Give Cheerfully

Give Cheerfully

Give Cheerfully (2 Cor. 9:6-8) Tithing sermon                   *All verses in NKJV*

2 Corinthians 9:6-8, But this I say: He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity (or compulsion); for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work.

Tithing is a spiritual discipline and it is biblical, so we should talk about it.

– A church talking about money doesn’t make it “the prosperity gospel”. There may be some televangelists who want you to pay for their Leer jet or million-dollar home, but “THE church” and the bible don’t support that!

– Before you “check out” thinking this is another self-serving “the church wants my money” type of sermons, I should let you know:

          1. It was MY idea to preach on tithing, not Pastor Matt’s.

2. Shelly and I don’t get paid by the church, but we do tithe, so I believe in its purpose, and I have seen the fruit in my life.

3. Faith and Victory Church doesn’t “need” your money. God is our provider. The church finances are just fine. The benefit of tithing is for your life more than anything else.

4. We already took up the tithes. We aren’t taking up a 2nd offering.

– Let’s take a look at tithing in the Old Testament, in the New Testament, and for today:

1. Tithing in the Old Testament. Give Cheerfully

Malachi 3:10, Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, That there may be food in My house,
And try Me now in this,” Says the Lord of hosts, “If I will not open for you the windows of heaven
And pour out for you such blessing That there will not be room enough to receive it.

– The prophet Malachi is writing to confront a once great nation that has been struggling with its identity as Children of God for the last several generations.

– The people have been neglecting God’s requirements and have been doing the bare minimum.

– The priests and leaders have become lazy in their duties, and they don’t hold the people accountable to God’s word. Everyone is just going through the religious motions out of obligation.

– They are NOT giving God their best, they are giving God their rest.

– God’s people want His blessings, but don’t want to walk in His commandments.

– The prophet Malachi is trying to motivate God’s people to return to a place of giving cheerfully and with right motives. God wants to bless his people, but first they need to be bless-able!

– Tithe: Literally means 1/10. Always used in context of an offering unto the Lord of some kind.

– The Law of Moses required it, “1/10 belongs to the Lord and is holy.” (Leviticus 27:30)

– The tithe was to support the ministry and honor God:

– Numbers 18:26, “Speak thus to the Levites, and say to them: ‘When you take from the children of Israel the tithes which I have given you from them as your inheritance, then you shall offer up a heave offering of it to the Lord, a tenth of the tithe.”

– Levites were the people chosen by God to dedicate their lives to ministry. They had no other inheritance, and had their needs taken care of through the tithe.

Levites even “tithed off of the tithe”. That was THEIR first fruits of their increase.

– Typically, a tithe of produce and livestock was given once a year, so there would be food in the temple for the servants of the Lord, and enough to sustain the ministry until the next year.

– Why? Farmers and ranchers only see the “fruits of their labor” once a year.

– This was more valuable than money, because food would sustain them in the present, and the best of the young livestock would sustain them into the future.

– Not just 1/10 of the total, but also the “first fruits” implying their best, the top 10%.

– Malachi is preaching to a people who have forgotten the purpose of what they are doing for God.

– They have rationalized giving less than their best, but still want credit for doing the “right thing”.

          – Example: Garage sale stuff we don’t want, then offer for free, THEN donate to charity?

– The church doesn’t want your old crock pot. No value to you, why would church need it?

– God’s people were giving the temple one-eyed sheep and bitter fruit, the stuff they couldn’t sell, stuff that had no value to them.

– Giving God your “leftovers” is not pleasing to God, and is not meeting the intent of His commands.

– YOU might be giving God your leftovers if…

– If you can show up for work on time, but not church on time…

                   – If you can afford your daily Starbucks, but can’t afford to tithe…

                   – If you can keep up on 10 seasons of your TV show, but don’t have time to serve…

– In the Old Testament, tithing was required by the Law of Moses, but clearly, simply preforming the act wasn’t pleasing to God. Heart condition was the key to pleasing God, and being obedient.

– God says to them, “Try me now in this… and I will pour out a blessing…”. If you will trust in me for your provision, and not in your stuff, then I can bless you, and you will know the blessing came from me!

Give Cheerfully

2. Tithing in the New Testament. Give Cheerfully

– Tithing was required by the Old Covenant Law, but we are not under the Law, we’re under Grace.

– Jesus gave us a New Covenant, but the standard didn’t go down, the bar was raised!

Matt. 5:17-19, (Jesus said to all who were listening) “Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. 18 For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled (or its purpose is achieved). 19 Whoever therefore breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.

– There are 613 commandments in the Law of Moses, none of which will pass away until its purpose is achieved. For example…

– The animal sacrificial systems have passed away and been fulfilled through Jesus’ death on the cross. Jesus was the last and final sacrifice for sin. That “law” has been fulfilled, and our salvation is secure in Christ alone.

– The Mosaic Laws forbidding murder, adultery, lying, and stealing have NOT been fulfilled, or achieved its purpose yet. They are in effect until heaven comes to earth, and sin is no more.

– What was the purpose of the command to tithe? (To provide for the priests and the temple.) Has that purpose been achieved, or do we still have pastors in churches that are called to be dedicated servants of God for us all? (The heart of tithing should then continue.)

– Matt. 5:20, For I say to you, that unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven.

Give Cheerfully

– The Pharisees are seen as righteous because they strictly obey the letter of the law. Even God in the Old Testament wanted relationship, not just rule following.

– Jesus is asking for MORE than what is required, more than the minimum. He wants a heart condition change. He wants you to act in faith and love, and trust in His care and provision.

– Tithing is not a salvation issue. It’s an obedience issue.

– Matt. 5:21-22, “You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder, and whoever murders will be in danger of the judgment.’ 22 But I say to you that whoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment.

“You have heard it was said”  in the Mosaic Law that murder is wrong. But Jesus says that even the thoughts leading you down the path to murder are wrong, and sinful in themselves.

– Jesus has raised the standard from controlling your actions, to checking your heart.

– The new standard is fulfilling the intent of the law, not just the letter of the law.

Luke 11:42, “But woe to you Pharisees! For you tithe mint and rue and all manner of herbs, and pass by justice and the love of God. These you ought to have done, without leaving the others undone.”

– The Pharisees are following the letter of the law in the very smallest of things but ignoring the much more important things that God’s love demands of them.

– Jesus says, yes, keep tithing, but don’t neglect loving God and loving His people!

Example: Lt. Mike Kav, 100% of the minimum. Only what is required and nothing more.

– Christians should live their lives differently. We should be striving to please the heart of God.

– Don’t be a “100% of the minimum Christian”.

Give Cheerfully

3. Tithing for today.

Romans 3:28, Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith apart from the deeds of the law.

– Following the Law does not save you. Only the grace of God, through Jesus Christ can save you!

– I want you to understand tithing today. I can’t expect you to do something you’ve not been taught.

Example: First hired at FD, no experience, copied others bad example… I needed someone to pull me aside and tell me what to do, and not do. To teach me the real expectation. I was so thankful!

This is how we do tithing at Faith and Victory Church:

“We do it during worship, because it is an act of worship.”  We are thankfully honoring God by giving back a portion of what He has already given us. God owns it all anyway.

1. “If you are a visitor today, don’t give.”

– Addressing this on their first day, that the church is not a consumer industry looking for customers, and we don’t want their money, goes a long way in putting new people at ease.

          – We want to invite you to become part of the family. That’s it.

2. “If Jesus Christ isn’t your Lord and Savior, don’t give.”

– Tithing is not a good luck ritual. There is no power in giving money to a God you don’t believe in.

Eccles. 5:1, Walk prudently when you go to the house of God; and draw near to hear rather than to give the sacrifice of fools, for they do not know that they do evil.

– If you want to give, give your life to Jesus. No better time, no better place!

Give Cheerfully

3. “Even if you are saved, if you aren’t giving cheerfully, don’t give either.”

2 Corinthians 9:6-8, But this I say: He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity (or compulsion); for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work.

– This is a heart check moment. What is your attitude about giving? Ask yourself, why? Give Cheerfully

– Just like in Malachi, God is able to make grace abound and bless your obedience.

4. “As you bring you sacrifice to the alter, if you have offended someone, go and be reconciled.”         

Matt 5:23-24, Therefore if you bring your gift to the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, 24 leave your gift there before the altar, and go your way. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.

– Jesus came to reconcile sinful man to a holy God. We must reconcile with one another.

Col. 3:13, bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do.

– These statements remind us of what is important. Tithe, but don’t neglect the heart condition of it.

– Sometimes I have been grumpy about giving, but I give anyway, and I’m reminded to be cheerful and thankful about it.

– Sometimes I am harboring unforgiveness, but weekly I am reminded that giving money doesn’t mean much if I don’t reflect on why Jesus came. I need to seek out reconciliation in His name.

Give Cheerfully

Here are the Nuts & Bolts of modern day tithing: Give Cheerfully

1. It breaks our dependency on money, and puts our trust in God to give us provision. And when God meets our needs, it strengthens our faith and trust in Him. This produces spiritual growth.

          – Similar to how the spiritual discipline of fasting breaks the addiction of pleasing the flesh.

2. It pays for the operation of the church, and gives our spiritual leaders the ability to focus on God and our spiritual growth full time. (Like the Levites) (Power bills, chairs, etc…)

–  I know what it looks like when pastors don’t have time to study their bibles, fast, and pray. The church and the people become weak.

– We give money (the harvest WE produce), weekly or monthly, because that’s when we see the fruits of our labor. Not out of guilt, but with Joy! The actual dollar amount is not relevant!

– Pre-tax 10%, otherwise you are giving out of what is leftover, and allowing others to take your firsts fruits. (Government, insurance premiums, credit card bills, etc…)

Proverbs 3:9, “Honor the Lord with your possessions, and with the first fruits of all your increase.”

– Offerings are something extra that is given up to godly purposes: your time and service, material gifts, missions, charities, donations… Excellent! You should do this, but it is not tithing.

– No one is watching to see what you put in the basket. It’s between you and God. Give what you have purposed in your heart to give, not out of guilt or compulsion. Give Cheerfully

– Sometimes it starts as a seed and grows as a person grows in faith. Just begin tithing and start trusting God that He will be faithful. This is the only time bible that God wants you to “Test Him!”

I want to end here by saying… Give Cheerfully

1. No arm-twisting this morning! I just want you to know what the bible says about tithing.

2. Tithing is a spiritual discipline that is biblical, and you as a Christian should be doing it.

3. Tithing, just like everything important to God, is about heart condition, not legalism.

4. Pray and seek God’s wisdom on this. Ask Jesus what and how you should be giving.

5. God wants you to fully trust Him, and rely on Him for all things.

Give Cheerfully

– prayer –

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