Giving to God’s Cause

Philippians 4:10-19

But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly that now at last your care for me has flourished again; though you surely did care, but you lacked opportunity. Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content: I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.  Nevertheless you have done well that you shared in my distress. Now you Philippians know also that in the beginning of the gospel, when I departed from Macedonia, no church shared with me concerning giving and receiving but you only. For even in Thessalonica you sent aid once and again for my necessities. Not that I seek the gift, but I seek the fruit that abounds to your account. Indeed I have all and abound. I am full, having received from Epaphroditus the things sent from you, a sweet-smelling aroma, an acceptable sacrifice, well pleasing to God. And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.

THEY GAVE ONCE AGAIN

  • 2 Corinthians 9:8 indicates that the church had supported Paul in his ministry at one time.  For whatever reason, it appears their support had stopped.  Now, Paul rejoices that it has “flourished again.” 
  • Gospel must be carried world-wide
  • Missionaries and ministers must be supported to do the work

Luke 10:2 – “The harvest truly is great, but the laborers are few; pray therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.” 

John 4:35 – “Do you not say, ‘There are still four months and then comes the harvest?’  I say to you, ‘lift up your eyes and look at the fields, for they are already white for harvest!’” 

  • Jesus clearly stated that the problem is not the harvest – it is the need for laborers.  We must go and do all we can to reap the harvest.  Where we cannot or will not personally go – we must commit ourselves to support those who can and are willing to go.

GOD DOES NOT NEED YOUR GIVING

  • God has taught his servants to be content in whatever state they find themselves.

1 Timothy 6:6-9 – “Now godliness with contentment is great gain.  For we brought nothing into this world and it is certain we can carry nothing out.  And having food and clothing, with these we shall be content.  But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and harmful lusts which drown men in destruction and perdition.”

Hebrews 13:5 – “Let your conduct be without covetousness; bet content with such things as you have, for Him Himself has said, ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you.’” 

  • God meets the needs of his servants.

2 Corinthians 12:9-10 – “And He said unto me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect (to complete, reach a goal, bring to maturity) in weakness.’  Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me…For when I am weak, then I am strong.” 

Psalm 28:7 – “The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in Him, and I am helped.” 

YOU NEED TO GIVE TO GOD

  • God wants you to be a part of His kingdom work.  When you give you are obeying God.  When you obey God, He has promised to “take up residence” in you – (John 14)

Acts 20:35 – “…And remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He said, ‘It is more blessed (supremely happy, a condition in which congratulations are in order) to give (giving an object of value freely, unforced) than to receive.’”   The Amplified Version

  • NOTE:  Jesus did not say it would more natural or easier to give than to receive, but that the giver would be more blessed than the receiver.
  • Giving to God’s work will bring God’s blessings.

Luke 18:30 – “There is no one who has left house, or parents or brothers or wife or children, for the sake of the kingdom of God, who shall not receive many times more in this present time, and in the age to come eternal life.” 

Luke 6:38 – “Give, and it will be given to you; good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom.  For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you.

Malachi 3:8-12 – “Will a man rob God? Yet you have robbed Me! But you say, ‘In what way have we robbed You?’  ‘In tithes and offerings.  You are cursed with a curse, for you have robbed Me, even this whole nation.  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.  And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, so that he will not destroy the fruit of your ground, nor shall the vine fail to bear fruit for you in the field,’ says the LORD of hosts; and all nations will call you blessed, for you will be a delightful land,’ says the LORD of hosts.”

WE MUST LOOK TO GOD FOR OUR NEEDS – MINISTER AND LAITY ALIKE

Philippians 4:19 – “And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” 

  • The source of our supply – God Himself
  • What needs are met – All our need
  • What is the limit of meeting our need – All of God’s riches in glory
  • Who is the one who provides the supply from heaven to us – Jesus Christ
  • NOTE:   When we speak of giving, most of the time we think about “money or material items.”  True, that is one of the main sources of giving to God’s work.  Missionaries, ministers have to eat, need clothes and a room over their head.  Their children need toys and books and an education like other children.  They need Bibles and books and supplies to reach out in ministry.  All this takes money.
  • However, we need to think of giving to the work of Christ in other ways.
  • Prayer – One of the best ways to give to God’s servants is to pray for them.  Too often we spend time criticizing, complaining and very little time praying.
  • Communicate – We need to let God’s servants know we are praying for them.  Write to the
  • missionaries – send your pastor a card.
  • Time – We need to give of our time to God’s work.  We can help in the work of God by volunteering some of our time to help in his work that needs to be done.
  • Talents, abilities – God’s servants cannot do everything.  They – like you – are limited in their skills.  You can share your skills in areas where God’s servants are lacking. 
  • Friendship – It can be lonely when you work for God.  You can be a friend to the missionaries by writing, sending magazines or newspapers from home, sending a “care” package of spices, packaged food or other items they cannot get and miss.  You can be a friend to your pastors by sharing a cup of coffee, a visit to their home or yours. 

The Grace of Giving

Galatians 6:6-10

Let him who is taught the word share in all good things with him who teaches.  Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life. And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith.

TITHING

  • Tithing is only one aspect of our doing good and it is a privilege as well as a duty to support the work of the Lord. 
  • If you do not give to God’s work or, if you give and you know you need to give more, desire to give more, want to give more, begin planning today to change that.
  • You find the money to do what you want to do – some way, somehow.  Work – do not worry – work at giving to God’s work what you want to give, what you know you are supposed to give.  Give regularly.  Give a set amount.  The Old Testament practice was a tenth.

Genesis 28:22 – and this stone, which I have set up for a pillar, shall be God’s house.  And of all that you give me I will give a full tenth to you.

  • Your giving must be voluntary, not pressured but out of love.  As Christ gave His all for you, surely we can give back a portion of our income to Him to help further the work of the church.  By tithing we are symbolically expressing our commitment to Christ and His church, our church.
  • As we regularly plan our giving, our offering, we also offer ourselves in service and devotion to God.  As a result we become stronger in our faith and more aware of others’ needs.  This practice brings us joy as we are obedient to His Word.  Our giving regularly helps to accomplish the mission of the church. 

2 Corinthians 9:7 – Each of you should give what you decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.

 OLD TESTAMENT REQUIRED TITHING OF ALL

Leviticus 27:30 – Every tithe of the land, whether of the seed of the land or of the fruit of the trees, is the LORD’s; it is holy to the LORD

NEW TESTAMENT – JESUS AFFIRMED GIVING AS A PRACTICE WE SHOULD PARTICIPATE IN

Luke 21:1-4 – Jesus looked up and saw the rich putting their gifts into the offering box, and he saw a poor widow put in two small copper coins.  And he said, “Truly, I tell you, this poor widow has put in more than all of them.  For they all contributed out of their abundance, but she out of herpoverty put in all she had to live on.” 

HOW MUCH DO WE GIVE?

There is disagreement today whether a Christian is required to give 10% of their income.  While we are no longer living under the Law (which required the 10%) but rather under grace, perhaps our giving should be even more generous.  When we set the 10% as the requirement for  a Christian to give, we can become legalistic.  Some may not be able to give 10%.  However, that should not keep them from giving something.  If you cannot give 10%, determine what you can give and be faithful in giving that amount.

However, many have been abundantly blessed by God and could give much more than 10%.  To those Christians, they should not feel satisfied when they have given just 10%.  Let God’s Word be our guide.

1 Corinthians 16:2 – 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.

1 Timothy 6:17-19 – Command those who are rich in this present age not to be haughty, nor to trust in uncertain riches but in the living God, who gives us richly all things to enjoy. Let them do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to give, willing to share, storing up for themselves a good foundation for the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life.

Matthew 6:19-21 – Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

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; 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.

Giving of your finances does not get you mean you should not also give to other church and community activities or other volunteering tasks.  Nor does other activities and volunteering satisfy the need to give of your finances.

When you give, you should give regularly, systematically and promptly.  The need for finances of the church goes on even when you are on vacation or absent.

There are many areas of need in the church – building expenses, insurance, utilities, supplies, teaching materials and through our giving we can help carry our fair share.

Through our giving we are also sending forth the truth through literature, Bible study, missions and charitable giving.

Luke 6:38 tells us “the measure you use will be the measure given back to you.”  Let us give with joy and concern because God kingdom needs our support.