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Questions About Giving

Beacon Baptist / Gregory N. Barkman
The Truth Network Radio
November 14, 2021 6:00 pm

Questions About Giving

Beacon Baptist / Gregory N. Barkman

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November 14, 2021 6:00 pm

What does the Bible teach about New Covenant believers and giving-

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Well we are admissions months during the month of November and there are two emphases that we focus upon during this month.

First of all, missionary mandate, lasting great commission Christ gave to go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. We endeavor to emphasize that from the pulpit, we endeavor to emphasize that by bringing in gospel. Missionaries who have answered the call to go to the ends of the earth to have them tell about their work and to challenge us for the great commission and so the mission's mandate is upon our focus is our focus admissions month and then secondly, the matter financial stewardship. Obviously those who go going to have to help them go going to have to help support them financially so that they can go and so it's a good time to focus upon the issue of giving our financial stewardship. But as I have tried to tell you over the years.

That's not the main reason why we give.

That's not the main reason why I challenge you to give. But it's a bigger issue than that. It has to do with many errors of our Christian life in many, many parts of our relationship to God. It is very important that we understand what the Bible teaches about giving and that we submit to it in the week.

We follow the instructions that God gives us and that we grow in grace all kinds of grace, but especially the grace of giving. As we focus upon that during this month so were going to be doing that again in our message today talking about financial stewardship of the idea stewardship is that we are not owners of the things we possess. We are management. We are stewards.

That's what a steward is one who manages resources that belong to another, but they have been entrusted into his care. That's the way the Bible teaches us to view the money in the resources that the material things that God has given to us. Those resources are entrusted into our care by God for God given purposes. God specified purpose in the Bible tells us what those purposes are many of them have to do with our physical needs. Father has knows that you have need of all of these things Jesus said in the sermon on the Mount. So we have been given resources in order to secure food, shelter, and clothing into things that are needed in order to live to supply for our families in this material world where God has placed us in for God has designed that we shall live in this way, but a portion of these things is to be given for the work of Christ's kingdom so that those who are involved in gospel work might help food and shelter, and clothing. The things which they need in order to carry out their ministry so all of these resources are to be managed wisely.

According to the desires of the one who owns them. We sometimes get our minds that that I own them. We own them.

One of the misconceptions of tithing that and I'm going to get of the tithing at the moment but I'm not going to touch on this, so I'll touch on it now that is tithing sometimes encourages us to believe that 9/10 belongs to me and 1/10 belongs to God wrong 10 tenths belongs to go and we manage it for his glory. According to his directions. We need to understand the now because I'm going to speak about giving broadly today, of necessity, this is not going to be an expository sermon it's going to be a topical sermon I'm going to cover the gamut from Genesis will not all the way to read Revelation, but from Genesis well to the New Testament good recording a lot of scriptures. Today I'm going to be squeezing a lot of of the Bible truth into a short period of time. I hope you have your ears on some of this I've covered before, but some of it I have not needs to be reviewed, but these are things that I believe the God is enabled me to learn about giving over 60 years.

Things that I have learned from the Bible of things that I have endeavored to practice in my own life and I want to address these things today by asking five question question number one what about the time. What about the time that's the big one.

A lot of people have questions about tithing. That's not as simple a question as it might seem on the surface.

Some people think they have a simple answer. Documents tithing was supposed to die other people think they have a simple answer tithing as Old Testament and New Testament. So tithing is off for us. I would suggest that the answers a little more complex than either of those two simple responses but let me try to show you what I think the Bible teaches. What about the time the type clearly was required under the law of Moses, and I don't think any of us would dispute that we know that I don't have to quote Scripture to prove it to you in the tightest 10% 1/10 part and of the Old Testament in an agricultural society that often met 1/10 of the crops. 1/10 of the increase of the field. 1/10 of the animals that the new animals. The the additions to the herds and flocks of God gave an increasing those those commodities. 1/10 in the attempt of the law of Moses was given primarily for the support of the priests, the Levites Levites that a priest supports were Levites. The Levites then tied to what was given to them that was used for the upkeep of the temple, so there was a pretty well understood system here and it worked well when people were carrying it out.

People of God gave the 10th of their their increase to support the Levites who did the work connected with the temple of the tabernacle of the temple Levites gave 10% of what they receive to pay the upkeep of the temple. The various expenses they didn't have to pay electric bills, but they had other bills that were involved in the upkeep of the temple and so that's the way it worked hand in the law of the tithing and I will have time to get to the details. There was also a smaller amount designated for the aid of the poor.

So the Old Testament tithing was first and foremost, and primarily for the support of priests and Levites. But secondly not to be neglected not to be left out of what was commanded there was a portion that was given for the needs of the poor. But New Testament believers are not under the law of Moses, certainly not under all of it. There is some disagreement about whether rendered part of it or not and I don't have time to get into that now but certainly I don't think anybody here would teach us that we are as new covenant believers under all of those, 673 requirements and prohibitions and Moses gave.

We not only art under that we don't we couldn't even couldn't even less than we could remember that we could encounter.

That's why Jesus said this is a weighty matter. It weighs you down so were not under all the law of Moses, that's for sure. Most would agree that were not under for certain the ceremonial and civil law when it comes to the 10 Commandments that's another discussion. The very weighty discussion about going to get into now. The tithing is not found of the 10 Commandments tithing is under the law of Moses and it must come under one of the other categories, presumably under the ceremonial law of Moses and we know that is not given to new covenant believers. The New Testament contains two and only two specific references to tithing. One of them is in the words of Jesus when he is scolding rebuking the Pharisees and he has a whole list of things that he rebukes them for. But here's what he says in Matthew 2323 woe to you scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, for you pay Ty of mint and anise, and these little herbs from the garden so they were meticulous and only type.

There their money, but they tied the produce not only their field, but out of the vegetable gardens you pay tithe of mint and anise in common that the smallest details that relate to tithing and have an here's the problem have neglected the weightier matters of the law, justice and mercy, and faith. And then he says these you ought to have done without leaving the others undone. It's not that you shouldn't have time even meticulously the herbs from your garden but you shouldn't of been tithing that meticulously neglecting things that are much weighty. That's the word Jesus said the only word that he had relating relating to tithing. The other reference is found in the book of Hebrews chapter 7 I'm not going to turn to the outer read that it's a more extended passage verses one through 10 the writer of Hebrews there recounts forests the occasion when Abraham in the Old Testament paid tithes to Melchizedek. He wants to make a particular point about Melchizedek about the priesthood of Melchizedek, of which Jesus Christ is a priest, according to the light of Melchizedek, not to the light of Levi Jesus Christ was born of the tribe of Judah, and wouldn't therefore qualify for the Mosaic priesthood, but he has a priest after the order of Melchizedek. He is our great high priest. He is a priest of a different order and the book the book of Hebrews gives us a rather expensive century section about that. And one of the things it talks about is how low I Abraham rather gave types of Melchizedek and he says without question the tides very are paid by the lesser to the greater so that means that Melchizedek was greater than Abraham. So that's a second reference specific reference to tithing in the New Testament. Neither of these two passages commands tithing for New Testament believers deals with it, but it doesn't commanded for New Testament believers. And I say that having already pointed out, the Jesus said to the Pharisees, you should have time those things but I don't consider the Pharisees to be new covenant believers. They really were operating under the Mosaic law.

Jesus said you are under the Mosaic law.

You pride yourself in keeping the Mosaic law. You tithe meticulously the herbs out of your garden. You should have done that. That's exactly what you should have done, but you shouldn't lift weightier headers undone, but neither passage commands tithing for New Testament believers, but neither passage specifically rejects tithing for New Testament believers.

No, I don't don't want to press too much weight on that because we don't teach from from what's absent that that's that's a mistake is to put too much weight on what isn't there. But it is interesting to note the contrast, there are certain things in the in the law of Moses that are specifically told, that's all that is no more the dietary laws leave and read during the time of Jesus that that when he said things are going to a man what you eat. That is the file you, it's what comes out of your heart, and there is this this insight that says when he said that he he purified all food they the Mosaic regulations that kosher laws the not eating pork and so forth. When Jesus said that that was abrogated specifically abrogated by the New Testament teaching so the New Testament not only does not teach that we follow the dietary law of Moses. But it specifically says we don't anymore that's picked up again by Paul the first Timothy epistle where he says some people teach that you need to follow the dietary laws and that's heresy that's wrong that's that's that's not what the Scripture teaches all things have been Ben's are sanctified by prayer and by thanksgiving to God were free to eat anything so specifically the New Testament abrogates some elements of the Mosaic law. The people wanted to carry over into the New Testament, but it doesn't do that with tithing doesn't commanded doesn't abolish it just refers to, and in those two passages where tithing is mentioned in the New Testament. Tithing is treated favorably, but certainly not obligatorily. It's not an obligation. Clearly not an obligation. But it's not denounced it's not rejected it's not the side. It's treated favorably. This you should have done, and Abraham was commended for paying ties to Melchizedek. One further thing about the tithe and that is to point out that tithing predates Moses which a solid example of it and Abraham and Melchizedek. Why did Abraham live at least 400 more years before Moses, which means 400 more years before the Mosaic law with the requirement to type and yet he's tithing. Abraham tied to Melchizedek.

That's the only example of tithing. We have the life of Abraham, but I think there's reason to think that there might be other times as well. We have another example of tithing, the predates Moses and that's in the life of Jacob. You can find in Genesis 2820 through 22. What is running away from home. He got in trouble he's afraid of Esau and is running away from home and and Wally sleeping one night God gives him a vision the ladder down from heaven. Remember that the angels ascending and descending on the ladder and that has great gospel significance.

No time for that now. But then when Jacob woke up we read in Genesis 28, 20 Jacob made a vow, saying, if God will be with me and keep me in this way that I'm going and give me bread to eat and clothing to put on so that I come back to my father's house in peace then the Lord shall be my God, and this stone which I have set as a pillar shall be God's house and of all that you give me, I shall surely give 1/10 to you Jacob premises to ties hundreds of years before Moses, when you take these two things together. Abraham tithing to Melchizedek and quite high, quite like 10%. Why not 5%. Why not 15% white tithe, Abraham good question. Think about that Jacob Whiteford promised the time my quiet 10th where that come from Moses law was written yet where that come from what we don't know but it would appear that he seen that example and his father Isaac and his grandfather Abraham, I can't prove that I can't say that dogmatically, but somewhere he got this concept.

It seems to be a well-known general practice that an appropriate amount to give to the Lord is 10%. Barely Abraham had that concept. Jacob had that concept and that was before Moses came along. See there are things that people were doing that they knew were the requirements of God before the law of Moses and some of those things were encoded into the law of Moses, but they were already in practice.

Other things were not of things were new in the law of Moses that had not been known before, and it looks to me like tithing, though not a command because Moses had given his law yet nevertheless was a concept of general practice that was understood hundreds of years before the law of Moses. That's all I'm going to say about tithing, I move on to question number two for New Testament instructions regarding giving black and summarize them in two areas.

Number one instructions about the act of giving a number two. Instructions about the objects of our giving regard to the act of our giving were instructed to give quote all kinds of verses. This would buy Jesus give and it will be given to you good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you the word of Christ as both the command to give and a promise for those who do get a return reward for the giving but it's a command to give were not only instructed to give, but we are instructed to give generously. The passage I read earlier in second Corinthians 96 but this I say, he who sows sparingly shall reap also sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. That's about giving you give little get a return but it will be a little return just just like farmer and his seat in the field just so quarter of an acre and put in a few seats are knocking to get a huge crop if you so 600 acres and fill it full of seed you probably get a crop, he who sows sparingly shall reap sparingly. He showed chosen sows bountifully shall reap bountifully that relates to our giving some were encouraged to give generously and we are instructed to give cheerfully because this passage goes on in verse seven say so let each one. Give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly, or necessity. Don't know God doesn't want us to feel like this is a weighty obligation that a duty that would rather not do which may be the reason why it doesn't follow the law of Moses, which was an obligation which a lot of people resented didn't want to do. God doesn't want us to give that way, not grudgingly, nor necessity for God loves a cheerful giver. Happy giver, a hilarious giver translated so these are instructions about the act of giving. We are to give. We are to give as generously as we can. We are to give cheerfully, we are to be happy in our giving, glad to be able to do it. But in New Testament instructions number two we have instructions about the objects of our giving, and again the very simple there two things primarily number one support of gospel ministers and number two assistance to the needy support of gospel ministers.

Several textile read the one from first Timothy 517 and 18. Let the elders who rule well be counted worthy of double honor, especially those who labor in the word and doctrine for the Scripture says you shall not muzzle an ox while it treads out the grain, and labor is worthy of his wages is talking about money and it tells the church to support financially.

Those who are faithfully leading the church. The elders are not given many details about how this is to be carried out.

We don't have the mechanics, but clearly this is an obligation of the church to support its ministers and obviously churches don't have any money of their own. It's the money that the members of the church. Give this becomes a New Testament obligation of Christians support ministers of the gospel, but also we have teaching about assistance to the needy falls into two categories. As I studied the Scriptures what number one emergency situations and number extended situations emergency situations or things like the good Samaritan. Christ told the parable he commended the good Samaritan for seeing the need sing an emergency and meeting that need out of his own pocket.

That was an act of generous giving on his part and he was commended for that and and all of us occur our are instructed the same way question was who is my neighbor. Jesus told this parable and he said, your neighbors, anybody that God puts across your path is a need, even if he cited Samaritan. If you are Samaritan needs a hated Jew who ever is obviously a need to God puts in your path. You have an obligation to help anyone brought across our path by God who has a need. It's obvious to observation line. I say these things carefully. People require immediate short-term assistance and you can see that without any problem. When that's true you have an obligation to help that person no matter who they are, no matter the color of their skin, no matter whether you're kinder.no matter what their politics. It's got nothing to do with it.I emphasize when the need is obvious to observation. I don't think this covers the person who calls you on the phone or cause you and gives you a sob story and you can't see the these are tougher. Don't think that's in the same category.

I'm not sure were obligated to help in that situation. It may be that we ought to do some more research and find out if the need is genuine. Most of the time I just tell you my own experience. Most of the time when I been able to do that doesn't appear to be one of those emergency needs.

Thinking of one man I talked to on the phone for quite a while and try to get little background information. He couldn't give me information about this he could get immediate information about that well where you work with. I work for South Carolina who he worked for will work for so-and-so.

Can you give me the name your supervisor yet. Here's his name beautiful number whoops what he want his phone number call and find out what he could tell me about you.

I don't know you.

You called me up on the phone I don't I don't know you from Adam's house. How do I know this is genuine need and you're not just taking me for a ride. You're not professional beggar.

If your story is true, we can find out very simply, is give me the number. I'll make the call and if it's true I'll help you know what happened next, click, click, so that's not good Samaritan type situation to come across somebody who's injured in an automobile accident. There they are lying by the road you help you help matter who they are. You help us one assistance to the needy but the Bible also teaches us about extended support. First of all, for a personal family. We have responsibility secondly to the deserving needy to our personal family shuffling a little bit until I get back to the first Timothy chapter 5 verse three well, let's see here a personal family first Timothy 58 but if anyone does not provide for his own, especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than the believer. That's a responsibility as it the same passage also talks about the deserving needy that the that are involved in care by the church, honor widows who are really widows, not Everett. Not just because of a lady has lost her husband doesn't necessarily mean she's a need widow what the Bible calls a real widow. It's clear from this passage that Paul isn't defining widow simply by someone who lost her husband's defining widow more by the common characteristic of that day of widows who are left in a destitute situation by the widowhood needy widows to honor widows who are really widow says in verse nine. Do not litter widow under 60 years of old be taken into the number and not unless she has been the wife of one man and so for the ghost of the responsibility that it says in verse 16. The requirements of the person you're considering helping then ever.

16 if any believing man or woman has widows, let them relieve them and do not let the church be burdened that it may relieve those who are really widows, so there's a responsibility to take care of our personal family take care of our own. Don't deny the faith be worse than the infidel.

That would be a financial responsibility outside the church. Then there are the deserving needy and extended support program.

Not that an emergency situation and that is a church program.

Let if if there there if they have family let the family take care of them, and let not the church be burdened. Let not the church be responsible so that it has resources to take care of those who are genuine widows who don't have anybody to help take care of them. So Paul is clearly here talking about a church program. Widows who have been vetted carefully. The need is genuine and obvious. The church has a responsibility to help and of the church has a responsibility to help the members of the church of responsibility give to help church meet the need is pretty obvious, is so instructions about New Testament giving in regard to the active giving we are to give generously and cheerfully in regard to the objects of giving. We are to support gospel missionaries that would include mission gospel ministers that would include missionaries and assistance to the needy. Under those situations that the Bible defines force which it strikes me is the same basic obligations of Old Testament giving what was a tie for the Old Testament to care for the priests and Levites that religious workers of that day and what else in the needy. Same thing in the New Testament. It's not under the law of Moses.

But we've got something that parallels it pretty pretty obviously question number three.

Moving along. Are there rewards for giving yes first of all there's a general blessing since my sermon today is not expository.

I had trouble deciding what would I would call my text whenever I file the sermons I filed under text with my text to be today I'm going all over the place.

Well my text today is acts 2035. Paul speaking to the Ephesian elders as I have shown as shown you in every way by laboring like this that you must support the week and remember the words of the Lord Jesus that he said it is more blessed to give than to receive more blessed to give than to receive. Most people think it's more blessed to receive the gift but the Bible says it's more blessed to give than to receive. There are there's a special blessing of God upon those who give for the right reason with the right motives. General blessing as a reward for giving a general blessing is more blessed to give than to receive.

There also rewards in heaven. Jesus spoke about this in the sermon on the Mount when he said chapter 6 verses 19 and 20. Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal is talking about money and other material resources, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven were moth and rust do not destroy and where thieves do not break in and steal. How do we lay up treasures in heaven, we know how to lay them up on earth. We buy things we bank money. We have ways of storing up on earth. How do we lay up treasures in heaven by giving by giving the giving to the Lord by giving to the work of his kingdom by giving the gospel workers by giving to the deserving needy. That's the way we lay up treasures in heaven and when we lay up treasures in heaven, we have treasures in heaven, we get to heaven. There they are.

So there's this general blessing is more blessed to give than to receive.

There's a specific blessing about rewards in heaven but beyond that the Bible teaches us that there rewards on earth as well. The passage I read in verse I read from Jesus in Luke chapter 6. Give and it shall be given to you good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over will he put into your work will be rather put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use will be measured back to you talking about material giving it gains material rewards gets rewarded in kind and likewise the text I read in second Corinthians. He did so sparingly shall reap also sparingly he sows bountifully shall reap also bountifully. There are rewards on earth. I think about the question of the disciples in Mark chapter 10 Jesus talked about being willing to give up the sacrifice for the cause of Christ and in verse 28, Peter began to say to him.

See, we have left all and followed you. And in the innocent. One of the other Gospels. He says so what do we have what we get for that right. So Jesus answered and said assuredly, I say to you, there is no one was left house or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children's or lions giving up material things, relationships would also material possessions for my sake and the Gospels, who shall not receive a hundredfold now in this time, houses, brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions and the age to come eternal life. But there the emphasis of the reward as far as the return on what was given is in this world so general blessing rewards in heaven rewards on earth.

And finally, I think one of the most blessed rewards is the increased capacity to give. When you give with the right heart motive. God gives you back so that you can give more so that God gives you back more so that you can give more so the God gives you back more so that you can give more. Sometimes when people haven't thought about that and realize that before they look at you like, oh, come on now you sound like Kenneth Hagan or somebody like Joel O'Steen hey, I didn't write it. I just quoted God is able to make all grace abound toward you that you, always having all sufficiency in all things may have an abundance wherever, as it is written, he is dispersed abroad is given to the poor.

His righteousness endures forever know may he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food supply and multiply the seed you have sown, and increase the fruits of your righteousness while you are enriching everything for all liberality and goes on to say that those who give will be blessed by God to be able to give more.

That's one of the rewards of giving that the Bible teaches question for how should we view prosperity that's attacked touching one was on people's prosperity to be sought in this world is clear from the Bible that as the main goal of life.

The answer is no, that's not our main goal in life to choose pursue prosperity well is prosperity to be expected as a Christian birthright he would get into Joel O'Steen and Kenneth Hagan, and so forth. This is every Christian's birthright. If you'll just if you'll just trust him should be wealthy. So what the Bible teaches.

No, not to expect that either, but is prosperity to be shunned and some people have this wrong attitude about it that there's something fishy about a person who's got money.

I don't think they got. Honestly, I don't think they got righteously.

I think they lighted, treated, and connive to get it I don't I don't think anybody ought to have much money when you can read your Bible did you because an awful lot an awful lot of the main characters in the Bible turn out to be wealthy people. Abraham was one of the wealthiest men of his day job was one of the wealthiest men of his day and on and on and on it goes. In the New Testament you find many wealthy believers in the New Testament churches who, for example, opened their homes to become the the location for the church to meet.

That wasn't a 20 x 20 of that was a big mansion big enough to take care of the church gatherings and so forth.

You see a lot of this in the New Testament. Wealthy people who have given themselves and what they have into the work of the Lord. So is prosperity to be shunned as it is shameful condition. No, no, no.

Is prosperity to be enjoyed when it has been righteously obtained and has been honorably managed as a steward. Yes, it is to be enjoyed with cautions: give you some scripture in the moment.

But here's what we know about prosperity number one God controls prosperity. He decides who becomes prosperous. We don't have any trouble believing that, their weight, we believe God is sovereign over everything.

Here's what Hannah prayed in her wonderful prayer and second Samuel to first Samuel 27.

The Lord makes poor and makes rich he brings low and lifts up is that right shoe right yes God is the one who determines these things if a Christian is wealthy. Well, if anyone is wealthy because God made them so. If a Christian is wealthy than God has prospered them. No doubt that they might use it for his kingdom. If a wicked man is wealthy and some of them are got his purposes and that should be envious that you covet and you fret about it but you wonder about it don't you question God, you're not God.

God did it for a reason.

If anybody's wealthy God made them wealthy.

If anybody's poor God made them poor. If anybody has is experienced both during one lifetime because God did that. The apostle Paul talks that way. Philippians 4 I have learned how to abound. I have learned to be a base I learned how to have a lot. I've learned how to suffer need. I have learned in whatever state I therewith to be content. I can be as happy, poor is rich but there's nothing wrong with being rich sometimes. I've been rich and I thank God for it to try to handle properly simple and other times I'd import. I trust God to take care of my needs and I never starve to death. I'm still here talking about it.

God has taken care of my needs. I've learned both both ends of the spectrum and got someone who controls in God's the one who makes people wealthy and so God controls it. Prosperity increases obligations to give the Bible teaches that first Timothy 617 command those who are rich in this present age not to be haughty Northern trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who gives us richly all things to enjoy.

Let them do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to give willing to share God's major rich God expects you to be a generous giver with what he is entrusted to you, and that same text teaches us to prosperity ought to be enjoyed with gratitude that little phrase stuck in that text I just read the living God, who gives us richly all things to enjoy. Some people act like God doesn't want anybody to enjoy anything about the story. Looking at the clock was back in the 1800s Dutch reformed church in the state of New York. The man's whatever they call their house for the minister was a mile or more away from the church during good weather parson ride his horse down to the church and walked out of the church and the Lord's day, but in the winter.

Sometimes the snow that part of country got up pretty high and the parson discovered realized he did discover that there was a creek that ran behind his house and ran also behind the church and connected the two and he said you know in the wintertime that creek is frozen solid. I can ice skate to the church and so he started ice-skating to the church but the consistory not happy about that. It looked like recreation on the Sabbath, so they debated this back and forth, back and forth, back and forth in the talk to him about it and they debated some more and finally called admin they said we just have to ask you one question. This is going to settle the issue. One question along when thou skate if to the church on the Sabbath day dust thou enjoy it if you don't enjoy it. It's okay if you do enjoy. That's kind of the dollar added to the some people have is and he is God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy stuck that little phrase into the text so prosperity ought to be enjoyed with gratitude. Now number five and I'm running sometime. How can we know when our giving is generous so much of our spiritual health depends upon right giving right attitudes toward giving this an important question.

How can we know when our giving is generous, we know that our giving ought to be generous and cheerful. The question is when it really gets down to it, how do we accurately evaluate generosity because of our wayward hearts. We have trouble with that. Honestly, really, I'll give you an illustration hypothetical using figures that are just very general. Take the man who supporting a family on a salary of $50,000 a year and he's giving a time 10% to the Lord and in taking care of his family on the remaining 45 and probably having to budget pretty carefully.

To do that seeping generous and he's giving I would say he is. That's is giving 10% of he doesn't have a lot to give.

Take another man who is God has greatly richly blessed in his annual salary is $500,000 if he tied sets can be $50,000 for thousand dollars a week that he's dropping and he's got 450,000 take care of his family and to buy a good many Xers to these not struggling to feed his family thousand is can be able to buy a nice house in a vacation home is able to buy nice cars you can be able to do a lot of things with four and $50,000. But here's the thing I discovered over the years that the man who was giving $100 a week $5000 a year.

He doesn't really think of that is giving much. I think God does but he doesn't look like much the best I can do is drop $1000 a week in the offering plate. It's really easy for the devil to get up and whisper in his ear and a sense of awful lot. Given that much. Cut back down $500 $2500 we keep getting more than almost anybody else prepping probably more than anybody else, now you need to get that much in it. It's very easy for us to think that in his case, $500 would be a very generous amount of giving. When I think the way God evaluates it. It would be very stingy amount man is making $500,000 a year. If you can't tie comfortably and do more something wrong. Don't you agree with the problem is we have a hard time of evaluating the subjectively so how do we how do we evaluate generosity do we do it by subjective evaluation. I feel like I'm giving generously so. So does a man making $500,000 a year. Who's giving $500 a week. He thinks he's giving very generously sure looks like it to him or is there any objective evaluation we can use to measure this by and if so what is it that brings us full circle right back to question number one again, which was what about the time this is the point.

The only objective biblical standard of giving that I can find is the time yes it was commanded Moses.

And it's not commanded to New Testament believers.

But how do we guard our heart against being deceitful.

How do we guard our heart against cover is how do we guard our heart against materialism not only betray ourselves into thinking we are generous givers because the amount looks good but when it's compared with the total available. It's very small. We do that, I would suggest this is what I've the conclusion I've come to over the years. I would suggest that the tide becomes a standard. In other words, to tie is to give sufficiently to give sufficiently and in certain cases, it would be to give generously to give the other tide is certainly generous giving and here's the point when our giving is truly generous, not just subjectively so by our pot probably flawed. Subjective evaluation when our giving is truly generous, we can enjoy some of the extras with a clear conscience as we delight in God's reward to enable us to do additional give as we give God gives back we can give more week, but along the way we move out of the category of torque to the category of comfortable, and sometimes even to the category of wealthy and like a good steward like somebody who manages somebody else's affairs will there are financial rewards for that you get you get bonuses you get rewards for doing a good job. God does the same thing give you some things to enjoy guard become coverage to become a lover of money still steward but yeah your good steward to give you some extra things to enjoy therefore come to this conclusion. Here's my recommendations. If you're not currently tithing make that your goal to work towards. Not because it's commanded, but as a way to know your giving sufficiently your trust in God, you're not being materialistic you not been coverages you are endeavoring to give a long standing standard that goes way before Moses in your giving to the Lord in the faith promise hot card will help you get started. I don't have time to explain that now, but that's where that card begins.

Your name your signature you know identifying personal information is on but it's to help you with this number two if you're currently tithing make giving beyond the type your goal. Because giving generously is taught in the New Testament is honoring to God and you're not going to lose by doing. I am convinced by many years of experience and observation that those who give with the right heart motive, end up usually with more than people who didn't get another which show me to people with the same salary over to Christians of the same salary over 25 years. One is tithing and giving the above, the tide, the other one is is not pension pension trying to save and build up their own wealth and at the end of 25 years. I promise you that in my observation. The one who's been giving generously is going to have say explain that in left leg and let the banker explain how that works doesn't work with the banker folks. It works with God Almighty in heaven above he's in control of all these things is able to multiply. He's the one who is able to make smaller amounts go farther. Does that. So if you're currently giving beyond the tithe endeavor increase your giving year-by-year.

Keep your attitude a stewardship doesn't belong to you belongs to God. You've already experienced God's faithfulness to his promised rewards which has no doubt encourage you to do more and so you ought to be wondering how much more will God enable me to give how much more will God entrusted with this is pretty exciting.

I'm I'm giving amounts to the Lord's work today that the 10 or 15 years ago I would've thought impossible. And yet God has made it possible. That is exciting.

That is exciting. There out of the joy there are to be polarity cheerfulness and write those big checks even as there was faith and trust in God. When you write those checks. God is made it possible. Finally, if you know your giving generously and experienced financial prosperity is God's reward don't be ashamed to righteously enjoy some of the surplus you can do so with a clear conscience even as you continue to increase your giving to the Lord guard against covetousness guard against loving money, enjoy whatever prosperity God gives, with gratitude to the one who gave it. As you find great delight in investing more and more in the work of Christ's kingdom. The faith promise program is very deliberately designed to help you do exactly what I have described. Let's pray father, help us to grow in the grace of giving.

Help us to honor you with our material resources help us to take your word at face value and to believe it to act upon it. Help us Lord to be good and faithful servants as we ask in Jesus name


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