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October 1, 2021 4:00 am
Paul is saying giving is not to be provoked by emotional appeals and periods of time is to be systematically saying what you do this so we don't need some big appeal has a big gathering when I get there.
This all mean the flow today.
It's companies. The offer to help you invest your money. And yet, by and large churches seem to be silent on the issue of investing in God's kingdom. Despite the wealth of biblical teaching on the subject. So today on grace to you as John MacArthur wraps up his study God's plan for giving he's going to take a comprehensive look at how you can use your resources to glorify the Lord and strengthen your church and draw others to Christ.
John's lesson comes from first Corinthians chapter 16 and if you have your Bible, you turn there.
Now here's John first Corinthians chapter 16 in verses 1 to 4 is a text which deals with the objective in the heart of the apostle Paul to meet the needs of the poor Saints in Jerusalem. Paul had this great burning desire to collect an offering from the Gentile churches who were somewhat wealthy in order to give it to the poor Saints in Jerusalem who were in dire need of the Corinthians knew about this, but they had some question about how Paul wanted the collection to be made and so they asked him what was their part in this collection for the poor Saints and he responds in this book by writing 16 1 to 4. These four verses as instruction to the Corinthians as to their part in the gifts needed by the Jerusalem church.
But this goes way beyond that.
Because while you have here basically a statement relative to a specific situation in the Corinthian church. It can be broadened to teach us principles of giving debtors as far-reaching and poignant for us today as they would've been for the Corinthians then we've already begun to discuss things, but I was thinking behind this whole thing here is this need to meet the dire distress of poor people and I want to give you the divine attitude that's behind the heart of Paul in meeting the needs of these people that you can go as far back in the Old Testament as the time of the Exodus when God first called out his people when he first established a nation and the Bible tells us in the book of Exodus, as well as other places when it reflects on the Exodus itself that God called them out of the house of bondage that God called Israel out of slavery but God called Israel out of oppression. They called them out of the place of poverty and destitution.
In fact, in Exodus chapter 20 in verse two and that's in the text that is the preamble to the Decalogue or the 10 Commandments God identifies himself in this way.
He says I am the Lord thy God, who have brought the out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. In other words, God sees him self as a liberating God is a God who frees people from bondage who frees people from poverty, from slavery from deep depression and oppression. In Deuteronomy chapter 26, but he read you something of what is said here relative to this element in the Exodus, Deuteronomy 26 in verse five you look it up. I just read to you. Deuteronomy 26, five Moses his talk he says, and thou shalt speak and say before the Lord thy God, a Syrian ready to perish with my father. He went into Egypt to sojourn there with a few and became a nation great, mighty, and populous. In other words, a few people went into Egypt, but they came out a nation. Maybe several million. That's where the nation was really born in slavery, poverty and oppression, and the Egyptians badly treated as they afflicted us, they laid on us hard bondage and we cried to the Lord God of our fathers order our voice looked on our affliction, our labor and are oppression and the Lord brought us forth out of Egypt. The whole point is making here is that God redeemed the people out of poverty and bondage and slavery and oppression and need. God has always always identified closely with people in great distress know it said what sad is it Israel was a nation born out of poverty. Born out of bondage. Born out of oppression and Israel was undone Israel was scattered Israel was destroyed for doing to the poor among its own people exactly what the Egyptians had done to them the kingdom was divided after Solomon Israel split into two parts. The northern kingdom with 10 tribes. The southern kingdom with two tribes. Judah and Benjamin. The southern kingdom was known as Judah.
The northern as Israel. They existed co-weekly for a while with unmitigated evil in the north and evil and good mixed in the South finally at 722 BC the northern kingdom was scattered into oblivion. The reason well for the reason for their scattering. You need to look at Amos Amos is one of the little profits small book very important man in Amos chapter 2. Listen to the reason God took the northern kingdom away. Amos 26 thus says the Lord for three transgressions of Israel, and for for all not turn away its punishment.
They come before they sold the righteous for silver number one for money they would sell a righteous man. Second reason and the poor for a pair of shoes they would do anything to step on the neck of the poor. If they can get a pair shoes out of it. They would sell the poor.
In verse seven says they pant after the dust of the earth on the head of the poor.
In other words, they want to push the head of poor people into the dirt they turn aside the way of the meek and the other soon. Amanda and his father going under the same made to profane my holy name and morality and then the next verse eight. They lay themselves down on close laid to pledge by every altar drink the wine of the condemned to the house of their gods, what you have is wrong. Dealing with the righteous, wrong, dealing with the poor immorality and idolatry for those four things got carried away. The northern kingdom but one of them was the weather. Press the poor. God identifies with the need for people listen to someone 46 verse five happy is he that hath the God of Jacob for his help, whose hope is in the Lord his God who made heaven and earth to see it all that there is to keep its truth forever. Now listen further about God, who keep justice or execute justice for the oppressed. Who giveth food to the hungry, the Lord loses the prisoners the Lord is the eyes of the blind. The Lord raises those who are bowed down, the Lord loves the righteous. The Lord preserves the sojourners he relieves the fatherless and widows.
It's kind of God we have not only a creator is a lover of the poor and needy and the widows and the orphan guys always identified with those in need and in Proverbs are two verses that we must not miss chapter 14 verse 31 says he that oppresses the poor and I watched this he that oppresses the poor listen reproaches his major when you press the poor by not paying them a wage that is fair by not sharing your abundance with his need you reproach God. Why, because God cares for that poopers.
In fact, the opposite truth to that is in Proverbs 1970. Listen to this, he that has pity on the poor land unto the Lord, and that which he hath given will he pay him again. In other words, when you withheld from the poor you mock God when you land to the poor you invest with God, who will pay you God is identified with the poor and needy. You all know that one point in time God came into this world right came in the form of abandoning in God's great heart for the poor and the needy wasn't any different. When he was incarnate either look with me at Luke chapter 4 verse 18 Luke chapter 4 verse 18. Listen to this.
Jesus arrives in Nazareth, the beginning of his ministry in Galilee and he stands up in the synagogue and he opens the Scripture to Isaiah this is what he said. Luke 418 the Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the what poor he has sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty. Then there was to preach the acceptable year of the Lord. If you notice how he identified with the broken and the needy, helpless, but always Dennis always suppressible all throughout the Scripture.
It's it's everywhere else go to for scripting 16 or just quickly finish up the Jerusalem Christians were poor, was a matter sharing.
So Paul is collecting this offering at any in the Caribbean single what are we supposed to do to have our share gives him for verses of instruction and you remember the last time I told you that there ARE great principles here, let me just remind you of the first of all, we saw the purpose of giving of all giving in verse one. Giving is for the saints, rather for the sake we are to give to the saints. Physical needed. Also, there what their spiritual me and sometimes we are to give to the saints in the pew and sometimes were to give to those who minister to. We saw that in the Scripture we are giving. First of all to those in the family. Beyond that, of course were to give Danny you have need God love the stranger and the sojourner tooting a met his. Then we saw the period of giving in verse two on the first day of the week that is getting is to be regular, systematic, week after week as we really come to grips with the stewardship of money every week, but just pile it up and throw it all in one shot week week week after week.
Of giving. We saw the place of giving every one of you lay by human store and we shared with you the stores. The assembly of the church and we are systematically to give him the church comes together on the first day of the store of the church with thesaurus the treasure and that the treasury is to be dispensed by godly men, so the purpose there. The place we saw forcing the participants in giving who is to do this.
Let every one of you was to everybody is exempt from systematic week by week giving this is to be just the spontaneous joy, cheerful response of a loving heart toward God who has given us every participants. Everybody the matter how much you have or don't 50 saw the proportion of giving him a treat again as God has prospered as Norma is no person from out of what God is giving you. You get one to get is not 10% know so I can just universal principles number one whatever you give is invested with God right so whatever you give you so segment is 96 as so sparingly reap what sparingly so bountifully. What reap benefits. So when you want to decide how much to give you decide how much you would like a return on so I don't know what the amount is that I know this whatever God is giving you from our investment. God is another principle. It should not only be as an investment, but it should be sacrificial. David said I will not give the Lord that which cost me nothing and the widow give 100% and Zaki escape 50%. It should be a sacrifice in the Macedonians. It says gave only out of their D governing second-grade in situ in Philippians 4, Paul says you gave so few games so don't you worry, my God shall supply all your need according to his roots in Christ you understand what happened. Paul had a need they gave so much. They that had the need, just like Jesus, who became poor, that we might become rich.
So invest with God.
Give sacrificially another principle remembers this, that your giving will be in measure out of your spiritual overflow. In other words it says in an segment insight that the Macedonians us. This first gave themselves and out of that came the flow of their gift. So there are some principles for the purpose there. The place, the participants, the proportions are number six is are to be cliques or hang the provocation, forgiving verse two the end of the verse do all this the first day the week so there's no collections when I come know what's this what's this Paul is saying giving is not to be provoked by emotional appeals and periods of time is to be systematically by week he saying you do this so we don't need some big appeal and some big gathering when I get there. This not all be in the flow of faithful, systematic by week. We won't even need a special offering. When I come giving should be in the flow of life, not as a result of some emotional appeal on a periodic basis. While Terry Chris's illness. So many Christians do not know the meaning of systematic week by week sacrificial, generous giving they wait for some kind of a spiritual Guzman when they get some emotional sap from some you know, distended stomach baby in a picture or from some missionary with each with a tremendous need or some dealer comes up and then I just get what they don't know the meaning of that faithfulness. There may be times we have to give to me to need immediate because some these are immediate and sometimes there will be those kinds of things and that's an exciting thing, but that she would never be the way we care that should be something beyond the normal flow of systematic faith pauses.
I want to be some emotionally when I get there. Will have to browbeat you and struggle with you to get it to start now. When I get the sole purpose.
The place the participants the proportions the provocation. For this protection. In giving verse three when you give your money and you say well I don't know what you're doing with all your Grace Church complementary week right verse three help as a protection when I come.
Paul says whosoever usually proves I will send them with letters to bring your liberality to Jerusalem when I arrived.
The NAS says, whomever you may approve, I'll send them with letters to carrier gift address know what he says look once you give that money I'm gonna put that money in the hands of some people to take it to Jerusalem. Will those people be people approved by you with accompanying letters to state that they are truly trustworthy people.
Now watch this. The protection in all giving in the church is at the money be cared for by approved, godly, honest season. That's the issue that's a protection the church so when you try to make a point out of this for one another in the church, just that I believe that as you give systematically and faithfully in the treasury of the church. It is incumbent upon the church also to choose out those godly man who should have the care of those God you will listen in the early church who was the handle all the money they came in a related whose feet, the apostles feet never gave the money to anybody who didn't have the spiritual qualification handle it and give it to the bankers and the people with a finance background and give it to the businessmen they gave it to the godly men and later on the apostles got so busy next six.
They said what we've got to give ourselves to the teaching of the word and we've got to give ourselves to prayer, so you will find some other man they handle this business and you know what their qualifications were they've got to have had some financial training they got back to you find in full faith and full of the holy spirit the you know what you see churches, do they have to poorly save the deacons over here now. You guys have the spiritual get some guys really know money and they'll handle the money so that over here. You determine what God wants to do and will see if we can support this making sense, you never know anything God wanted to do, but he couldn't have enough money to make any sense what I believe. Don't ever give money to anybody less spiritual, all you do is create a bottleneck at a lower level with the funds in the hands of the godless people are are as lucky find people to reprove you get the letters together now to us in with the money that it be entrusted to godly men who prayerfully in the energy the Holy Spirit determine its direction as the protection giving IT some people. I have a hard time giving to a church by means if I didn't really believe in my heart that godly men cared for those things. So the purpose there. The place, the participants, the proportions provocation protection eight ready the perspective but with this short verse four. I love this. This is so this really funny perspective. What is the perspective and giving it is to be generous it is to be generous limit is verse four is really excited about and he says if it's suitable I'll go listen if you give enough so that I won't be embarrassed I'll go along and accompany good. I'm not about to take a long trip Jerusalem know if you just give a little bit that's just a nice little waiver policy, stretch yourself if it's if it's a suitable offering only I like that deliberately says the anniversaries.
I'd really like to send them with your liberality in order to scar us your grace, your overabundance, your your generosity. People listen to us when you give Celine we have so and God so identifies with those who have need the money. The terms we want to give it to those in physical need, to those in spiritual need to support those who minister to us who have no other support than what we give them and then they in turn have to take their guns and spread theirs around about you guys give me a whole new sense of responsibility to those that don't happen to those who have less than I was. We can do any less than give God made the sun. It gives me the moon.
It gives God made the stars they give God made the air. It gives God made the clouds they give rain God made the earth it gives God made the trees. They give the sea give me the flowers they give God made the beasts, they give God made man seeking always may be said of us what was said by the Lord Jesus when he give let your left hand know what your right has student secret.
Let God openly reward was 125 A.D. a philosopher named Arista bees look to Christianity and this is what he said remarkable people said they walk in humility and kindness and falsehood is not found among them and they love one another. She said they despise not the widow, and they grieve not the orphan he that hath distributed liberally to him that hath not if they see a stranger they bring them under their roof and they rejoice over him as if he were their brother, for they call themselves brother, not after the flesh but after the spirit in God. But when one of their poor passes away from the world in any of them see him that he provides for his burial. According to his ability, and if they hear that any of their number is imprisoned or oppressed for the name of their Messiah.
All of them provide for his needs.
And if it's possible that he may be delivered.
They deliver him. And if there is among them, a man that is poor and needy and they have not some necessity. They will fast. Two or three days that they may supply the needy with his necessary food grade on what God said you this morning. Personally, I just know what the Scripture said I shared that I hope you take it apply. I want God to show me just where to make changes in my life to give of the riches he's given me a spring thank you father for being so straightforward, less I want to show your love for the poor and needy and the oppressed. I think you that you've given me a pattern in Jesus who was rich but became poor that me to be faithful for my riches to come down to poverty if need be to share with those who have need. First of all in the family and into the stranger and the sojourner that you also love may be so that your spirit convicts HR specific way. May we remember the words of Jesus said when you give a feast to call the rich and the famous and important but go out and call the blind in the hall and the maimed and the poor who can't repay you and wait for God to repay. Father, help us to be willing to do that pricing give generously because God is given so much to you. That point was at the heart of John MacArthur's message today on grace to you as he wrapped up his series God's plan for giving along with teaching on the radio. John also serves as Chancellor of the Masters University in seminary, not junk truth that undergirds everything you've talked about in your study so far is this everything we earn and possess already belongs to God because it comes from him and so he doesn't need us to give back to him what he already owns. Stewardship is about something far more important than that. Esther to businesses about investing in the priorities you know when the Lord gives us money and resources. It becomes a test of what our priorities are and as I used to say look at your checkbook.
Look at the balance on your credit card, you'll know what your priorities are. What's there if your checkbook is full of checks written to the kingdom to divine purposes to the advance of the gospel to the meeting the needs of your family to them in enjoying the comforts that are reasonable and sensible. Maybe some charitable things then you know where your priorities are pretty easy to tell look at the balance on your credit card when you get your statement at the end of the month you want to be able to pay that off every month. If you going to use a credit card it all be for convenience sake, not borrowing money at an astronomical rate that you never pay back, and that the balance just accumulates and accumulates in the principal end of it.
So yes, first of all, you start with realizing that everything you have is from the Lord and everything you have is basically a test to see where your priorities are there a lot of ways that you could evaluate your priorities, but one that is very objective is to take a look at your checkbook or your credit card statement there it is. This is what your priorities are and just be sure they line up with what honors the Lord well were winding down. The study know it's been a great time and I know it's a little bit invasive to talk about these things because we get the little bit convicted about money and the use of money, but we done the series on God's plan for giving so that you can get to the place you need to be so you don't have guilt and you have a guilty conscience you have concern about your money because you're doing the right things with it. So how we handle money, says a great deal about where we are in our spiritual development and we seen in the study why God gives us the ability to earn money.
The dangers of loving money what God says about debt how to give in a way that pleases God. This is all available in six CDs that fact, it's an album, a six CD album from Grace to you.
You only get it from us or you can download the messages free of charge. GT why.org.
In either case, download them or the album you can use them with your friends and you can listen again to make sure this is embedded in your heart yes and this is a series I would recommend to everyone because it answers these two crucial questions. How can I best use my money to glorify the Lord and how can I make sure I don't put money above God to pick up John study God's plan for giving. Contact us today. This six CD album costs $27 and shipping is free to order, call 855 grace or go to GT why.org and as John said if you'd like to download God's plan for giving all six of these messages are free of charge at our website.
GT why.org. In fact, all of John's sermons for more than 50 years of his public ministry are firstname.lastname@example.org and friend. Let me remind you of the impact when you support grace to you financially every day. This broadcast is heard on radio stations from the United States to the United Kingdom from Canada to South Africa and many points in between and you may never travel to these places but by supporting Grace to you. You help reach people there with life-changing biblical truth to partner with us. Call 855 grace or go to GT why God now for John MacArthur. I'm Phil Johnson reminding you to watch grace to you television this Sunday and then be here Monday when John begins one of his most popular series to look at Ephesians 6 and the believer's armor plan now to tune in for another 30 minutes of unleashing God's true one verse at a time on the next race to