. 16;1 & 2
6. Wisely - Use your head. We’re to be stewards of what God has blessed us with. Don’t give away what’s meant to take care of your family. Don’t be stupid and naïve in your giving.

III. How Much to Give The amount is NOT the primary issue. If the will is there, the gift is acceptable.
2 Cor. 8:12 – the widow’s mite became the model of giving. She gave out of her poverty while others gave out of their wealth.

A. it’s your decision 2 Cor. 9:7, “ Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to gove, not reluctantly or under compulsion….”

B. Pastor’s advice would be start with 10%. - How can we as Christians, and ‘wealthy Americans’ decide that we only need to give a fraction of what the Old Testament required of God’s people.

Luke 12:48(b) ‘from everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.” Giving should be done with a spirit of generosity, not begrudgingly.

C. Some statistics:
3% of those who attend church and claim to be Christians actually tithe 10%.
40% of those who attend church give 0 to the church.
If church people actually tithed, there would be a $150 billion per year surplus available for God’s work.


For Christian givers this message is for instruction and for confirmation.

For Christians who are not giving as they should, take the 90-day challenge.
Malachi 3:10 “Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse,…… Test me in this, “ says the Lord Almighty, “And see if I will not ….. pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it.”

For pre-Christians, the challenge is to start giving and it will lead you to Christ.

Jim Elliott once wrote, “he is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.”

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