[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,]
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,]
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.]
What We Give?
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,]
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
in the land, which they shall bring unto the Lord, shall be thine; every one
that is clean in thine house shall eat
[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.]
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,]
concerning the tithe of the herd, or of the flock,
even of whatsoever passeth
under the rod,
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,]
30 And all the
tithe of the land, whether
of the seed of the land, or
of the fruit of the tree,
Lord's: it is holy unto the
[God feels so
strongly about this tithe of ten percent that He warned through Malachi,]
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,]
18 But thou
shalt remember the Lord thy God:
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.]
We Should Give The Loveovers
(Matt 5.44-45; Rom 5.8) [–
The Bible clearly declares,]
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.]
considered how much Almighty God loves you?
He loves you enough that He sent His only Begotten Son for you. ]
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.]
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.
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.]
Why We Give?
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.]
- 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
[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
Christians ought to give faithfully to their Heavenly Father regardless of
their circumstances or convience.]
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,]
19 The first
of the firstfruits of thy land
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.]
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.]
ἱλαρὸν (Gk) -
propitious. Cheerful, joyous
(2 Cor. 9:7; Sept.: Prov. 22:8). Although the Eng. word “hilarious” is
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
[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.]
When We Give
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
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?]
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.]
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.]
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.]
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,]
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
[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
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.]
CrossRoads Baptist Church, July 11, 2010
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