Today, we are continuing our message series, “God’s Plan for Your Finances.” God’s Word, the Bible, is our guide book for life. God’s Word is the key that unlocks the secret of a great life. Let’s read this verse about God’s Word together.
Joshua 1:8 (ESV) This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.
This was a promise that God made to Joshua and applies to each one of us as well. Prosperity and success in God’s eyes does not happen automatically. God lists three conditions for success in life.
Discuss the Word of God – talk about it with your family, at your Life Group, with your friends.
Today, my message is titled “A Practical Plan for Generous Giving.” We’re going to talk about how God can bless you in your finances, so that your needs are met and you can be a generous giver as well. Doesn’t that sound like something you would like?
2 Corinthians 9:11 (ESV) You will be enriched in every way to be generous in every way, which through us will produce thanksgiving to God.
What you think “rich” means and what the Bible means by “rich” may well be different. To be made rich in every way is to have enough resources of all kinds to meet your own needs and have enough to be a generous giver. How do you get God to make your rich? The answer is in the preceding verse.
2 Corinthians 9:10 (ESV) 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.
God has given you bread for food, He has met your needs for physical provision. But God has given you something beyond your bread for food. God has given you seed to sow. God has given you some resources that you are to give away. Now, it might not be a lot, but if you sow it by giving, God will give you a harvest. What’s the point of the harvest? It’s to increase your store of seed so that you can sow more seed, that is give more generously, in the future. So, this morning, we’re going to look at a three step practical plan to become generous givers.
Each of us likes to think of ourselves as the captain of our own fate, doing our own thing. However, as a believer, you are not your own person, you are a servant of God.
1 Corinthians 6:19-20 (ESV) Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.
Jesus Christ paid an enormous price on the cross to purchase you as His servant. To become generous givers, we’ve got to begin to think like godly servants.
Psalm 50:9-10 (ESV) I will not accept a bull from your house or goats from your folds. For every beast of the forest is mine, the cattle on a thousand hills.
These verses in Psalms 50 tell us that God’s owns everything on this planet. It’s all His. So, if you and I are servants of God, God our master owns everything. He defines what rich really is. In fact, if God owns everything, than nobody, believer or not, really owns anything on this earth. God has simply allowed them to use some of His things. Not only must you understand that God owns everything, you must …
God is the source of everything that you and I have. God is the source of your life, your job, your family and your money.
1 Timothy 6:17 (ESV) As for the rich in this present age, charge them not to be haughty, nor to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy.
Notice the last lines of this verse. We are to put our hope, not in money, but in God. Why? Because God is the one who provides us with everything we have. God wants you to enjoy life as His servant serving Him. God blesses His servants. We’ll see why in a few minutes. Think like a godly servant.
When a child hits the teen years, a curious temptation tends to afflict them. The teenager is tempted to think that their knowledge has taken an enormous leap forward and the parent’s knowledge has gone into decline. All of a sudden, the teenager knows more than their parents. They really don’t need to ask their parents much anymore, because they know just about everything. Now, as a Christian teen, God can help you resist such temptations and continue to learn from your parents.
However, as believers, we are also tempted to think that we know more than our heavenly Father, especially about how to handle our financial resources. We must acknowledge that God not only owns everything we have, but He has plans for us to serve Him with the resources He has entrusted to us. A believer who thinks like a godly servant will be able to keep debt and over spending in check. How? By checking with God before every purchase. It’s God’s money you’re spending and you are His servant. Train your thinking to think like a godly servant who is accountable to His Master. Not only must you learn to think like a godly servant, you must learn to
Once you start thinking like a servant, your actions will begin to change. You’ll begin to realize that you are accountable for your handling of all the resources that God has given to you. Absolutely nothing is yours to do with as you please, not your time, nor your talents, nor your treasure. How can you act like the trusted manager of God’s resources God created you to be?
Now let’s look at the next verse in 1 Timothy 6, which tells believers what they are to do with everything that God has provided.
1 Timothy 6:18 (ESV) They are to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share,
Four things that God commands you to do: do good, be rich in good deeds, be generous, be ready to share. I would summarize them and say that God commands every believer to be a generous giver. Freely you have received from God, freely and generously give to others. What happens when you’ve given? God will renew your supply so that you can give again and continue to be a generous giver.
2 Corinthians 9:7-8 (ESV) Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work.
When you understand the biblical principles that we’re teaching today, you can be a cheerful giver. God loves a cheerful giver. God wants all givers to be cheerful. How can you be a cheerful giver? God explains to us in the last verse here, verse 8. When you are a cheerful giver, God will supply you all that you need and you will abound in every good work. God works are what you do for others, through your giving and actions. The point is that you can’t lose in giving to God. You will always receive more in return than you gave. Why? So that you can feather your nest egg? No, so that you can give some more. You can’t outgive God.
1 Corinthians 16:2 (ESV) On the first day of every week, each of you is to put something aside and store it up, as he may prosper, so that there will be no collecting when I come.
Let’s pull out some general principles about giving from this verse that will help you be a disciplined giver. Give regularly – In this case, the instructions were to give every week. Some people give whenever they get paid. It’s best for you and it’s best for the church to give every week. What happens when you’re sick or on vacation? It’s easy to give online on the Realm website. In fact, it’s best to set up recurrent giving, so you give your paycheck tithes automatically. You can always give individual offerings as well.
Be a disciplined giver.
Now, we are tempted to not be trusted managers of God’s resources. We are tempted to believe that our money is “My Money.” A disciplined giver always gives his tithe and offerings to God’s church first and then uses the rest to meet his needs at God’s direction. Giving to God can be one of the most exciting parts of a believer’s life.
You are not just God’s servant, you are not just God’s manager, you are also God’s precious child. God, your heavenly Father, has your best interests at heart.
A parent trains their children for the future and so God trains you for the future through giving.
1 Timothy 6:19 (ESV) thus storing up treasure for themselves as a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is truly life.
Here God is saying that as you are a generous giver, you are actually laying up treasure in heaven. Through giving, you are being trained for eternity. In eternity, there will be different responsibilities and different rewards for believers. How you handle God’s resources on earth will determine what you do in eternity. How you handle God’s resources on earth will determine your future on earth as well. Those who are faithful with a small amount of God’s resources will be given more resources to manage. Allow God to train you through giving.
Philippians 4:18-19 (ESV) I have received full payment, and more. I am well supplied, having received from Epaphroditus the gifts you sent, a fragrant offering, a sacrifice acceptable and pleasing to God. And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.
Here the people in the church at Philippi had given to Paul who had served at their church. Paul here writes that their financial gifts, which were a sacrifice, were pleasing to God. And because those believers had been generous givers, God promised to meet all their needs. So too, as you give to God your Father, He promises to meet all the needs of His children. However, children who don’t obey their Father, who aren’t learning to be generous givers, cannot expect to claim the promise of having their needs met. As a child of God, your heavenly Father is committed to training and providing for you as you learn to be a generous giver.
To help you learn more about God’s biblical principles of finance, we are offering Financial Peace University with Dave Ramsey, beginning March 13. I’d like you to take out the handout in your bulletin, so we can take a look at the topics covered. Go over the 9 topics. Now, every topic won’t apply to every person, but you’ll learn not only for yourself, but for others that may ask for your counsel. I believe that every adult would benefit from this class which will meet for 9 weeks on Tuesdays at 7 pm. So, get online and sign up today so you can get your class materials before the class starts. If you can’t make Tuesday evenings, you can still take the class by watching online videos. Don’t miss this opportunity to learn very practical ways of managing your finances God’s way. Invite friends and relatives to take the class as well. God wants to bless you as His child.
To be a generous giver, you must think like a godly servant, act like a trusted manager and feel like a precious child. As you continue to grow in your giving, God will bless you more and more.