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God Loveth a Cheerful Giver - Pastor Shiflett



God Loveth a Cheerful Giver

2 Corinthians 9:7 Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.

 

Intro: I have not preached a message on giving in so long I cannot remember the last time that I did.

Many preachers are accused of preaching on money all the time; I never preach on money.

It has always been my sincere belief that if every one of God’s people were right with God and full of the Holy Spirit, their giving would take care of itself.

 

NOTE: I’m going to preach on some things today that I haven’t preached on in many years.

I’m going to say some things that I haven’t said in a very long time.

The truth is, I owe this church an apology.

In an effort to not be thought of as preaching for money, I haven’t taught many of you what the Bible says.

In an effort to not be accused of being a money grabber, I have deprived you of sound doctrine.

I feel an overwhelming urgency to make up lost ground this morning.

Many of you are missing out on so much because you do not understand what the Bible says about giving.

This is a common mistake; one that even the Apostle Paul made and had to apologize for it.

Paul apologized to the church of Corinth for depriving them of important lessons on giving.

2 Corinthians 12

·        12 Truly the signs of an apostle were wrought among you in all patience, in signs, and wonders, and mighty deeds.

·        13 For what is it wherein ye were inferior to other churches, except it be that I myself was not burdensome to you? forgive me this wrong.

Paul told them that their church was INFERIOR to other churches because he had failed to teach them to properly take care of God’s man.

Paul’s desire not to be accused of making gain of them robbed them of the blessings of learning to give.

Paul took the burden of financial responsibility off of them, and in doing so, made them inferior to other churches.

·        14 Behold, the third time I am ready to come to you; and I will not be burdensome to you: for I seek not yours, but you: for the children ought not to lay up for the parents, but the parents for the children.

·        15 And I will very gladly spend and be spent for you; though the more abundantly I love you, the less I be loved.

·        16 But be it so, I did not burden you: nevertheless, being crafty, I caught you with guile.

·        17 Did I make a gain of you by any of them whom I sent unto you?

·        18 I desired Titus, and with him I sent a brother. Did Titus make a gain of you? walked we not in the same spirit? walked we not in the same steps?

 

Giving is a HUGE ASPECT of the Christian life.

By not preaching on it, by not teaching it, explaining it and teaching you to observe all things whatsoever God commanded you, I have failed you as a pastor.

 

I say it again; giving is a HUGE ASPECT of the Christian life.

So much so, that the Apostle Paul begged the people of God to “present yourselves a living sacrifice…” (Rom. 12:1)

Sacrifice is not something you DO – it is what you ARE.

 

It is impossible to BE a living sacrifice if you are not MAKING any sacrifices.

·        The happiest Christians are the ones that give.

·        The most blessed Christians are the ones that give.

·        The most rewarded Christians are the ones that give.

·        The Christians with the most stories to tell are the ones that give.

·        The Christians that invest the most have the greatest returns.

 

It is my experience that the biggest critics in the church are those that give the least.

The ones that get disgruntled and walk away without looking back are the ones that were giving the least.

Many of the those that have left the church stopped giving years before they left.

Jesus said this, “For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” (Matthew 6:21)

It doesn’t say your heart will be where your treasure is; it says your treasure is there first, then your heart.

 

This message was a burden on my heart for a variety of reasons.

               1. To encourage the givers to keep giving. God sees it and He loves it!

               2. To encourage the givers to re-evaluate their giving to make sure it is enough.

               3. To encourage the non-givers to start giving.

 

NOTE: A NON-GIVER is a robber. Plain and simple.

               a. Non-givers are robbing God, to whom they are to be giving.

·        Malachi 3:8 Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings.

 

               b. Non-givers are robbing the church by using the giving of others to meet their spiritual needs.

Listen to these verses:

2 Corinthians 11

·        7 Have I committed an offence in abasing myself that ye might be exalted, because I have preached to you the gospel of God freely?

·        8 I robbed other churches, taking wages of them, to do you service.

 

What Paul is saying here is this: I took wages from other churches to minister to you.

You didn’t pay me; they did. I took wages of them, to do you service!

So, by my taking their money to serve you, instead of taking money from you to serve you, I robbed them.

Paul is asking a question in verse 7: Did I make a mistake preaching to you for free?

 

Let me ask you a question: What other area of the Christian life are you free from obligations because you are under the umbrella of the local church?

If people in your church pray, but you never pray, does God consider you to have prayed?

If people in your church read and study their Bible, but you do not, does God give you a pass on Bible reading?

If your church supports missions, but you do not give to the missions program, you do not support missions.

If your church has a full-time pastor, but you do not tithe, you are robbing the church every time he preaches to you.

 

Being a member of a church, and not giving, yet reaping the benefits of the church, is no different than you running an extension cord to your neighbors house and stealing their power. It’s no different than hacking their Wi-Fi and stealing their internet.

It’s different than hooking a water hose to their house and washing your car and watering your lawn.

You’re benefiting at somebody else’s expense.

Its no different than siphoning gas out of your neighbor’s car and filling your own gas tank.

To be a member of a church and not give is robbing that church.

 

               c. Non-givers are robbing the pastor and the men of God on staff who God said is worthy of their hire.

1 Corinthians 9

·        6 Or I only and Barnabas, have not we power to forbear working?

·        7 Who goeth a warfare any time at his own charges? who planteth a vineyard, and eateth not of the fruit thereof? or who feedeth a flock, and eateth not of the milk of the flock?

·        8 Say I these things as a man? or saith not the law the same also?

·        9 For it is written in the law of Moses, Thou shalt not muzzle the mouth of the ox that treadeth out the corn. Doth God take care for oxen?

·        10 Or saith he it altogether for our sakes? For our sakes, no doubt, this is written: that he that ploweth should plow in hope; and that he that thresheth in hope should be partaker of his hope.

·        11 If we have sown unto you spiritual things, is it a great thing if we shall reap your carnal things?

·        12 If others be partakers of this power over you, are not we rather? Nevertheless we have not used this power; but suffer all things, lest we should hinder the gospel of Christ.

·        13 Do ye not know that they which minister about holy things live of the things of the temple? and they which wait at the altar are partakers with the altar?

·        14 Even so hath the Lord ordained that they which preach the gospel should live of the gospel.

 

               d. Non-givers are robbing the lost of the opportunity to hear the Gospel.

Paul admitted that he was a debtor to the lost.

Romans 1

·        14 I am debtor both to the Greeks, and to the Barbarians; both to the wise, and to the unwise.

·        15 So, as much as in me is, I am ready to preach the gospel to you that are at Rome also.


Paul lived under a constant debt to the lost; and did everything with his power to pay that debt.

 

KEY WORDS in 2 Corinthians 9:7

·        GRUDGINGLY: out of, from, by, away from

·        NECESSITY: necessity, imposed either by the circumstances, or by law of duty regarding to one’s advantage, custom, argument, calamity, distress, straits

·        CHEERFUL: joyous, prompt to do anything

·        GIVER: Greek - dotes dot’-ace - a giver, bestower

Comes from the root word didomi did’-o-mee

·        to give

·        to give something to someone

·        2a) of one’s own accord to give one something, to his advantage

·        2a1) to bestow a gift

·        2b) to grant, give to one asking, let have

·        2c) to supply, furnish, necessary things

 

When it comes to giving, there are many things you can give.

               1. You can give your Time

               2. You can give your Talents

               3. You can give your Treasure

 

I. The Pattern of Giving that Inspires Us


The Pattern of God the FatherHe gave His Son

·        John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

 

No matter what you give or how much you give, you’ll never come close to giving more than God did.

Nothing inspires me and encourages me to give to the Lord more than remembering what He gave to me.

 

God was a cheerful giver.

Isaiah 53

·        10 Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand.

·        11 He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities.

 

The Pattern of God the SonHe gave Himself

No less than five times we find (in reference to the Lord Jesus Christ) the phrase “gave himself.”

Galatians 1:4; Galatians 2:20; Ephesians 5:25; 1 Timothy 2:6; Titus 2:14 

Jesus gave his life; not grudgingly, but willingly.

John 10

·        17 …I lay down my life, that I might take it again.

·        18 No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself.

 

II. The Principles of Giving that Instruct Us

·        6 But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully.

 

The Law of Sowing and Reaping

·        You always reap WHAT you sow.

·        You always reap AFTER you sow.

·        You always reap in PROPORTION to what you sow.

·        You CANNOT reap if you DO NOT sow.

 

·        Luke 6:38 Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.

 

III. The Pleasure of Giving that Invigorates Us

God loveth a cheerful giver.

This phrase is powerful to me.

If there is anything that ought to throw fire on the flame, it should be this statement.

The reason this phrase means something to me is because God loves everybody.

God loved us before we even knew him.

In fact, “…We love him, because he first loved us.” (1 John 4:19)

 

Ephesians 2 tell us that God loved us when we were still lost and in our sins.

·        3 Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.

·        4 But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us,

 

So why did Paul say that God loveth a cheerful giver?

Because the realization that a cheerful giver brings pleasure to the Lord should invigorate us to be one.

·        It doesn’t say God loves the offering.

·        It doesn’t say God loves that tithe check.

·        It doesn’t say God loves that mission’s donation.

·        The Bible says God loves the giver!

·        When God looks down and sees Christians giving to the Lord with a cheerful heart, He says, “I love them!”

·        When God sees you writing that check out for tithe, God says, “I love them!”

·        When God sees you faithfully and cheerfully giving your faith promise missions, He says, “I love them!”

·        When God sees these children taking money out of their piggy bank to give, God loves them!

·        When God looks down and sees a senior saint on a fixed income giving cheerfully, God loves them!

·        When God sees you working two jobs to make ends meet, but you give cheerfully, God loves you!

 

NOTE: The “eth” at the end of “loveth” speaks of duration.

God’s love for a giver is a proven, enduring, observable love that is obvious over time.It’s not like scratching a lottery card; or pulling a slot machine with instant money falling out of the sky.

It is a love from God that will sustain you and provide for you and meet your needs for a long time.

 

IV. The Purposing of Giving that Initiates Us

PURPOSETH: to bring forward, bring forth from one’s stores; to bring forth for one’s self, to choose for one’s self before another, to prefer

This is the same word that we find in Daniel 1 where Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king’s meat.

 

One thing is clear; you and I will not be cheerful givers without doing it on purpose!

I’ve never seen anybody be a faithful, consistent, cheerful giver by accident.

It must be done on purpose.

That “purposing” is what you and I must have to influence us to be faithful, obedient givers.

 

               A. The Scope of the Purposing – vs. 7 “Every man…”

God has given to every one of us; we have something to give back to Him.

Tithing is based on a percentage; not a set amount.

Everybody can tithe.

Everybody can give.

Everybody can support world missions.

Not to the same extent and with the same amount, but every man can give.

In fact, God commended the widow that gave 2 mites for giving more than those that gave more money.

Luke 21

·        1 And he looked up, and saw the rich men casting their gifts into the treasury.

·        2 And he saw also a certain poor widow casting in thither two mites.

·        3 And he said, Of a truth I say unto you, that this poor widow hath cast in more than they all:

·        4 For all these have of their abundance cast in unto the offerings of God: but she of her penury hath cast in all the living that she had.

 

               B. The Source of the Purposing – vs. 7 “…according as he purposed in his heart…”

When a person’s heart is stirred to give, that is where the purposing comes from.

If the heart is not right, the giving will not be right.

Exodus 35

·        5 Take ye from among you an offering unto the LORD: whosoever is of a willing heart, let him bring it, an offering of the LORD; gold, and silver, and brass,

·        21 And they came, every one whose heart stirred him up, and every one whom his spirit made willing, and they brought the LORD’S offering to the work of the tabernacle of the congregation, and for all his service, and for the holy garments.

·        29 The children of Israel brought a willing offering unto the LORD, every man and woman, whose heart made them willing to bring for all manner of work, which the LORD had commanded to be made by the hand of Moses.

 

               C. The Surety of the Purposing – vs. 7 “…as he purposed…so let him give…”

Don’t change the decision or the amount.

If God lays an amount on your heart, SO LET HIM GIVE.

Don’t argue with God.

Don’t negotiate with God.

Give what God lays on your heart.

Whatever you have purposed in your heart, SO LET HIM GIVE!

 

V. The Promises of Giving that Incentivizes Us

 

·        8 And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work:

·        9 (As it is written, He hath dispersed abroad; he hath given to the poor: his righteousness remaineth for ever.

·        10 Now he that ministereth seed to the sower both minister bread for your food, and multiply your seed sown, and increase the fruits of your righteousness;)

·        11 Being enriched in every thing to all bountifulness, which causeth through us thanksgiving to God.

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