Outline and Audio Sermons:
Dr. Walter D. Huyck Jr. D.Min.

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2 Cor 9.6-11

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[Almost everyone realizes that if you are going to be a part of anything, that is anything worth being a part of, there is going to be some cost associated with the activity.  If you are in a club, there will be dues.  If you are a part of an association, there will be fees.  As citizens of a nation, there are taxes.   For the Church of our Lord, there are tithes and offerings.] 

[Yet, there are those voices in our world that ask, “Why should I give to my Church?”  Most would quickly answer because God asks us to give our tithes and offerings.  Then there are those who would answer, “But tithes and offerings are Old Testament and do not apply to the New Testament.”  Yet, the New Testament states,] 

[Romans 15:4 4 For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.]

[The Old Testament is an example for us to learn from and the Old Testament teaches us that we should give, how we should give, and what we should give.  Our Lord said,] 

[Matthew 5:17 17 Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.]

[Today, as we focus upon giving let us consider when we give?  Why we give? And what we give.] 

A.    What We Give? 

1.      Some Give The Leftovers (Num 18.12-13) [– Some folk give God a portion of what they have left over, if they have anything left over.  They give God the last of all that God has given them.  In giving God the leftovers they give God that which they don’t really want or need.  But God asks us for,] 

[Numbers 18:12-13 12 All the best of the oil, and all the best of the wine, and of the wheat, the firstfruits of them which they shall offer unto the Lord, them have I given thee. 13 And whatsoever is first ripe in the land, which they shall bring unto the Lord, shall be thine; every one that is clean in thine house shall eat of it.]

[God asks for the first and the best of all that He has given us.  Have you ever thought about the first ripe fruit of any harvest?  All year the farmer has been laboring and nurturing that harvest.  He has prepared in the off season so that everything was ready at seedtime.  He labored and sweat through planting and the hot summer months and now, after a long season of hard labor, the first ripe fruit of his labor in ready.  The first grapes are on the vine, the first oranges are on the tree, the first apples, or the first corn.  What an incredible sense of honor to be the first to taste of the fruit of his labors.  But God requests, if you really honor Him, and recognize His benevolent hand in your provision and prosperity, that you give that first ripe fruit, the highly anticipated and highly coveted, best part of one’s harvest back to him.  The question is, will you give God the best and first, or will you merely give Him the leftovers.] 

[Think about how great the honor is when one labors and then gives the first ripe fruit to someone else.  This is the greatest demonstration of honor and respect that anyone can show toward another person.  What distinguished honor we show to our Heavenly Father when we give Him the first ripe fruit of our labors.] 

[God asks for our first ripe fruit not our leftovers.  When you take the first of that which God has given you, you are in essence suggesting that you are more important than God.  You make yourself a god unto yourself.] 

2.      Some Give The Lightovers (Lev 27.32,20; Mal 3.8-10; Deut 8.18) [– What is a lightover, well this is a word I have put together for this sermon.  A lightover is giving to God, maybe even giving your first to God, but it is giving God less than His due.  How much does God ask that we give?  God said,] 

[Leviticus 27:32 32 And concerning the tithe of the herd, or of the flock, even of whatsoever passeth under the rod, the tenth shall be holy unto the Lord.]

[God not only asks us to give the first and best of what He has given us, but He asks for the first ten percent, the first tenth.  God declares that it is holy unto the Lord, it is sanctified already by God.  It already belongs to Him.  Consider what God said a few verses earlier,]

[Leviticus 27:30 30 And all the tithe of the land, whether of the seed of the land, or of the fruit of the tree, is the Lord's: it is holy unto the Lord.]

[God feels so strongly about this tithe of ten percent that He warned through Malachi,]

[Malachi 3:8-10 8 Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings. 9 Ye are cursed with a curse: for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation. 10 Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.]

[God promises to bless those who will recognize and honor Him, but He also promises to curse those who would presumptuously steal from Him.]

[Oh, if the offering plates could speak.  What stories they would tell of those whom God has blessed and scarce would give a dime.  That is all God is asking for, one dime from each and every dollar He gives you.  But someone would loudly declare, “God did not give me this dollar, I earned it!”  God reminds you,]

[Deuteronomy 8:18 18 But thou shalt remember the Lord thy God: for it is he that giveth thee power to get wealth, that he may establish his covenant which he sware unto thy fathers, as it is this day.]

[Never forget that you have a job because God has provided a job for you to work.  You are able to work your job because God has given you the health to be able to go to work.  If God were not as merciful and gracious as He is, He could render you infirm and helpless in but a moment.  Or even worse, He could leave you capable of mind and body but absolutely void of any and all opportunity.  God has graciously given to you, and all He asks is that you give the first ten percent of all He has given you.]

[Will you slight God, as if God cannot do the math?  Will you somehow convince yourself that the God who placed the physics of reality in place is incapable of calculating your sleight of hand.  I had rather give more than I think I ought than sleight the God who never misses anything.]

3.      We Should Give The Loveovers (Matt 5.44-45; Rom 5.8) [– The Bible clearly declares,] 

[Matthew 5:44-45 44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; 45 That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.]

[Have you considered how much Almighty God loves you?  He loves you enough that He sent His only Begotten Son for you. ] 

[Romans 5:8 8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.]

[He loved you enough that when you were against God, whether it was by rebellion or omission God still allowed His Sun to brighten your days and His rain to nourish your corps.  In other words God gave you the essentials of life and much more even when you did not deserve them.]   

[Think of what you have.  Think of your many blessings.  We have homes, cars, clothing, food, family and friends.   We have toothbrushes, coombs, and hairbrushes.  Can you imagine what life would be like without toothbrushes?  God has provided the abundance and completeness of life because He loves us, and because of His great love for us we ought to love one another, and love God too.] 

[Love is the best possible reason to give back to God.  Think for a moment about what a parent will do for their struggling child even when the child does not deserve the parent’s kindness.  Why do parents help their children, even when they don’t deserve it?  Because of love.  This is why God has given to us, and this must be why we give back to God.  Out of gratefulness for the unspeakable love of our Heavenly Father.] 

[Some have said, “Preacher I would give a tithe, but I just cannot afford it.”  What you ought to believe more than your finances is that you really cannot afford not to give your tithe.   If your Heavenly Father has given you what He has given you, whether it seems small or large, then you can trust Him to love you enough to take care of you when you show Him the love and honor due Him.  God promises,] 

[Matthew 6:31-33 31 Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? 32 (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. 33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.]

[When you love God the way you ought, you won’t just give God your leftovers or your lightovers.  You will give God your loveovers.] 

B.     Why We Give? 

1.      Some Give Out Of Convenience [– Some in our day give when it is convenient to give.  These are those who, if they are out of town on a given Sunday feel as if they have received a reprieve from giving their tithes and offerings.] 

[Illustration -  I recall some years ago hearing a group of pastors discussing giving trends in their ministries.  One pastor noted that if the weather in the winter were bad enough that people could not make it to Church, so that they had to close the Church for a week, that those offering would never be made back up.  It is as if God had not prospered the people of his Church for that week.] 

[Some people might get conveniently upset with the pastor for something he may have preached or said, or they might not get their way in some matter of the Church so they just conveniently stop giving to the Church or give to some para-church organization.  I caution you my friends, the tithe is meant to be used to support the ministry and work of your local Church.  It is directed by God and accounted by God, it is not a mere matter of convenience.] 

[Born again Christians ought to give faithfully to their Heavenly Father regardless of their circumstances or convience.] 

2.      Some Give Out Of Command (Exo 23.19) [– Some give because they know the Word of God and if you spend any time reading your Bible then you know that God commands the giving of one’s tithes and offerings.  The more you know about God and the Bible the less you will argue with the fact that God expects His people to give their tithes and offerings.  It was God who said,] 

[Exodus 23:19 19 The first of the firstfruits of thy land thou shalt bring into the house of the Lord thy God. . . .]

[This carries the sense of giving out of fearfulness.  Giving because one is afraid of what God might do if they are found to rob God in their tithes and offerings.  Fearing God is not a bad thing, but giving out of mere fear will rob a person of the deep blessing that accompany giving out of a love for God.] 

[Yet, I would counsel, if you cannot give out of love, and you must give out of fear for the command of God, I would give regardless.  God’s response to your faithful giving will soon turn your fear into love and trust.] 

3.      We Ought To Give Out Of Cheerfulness (2 Cor 9.7) 

[2 Corinthians 9:7 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.]

[Cheerful - ἱλαρὸν (Gk) - propitious. Cheerful, joyous (2 Cor. 9:7; Sept.: Prov. 22:8). Although the Eng. word “hilarious” is derived from hilarós, it does not at all convey its correct meaning. The word denotes a happy, glad or cheerful state of mind and not one overcome with laughter or mirth, or one humorously affected.[1] ]

[The English word hilarious is derived from this Greek word.  While this Greek word is accurately translated cheerful meaning joyous.  It is still accurate to say that our secular world would look at a cheerful giver of tithes and offerings and would think that giver was out of his mind.  Why give to a religious work?  Why give to support some preacher or ministry?  They view what we do in Church as mere superstition.]

[Yet the cheerful giver knows that he is giving, not to a religious organization, but he is giving back to God.  He is recognizing and honoring God for His love, provision, and protection.]

[Of all the Why’s for giving, Cheerful giving is the best motivation for giving.]

C.    When We Give 

1.      We Work With God (Num 18.24; Acts 6.2-4) [– There is a clear purpose for the tithes and offerings in God’s kingdom work.  When you give, as God leads you to give, whether in tithes or offerings, you are joining God in His kingdom work and you are equipping the Church to do its work.  God said,] 

[Numbers 18:24 24 But the tithes of the children of Israel, which they offer as an heave offering unto the Lord, I have given to the Levites to inherit: therefore I have said unto them, Among the children of Israel they shall have no inheritance. ]

[The example we have from the Old Testament is that of the Levites and the Priests.  The Levities were not given an inheritance in the land of Israel.  Instead God gave the Levites all of the tithes and offerings given in the name of the Lord.  The priest received the tithes of the Levites.  Why did God set things up this way?] 

[Because the Levites and Priests had essential ministry work to do and if they had to go out and work the fields to earn a living for their families then they could not serve the ministry as they needed to.  There is a saying of old,] 

[When God’s people starve the ministers in their tithes and offerings,

Then the ministers will starve the people of their spiritual need.] 

[The New Testament speaks to the primary work of God’s men who work in the ministry.] 

[Acts 6:2-4 2 Then the twelve called the multitude of the disciples unto them, and said, It is not reason that we should leave the word of God, and serve tables. 3 Wherefore, brethren, look ye out among you seven men of honest report, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business. 4 But we will give ourselves continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the word.]

[Tithes and offerings are used for the work of the ministry within the Church.  Its primary purpose is to support the ministers who do the work of the ministry so that they can be focused wholly upon the work God has called them to do.] 

[So when you give your tithes and offerings you are joining God in His kingdom work through His revealed plan and purpose.] 

2.      We Worship God (Prov 3.9-10; Luke 6.38) [– But there is another compelling reason for giving one’s tithes and offerings.  The Bible says,] 

[Proverbs 3:9-10 9 Honour the Lord with thy substance, and with the firstfruits of all thine increase: 10 So shall thy barns be filled with plenty, and thy presses shall burst out with new wine.]

[When you give cheerfully to the Lord and His kingdom work you are honoring God in your giving.  You are worshipping God through your gift.  Giving is an act of holy worship and it is highly esteemed by God.  This is why we take our Church offering right in the middle of our worship service.  It is an act of worship.  You ought to be praising God when you give back a small portion of what He has given you and your family.]

[The Bible clearly reveals that if we will give cheerfully to our Lord, supporting His kingdom work then He will faithfully respond to your act of worship.]

[Luke 6:38 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.]


[1]Zodhiates, S. (2000, c1992, c1993). The complete word study dictionary : New Testament (electronic ed.) (G2431). Chattanooga, TN: AMG Publishers.


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