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December 25, 2021 2:00 am
To find out what God intended His people to be like, we have to go back to the Spirit-led church in the book of Acts. As we take a fresh look at their style, structure, and service, we get the full picture. This group wasn't a bunch of independent isolationists who met once a week. They were generous toward one another and sought to meet the social and economic needs of people in their spiritual family. Because they were so open-hearted, they were also open-handed.
This teaching is from the series Church? Who Needs It.Links:
This week's DevoMail: https://connnectwithskip.com/devomail
In Matthew, Mark, and Luke three synoptic Gospels, one out of every six verses deals with money, you know that one out of every six verses 29 parable Jesus told 16 deal with the person is somehow sure Christians understood the New Testament principle of giving. They would be taking. Welcome to Québec was the division is skipped by two continues the message when Christians are generous explaining how the Bible deals with the issue of money. According to dictionary.com philanthropy is the effort or inclination to increase the well-being of humankind is by charitable way by donations is interesting, but philanthropy is most often associated with the rich. But if the definition we share is true, then philanthropy the wealthy after all. What better way is there to increase the well-being of mankind by sharing the good news of the gospel today.
Study Skip explores why believers should be generous.
But before we get started today.
Details about this much correctly Skip resource off 2020 team almost here now for your spiritual menu starting in January. This month their offerings skipped daily devotional containing strong dots for each state the sample from January 1, Martin Luther, one that is the life has friends after me. As you read each day each day and prepare for the greatest adventure of your life. That's an excerpt at the direction found in skipped daily… That you will receive an hardcover gift $35 or more today this Bible teaching history growing will also include playlist messages, I can't find as our thank you list them here in the playlist series to spend energy in life we all do make sure it's about people that you're building up not just projects to give and receive this resource to get.com or call 892 1888. Acts chapter 2 is will be again today our series church.
To make matters faster Skip to begin our study today. Boil it down God's view of finances is simply this. Everything you have in your possession, you don't have all of it belongs to God.
The earth is the Lords and the fullness thereof, or everything that is in it. It all belongs to him.
You might say but I paid for it all. 36 months of payments I paid for it or I'll 30 years of payments I paid for the Bible says God gives you the power to get wealth. He is the source at all, belongs to him and he is the right to call for 10% of that 20% of it or 100% of it. You know, wait a minute, preacher. I thought if anything I have responsibility to perhaps give 10% to God, that's only the stewardship side of it, it's all his it's all his just like when you gave your life to Christ you gave your life to Christ and this is all inclusive. Now that does not mean that God doesn't want you to have money, far from it. First Timothy chapter 6 God is given us all things richly to enjoy the context of money.
Abraham was well think Job was wealthy. Theophilus in the New Testament presumably was wealthy, and several others. It's not that God doesn't want you to have money.
He does not, but if you love it. It'll mess you up. I can't save any clarinet, Timothy or Paul says to Timothy in first Timothy six verse 10 for the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, the love of you can have none of it and have a lot of I know people who love it. They don't have a but they wanted Jesus said you can't serve God and money. I have never yet met a person who made us a goal of their life making money making money making money who is not getting got messed up by no it just make something askew and arrive in a person's life. So that's the early church.
That's what they did. Speaking of getting messed up by it were introduced to chapter 5 chapter 4 is a contrast to chapter 5 but notice how the word begins with a section begins with a negative but a certain man named Ananias, with the fire, his wife sold a possession and he kept back part of the proceeds. His wife also being aware of it and brought a certain part and laid it at the apostles feet. But Peter said Ananias why is Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and keep back part of the price of the land for yourself, while the remaining was it not your own. After it was sold, was not in your own control. Why have you conceived this thing in your heart you have not lied to men but to God than Ananias hearing these words fell down and breathed his last, so great fear came upon all those who heard these things, and the young men arose and wrapped him up and carry them out and buried him.
The church was so pure up until chapter 5. This is the first incident of sin recorded in the church and it's over money know what was a problem some greed.
If you are reading that into the story you read it wrong is not that they kept part of the back is not greed.
The sin was deceit, they said. According to Peter that they were giving all and the Part of the back. They could've kept it all. This was voluntary and in fact look at verse four. Again, while it remained was it not your own to do whatever you want with it and after it was sold, was it not in your own control between you and God you can do whatever you want with it before the Lord, but you brought it to send you said I've given all to the Lord that you didn't. You lied just to get your status raised and God showed his obvious disapproval. Now verse four is to me a great principle. It tells me that I need as a believer you need. We all need to make a conscious decision of how were going to handle our finances. We do it before God.
We do it as a couple husband-and-wife as a family or as a single person we make that determination. As I did in my my early marriage now to do that.
This might help because you might be thinking, let me just say some right now this whole economic thing is just put me under the wire. I'm so far behind and I I do appreciate that we are as a church or to help but I just want to help frame something for you. According to the United Nations.
The latest statistics, the number of destitute people in the world. Those who live those who live or survive on less than one US dollar per day exceeds 1 billion people less than a dollar a day. 1 billion people in the number average number of people who die every day due to hunger are 24,000 people every day I bring that act of some of those are our brothers and sisters. So whatever you decide to do with your finances that should be a consideration in Jerusalem was they had a tender social conscience and having that tender conscience they simplified their lifestyle and they were generous so the early church was openhearted in the early church was open handed in their distribution.
Now would you turn with me and will close here.
Second Corinthians chapter 9 this is Paul writing and I'm closing here because this gives us principles in giving principles, New Testament principles and generous giving is returning there when he tell you that though I often don't talk about finances like I'm doing today I'm doing it because of the context I discovered something the Bible has a lot to say about no, maybe not as much as some preachers, but it has a lot to say about the fact that maybe it has more to say. Then some preachers. In fact, I discovered and I was shocked that in Matthew, Mark, and Luke the three synoptic Gospels, one out of every six verses deals with money. Did you know that one out of every six verses out of the 29 parable Jesus told 16 deal with a person and his money. Not convinced of something all shared upfront if Christians understood the New Testament principle of giving.
They would be aching to do it they be aching to do it. I know that because we got time to cover it.
But in chapter 8 of second Corinthians. Paul cites the Macedonians who found Paul and begged him to be able to get to this cause because they got it they understood the principal so let me give you some quick principles and giving you can write them down. Number one.
Give intentionally give intentionally, I say that I mean give, knowing that the Scripture commands you to do it and God will bless you for give with that understanding the giving is powerful spiritually impractical. There are results verse six of second Corinthians 9 look at that, but this I say, he who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully that the whole context is about giving pulses. Giving is like farming and so the truth in verse six is axiomatic.
It's a self revelatory truth you don't disputed every farmer knows it. You reap what you sow and if you associate in the ground is a little bit of seed you get a little better results a lot. You get a lot its principle of farming, but it's also a spiritual principle to spiritual principle, I don't get it.
I don't understand it but it's a spiritual principle. It is said over and over again in the Bible Jesus in Luke 638 said, give, and it will be given to you good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure you use, it will be measured back to you in Proverbs 1124 and 25. There is one who scatters, yet increases more. There is one who withholds more than is right, but it leads to poverty. The generous soul will be made rich, and he who waters will also be watered himself.
Proverbs 19 verse 17 he who has pity on the poor lends to the Lord and he will pay back what he has given all these verses say the same thing that when you give it is invested with God and he pays dividends on it. Listen, you can never out give God all along the way. Whatever you give whatever I give God will give an bless more. In fact God says test me, try me try this out works. And Paul and Jesus, and Solomon all agree.
Again, I don't completely understand it and make sense.
It's counterintuitive because the world tells me if I give my stuff away. I am less God says you have to do that and just watch. I'll give you more so give intentionally to give proportionally give proportionally verse six through nine is the cycle of giving was just go through and read it all. Probably would've helped at the beginning this I say, he who sows sparingly will reap sparingly, he who sows bountifully will reap bountifully, so let each one.
Give us the purposes in his heart, not grudgingly, nor the necessity for God loves a cheerful giver. God is able to make all grace abound toward you that you, always having all sufficiency in all things have an abundance for every good work. As it is written, he is dispersed abroad and given to the poor. His righteousness remains forever now. 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 cycle so your rate and with that you so more and you reap more and that's the cycle that a farmer experiences and the farmers sows if he's a smart farmer in proportion to what he had.
We should give in proportion to what God has blessed us with. First Corinthians 16 verse two on the first day of the week. Paul says let each of you lay something aside, storing up as he may prosper, or in proportion to your income, that there be no collections when I come in. This always brings up questions while luck proportion do I tithe on the net or do I tithe on the gross. People get very technical about this while the tide is Old Testament you're never commanded to tithe in the New Testament told me generous you're told to get proportionally in the tide was Old Testament. I was always just up the place of beginning, like it was when I made a decision in my early marriage. But that's just the beginning. According to W.A. Criswell is now in heaven get experience with this man. JL Kraft from the Kraft cheese Corporation. He said he gave always 25% of his in the enormous proceeds income to Christian causes over the many years. 25% not sounds like a lot to some, but it pales in comparison to another man by the name of RG Latour no and industrialist. Some of you know his name because he was one of the first guys that invented large earthmoving equipment. He decided he said if God blesses me to use it to further his kingdom was God blessed and he lived on 10% of his income and he gave 90% of his income away, God blessed him a lot and he could live very comfortably on just 10% of the enormous profits he made.
Give prayerfully give prayerfully verse seven. Let each one.
Give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly, or of necessity for God loves a cheerful giver. Yet a purpose something in your heart and it carries the idea premeditation not giving on impulse, not giving because the music and the cords just bring up that emotion and summonses. We need your help. Don't do that. Don't get on impulse, predetermine it when you get your paycheck have a meeting with your heart before God. That's where it takes place. Don't let anybody tell you exactly how much your to give.
It's really none of my business what you give. And I've never made it my business.
I never look at proportions. A tummy would disguise tithe.
I never ever ever looked at. I want the freedom to minister to you. Apart from anything you give or don't give in my responsibility ends when I make note the need and then it's between you and God.
That's how I see it. I think that's how the Bible teaches it you give prayerfully in Exodus 25 God says to Moses that he wants to take an offering.
Listen to how he puts it, speak to the children of Israel, that they may bring me an offering from everyone who gives it willingly with his heart.
You shall take my offer has to be willing if the wanted do it. Which leads us to the fourth and final principal we close here. Give joyfully. I just willingly, but at least joyfully, happily, verse seven.
Again, not grudgingly, which means with grief literally because this really hurts man really hurts give it.
I really don't want to get so depressed when I think of this.
Don't give that way says not out of compulsion or not grudgingly, nor of necessity for God loves a cheerful giver that describes a person who says I know I should do. I know God wants it and I know it will bless people and got a probably even bless me, but I just really don't want to do it and keep it go spend it on yourself or change your attitude and the attitude is to be a joyful attitude whole Laurent is the Greek word cheerful or cheerful. He Laurent we get the word hilarious from it. Never seen a hilarious giver. It probably be some like to arrive. Who does that God loves it. God loves a cheerful giver. Please mark that is a unique statement in the New Testament. It's a singular statement God loves all got part of the unique divine covenant love a cheerful giver that the God and love everybody.
God does love everybody.
God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son, and God loves all believers, but here it stated, God has a unique love for those whose hearts like kids are generous and will give away what God has entrusted. I want that I want that benediction to be uniquely loved by God, I don't want to lose that any preacher worth his salt would never pressure his people to give because he didn't want to take away the joy of being uniquely loved by God.
By having a willful cheerful heart and doing it out of necessity or compulsion. God loves a cheerful giver. So what happens when Christians are generous a lot their openhearted their openhanded they see a need they want to meet it.
They give prayerfully needs are met. The kingdom is furthered God blessed them with more and they give more to God's work in that cycle continues. If you ever come to Israel with us on the same day I will promise you this, we will show you on the same day from morning to evening to bodies of water that are inland from the ocean.
One is the Sea of Galilee, and one is the Dead Sea. What's interesting is both of them are connected to the Jordan River Jordan River flows from the north into the Sea of Galilee continues South flows into the Dead Sea by when you see these two bodies of water there vastly different.
The Dead Sea, the Sea of Galilee is green, lush, verdant, full of life. Children playing around it. Their city little villages on it.
Farming communities you get down south to the Dead Sea and it's aptly named, nothing grows around it. Nothing lives in it. It is dead which sponsor? Why is one living and one dead answer has nothing to do with the source. It has everything to do with the outlet. Now, hear me the Sea of Galilee takes in water gives out water. The Dead Sea only has an inlet.
There's no outlet.
It just takes in and takes and takes in all the blessing and gives me none away and it collects it all in evaporates and it's dead. The Jews often use that as an illustration to point to two kinds of people. Those who are living in fibrin and joyful and attractive are those who like God have a generous heart because they been generously forgiven and lavished upon those who do not are dead so God says take an offering and give but only do it with the right heart.
You know you can give without love, but you can never love without giving.
I know plenty people go doing my duty. It's getting without love it if you truly love the natural result of love is to give for God so loved that he gave stop and consider what God was willing to give the light of the seven juices pay the price for our sin, not in a position to give it of God is asking us nearly as much is because as this to be willing to sign if we truly trust them as our provider. We have no reason not to be among the greatest philanthropist in the world. That's all the time we have for today but before we leave you here Skip to tell you about a trip to Israel plan for 2022 going to Israel is a unique experience but by far the most life changing part of it is the spiritual aspect. That's why I'm excited to announce our next trip. There in 2022. You'll have the opportunity to worship and study God's word in some of the most significant biblical sites in the country. Find out email@example.com/C a BQ thanks Skip it if you'd like to get a copy of today's teaching, when Christians are generous. It's available on CD for just four dollars plus shipping. When you call us at 1-800-922-1888 or when you visit SCIF.com and come back next week is remote about soupçon would also explain exactly where that is right here in a presentation of connection connecting you to God's ever-changing and ever-changing time