Seek Forgiving Before Giving

Seek Forgiving Before Giving

This is how Faith and Victory does our weekly giving:

  1. If you are a visitor, please don’t give.

– You have given us enough by being here with us to worship God. (Not a fee for service)

  1. If you are not saved, please don’t give.

– God doesn’t want your money, He wants your soul. God’s desire is relationship with us.

– Romans 4:13, Clearly, God’s promise to give the whole earth to Abraham and his descendants was based not on his obedience to God’s law, but on a right relationship with God that comes by faith. (Obedience is not enough)

  1. Even if you are saved, and regularly attend Faith and Victory Church, if you aren’t giving with a cheerful heart, don’t give either, for God loves a cheerful giver.

– 2 Cor. 9:7, You must each decide in your heart how much to give. And don’t give reluctantly or in response to pressure. “For God loves a person who gives cheerfully.”

– It is important that you understand the offering you bring to the Lord, and its significance.

– Know the value reveals the heart condition behind the gift: (Example: Someone gives you an expensive collectible. Did they know the value? Do they do that for everybody?)

– Eccles. 5:1, As you enter the house of God, keep your ears open and your mouth shut. It is evil to make mindless offerings to God.

– Tonight I would like to give you a 4th thing to consider when bringing you offerings to the altar:

– “Seek forgiving before giving.”

– Matt. 5:23-24, “So if you are presenting a sacrifice at the altar in the Temple and you suddenly remember that someone has something against you, leave your sacrifice there at the altar. Go and be reconciled to that person. Then come and offer you sacrifice to God.”

forgiving

Pastor Jay brings it.

Context:

– Jesus had just begun his ministry, just gathered His disciples, going from town to town ministering.

– Jesus was healing everybody of everything, sickness, illness, possession… the news travelled fast!

– He sees the large crowds following him everywhere, so he went up on the mountain side, his disciples gathered around him, and he began to teach them. (Both the disciples AND the crowd?)

He appears to be speaking to believers, saying things like:

– “You are the light of the world, let your good deeds shine so that everyone will praise your Father in Heaven.”

– “The law says don’t murder, but I say if you are angry with someone you are subject to judgment.”

– “Anyone who even looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery with her in his heart.”

– “Don’t misunderstand why I have come. I have come to fulfill the law, not abolish it.”

– Jesus is taking the law to the next level! Not just obedience of the body, but obedience of the heart!

Verse 23, “If you are presenting a sacrifice at the altar…”

– This word in the Greek is literally a “gift”. (Interesting word choice! Sacrificial gift.)

– Example: Not a meaningless token done without thinking, like a $20 Starbucks gift card. A gift of sacrifice, more like a hand-made quilt. Value comes from time, care, thought, and cost!

These scriptures paint the picture of the urgency and importance in seeking forgiveness:

  1. Do it now!

– “Suddenly remember… Leave your sacrifice… and GO.”

– Drop what you are doing, and take care of it now! Make it your priority.

– It’s not too late. You did not miss your opportunity. (Example: Trust exercise with Bob.)

– Proverbs 14:9, Fools make fun of guilt, but the godly acknowledge it and seek reconciliation.

– Don’t minimize the importance or reconciliation. Not just the “words”, but the heart condition behind them!

  1. Seek forgiveness from those you have offended.

Verse 24“Go and be reconciled to that person.”

– This becomes a command from Jesus, our example of what it looks like bring reconciliation by becoming the sacrifice!

– 2 Cor. 5:21, For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Jesus Christ.

– This becomes the new “4th thing” we say in our giving because Jesus was focused on hear condition.

– He told the Pharisees, “Tithe, YES, but don’t neglect love and mercy!”

– Don’t just do things to do things. Know your purpose. Make it a worshipful offering to God.

– Jesus is our example of faith. He brought reconciliation between us and God, so that we can even approach the throne with our offering.

  1. Give forgiveness to those who have offended you.

Read Matthew 18:21-35 (The parable of the unforgiving debtor)

– Matt. 18:35, “That’s what my heavenly Father will do to you if you refuse to forgive you brothers and sisters from your heart.”

* The heart condition of the servant that wants forgiveness that he couldn’t earn, should translate into giving forgiveness that he doesn’t feel he owes.

– Jesus forgave us of MUCH! We must be transformed by that, and forgive others.

– Eph. 4:32, Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.

– Col. 3:13, Make allowances for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others.

Conclusion?

– Jesus’ mission for us can be summed up by 2 things, Love God, and Love People.

– We bring our sacrificial offerings to our heavenly Father to love him in obedience to his word.

– Jesus is telling us here that we need to love people too! It’s part of the deal.

– Seek forgiveness, Give forgiveness, and do it NOW!

– Matt. 5:23-24, “So if you are presenting a sacrifice at the altar in the Temple and you suddenly remember that someone has something against you, leave your sacrifice there at the altar. Go and be reconciled to that person. Then come and offer you sacrifice to God.”

– prayer –

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