Key Question:

How do I best use my resources to serve God and Others?

 

Key Idea:

I give my resources to fulfill God’s Purposes

 

Key Verse:

2 Cor 8:7

“Since you excel in everything — in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in complete earnestness and in the love we have kindled in you — see that you also excel in this grace of giving. ”

 

This Question of Giving is about a deeper internal issue.  An issue that can only be resolved in the act of Giving.

 

Mark 10:17

“What must I do to inherit eternal life?”

    A young man who had wealth AND power AND prestige

    BUT - He knew something was missing

 

Jesus answer is fascinating - 

“Why do you call me good? - only God is good” - translation - “are you REALLY ready to hear this?  It requires your acknowledgement that there is a God - someone in charge - other than yourself!?!”

 

Jesus continues - Obey the commandments! - here Jesus names the earthly commands but not the ones that have to do with God!

‘You shall not murder, you shall not commit adultery, you shall not steal, you shall not give false testimony, you shall not defraud, honor your father and mother’

 

All these I have done! - Jesus I know those - I do those but there is STILL SOMETHING MISSING!!

 

Yes there IS still something missing - Jesus says - ONE THING you lack.

 

Give all your possessions to the poor and come follow me.

 

Why this response from Jesus?

  1. Jesus does NOT say this man worships his wealth
  2. Jesus response is “how difficult it IS for the rich to enter the kingdom”!
    1. the folks around are like - whoa if that guy can’t get in how can I get in?
    2. Jesus makes the key statement!!!! Jesus reveals the real issue.
  3. With MAN it is impossible - With God all things are possible!!

 

Giving is not about money - Giving is about faith

 

this rich young man’s problem wasn’t his money - it was his reliance upon his own skill, ability and understanding of the world and himself.  He asked Jesus - "what must I DO?”

 

A Person of Faith lives life in partnership with God - relying upon on and cooperating with Him.

  • take my yoke upon you and learn of me - Matt 11:28
    • God is the leader and senior partner - he is also the one who does almost all the work!
  • Giving is the MOST TANGIBLE WAY we enter into a this partnership

 

Money is intensely personal! - that’s why we don’t like to talk about it!

  1. Money has always been the key measure of a persons status and value
    1. We talk about what a person is WORTH
  2. When we give It takes Money out of the crosshairs of our life and puts God’s plans and purposes in its place
  3. Giving of our money does something to us
    • It DETHRONES Money as the thing we rely upon to make life happen
      • don’t you hate leaving the house without your wallet / purse?
    • It ENTHRONES God in our lives
      • when we have nothing else to rely upon other than God we find that he is truly and wonderfully reliable
      • Jesus sent his disciples out on mission with NO WALLET!

 

Jesus instructions about Giving go like this:

  1. Secretly
    1. If “how much you give” becomes another symbol of status then one of the reasons for giving is taken away!  It becomes about YOU and not about God!
  2. Sacrificially
    1. Tithe - The Old Testament pattern of the giving of the covenant people was to give one tenth of your personal income as a testimony that you are IN Covenant with God
    2. Offering - The New Testament pattern goes beyond this - it maintains the tenth but then tells us to give above that AS the Holy Spirit leads!!

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