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R302 Experiencing God Through Stewardship and Giving

Encouraging Word / Don Wilton
The Truth Network Radio
April 2, 2021 8:00 am

R302 Experiencing God Through Stewardship and Giving

Encouraging Word / Don Wilton

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Lighting Your Way
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God has an encouraging word for you and me today through the Bible-based preaching of Dr. Don Wilton here on The Encouraging Word. As we open our Bibles to Leviticus 27 in just a moment, know that we're open to pray with you right now at 866-899-WORD. Jot the number down.

866-899-9673. We're here for you. And now today's great teaching with Dr. Don Wilton. Would you take a copy of God's Word and turn with me in your Bibles to Leviticus in the Old Testament, the third book of the Bible, Leviticus and chapter 27. Now, beloved friends, our subject this morning is not an easy subject to speak about. In fact, I'm going to say to you that it's a remarkable subject in many ways and I can understand the kind of reluctance that there is in the world today with regard to anything related to giving and stewardship in the church. There has been a lot of abuse by the church and by individuals in the church over the years. You know, I'm grateful this morning that God has allowed us to stand together as a congregation in over a hundred and fifty years as we have served the Lord Jesus Christ and as God has poured out His Spirit upon this congregation and literally thousands of lives have been changed for all time and for all eternity. Our subject is experiencing God through stewardship and giving.

You know, I just have to share this with you because this is probably my favorite story about giving in the local church that I've ever heard. You heard about the pastor's secretary one day that she was sitting there getting on with her work and suddenly the telephone rang as it does on the minute every minute during the day and she picked up the telephone. There was a man on the other side and all he said to her was, is the head hog at the trough. She said, I beg your pardon. He said very clearly and distinctly again, is the head hog at the trough. She said, I beg your pardon sir and he said for a third time, is the head hog at the trough. She said, well I beg your pardon sir but I'll have you to know that not only I but every member of our congregation takes exception to the way in which you are referring to our beloved most esteemed pastor of our church and I just feel that I have to express this to you. He said, well it's okay ma'am. He said, I just have a gift for $500,000 that I want to give to the church for you to use any way you want to use it but it it doesn't matter.

She said, hold on, hold on. I think I see the big pig coming through the door right now. It's all a matter of perspective isn't it? You know it's always, it's always amused me really because right throughout society we, we are so funny aren't we, as a people. Let's just admit it.

Now we're going to do some straight talking from God's Word this morning but let's just admit that we are very peculiar people. You can go to people and you can ask them to support financially a political candidate. Most people have no problem. You can go and ask some men to stand on the corner of a street at 10 o'clock on a Saturday morning at a busy intersection and raise money using cans and signs and most men will have no problem doing.

You can ask people to join clubs and societies and pay dues and you can take up extra money to support people in hospital and do all kinds, no problem whatsoever. But you know folks it is a true saying that as soon as one begins to talk about giving money to God's house and to the Lord's work some people get the jitters. I've even had people not in this church and I mean that, I've never had anybody say that to me in this church.

I've even had people say to me, pastor you should never talk about money in God's house. Now I'm going to make a statement my brother and my sister this morning, here it is, I'm going to say to you that the church is the lifeblood of the community and I don't believe that there is a better example of that than in Spartanburg, South Carolina. Now I'm going to say some things this morning from your pastor's heart. I'm grateful to God that we live in a community that is a vibrant community.

I couldn't think of a better place to live than Spartanburg, South Carolina. What a precious group of people, what a wonderful place to be, what a society in which to bring up your children and our entire community is overwhelmed by the most unbelievable people from all walks of life, Roman Catholics and Methodists and Presbyterians and Episcopalians and and people from every background that you could ever imagine. I think of our businesses and the willingness of our business community to sponsor and to be involved but I'm going to say to you beloved friends that none of these things would be what they are today without the lifeblood of the community which is the local church. The church is the primary feeder for the community. As the church goes, so the community goes. You have a weak church, you're going to have a weak community.

You have a weak faith, you're going to have weak faith in the community. From this church we impact educators, doctors and nurses, our schools, our systems, our administrations. You think of all the charitable organizations in this community. Carolina Pregnancy Center, Mobile Meals, Young Life, Downtown Rescue Mission, Child Evangelism Fellowship.

I could go on and on and on. They are outstanding ministries par excellence. You cannot find a community that is more involved in the fabric of society but I'm going to say to you beloved friend it must begin in the local church. If you have a weak church you're going to have a weak community. We must prioritize the local church.

That's God's blueprint. What an incredible mandate we have from the Word of God. Experiencing God through stewardship and giving. What does the Bible teach us this morning? I want to read first of all from Leviticus chapter 27 and I'm going to read from verse 30. Follow along in God's Word with me. Just to start out to lay a foundation.

Here it is. A tithe, and we're going to talk about a tithe in a moment, a tithe of everything. Did you notice that? Some people come to me and they say to me, wait a minute pastor, do I tithe from my net or from my gross? Do I tithe from everything I get before taxes? I mean my total package or do I tithe after everything's been deducted?

Well here it is in the Word of God. A tithe of everything from the land where the grain from the soil or fruit from the trees belongs to the Lord. It is holy to the Lord. If a man redeems any of his tithe, he must add a fifth of the value to it. The entire, there it is again, the entire tithe of the herd and of the flock, here it is, what is a tithe? It is every tenth animal that passes under the shepherd's rod will be holy to the Lord.

He must not pick out the good from the bad or make any substitution. If he does make a substitution, both the animal and its substitute become holy and cannot be redeemed. These are the commands that the Lord gave to Moses on Mount Sinai for the Israelites. Friends, when we talk about experiencing God through stewardship and giving, every one of us have many questions.

I'm going to try and answer some of those questions this morning. First of all, first question, question number one, why must we give? Why must we give to God's house?

Where does this come from? Is this just something that people say and do? Well, there are four reasons why we must give to God's house, to the church that God has led us to. First of all, because the Bible teaches it.

First of all, because the Bible teaches it. I've just read to you one passage out of Leviticus. I want you to turn with me in your Bibles to Malachi chapter 3. Now for those of you that are struggling this morning, that is in the Old Testament.

It's the last book of the Old Testament, just before the New Testament, just before Matthew. Malachi, turn there with me. Easy way to get to it is to turn to Matthew and go back one book.

Malachi, Malachi chapter 3. It is imperative that everybody read this in God's Word for yourselves. There's a pure Bible in front of you, you might want to take a copy of that. Malachi chapter 3, and I'm beginning at verse 6, listen to what the Bible says. I the Lord do not change, so you, O descendants of Jacob, are not destroyed.

Ever since the time of your forefathers, you have turned away from my decrees and have not kept them. Return to me and I will return to you, says the Lord Almighty. But you ask, how are we to return? Will a man rob God? Yet you rob me.

But you ask, how do we rob you? Now folks, let me pause there for a moment. It is important to understand here in the context that the prophet is finding himself coming back to a basic fundamental biblical principle. What is that biblical principle? That God says I will never leave you nor forsake you. That God says I'm going to be with you always no matter what happens. That God says I'm going to be with you in your most difficult times. That God says I'm going to make you prosper. That God says I'm going to pour out the abundance of my blessing upon you. That God says that you can have a full and a meaningful life. How in the world can we come to the point where we can be assured that God is going to return to us and do for us what God has promised us he will do? Here's what God says.

Look at verse 8. Will a man rob God? Yet you rob me.

But you ask, how do we rob you? In tithes and offerings you are under a curse, the whole nation of you, because you are robbing me. Here it is verse 10, the key verse. Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse that there may be food in my house. I'm not finished yet with that passage. A lady said in this church to me some months ago, a very wonderful lady, I'm not being critical of her, but a lady said to me, she said to me, pastor, I just give anywhere I want to.

I believe the storehouse is anywhere. No, it's not. Folks, I've made a statement sometimes. There's some things you don't need a deacons meeting for.

This is one of them. The storehouse is God's church. It is the local New Testament church. It is the food in the local church. This lady said to me very lovingly, she said, pastor, if I choose to give to this and to that and to this organization and that organization and scatter it all over, that's in keeping with the Word of God.

It is not according to the Word of God. You say to me, well pastor, how do these other organizations function? Way over and above the tithe. We are to bring our tithe one tenth of all we make right here into the local church and then over and above we need to bring into the church because otherwise we're going to limit God and then when God blesses us we can go and support other things as I do. We all do and we ought to do that.

We need to be practically involved in the organizations that are around about us. It is a marvelous, marvelous work that these people are doing but listen to what the Word of God says. Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse that there may be food in my house. Test me in this. Now folks there is a linkage here between bringing your tithes and offerings and the testing of God.

Now what does that mean? I wish that my wife and I could tell you the number of times that we have tested God in this relationship and yet God has blessed us and he has proved himself to us. I've had some young people say to me sometimes and some older folks I guess, can you imagine what I could do if I was a millionaire? I've had people say to me pastor if I was a millionaire, man would I give to God. I mean I'd give to God so much and so much and so much and so much that I just bust. Can you imagine in God's house if I was a millionaire? You know what God is saying just like Britt was saying just a moment ago to Caz, give to me what you've got.

Show me what you can do with what you've got and I'll show you with what I can do with what I have got. Now what has God got? He owns the rivers and the rocks and the rules. He owns the gold and the silver in every mine.

He owns everything that opens and shuts. He is the God of the ages, the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. God is God and God says you want to test me, you want to prove me, you want to show me to demonstrate to you that I am who I say I am. Test me in this says the Lord Almighty.

Folks watch me all upstairs, downstairs watch me. Test God with your giving. Test God with your giving.

Many times I'll go in council with couples and I'll see how much they are struggling in their own lives and I have wished and maybe I ought to be far more bold in these things. We can talk about making this adjustment and doing this and doing that but there be many times I've wanted to look at a couple or an individual and say to them with no strings attached, are you giving to God? Are you giving to God the best or are you giving to God the worst? Are you giving to God the first or are you giving to God the last? That's what the Word says.

Test me and look at the result. Look at verse 10 with me. What an incredible verse. And see if I will not throw open the flood gates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it.

Isn't that incredible? People say to me all the time, pastor what's going on at First Baptist Church? I'm so proud of our church. I'm so proud of you dear people because of your faithfulness. I just sent a whole a letter to the entire congregation. I couldn't stop saying I just thank God for your faithfulness. I thank God for your faithfulness.

Do you know why? Because this church for over a hundred and fifty years has given to God first that which is God and it is no wonder that this congregation is packed out. It is no wonder that lives are being changed. It is no wonder that people are being reached with a message of the gospel in missions and in senior adult ministries and in youth and in education and in social services and in every other conceivable way. It is no wonder because you have been faithful to the mandate that God has set before us. Forgive the interruption.

We'll be back in just a moment but Dr. Wilton wants me to let you know we're here for you connecting keyboard to keyboard on our website at and this phone number 866-899-WORD that's 866-899-9673. Now back to today's teachings with Dr. Don Wilton. But there's a second reason why we must give not only because the Bible teaches it but secondly because Jesus insisted upon it. Turn with me to Matthew chapter 25. I wish that I could get into this entire passage with you this morning. Sometime when you get a moment you go and study Matthew chapter 25. Here Jesus talks not only about the parable of the ten versions but in verse 14 he talks about the parable of the talents.

Let me summarize it for you. Jesus goes to three men. To one he gives one. To the second person he gives double that and to the third person he gives double that double. He gives to them in proportionately and he gives to all three of these people.

Look what happens when he comes back. Verse 19 of Matthew 25. After a long time the master of those servants returned and settled accounts with him. Go down to verse 21.

I beg your pardon. Let's read verse 20. The man who had received the five talents brought the other five. Master, he said, you entrusted me with five talents.

See, I have gained five more. His master replied, well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful with a few things. I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master's happiness. The man with the two talents also came. Master, he said, you have entrusted me with two talents.

See, I have gained two more. His master replied, well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful with a few things. I will put you in charge of many things.

Come and share your master's happiness. Then the man who had received but one talent came. Master, he said, I know that you are a hard man harvesting where you have not sown and gathering where you have not scattered seed. So I was afraid and went out and hid your talent in the ground. See, here is what belongs to you. His master replied, you wicked and lazy servant. So you knew that I'll harvest where I've not sown and gather where I have not scattered seed.

Well then, you should have put my money on deposit with the bankers so that when I returned I would have received it back with interest. Take the talent from him and give it to the one who has the ten talents. For every one who has will be given more and he will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken from him.

And throw that worthless servant outside into the darkness where there will be weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth. You see, friend, what Jesus is invoking at this juncture is the principle of sowing and reaping. You sow and you reap what you sow. If you want to reap mercy, sow mercy. If you want to reap love, sow love.

If you want to reap God's grace, give him grace. If you want to reap fellowship, give back fellowship. If you want to reap giving, give giving. If you want to reap money, give money. It is a biblical principle that is written into the heartbeat of everything that God is. It is the principle of sowing and reaping. Folks, I'm going to tell you that there are members of this church who have made an investment of their money that far exceeds any bank account, that far exceeds any investment account, that far exceeds anything that you and I have ever done because you have given to God's storehouse and every dime in this church has been taken and has been used to the glory of the kingdom of the living God and thousands upon thousands upon thousands of people have come to know Jesus Christ whom to know his life eternal all because you have been faithful.

Why should I give? The Bible teaches it. Jesus insists upon it but number three, the church in obedience depends upon it. Look with me at 2 Corinthians if you could just turn over there very quickly. 2 Corinthians chapter 9 and verse 12. 2 Corinthians chapter 9 and verse 12. The church in obedience depends upon it.

Listen to what the word says right here in verse 12. This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of God's people. Oh I can say amen to that at this church.

It's not only supplying the needs of God's people but it is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God. The church in obedience depends upon it. The church is the lifeblood of the community my beloved friend.

I will guarantee you one thing. Jesus said the church is my rock and upon this rock I will build my church. I believe in parachurch organisations. I've been a part of parachurch organisations. You can have parachurch organisations everywhere my friend but until you prioritize the local New Testament church you and I have never stepped in line with the will of God. That's what I've always loved about Dr. Billy Graham. What an incredible ministry.

Number four, people benefit because of it. This is my favourite part. If I could go up and down these aisles this morning I'll guarantee you I wouldn't be able to contain the number of people who could stand up and say I've been blessed beyond my wildest dreams because of what I've given to God's house. I can show you moms and dads and grandparents.

When I look out across this congregation and I see our senior adults I just thank God for you folks. Do you know why? Because you've given and you've given unselfishly. You've given with no strings attached.

You know what's happened? God has built his church. There's a second question. What do we give?

I can answer this very carefully and clearly. Three things we give. Number one, we give our time. Matthew 633, seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness and then all these other things will be added unto you. Give your time folks and it costs something to give your time. But the second thing that we've got to give my friend is our talents.

What a tremendous joy to see this choir, this orchestra, men and women who give themselves in upward basketball leagues, coaching, people who give their talents in all various forms of life, talents of hospitality and visitation and caring and I could go on and on but folks there are still people out there who could give of their talents. Then you must give your tithe. What is your tithe?

It's one tenth of everything that you earn. Most of us are tippers aren't we? Well the Bible says we give in two different ways. First of all our tithes ought to be given either on a weekly basis, on a monthly basis and I should dare to say knowing our church some people give on a yearly basis. But secondly there are our offerings. The Bible always separates tithes and offerings.

They two different things. A tithe is an offering but an offering is not a tithe. You see an offering is what we give every time we worship but then there's another question who should give? All believers ought to give.

Now I'm telling you my wife and I fail miserably in this area and so there's a final question. How then should we give? Second Corinthians 9 tells us how we should give. You know how we should give?

With a cheerful heart. What an encouraging word from God today and God's messenger Dr. Don Wilton. I pray that you were challenged and encouraged that you gained some insight from this preaching but more than that I pray that you would give our pastor Dr. Don Wilton your attention for one more most important moment. Are you ready to give your heart and life to the Lord Jesus Christ?

Why don't you pray this prayer with me right now? Dear God I know that I'm a sinner and I know that Jesus died for me on the cross. Today I repent of my sin and by faith I receive you into my heart in Jesus name. My friend I welcome you today into the family of God.

This is exciting news. If you just gave your life to Jesus Christ welcome to the family of God. Welcome back. If you've rededicated your life Dr. Wilton has resources he wants you to have absolutely free. Call for them now at 866-899-WORD. Pick up the phone.

Call now 866-899-9673. Dr. Wilton wants you to have these resources and speaking of resources if you haven't heard about the new book here's Liz with all the details about Saturdays with Billy. On our new website you can reserve a copy of Dr. Wilton's brand new book Saturdays with Billy. In Saturdays with Billy Pastor Don shares heartwarming stories of his times with Mr. Graham. Just as Billy's words changed Don's life they can change our lives today.

A testament to a man who leaned on God's grace into eternity. Discover their powerful friendship at TEW Our time's gone for today but we have fresh resources popping up on our website all weekend long. I hope you'll drop by TEW If you haven't been there bookmark it come back often that's TEW or perhaps you want to talk with someone. Remember 866-899-WORD will always connect you.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-12-09 18:37:22 / 2023-12-09 18:47:26 / 10

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