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Giving God Your Best

Power Point / Jack Graham
The Truth Network Radio
December 29, 2021 7:00 am

Giving God Your Best

Power Point / Jack Graham

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December 29, 2021 7:00 am

As we continue the series Giving God Your Best, Pastor Jack Graham brings a challenging message by the same title. Are we truly giving God our best? Are we excelling in our giving? Just as Jesus did with His disciples, He is challenging and encouraging and teaching us about the motivation and ministry of giving.

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Welcome to this edition of PowerPoint with Jack Graham. A little later in the program, we'll tell you how you can get the best of 2021 message series. But first, here's Dr. Graham's message, giving God your best.

I want to invite you to join me in Mark chapter 12. Now, I know people rarely request a sermon on money, but the fact is, it is one of the most significant subjects in all of the Bible. All of us have this sense of secretiveness regarding our money and privacy, and rightly so.

We get bombarded by solicitors, either on the phone or at the door or in the mall. And of course, we're going to be talking about money. And of course, we really have sort of reached a place where we just brace ourselves to say no when someone asks us for something. And yet, Jesus and the Word of God is constantly encouraging us to say yes to generosity, to say yes to giving, to have an attitude towards giving that has been transformed by our gracious God. Your attitude and actions regarding your money say a whole lot about who you are, what you really believe, and what really matters in your life. So here in the 12th chapter of the Gospel of Mark, we're told beginning in verse 41, Jesus sat opposite the treasury and saw how the people put money into the treasury. Notice it does not say what the people put into the treasury, but how the people put money into the treasury. And many who were rich put in much. Then one poor widow came and threw in two mites which make a quadrants. So He called His disciples to Himself and He said to them, here comes the lesson, assuredly I say to you that this poor widow has put more in than all of those who have given to the treasury. For they all put in out of their abundance, but she, out of her poverty, put in all that she had, her whole livelihood. Jesus watched the offering. He carefully said to them, here comes the lesson, assuredly I say to you that this poor widow has put more in than all of those who have given to the treasury.

For they all put in out of their abundance, but she, out of her poverty, put in all that she had, her whole livelihood. Jesus watched the offering. He carefully observed the way that people were giving in the courtyard of the temple. There were treasuries and they were actually shaped like large horns, something like an old Victrola record player that you may have seen.

When people would come in, they would put their coins in the treasury and it would make quite a bit of noise, certainly if you threw it in there in a certain way. And so people would come in and no self-respecting, dedicated Hebrew would ever come to the temple without an offering. So Jesus sat there to observe and the word when it says that he watched is the word theater. It was as if it were a theater for Christ. He gazed at the way people were giving. Now it is a fact that God is watching our every move in life.

Now that's a good thing. God is watching over us. There are no secrets with God. He knows what we are. He knows what we make. He knows what we give. And one day we will give a reckoning, an account for all of the resources in life.

We will settle up in eternity. And so it's important that we take a hard look at our faith as it is related to our finances. Do we use our possessions for God's purposes?

Are we investing in those things which really matter? Because just as Jesus was watching the treasury that day, we believe that Jesus is present in our lives every day. And if Jesus watched in an age of poverty, certainly Jesus is watching us in an age of affluence. When we have so much with which to do and to give.

Now I know that your money is your business. But the fact is while it is none of Jack Graham's business what you give, the minute you accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, it became God's business. Because all that you have, all that we have been given, all that we possess belongs to him.

And it is required of stewards that we be found faithful. And we are to excel according to 2 Corinthians 8 and verse 7 that we are to excel in the grace of giving. Would the word excel describe your giving? Are you an excellent giver? Do you excel at the grace of giving? Many Christians do not excel in giving. Can you imagine the difference that could be made for the gospel of Jesus Christ if we could begin elevating our excellence in the matter of giving?

Yes, the Bible tells us that we are to make our money honestly, that we are to spend our money wisely, and we are to give our money generously. So the example of this woman so long ago encourages us today. Because when we see this woman, we see faith. What does your money and what does Jesus see regarding your faith when you give? Jesus told us that she gave everything that she had.

Now it was two mites, which a mite was less than a penny. So she was very poor and yet she gave everything that she had. And as a result of her giving all that she had, she is a tremendous example of faith. Trusting God to supply her needs because she was willing to give everything to Him.

It's true, isn't it? You can tell the depth of a person's faith by that person's attitude and actions with money. The way we earn our money, the way we make our money, the way we give our money. And while we may not give away our money, our money gives us away every time. And it speaks volumes as to what we believe and what we truly believe.

It speaks regarding our priorities. If we truly seek God first in our possessions and in our priorities. What about your faith and your giving?

Your faith and your finances? Do you believe God is trustworthy? Is God trustworthy?

Yes, He is. We believe God is trustworthy. And yet many apparently practice economic atheism or at least agnosticism, living and giving as if God did not exist separating, compartmentalizing their money from the master. And yet God's Word clearly challenges us in Malachi chapter 3 in verse 10 to bring all the tithes into the storehouse that there may be food in my house, prove me in this. God lays down the challenge, prove me in this, He says, the Lord of Hosts, if I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you such blessing that there will not be room enough to contain it or to receive it.

Now you have a question to answer. Is that verse true or is it not true? God says prove me by your faith.

Do you believe this? That if you give of your tithes which is what? What is a tithe? No, it's not a tenth. It's the first tenth. It's the principle of first things first.

It is always the first tenth. It is not giving the last but the best, not scraping off the bottom of what's left over but giving off the top our tithes and then beyond that growing in offerings. And so when we are challenged here by the Lord of Hosts to tithe, He says prove me in this.

Trust me on this one. If one really believes that God can be trusted, that means that individual will give as God has directed. Do you believe God is adequate for every circumstance and situation of your life?

He indeed is adequate. Many of us, however, say my God can do anything. My God is able and yet do not trust Him to meet their daily needs. Believing that God is adequate and trusting His adequacy is something altogether different. So many trust God with their eternal future but not with their daily finances. Somehow they have the idea that if they give that God will not provide for their needs. And yet Jesus said in Matthew 6 33 seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all of these things, that is all the material things that we need will be added unto you. I love Philippians 4 19 and my God shall supply all of your need according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.

Indeed God is adequate and the way that we live and the way that we give shows our belief, our trust in that adequacy. Occasionally someone will say to me, I really can't afford to give. I just don't have enough to give. That person is simply deluding themselves because they think if I ever had enough money, if I really had something to give, I would give. But the lesson of this little lady so long ago is that she gave not out of affluence, not of what she had. She had very little but she gave her livelihood.

She gave her all because of her faith that God would take care of her. I mean we might be tempted to say to this lady, look, you need this money more than God does. You certainly need this money more than the temple needs it. The temple's got plenty of money. So keep it for yourself. But you see, she wasn't giving it to the temple per se.

She wasn't giving it to a building, but rather she was giving to God as an expression of her worship because giving is not an obligatory exercise of duty, but rather it is a joyous expression of worship and faith. You're listening to PowerPoint with Jack Graham and today's message, Giving God Your Best. We hope you're enjoying today's message. And we're excited to share that for a limited time, your gift to PowerPoint will be doubled up to $150,000. Thanks to a generous matching grant to say thanks for your gift today.

We'll send you the most popular and encouraging messages from this past year together in one collection called The Best of 2021. This is the last week of this offer, so call today. Call 1-800-795-4627. That's 1-800-795-4627. You can also text the word PowerPoint to 313131.

Text PowerPoint to 313131. And don't forget to visit Jack where you can shop our e-store, give a gift online, or sign up for Dr. Graham's free daily email devotional. Our website again is Jack Now let's get back to today's message, Giving God Your Best. Do you believe God is adequate? That if you give and begin tithing and beyond the tithe move to sacrificial giving, do you believe that God will take care of you? You see, some of you say, I can't afford to tithe.

The fact is, you can't afford not to tithe if you want to be in on God's miraculous economy for your life. Can God be trusted? Is God adequate? And then you might even ask yourself the question, is God generous? Do you believe that God is generous? I have an idea that some people must believe that God is stingy, that God is miserly. That somehow he wants to hold out on us and keep us from enjoying life and yet the scripture says he has given us all things to enjoy richly in Jesus Christ.

Our God is a good God and he wants to lavish his love and his grace upon our lives and his promises and his provision are guaranteed. In Luke chapter 6 and verse 38, our Lord said, give and it will be given unto you good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over. This lady could give because she had faith in God to believe that if she gave all that she had that God was adequate to take care of her needs, that God was generous to provide for her every necessity, that God can be trusted with our very lives. God is not stingy. I've been a tither all my life and I'm grateful that my parents and grandparents taught me as a little boy when I had just a small allowance to take the tenth, the portion of that allowance and to give it as an act of faith and worship in my life.

When Deb and I first got married, we were college students and we didn't have a lot of money to live on and yet we realized that if we wanted God to bless our lives, our marriage, our families, that we needed to obey him in all things and as a young couple, we continued to tithe and God has blessed us through the years and I promise you, I have never regretted a single cent, a dollar that I've given to the work of the kingdom of God because it has been an opportunity for me to express my faith and worship in Jesus Christ. The people who make a difference dare to believe God, dare to stretch out in faith and trust him with everything. So when Jesus saw how this woman gave, he saw her faith. When he watches you give, does he see your faith?

What kind of faith does he see? And then when Jesus watched this woman give, he saw her hope, her faith and then her hope. This widow gave all that she had.

How could she do that? Because she looked beyond this world to the world to come. She was able to do what she did in giving her livelihood these two nights because her heart was in heaven, her treasure followed. Of all people, this woman needed to give.

She had nothing of this world's goods. But she had a bank account in heaven that is still accruing interest. And when she gave, she expressed that her heart was in heaven.

She had a heavenly, eternal perspective and vision. Turn in your Bibles to 1 Timothy chapter 6. Now this woman was a poor woman, but we are prosperous people. So this is a message to us in verse 17, command those who are rich in this present age not to be haughty nor to trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God who gives us richly all things to enjoy. It's okay to have things as long as things don't have you. Recognize that what you have you have received as a gift, as a blessing from God. So what is the challenge? Verse 18, let them, let us do good then that they may be rich in good works, ready to give, willing to share.

Why? Storing up for themselves a good foundation for the time to come that they may lay hold on eternal life. Now good works don't get us to heaven, but they do follow us to heaven. And I don't want you to hear Jesus say, I certainly don't want you to hear me say that in order to go to heaven you have to give money because you can't buy eternal life.

You don't have that much money. There's not enough money in all the world to buy eternal life. It's already been bought and paid for in the blood of Jesus Christ. But while works don't get us to heaven, our works express our faith. And then the Bible tells us that one day as believers we will give an account because God is watching how we give, how we invest our lives, how we live our lives and therefore every time we give of our time, of our talents, of our testimonies and yes of our tithes and offerings, it is an investment in our future. This woman knew what really mattered and that is the hope and the promise that is the future. This woman invested in eternity. She understood that the things worth living for and giving for are the things that last forever. That's why there's great joy in giving.

That's why when we give we know we are making a difference. I heard a Romanian pastor whose church and himself had gone through the persecution in Eastern Europe and he made the statement that 95% of believers who face the test of persecution pass the test. 95% of believers, he said, who face the test of persecution pass the test. But then he observed 95% of people who face the test of prosperity fail. So what is it with us?

What about you? If Jesus were grading your paper today, and he is, when it comes to the test of prosperity, do you pass or fail? Jesus saw her faith, he saw her hope, and then he saw her love. And when we give, he sees our love when we give God's way.

This woman gave her love. Just a few hours earlier Jesus had spoken of the first and greatest commandment, which is what? To love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your mind, with all your soul, and all your strength. And then he said the second commandment is like the first, likened to it, he said love your neighbor as yourself. And this widow who no doubt heard that and believed that said, if I'm going to love God then I'm going to worship God with my giving. And so when gifts were placed in the temple they were divided.

They were divided between the priest and the work of the temple, the ministry of the temple, and given to the poor. So when this woman gave her two nights to the temple treasury, she was in effect expressing her love for God in fulfilling the first commandment, to love the Lord our God with all of her heart, mind, soul, and strength. And she was fulfilling the second commandment as well in caring about others and giving so that others could know the love and grace of God. So it's a matter of love. When Jesus watches our worship in giving, he wants to know, do you love me with all of your heart?

What does your money say about your love for your master? If we love our families we are committed to give generously to take care of our families. And certainly if we love God the way we ought to love God, that love will be expressed in our worship and in our giving. And then because we love God we love others. We are motivated by the love of God, by the prospect of advancing the cause of Christ, the kingdom of God around the world. We can exchange the coin of earth for the currency of heaven. We can give so that others can live in Christ. Now without a doubt the greatest sacrifice of all is not the sacrifice of this widow as great as her sacrifice is, but the greatest sacrifice of all is the sacrifice of our Lord Jesus Christ who left the riches of eternity and the glories of heaven and descended down, down, down into the poverty, into the person of his humanity. He came, was born, was laid in a manger and from the cradle he emptied himself and lived in poverty and went to the cross and poured out his life, all of it for us.

And love so amazing, so divine, demands my life, my all. So if Jesus was watching you today, and he is, did he see your faith? Did he see your hope?

Did he see your love? You're listening to PowerPoint with Jack Graham and today's message, Giving God Your Best. As we prepare to step into our 28th year of ministry, generous partners like you are enabling PowerPoint to harness technology to take the gospel into closed countries and hard to reach regions. But in order to seize every opportunity God sends our way, your support is vital. That's why we're excited to share that some generous friends have offered to double your gift this month up to $150,000.

To say thanks for your gift, we'll send you the best of 2021, a CD collection featuring 10 popular messages from this past year that will help you deepen your faith. This is the last week of this offer, so call today. Call 1-800-795-4627. That's 1-800-795-4627.

You can also text the word PowerPoint to 313131. And don't forget to visit where you can shop our e-store, give a gift online, or sign up for Dr. Graham's free daily email devotional. Our website again is Pastor, what is your PowerPoint for today? Giving God your best not only means giving Him the best of your time and your talents, but it means being a good steward of what He's already given you. You know how you think about and handle money says a lot about who you trust and where you really find your significance.

Remember what we talked about in today's program. The way you and I give to God is an expression of our faith, our hope, and our love. So often we say we trust God to meet our needs, and yet we're selfish with our money. It's easy to say when I make more money I'll give to the Lord and His church, or I just need to get another raise, then I can start contributing to the work of Christ around the world. No, start giving to God's kingdom, God's work, God's church today, and then trust Him to meet all your needs. Matthew 6.33 says it so well, Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. Remember as well that giving God your best financially also expresses your hope regarding the future.

What good does it do to store up things on this earth? You came into this world with nothing, and you will leave this world with nothing. But if you begin to invest in your future by investing in the kingdom of God, then one day when you stand before God and give an account of what you've done with your life and your possessions, you will hear the words of the Lord commending you, saying, Well done, my good and faithful servant. Finally, remember that giving God your best also says a great deal about your love, your love for Him and your love for His church and your love for people. God doesn't want you giving out of guilt or because someone is forcing you to give. No, He wants you to give out of your love for Him and your love for His church, because God knows your heart and He knows your motives, and you can't really disguise a hard heart. The bottom line is that God really doesn't need our money, does He?

What He really wants is our heart. So today, begin to look at giving to Him as a way of expressing your faith, your hope, and your love for Him. And that is today's PowerPoint. Remember, when you give a gift to PowerPoint, your gift will be doubled and we'll send you the best of 2021 Message Series as our thanks. Call 1-800-795-4627. That's 1-800-795-4627. You can also text the word PowerPoint to 313131. And join us again next time as Dr. Graham brings a message about the greatest freedom you could ever experience. That's next time on PowerPoint with Jack Graham.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-06-25 12:26:52 / 2023-06-25 12:36:15 / 9

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