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November 15, 2020 7:00 am
Greg Bibles know what you can. Second Corinthians chapter 8 this morning. Second Corinthians chapter 8 I'll just deal with the text as outlined what I'm going to give you this is going to be a different kind of sermon from me instead of unpacking all that's here I want to glean through two chapters that is the most extensive teaching on it giving in the entire Bible. I did research that, but I'm quite certain that's true, as Paul is working with the local church at Corinth to prepare them to get this offering this gift to collectively as a local church to be taken to the suffering local church in Jerusalem and he outlines here a lot of general principles about giving. I won't uncover all of them and there's so much more that could be said.
I guess what I've gleaned many of them are out of call this principles in giving principles in giving, now sometimes the principal relates to you, the individual giver.
Sometimes it relates to the local church collectively, that as we get together.
What will we do all of our giving, we get together for the local operating budget week get together for the Christmas love offering we get together for our faith commitment for world missions. And that's the New Testament pattern.
Matter fact it's it's hard to really trace any giving in the New Testament other than giving to and through your local church. And that's what's happening here. So let's look at some principles in giving principle number one. The principle of being well centered in your giving principle of being well centered if you will look at chapter 8 verse one. Second three things 81. He writes of the no brethren, we wish to make known to you the grace of God which has been given in the churches of Macedonia.
First of all, he says now brother-in-law who are the brethren.
It's the local church at Corinth is not just type a splash of address to brethren everywhere. It's to the local church at Corinth, that's inspired Scripture so it's a word to the local church in muscle Shoals also and he says I want to talk to you about the giving and the way the Macedonian churches he uses plural. There the local churches gave there are are planning to give in this very same offering a bit to go over to chapter 9 he says to them I want to exhort you about your and here's the exact praise your your previously promised bountiful gift use previously promised bountiful gift a businessman in the church there know he means the whole local church together corporately. You going to give and you're gonna take this one big gift offering and and use it to help the poor sites and reason.
Here's what I'm saying to you. The New Testament is centered on local churches and you can't find any example especially any pattern of giving for the Lord's work outside of giving to and through your local church so I would should challenge you and exhort you.
I'm certainly not suggesting that giving to other ministry causes are necessarily evil, are wrong but they might be unwise and they possibly could be evil if a big begin to replace your devotion to the church God has added you to. I like to use the metaphor of saying when you are converted and God added you notice God converts you and God had you didn't do it. God saved you, God made you part of his effortlessly.
That's the word that we translate church is called out. Once he called you out of the world into this new family. And that's to be the center of your giving and support other things.
Should our secondary are might be the overflow of that center giving so let's be mindful and let's remind ourselves of fresh that we want to be well centered local church centered in our giving, and supporting of God's work. Now if we get to heaven and Jesus says why didn't you give to this this and this. You just primarily gave the local church exotic of Jeff and I'll take it and I'll say Lord, your word is explicitly clear. Only out.
I will vouch for you at the judgment bar of God if I've missed something, and by the way, in an on-site support other ministries I've done that, not regularly but I've done that throughout my life, and we give some of our missions budget to things like Gideons so I'm not saying they're evil. But those things come and go. Those things often serve a purpose for a season and are no longer needed, but the local church will be here until Jesus return been in heaven will all be united together as one great church of the Lord Jesus Christ. So the principle of the principle of being well centered in the local church. Number two. The principle of joyous giving, joyous giving. This just comes out right at the beginning of Paul talking about this to the churches at Corinth we look at chapter 8 second Corinthians were going one through five here, the brethren, we wish to make known to you the grace of God which is been given in the churches of Macedonia. He just met God's grace is worked in their hearts. Verse two that in great ordeal of the flexion, their abundance of joy and their deep poverty overflowed in the wealth of their liberality. So there were under great affliction, but at the same time they have an abundance of joy.
They have deep poverty, but the same time they overflowed with the great liberality in their gift verse three brought testified that according to their ability and beyond their ability.
They gave of their own accord thanking us with much urging for the favor of participation in the sport of the saints, and this not as we had expected, but they first gave themselves to the Lord and to us by the will of God.
Now two key things here, verse one.
He said the grace of God was working in the local churches of Macedonia. That's a key factor.
Pastors need to learn to preach Christ preach the gospel so that the grace of God tenders the hearts of the church members and the grace of God brings in that sweet gospel humility. I've been giving takes care of itself. And then in verse five he says another key aspect they first gave themselves to the Lord, and he says and to the will of God in supporting us.
That's the way every pastor should want their people to give it's not about coercion is not about arm-twisting is not about guilt trips. It's about so helping you to see Christ that insured joy to support Christ and his work through his churches, joyous, giving the Macedonians were in a great ordeal of affliction. They were suffering deep poverty personally but actually bad. Paul, can we give a gift to help the saints in Jerusalem also. Wow what a picture. What's the point. It's the grace of God that brings you to a place of joy and materially financially supporting God's work you first.
Give yourself to the Lord, Lord, I give myself over to you.
Learning of fresh and learning more deeply that you are my supply. You are my treasure you are my contentment. You are my joy. You are my hope.
So now I'm not so attached to stuff joyous giving it's it's been my expectation to you for would it be true to say. Decades now we come to an offering lock our Christmas love offering for debt retirement in four weeks.
I've told you I want to charge you to give a generous offering, but only give what you can get with joy don't you go around here grumbling about may I did give their good budget.
Keep it just keep it like that saved his account book by your bed instead and look at it ever not say that's my joy. If Christ is not your joy if you can't give a generous gift with joy then don't give it. Nobody's going to know what God joyous giving will seek the Lord and give to the Lord his work his way for his glory with joy in your heart. Grace brought this joy in the hearts of the Macedonians. Paul said to the Corinthians, and they first had given themselves to the Lord. Then they jumped to supporting the offering. Paul won the race, which was the will of God. Policy all right. We thought about the principle of being well centered its local church giving we talked about the principle of joyous giving another principle that comes out is integrity. Integrity in our giving notice this in verses seven through 11 in verse seven he says. But just as you abounded everything in faith and utterance and knowledge and in all earnestness and in the love we inspired in you see that you abounded in this gracious work also. He said you're you're growing in Christ in all areas but make sure you're growing in Christ in your giving also is what you say verse eight. I'm not speaking this as a command, but as proving to the earnestness of others.
The sincerity of your love. Give so that you prove you really love Christ, and you really love the brethren. Verse nine you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich. Let's say I'm going to verse 11 verse 10, I give my opinion on this matter for this is to your advantage. Who were the first to begin a year ago, not only to do this, but also to desire to do it and that's key phrase the city year ago you you voluntarily said we desire to get in on collecting this money to help the local church in Jerusalem knows what Paul says in verse 11.
But now finish doing it. Also so just as there was the readiness to desire it, so there may be also the completion of it by your ability. You made it very clear local church in Corinth that you wanted to talk to grace a special offering a special love gift for the suffering local church in Jerusalem.
Now let's go ahead and get it done which have integrity about it you know you don't have any integrity. If you just talk about it but you don't follow through you desired to give it now follow through with it. Be true to your word. Don't be a blowoff.
I can't tell you the times in 40 years of ministry and not not talk about anybody in our church, but I have had me in contact with you happened actually in South Africa. One time at one time our broadcast was all over the whole area of the southern part of the continent of Africa and this man was exceedingly wealthy have asked to have a meal with me while we were over there doing submission work and I had this meal with this man and he began to tell me how wealthy he was and how he wanted to support our work.
He believed in what way about. He was impressed with it and I intend I just got so excited. You know what I came home and told you about it so meal rumor that I told you about this guy you how much he's given so far to say nothing. He's given nothing Mr. by the way, I soon learned just a smile and say God bless you and thank you and go all and that's happened more than once. That's not having any integrity.
Paul tells the local church at Corinth you've made quite an always about what you're going to do for the Lord now make sure you follow through and actually give it have integrity in your pledge and your commitment of course, these are the verses we get our faith promise offering from with the principles of giving a plow to more than just the faith promise it about their they plot all the aspects of giving to the Lord's work and think about it. We don't want to be like Ananias and Sophia Ira.
What was their problem. The problem was integrity but I said before the church were going to give all this wealth to support the church's work. I didn't know was no word in the Scripture are from Peter's mouth or any of the leaders that they had to do that they like the others voluntarily said were going to give everything we have support the work of the church is a unique special time in church history.
This is not the pattern for all time is in the early chip chapters of acts with the narrative plays out of course and it's certainly not a teaching on socialism or communism. That's not what is teaching is just a unique time and people were voluntarily under the leadership of God given these enormous guest and I do nonsense of fire alive and say like the others were giving all we've got, but they didn't do it. They didn't have integrity, they get back God kill both now as far as I know God's not practicing killing crits in the Sunday morning worship service. The but it does tell you, God's as I take seriously when you tell me your putting the first and then you make a public noise about it and you don't honor me and follow through. Well, the principle of integrity. Paul tells the Corinthians you talked about this give no make sure you come through now outnumber for the principle of initiatives we see this in a couple places.
Let's go back up to verse four he talks about the Macedonian churches in verse four, begging us with much urging for the favor of of participation in this they were taking the initiative in numbers 12 pieces for if the readiness is present. In other words, if you're if you're if you're ready to take the initiative.
That's the with that phrase mean, here's my point here. Somebody's got to lead sometimes gotta get out front. I've seen that through the years you know it's interesting I'm saying this in the years that some Christians need permission to give a generous gift of the Lord really kind of want to in their heart and the heart start about it, but the economy somebody have to say hi. I'm going to give those good iconic gift and then I say I will to talk about an exact amount to talk about the principle of somebody getting out there and taking the initiative, we have a great example of this in the in in in King David in the Old Testament. Let me back up for the summer before we get to that. It's interesting when he when Paul uses the churches of Macedonia and their example as a pattern to encourage the church at Corinth and when that when he talks about the church is Macedonia. He doesn't say the local church at Macedonia said I one of the guys over in Acadia doing this year and he was the church at Corinth doing and give us a God for what were going to the Macedonia didn't say that they said we want to give generously will care what anybody else out there doing.
They were taking the initiative.
Now I'm not saying it's always wrong. Maybe some guys get together. Salicylates knew so much. I'm not saying that's wrong.
I just don't find any pattern of Scripture encouraging that in Scripture.
You just find people get with God and going for taking the initiative now to King David first Chronicles 29, two and three, David is raising money to build the temple.
David says in first Chronicles 29 to now with all my ability I provided for the house of my God the gold for the things of gold the silver for the things of silver the bronze for the things of bronze the iron for the things of our wood for the things of wood, onyx stones and inlaid stone stones a been to many stones of various colors and all kinds of precious stones and alabaster in abundance.
David said I'm doing a bunch then we get to verse three pieces more all over in my delight in the house of my God aspect of joy again the treasure I have nice is not getting out of the states money. Now this is my personal wealth, the treasure I have of gold and silver. I get to the house of my God over and above all that I've already provided for the holy Temple. He said I brought my lot out of the states treasury an enormous amount, and in addition to that I'm bringing a whole lot about personal wealth out. I want this temple built in there what happened verse six first Chronicles 96, then the rulers of the father's households and the princes of the tribes of Israel and the commanders of thousands and of hundreds with the overseers over the kings work offered willingly, then the rest of the men say hey man will do it to. But somebody had to take the initiative. Somebody had to lead somebody had to say. I believe in this, let's get this done.
I don't know how that's supposed to work. I'm not charging you that next Sunday your small group advice. Talk about what they're going to get medevac out ask you not to do that is God may tell you more between now and then. But what I am saying there is a sense in which you can communicate in excitement and enthusiasm and a purpose to do all you can for God's work. That's what I'm talking about. Well the principle of initiative now is go to the next when number five. The principle of equality that this is probably rather unique to the context here, but it does have some application for us to get verses 13 through 15 for this is not for the ease of others and for your affliction, but by way of equality at this present time you're abundance being a supply for their needs so that their abundance may also become a supply for your need that there may be equality verse 15 and it is written, he who gathered much did not have too much and he who gathered little had no lack, here's what you say a say in a church at Corinth old church because I'm not asking you to get this generous gift that you Artie talked about.
You want to give. I'm not asking you to give this so that you can find yourself with barely enough to live on and the local church in Jerusalem gets all this money and they live in luxury and E does not want to talk about see what I'm talking about is you. Corinthians in the local church at Corinth you have wealth relative to many of the other churches and literally our brothers and sisters of the local church in Jerusalem are about starved to death. I mean, what will we talk about need in the ancient world were not talking about what these modern liberals talk about were talking about. Literally we don't know what were going to eat in the morning were just scratching the barely might have exist so just listen, equal things out. Again, this is not a pattern.
The Bible is teaching for all time, but in this case it's encouraged. I think there is an aspect of equality that can export us because I know of no church in America are no congregation. The people literally. A good percentage of them don't know how they're going to eat tomorrow.
One of things that fascinates me. I heard during the of the covert pandemic that all of the school systems were still providing so that parents could pull up and get box practices in box lunches for their children every day. I was annoying that you mean to tell me these moms and dads drive up in their car. They're paying for it. Don't have enough money to feed their babies, breakfast and lunch will here's the thing. Here's what they're saying. If you'll pay for it. We won't pay for. That's what the site, there may be some habit, need, but I think it's ridiculous that we've come to that level I'm guilty. We'll have as child poverty problem in America. We got a parenting deficiency problem in America.
My mom would've walked 10 miles to work to feed her children. So what I'm cited me to get awful that horse so heavy okay what I'm saying is we don't have a poverty issue in our country like the ancient world that the church of Jerusalem in this day was really suffering a lack of a roof over their head. Lack of clothes on their back of lack of food on their table literally and so he saying to the Corinthians.
This will equal things out if you'll give them a generous gift. Now we may have some brothers and sisters around the world, but in fact we have missionaries and church plants. All of the globin and and Steve is very faithful when something pops up. There's a little legitimate means we take care of we sin money immediately by motorcycles for Wanda right up there to the economy, people and people prove whatever it is and I appreciate your faithfulness of the year so that we can make sure the local churches were connected with when they suffer where they are for equaling things out if you will. Well, one of the things that this is teaching against his. Some of the ancient practices of the Roman Catholic Church.
For example, when they would they would go around and then pressure their people to give generously and say things like, you better give a generous gift so you can purchase your deceased mother out of purgatory is off.
Can you imagine a person not knowing anything but what the church talk with the terror in their heart, thinking my deceased mother suffering in the fire to purgatory, I gotta give more money in these very poor people were giving everything I had to the church. While the Pope and the church hierarchy lived in austere luxury in the Vatican in Rome. That's what pulsing that's not what I'm talking about. I'm not talking about you.
Corinthians giving so that the Jerusalem church can live in luxury and you suffer I thought about this equals things out equality and giving may be equality in giving also includes the idea that those of us who been blessed momentarily ought to give more of God's work. The mega single mom out here.
This got to three babies in she may give $100. That's a great gift for her. Some you meant to give $100,000 it would affect you at all.
There's mom is in here to get to $300 and they would struggle with binder babies a Christmas present or to some you guys to get to $300,000 and you would miss anything for Christmas equality.
I'm not tell you what to do unto you. Those are biblical principles to consider number six.
The principle of credibility. Credibility we get in verse 16 is Paul's talking to the church at Corinth about getting this offering together. He says that's going to be a very credible system that you can trust. Verse 16 second printing J but thanks be to God who puts the same earnestness on your behalf in the heart of Titus for he not only accepted our appeal, but but being himself very earnestly is gone to you of his own accord the same Titus, my associate is a man of high credibility and reputation, and he has volunteered to help head out this offering project giving project.
Verse 18. In addition to that we sent along with him. The brother whose fame in the things of the gospel. I spread through all the churches is in addition to Titus.
Another man's going to be there for good accountability and he said he's a brother that's got great fame and its great reputation and all the local church. Verse 19 and only this, but he has also been appointed by the churches to travel with us in this gracious work which is being administered by us for the glory of the Lord himself and to show our readiness. Verse 20 taking precautions so that no one will discredit us in our administration of this generous gift we have regard for what is honorable, not only the side of the Lord, but also the side of me in so also verse 22 we sent them our brother and this is 1/3 leader from Paul going to the church at Corinth to oversee this offering. We sent them our brother whom we have often tested and found diligent in many things, but now even more diligent because of his great confidence in you. And as for Titus. He is my partner and fellow worker among you. As for our brother and they are messengers of the churches a glory to Christ. Therefore, opening for the church to show them the proof your love and our reason for boasting about Paul say we have three of the most reputable me and you can find overseeing the receiving of this offering, the transporting of this offering and the distributing of other offerings when it gets to the local church of Jerusalem there's credibility here in our minister.
You can trust and give a generous gift and all I can say to for application to us is I've been with you 40 years we've proven credibility in this area my fight. One of the ways were credible, is as I know almost nothing about our money honestly do not know who takes it up honestly don't know where they take it. Honestly don't know who counts the money. I can't have an idea of one or two but I don't know who the team is anymore and actually the staff in the art are our brother Phil Baggett who is whose are accounted in administrator now.
Does that force Bill Newman still have so that some Bill used to do it. These guys have degrees in accounting they been with us a long long long time and I'm just thankful that I don't have to have my nose in any of my nose, and here's what I'm saying. There's a thorough accountable system were two or three men always are together when the money is dealt with. We have striven to be very credible in our gospel ministry. I don't know of a hint of question about the integrity of our dealing finances for your grace life church matter fact I don't think you would not be mentioned but Frank spires who has an accounting office over in Florence used to be the the office that we used to overview our books. I think he did it annually and he told me some time ago, I was always impressed with the way your church accounted for everything they took in everything. I spent his point was allowed. Churches don't do it as well. So we want to be very credible and one of the ways we also try to be credible as we have a thorough biblical base for every priority of ministry at Grace life church, we don't just respond to need our request. We try to go by biblical truth.
That's why preaching the word in small groups. For example, gets the bulk of our ministry monies because in Scripture. That's the bulk of the emphasis so there's the principle of credibility and a work and that's why I would say also that giving to and through the local church is to so encouraged in the New Testament because you know those people you know their character.
You watch their lives are not off there yet younger somewhere and you really don't know who their board is our Wakonda character. Those men had all right next number seven.
The principle of inspiration, touched on this, but I want to get on it again under the word inspiration. We see this in 824 down to chapter 9 verse two therefore openly before the churches show them the proof of your love and our reason for boasting about you notices openly before the churches we say church at Corinth. Now you be an inspiration to others shouldering the proof of your love for Christ and the reason why we talk about how big of a gift you're going up. I just can't have to tongue-in-cheek. Think about how Paul's working this offering post basically saying I bragged about you everywhere and I don't embarrass me.
I bragged about how much you're going to give help the suffering saints in Jerusalem. I don't don't don't don't embarrass me in this. Then he says 40 soup put superfluous words is no real reason to have to write this because I know you're going for this ministry to the saints verse two for I know your readiness again which I boast about you to the Macedonians, namely that Acadia has been prepared since last year and your zeal has started. Most of them that I haven't given the offering yet to get ready to give it be said that what you've talked about you been said yes about you to give this offering your inspiring others to get cannot save you, child of God. Grace life church of the shows, the way your attitude is about your ties and offering your Christmas love offering is either a discouraged or an inspiration to your brothers and sisters around. I would charge you. Don't be a discouragement though express a stingy spirit. There is no such thing as a spiritual church with a stingy spirit be an inspiration.
Let let others see what you do and I'm not saying your foot to tell that specific amount, let them see your heart, your attitude in your approach and it inspired them to seek the Lord and seek to do something generous for the Ward site post is just plain old Bible verse by verse chapter by chapter give you an example of how God's allowed us as a church family to be an inspiration is a couple of churches that we have mentored in recent years, and one of them main areas was to revamp the way they approach missions and this is no exaggeration in the last couple years together. They are giving $200,000 more to missions than they were before we begin to mentor. They were inspired by your model and actually though our faith commitment was at 450 or so thousand this year, mostly. Actually, if you add up what you cover through our regular budget that really goes to missions to is probably close to $600,000 a year that you give permission. I'm not saying we get any credit in heaven or we need to hold our heads high up in any product course not. I just think were barely normal adjusted. Most churches reverse abnormal but you can inspire others man called me some years ago. Again, when we had changed our missions approach to not talk about missions giving work on better Christmas offering but this illustrates the truth of inspiration that Paul talked to the Corinthians about. He called me from Atlanta and he heads up a ministry there and he said you know your church is the shot heard around the world. I thought one word, he said everybody's talking about the way your church.
This mission it's inspiring others and you may remember that the president of the international mission board of the Southern Baptist convention brought 60+ leaders literally from around the world to our church for years. Some years ago so that they could learn more about how we do missions and they begin to implement that across the southern Baptist convention courts were not connected to the mean longer but we were an inspiration. There was a very large mega-church pastor in Atlanta who was approached about the way his church. This missions and he told his church elders for fact if you want to know how to do missions you need to go to grace laughter to the shelves. They do the best job.
Now that's not begin to pass it on by leftists say God has ordained just like Paul is telling the Corinthians that you can do it right and you can be an inspiration to others Acadia policy.
It is on board because they heard about you. Macedonians are waiting to see what you're going to argue and inspire them.
Principle of inspiration are the principle of accountability verse three of chapter 9 accountability but there's that glorious conjunctive word again connects on to everything Paul said so far. Remind yourself what he said so far we've told everybody we've boasted about you and everybody you have told everybody we might big noise about this. You give a great offer hits everywhere, guys thinking about advice Watkins is anticipating what you're going to wait when superfluous. We didn't have to mention it to you. We know it's going to be great were just about it by the conjunction but absent the brethren the swords I want to make sure I sent the brethren also uptight you not smiling or laughing or nothing. This is all fun this good stuff. It's Bible pulses, but is it not so pray just so practical, but pulses absent the brethren in order that are boasting about you may not be made in this case, so that as I was saying, you may be prepared. I know you're going to do you talk about it. We talked about it. I mean all the churches around the known world. They're all talking about. I know it's going to come through. I don't have to say it but I'm sending three my best man down there to Corinth to get you ready to make sure you turn it in to make sure it's everything we hoped it ought to be. I get so tickled about these things. All he talks about is money.
You could say that about the apostle Paul. You really study Paul's letters. He talks about all the time pulses on some guys there to kind of hold you accountable to come through on this thing you know, we may be weak here. I don't look at people's giving. I have looked at the staff giving. If I have to look at the staff members giving to find out if he's tithing or not, he did need to bill my staff. I have dismissed people for that.
Look, there may be a struggle. Here, there, you might miss a month or two here and there.
I'm told that if a person is a pattern not get ties and offerings and he's gonna collect the salary from this church. He does not need to be on the staff. You may not like that so I don't care it's right now, again look if the brothers have a problem or don't help them. Amen. I'm talking about a willful pattern where you don't have a real excuse so that's the only real accountability I know of.
Unless you guys out there hold each other accountable. I'm not saying you're supposed to.
But there is something in the Bible about this accountability principle maybe be not more than just saying to a brother that you know you're not going to fend them.
You gotta be careful who you challenge okay this I brother you really praying about this uncle really pray about this brother you really going try to do something special. I really will try to do something special there's there's ways to be accountable one to another in a sense to be careful there. Some people are more mature than others. The principle of accountability. Number nine. The principle of shame.
While that's in here to principle shine. Look at verse four. Otherwise the board if you don't come through the con offering thereby think you're going to and you said you're going to. We told her what he wanted. Otherwise, if any, Macedonians come with me and find you unprepared, will you not to speak of you will be put to shame by this confidence. This going just be shameful.
We talked about this great offering in you folks in Corinth had researched this, but there likely one of the more wealthy churches of all the churches. Paul oversaw and you don't come through in a big way on this is going be embarrassing you to be ashamed, and I will be ashamed challenges grace laughter to the shoals with our history of giving and we have a good history of giving matter fact, when you take the way we give the guest evangelist and the way we get the missions in the offerings we braced of the years we have quite a reputation of being a joyous, generous, faithful people when it comes to giving I would say it's true. If we come up to the Christmas love offering. We only get a small percent of that and it would be a shame it would be like to wait a minute. People talked about how you love the Lord, what will happen.
I'm guaranteed if that offering didn't come through on the know how much is supposed to be. I just don't know.
But if it was obviously very weak, there would be pastors who would call me now you listening lately with Jeff what happened that's that's not like you would be shame and and Paul says we don't that happen principle. Shame number 10. The principle of preparation verse five in the text so I thought it necessary to urge the brethren.
That's those three key leaders I'm sending to you that they would gonna head to you and arrange beforehand. Here's Paul laying in on him again your previously promised bountiful gift while he just lathers it up on so that the same would be ready as a bountiful gift and not affected by Butch's they will call saying yes I believe you are genuine when you previously promise you can get this big Positano something else. There's an old wicked/sin disease called covetousness that can get in there and it can knock a hole in that offering. So I sent my best three guys pulses to work with you to prepare you so that you get all the way to the finish line without covetousness.
In this context, it could be translated greediness so that greediness did knock a hole in this offering on and forget Dr. Gray Allison, the president of my graduate school my seminary, and he talks about the school and how they started the school and many of just nipping took every week they go to the mailbox to see if they could buy their professors every week you're just tough and I have a special need. This was years ago and $50,000 really went a long way and he got a check in the mail for $50,000 cacique sent out a letter just saying hi, we have needs. Would you just pray about it in this dear, I think she's a little lady she said and $50,000. He called her on the phone that I just want to thank you for this gift and he said primarily I want to thank you that when God told you $50,000. You did like Owens $5000 under forget that I thought you know that's generally what can happen, the covetousness, the greediness sticks in and God, shows you an amount then you pull it way back down.
You keep the five you just knocked off of those zeros pauses. I'm sending the brother known ahead guard so that that covetousness that greediness didn't kick in and hurt the offering. Covetousness is a is an extremely contagious disease and mature giving example this are not will name names, but there's a good church that I work with and wonder what areas we work with them in as their finances and there's a dear brother and I mean a dear brother in leadership of that church, who somehow begin to glory and how big the church's savings account was any fluid like a banner click on the strut banner. She's got supplies on the car I'm interested that he didn't literally do that but I mean it's just like when he would talk to the church leaders in the finance committee and church elders. We were able to do so in the bank.
We got so much of the night when they were just thrilled about how much is in the bank where he was and he just bled over to everybody and as we begin to investigate why there were times when they were not generous with all things are good brothers. They love the Lord and turned out that one vocal, so you harder of money infected everybody else in covetousness, feel the thing up and that's the way it can happen. You can have Tian men who want to be generous and one of them just though out a little negative for some go out in August since, we ought to overhead know something this morning are all set.
I'm gonna send my three best guys to make sure that all happened in Korea.
I don't that happen. I don't know how Titus team Hamlet Titus and the two brothers got the card. I don't know what they did.
Ice don't you wish you had a record of how they did all this, what we own number 11. The principle of reciprocity reciprocity.
That means getting back returning back. Look at verses six through 11 now I say this in a send of the current is the gift that and come in yet. Be still to get ready now say this, he who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.
Each man must do justice. He's purposed in his heart, guys, here's the key. Again, not grudgingly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver, and God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that always having all sufficiency in everything you have an abundance for every good deed as it is written, he scattered abroad gave to the poor.
His righteousness endures forever.
That's owned by the eternal fruit is a God's going to bring it back in it. During this temporal world to you is also going to give you the right eternal rewards.
First, Tian, that he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness. When she sang as a general rule, when you get to God you get God's life.
For God's glory and you do something special.
You go enjoy your heart almost always got back to you but listen to me.
You'll never understand Haskell get back to you. Never figured out. You see, that's what allowed to try to figure out ahead of time has a going to come back.
I got this would just keep you just gonna trust you just gonna trust me. Paul taught this again to the Philippians Philippians 417 not that I seek the gift itself, but I seek for the profit which increases to your account.
Pulses not been warning you to support my ministry not in this case Paul talking about himself being supported. I told you he talks about all the time. He does and he said if you will support my work and had tried to help these churches, then God's going to bring back blessings to you continues on in Philippians 419 and my God pulses. I know my God, he will supply all your needs according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus reciprocity. So come back to you as one of the principles of giving Jesus talk this loop. 638 Jesus said, give, and it will be given to you. You could say given back to you. They will pour into your lap. God will see to it that it comes through people but is coming back to you good measure, pressed down, shaking together, running over, they would take her out her tunic and hold it up and they would buy certain amounts of brain and you pay so much for attorney pool I guess and they would put it in their 19 shaking and pressing and shaking and presence. I think it ever tiny grain they possibly could get.
And then if the guy was really a good guy.
He just deported onto it. Ran over and Jesus said if you give generously and faithfully to my work. I'm going to see to you that it comes back to you.
That way, running over by your standard of measure. He says it will be measured to you and return principle of returning back to you. Well, number 12, the principal Thanksgiving. Let's look at verse 12 of chapter 9 of the ministry of this service the Lord you giving to serve your brothers and sisters at the local church in Jerusalem is not only fully supplying the needs of the saints that's in Jerusalem, but is also overflowing through many thanksgivings to God.
He said you understand when you get this way, it just causes people everywhere to thank God and I just thank God for you, but thank God for what he did in you to get you to the place where you get this work like that. The principal Thanksgiving this morning as you and I meet you understand that many pastors, missionaries and church planters around the world are thanking God for you know lockers we sent them a check every month and a lot of them wonder how they get all that money again and I just thank God he's done a work of grace in our hearts so that we would faithfully and generously now for decades. Keep supporting those works around the world. God's getting many thanksgivings going up to him. I was talking to brother Barry King, the objective secretary of grace, that this partnership in England and if we were not the first. We were right at the first church to support his church planting work their gods blessed and he through some tough tough seasons.
It was, I mean tough talk about drinking soup for supper and going to bed and think we had it for a while and but we Giving John think he would say generously to the work there and we got others who are connected to us supporting the work there. Barry and I were talking I don't know if you months ago on the phone and I remember back to how hard it was and I just sent in and I didn't mean anything by it. Other than just the statements of the Barry I don't know how you made it. He chuckled and said we both know how we made it is the way you delegate to supporters that got us through what you're saying is, and were thankful to God for what happened through you help the work here in England is the principal Thanksgiving you cause many others to be thankful to God when you're faithful to God and your giving then the principle of glorification closely can, but a different thing. Glorification verse 13 of chapter 9 because of the proof of this ministry, they will glorify God for your obedience to your confession of the gospel of Christ and for the liberality of your contribution to them and to all cases the mass are rather the Corinthians, and others who hear about it. I'm sorry the Jerusalem church and others who hear about it are going to glorify God because they know this if I could just say it from a historic Jewish perspective, they know this, you dirty Gentile dogs wouldn't care for the things of God, for Christ hadn't changed your heart you will be generous like this to help us God's grace apprehended. You saved you and transformed you glorify God for the power of the gospel, not for the money itself. We needed thank you God change you. And that caused you to give a great offering.
You have a church pastors you have a church that is a generous church for decades. Like I have experienced. You've got to get your people to the point where the great majority of them are really regenerate born-again children of God, not just good Baptist regenerate children of God and their praising God. $0.40 where your treasure is there when your heart be also. Where your heart is sick Bible but it's the same truth where your heart is. There were your treasure be also got to change the heart to get us there. There's a direct correlation between what you do with your money and God receiving more glory. Think about that when our money helps advance the gospel and plant churches then those people receiving it. Praise God, glorify God for your money. Just build big corporations and lots of stuff and that's good and great by the way, nothing is wrong, but you need to make the end of your Corporation the end of your business the end of your whatever that I want to seek God get more glory you listen to me. There will be an accounting at the judgment seat of Christ. I have one more.
Are you happy I'm just kind of blown away by this in the Bible just amaze you is just so practical. It just so, and Paul Solorio leases down to earth, pragmatic year practical about the whole thing, the principle of foundation. What I mean what is the foundation stone all other principles depend on. Here's the foundation stone.
We've Artie literally hit on it. But here's the foundation stone that everything else depends upon verse 15 thanks be to God for his indescribable gear. His phone is you file wretched warmongering fornicating adulterating wicked pagan Corinthian's have been given Jesus you've been giving this indescribable.
Jesus and he's changed his just indescribable pulses. When I think about it for a moment that I'm actually writing to a group of believers in Jesus Christ involve secular pagan idol worshiping sexually perverse and immoral car in my fight in the ancient world to be Corinthian meant to commit a perverse sex that is how prominent was in the sculpture poses is just mind-boggling that your dear purified being sanctified brothers in Christ sisters in Christ and that's why you're giving is what it is because Christ this gift has come to you these is 289 for by grace you have been saved through faith and that not of yourselves. It's the gift of God. The gift changed you guys the gift for gave you the gift saves you but here's the point here is the foundation stone. It all came from God.
God sought you. God changed you and save you. God then gave me the desire to give this gift to help the local church in Jerusalem.
God gave you the wealth you have give you the minds the bodies the brains to make to earn it again. It came from him. So it's all the gift of God seeking you changing you saving you giving you the desire and giving you the wealth to give it as he reminded the Corinthians back in his first letter first Corinthians 47. What do you have that you not receive. Can anybody stand up and tell me what you have and recite it all came.
That's the foundation stone when you get there that I have this indescribable gift giving takes care of itself takes care of itself. The psalmist reminds us that our temporal life on this earth is like a mere breath.
All of us today are our whole pilgrimage on earth is this gone with covert it might be half a mere breath. Job said we came from the dust were going right back to it. Just like much to us without God.
God makes this into something by giving us Christ and eternal life. Listen to me listen to me is the indescribable gift.
Listen to me because no one can take Christ and eternal life away from you, even the socialist Democrats can go to the big bogeyman these days are bodily.
They are bogeyman a lot of like socialism to let communism private property ownership is taught thoroughly in the Bible.
But even if my country goes to ruin no one can take my Jesus and eternal life from so that helps me not want to hoard so much of it back and maybe use a whole lot of it, for God's work that indescribable gift that's the foundations that here's what I will charge you lose your pastor, you seek the Lord, and you do what you want to do about that. I won't know those folks on the counting committee might know. So if you want in the hallway after Christmas. They run into one of my golf that might be what it's about.
I don't know but I don't know who those people are, other than seal bag and seal won't do that.
He's kind so nobody is going no you Jesus and I cannot just see him as your pastor, I've been doing this a long time.
If that Christmas love offering didn't come close to paying off our debt. Everyone gave with joy. I'm happy, I'm happy, but on the other than it's inconceivable that we all get with joy we can get that paid off. I know both Karen but no matter what happens nobody can take this gift Jesus and eternal life. Now I'm not asking you to leave and remember all 15 of these. But God hit you with something along way. Take that with you and let's walk more fully in the biblical principles of giving to the Lord's work