Thank You, For Giving To The Lord

The churches of Christ Greet You (Romans 16:16)

1.  We heard a song several years ago that said
     a.  "Thank you, for giving to the Lord.
     b.  I am a life that was changed."
2.  The idea behind the song was
     a.  that this individual was brought to the Lord
     b.  through the generosity of one who was a Christian.
3.  That's what we want to talk about in this lesson.
4.  We have several examples recorded in the New Testament
     a.  of those who truly knew the meaning of Christian giving.
     b.  One good example would be the church in Jerusalem,
          1.  who had all things common (Acts 2:44-46),
          2.  or those in Macedonia who gave above their means
          3.  despite their poverty ( 2 Cor. 8:1-5).
     a.  And there are also numerous individual examples
     b.  such as Barnabas and Dorcas (Acts 4 & 9).
5.  We don't believe that most people have been taught to give properly;
     a.  too many give sparingly and begrudgingly.
     b.  So, what we want to get out of this lesson
     c.  is some motivation to give joyfully and willingly.

                             I.  God Loves and Rewards Those Who Give Cheerfully

1.  First, We Are Motivated To Give Joyfully And Willingly
     a.  When We Realize That God Loves Those Who Give Cheerfully,
     b.  And He Rewards Those Who Give Cheerfully (2 Corinthians 9:6-11).
2.  David wrote: "Blessed is he that considereth the poor: the Lord will deliver
                              him in time of trouble" (Psalm 41:1).
3.  There is no doubt that God is the one who has provided for us,
     a.  and therefore we should realize that it is all His anyway,
     b.  and God can take care of us.
     c.  That is the entire point of Jesus' teaching in Matthew 6:30-33 (Read).
     d.  Loved ones, you can't out-give God!
4.  So let’s turn and read the exhortation Paul gave the church at Corinth
          (Read 2 Cor. 9:6-11).
     a.  But we should notice that verse 6 is often misused
     b.  by the televangelist and such-like today.
5.  Many seek to motivate people to give more by saying
     a.  that this passage teaches that God will pay them for what they give.
     b.  But, the context does not support this amazing falsehood.
6.  Verse 8 tells us that the reaping bountifully
     a.  that will result of our giving cheerfully
     b.  will be so that we will have two things:
          1.  First, we will have all sufficiency,
          2.  or in other words, what we NEED!
7.  Second, so that we will have an abundance
     a.  for EVERY GOOD WORK!
     b.  Not an abundance to take care of ourselves,
     c.  but an abundance to reach out further to bring others to Christ.
8.  And so in verses 10 and 11
     a.  Paul talks about God supplying and multiplying the seed sown.
     b.  He's the one who supplied the seed in the first place,
          1.  and He is the one who multiplies the seed when it is sown.
          2.  God blesses those who give with the opportunity to give more.
9.  Here's the point.
     a.  We should be willing to give cheerfully,
     b.  because the more we give,
     c.  the more God will give us the ability to give.
10. We should realize though that this is not limited to money,
     a.  we could make the same application to our time and abilities,
     b.  but the point remains the same.
          1.  Give to God the best,
          2.  and He will bless us to be even more useful in His service.

                                        II.  Our Giving Produces Glory To God

1.  Second, We Are Motivated To Give Joyfully And Willingly
     a.  When We Realize That Our Giving Produces Glory To God.
     b.  In the sermon on the mount Jesus said "Let your light so shine before
                    men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father
                    which is in heaven" (Matthew 5:16).
2.  Surely our giving produces the opportunity
     a.  for our light to shine in a greater capacity to those around us.
     b.  Our giving provides the opportunity
          1.  to reach the lost with the message of the Gospel, and
          2.  it also indicates that God's grace has been active in our lives.
3.  We must realize that to a great extent,
     a.  the only thing some people see of Christianity is our lives.
     b.  Based upon your own personal lifestyle,
          1.  and your own personal generosity,
          2.  what is our community seeing in Christianity?
4.  Are they seeing a person who cares about their soul?
     a.  Are they seeing someone who's life has been changed by Christ?
     b.  Or, are they seeing someone who is self-centered, uncaring,
          1.  and not interested in anything more than a social club?
          2.  Our giving reflects a lot.

                             III.  Some of the Good We Are Doing

1.  Third, we are Under The Impression
     a.  That We Are More Likely To Give Joyfully And Willingly
     b.  If We Have A Good View
     c.  Of Some Of The Good That We Are Doing.
2.  We read about a congregation where the elders had decided
     a.  that they would never discuss the cost of a particular work
     b.  until they first decided whether or not
     c.  it was a work they needed to pursue.
3.  They would discuss a particular work,
     a.  decide whether or not they were going to do it,
     b.  and then after they had decided they would participate in this work
     c.  they would set out to find the funds necessary.
4.  The report we read said that the congregation always rose to the occasion.
5.  With this thought in mind, let us remind you
     a.  of a few things that YOU are doing
     b.  as a result of your generous giving.
6.  Some of these will not be mentioned directly in the budget
     a.  because they fall into larger categories.
     b.  But I want you to realize that we don't give to a budget,
     c.  we give to the Lord, and He uses us in His service.
7.  How are we changing the world?
     a.  Because of you men are
     b.  preaching and teaching the Gospel
     c.  to many in this Spanish speaking country.
8.  World Bible School - Because of you, every single day
     a.  men, women, and children are studying the Bible in Africa
     b.  through these excellent Bible correspondence courses.
9.  Because of you, students 
     a.  are being taught the Bible in Christian colleges
     b.  so they will be better equipped to teach the Gospel when they graduate.
           1.  Countless thousands may one day obey the Gospel
           2.  as the result of the efforts of students you support.
10. Because of you, sermons, articles, and Bible outlines
     a.  are accessible to anyone in the world who has access to a computer,
     b.  that's a potential field of billions of souls.
          1.  Because of you, Bible studies are being conducted daily
          2.  over e-mail, throughout the world.
11. Because of you, good publications are being
     a.  sent to the homes of members and non-members of the congregation.
     b.  Because of you the church has a van to pick up souls each week
          1.  and carry them to activities
          2.  which help to keep them interested in learning about Jesus.
12. Because of you, our young people
     a.  have the opportunity to grow to love each other
     b.  as they play and study together .
13. Because of you, the citizens of your town and beyond
     a.  have access to the grace of God
     b.  through newspaper articles, tracts, and television programs.
14. And we have not even taken into consideration
     a.  all of the ongoing regular activities of the congregation,
     b.  such as Bible classes and worship activities.
     c.  Because of your generosity God has blessed us to do these things!
15. To His peopleof old, God said (READ Malachi 3:10-11).
     a.  Your cheerful giving is having an impact
     b.  on our community, our state, our country, and our world!

1.  Most congregations of the Lord's church give very well,
     a.  but we hope we have challenged each of you
     b.  to consider your own giving,
          1.  to be certain that you are giving as you have prospered,
          2.  and doing so as a cheerful giver.
2.  To a great extent, what kind of givers we are
     a.  depends upon what kind of recipients we are!
     b.  Unless we receive the grace of God in our lives,
     c.  we will be unlikely to give gracefully to others.
3.  With that thought in mind,
     a.  please remember a warning from the apostle Paul:
                      "For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day
                      of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted
                      time; behold, now is the day of salvation" (2 Corinthians 6:2).
4.  Christian, have you received the grace of God in vain?
     a.  Non-Christian, have you received the grace of God at all?

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