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Thank You, For Giving To The Lord by Samuel A. Matthews


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Thank You, For Giving To The Lord by Samuel A. Matthews

Thank You, For Giving To The Lord

Samuel A. Matthews samatm@lasal.net
at http://www.gj.net/~samatm

INTRODUCTION: 

     1.  I heard a song several years ago that said 
          a.  "Thank you, for giving to the Lord. 
          b.  I am a life that was changed." 
     2.  The idea behind the song was 
          a.  that this individual was brought to the Lord 
          b.  through the generosity of one who was a Christian. 
     3.  That's what we want to talk about in this lesson. 
     4.  We have several examples recorded in the New
          Testament 
          a.  of those who truly knew the meaning of Christian
               giving. 
          b.  One good example would be the church in
               Jerusalem, 
               1.  who had all things common (Acts 2:44-46), 
               2.  or those in Macedonia who gave above their
                    means 
               3.  despite their poverty ( 2 Cor. 8:1-5). 
          a.  And there are also numerous individual examples 
          b.  such as Barnabas and Dorcas (Acts 4 & 9). 
     5.  I don't believe that most people have been taught to
          give properly, 
          a.  too many give sparingly and begrudgingly. 
          b.  So, what we want to get out of this lesson 
          c.  is some motivation to give joyfully and willingly. 


    I.  God Loves and Rewards Those Who Give Cheerfully 

    1.  First, We Are Motivated To Give Joyfully And Willingly 
         a.  When We Realize That God Loves Those Who
              Give Cheerfully, 
         b.  And He Rewards Those Who Give Cheerfully
               (2 Corinthians 9:6-11). 
    2.  David wrote: "Blessed is he that considereth the poor:
         the Lord will deliver him in time of trouble" (Psalm 41:1). 
    3.  There is no doubt that God is the one who has
         provided for us, 
         a.  and therefore we should realize that it is all His
              anyway, 
         b.  and God can take care of us. 
         c.  That is the entire point of Jesus' teaching in
              Matt. 6:30-33 (Read). 
         d.  Loved ones, you can't out-give God! 
     4.  So letís turn and read the exhortation Paul gave the
          church at Corinth  (Read 2 Cor. 9:6-11). 
          a.  But we should notice that verse 6 is often misused 
          b.  by the televangelist and such-like today. 
     5.  Many seek to motivate people to give more by saying 
          a.  that this passage teaches that God will pay them
               for what they give. 
          b.  But, the context does not support this amazing
               falsehood. 
     6.  Verse 8 tells us that the reaping bountifully 
          a.  that will result of our giving cheerfully 
          b.  will be so that we will have 2 things: 
               1.  First, we will have all sufficiency, 
               2.  or in other words, what we NEED! 
     7.  Second, so that we will have an abundance 
          a.  for EVERY GOOD WORK! 
          b.  Not an abundance to take care of ourselves, 
          c.  but an abundance to reach out further to bring
               others to Christ. 
     8.  And so in verses 10 and 11 
          a.  Paul talks about God supplying and multiplying
               the seed sown. 
          b.  He's the one who supplied the seed in the first
               place, 
               1.  and he is the one who multiplies the seed
                    when it is sown. 
               2.  God blesses those who give with the
                    opportunity to give more. 
     9.  Here's the point. 
          a.  We should be willing to give cheerfully, 
          b.  because the more we give, 
          c.  the more God will give us the ability to give. 
    10. We should realize though that this is not limited to money, 
          a.  we could make the same application to our time
               and abilities, 
          b.  but the point remains the same. 
               1.  Give to God the best, 
               2.  and He will bless us to be even more useful
                    in His service. 

                 II.  Our Giving Produces Glory To God 

     1.  Second, We Are Motivated To Give Joyfully And
          Willingly 
          a.  When We Realize That Our Giving Produces
               Glory To God. 
          b.  In the sermon on the mount Jesus said "Let your
               light so shine before men, that they may see your
               good works, and glorify your Father which is in
               heaven" (Matthew 5:16). 
     2.  Surely our giving produces the opportunity 
          a.  for our light to shine in a greater capacity to
               those around us. 
          b.  Our giving provides the opportunity 
               1.  to reach the lost with the message of the
                    Gospel, and 
               2.  it also indicates that God's grace has been
                   active in our lives. 
     3.  We must realize that to a great extent, 
          a.  the only thing some people see of Christianity
               is our lives. 
          b.  Based upon your own personal lifestyle, 
               1.  and your own personal generosity, 
               2.  what is our community seeing in Christianity? 
     4.  Are they seeing a person who cares about their soul? 
          a.  Are they seeing someone who's life has been
               changed by Christ? 
          b.  Or, are they seeing someone who is self-centered,
               uncaring, 
               1.  and not interested in anything more than a
                    social club? 
               2.  Our giving reflects a lot. 

             III.  Some of the Good We Are Doing

     1.  Third, we are Under The Impression 
          a.  That We Are More Likely To Give Joyfully And
                Willingly 
          b.  If We Have A Good View 
          c.  Of Some Of The Good That We Are Doing. 
     2.  We read about a congregation where the elders
          had decided 
          a.  that they would never discuss the cost of
               a particular work 
          b.  until they first decided whether or not 
          c.  it was a work they needed to pursue. 
     3.  They would discuss a particular work, 
          a.  decide whether or not they were going to do it, 
          b.  and then after they had decided they would
               participate in this work 
          c.  they would set out to find the funds necessary. 
     4.  The report we read said that the congregation always
          rose to the occasion. 
     5.  With this thought in mind, let us remind you 
          a.  of a few things that YOU are doing here in Moab 
          b.  as a result of your generous giving. 
     6.  Some of these will not be mentioned directly in the budget 
          a.  because they fall into larger categories. 
          b.  But I want you to realize that we don't give to a budget, 
          c.  we give to the Lord, and He uses us in His service. 
     7.  How are we changing the world? 
          a.  Dominican Republic - Because of you, Bob and
               Providencia Matthews 
          b.  have begun preaching and teaching the Gospel 
          c.  to many in this Spanish speaking country. 
     8.  World Bible School - Because of you, every single day 
          a.  men, women, and children are studying the Bible
               in Africa 
          b.  through these excellent Bible correspondence courses. 
     9.  Because of you, students like Lydia and many more
          at Cascade College 
          a.  are being taught the Bible 
          b.  so they will be better equipped to teach it when
               they graduate. 
                1.  Countless thousands may one day obey the
                     Gospel 
                2.  as the result of the efforts of graduates of this school. 
    10. Because of you, sermons, articles, and Bible outlines 
          a.  are accessible to anyone in the world who has
               access to a computer, 
          b.  that's a potential field of billions of souls. 
               1.  Because of you, Bible studies are being
                    conducted daily 
               2.  over e-mail, throughout the world. 
    11. Because of you, the Gospel Journal publication will be 
          a.  sent to each home of members of this congregation. 
          b.  Because of you the church has a van to pick
               up souls each week 
              1.  and carry them to activities 
              2.  which help to keep them interested in learning
                   about Jesus. 
    12. Because of you, our young people 
          a.  have the opportunity to grow to love each other 
          b.  as they play together at the bowling alley
               and skating rink. 
    13. Because of you, the citizens of Moab and beyond 
          a.  have access to the grace of God 
          b.  through our newspaper articles, tracts, and
               television program. 
    14. And we're not even taking into consideration 
          a.  all of the ongoing regular activities of this
               congregation, 
          b.  such as Bible classes and various other areas. 
          c.  Because of your generosity God has blessed us
               to do these things! 
    15. To His peopleof old, God said 
          (READ Malachi 3:10-11). 
         a.  Your cheerful giving is having an impact 
         b.  on our community, our state, our country, and
              our world! 
         c.  GOD WILL THEREFORE BLESS US! 


CONCLUSION: 

     1.  This congregation already gives very well, 
          a.  but we hope that we have challenged each of you 
          b.  to consider your own giving, 
              1.  to be certain that you are giving as you have prospered, 
              2.  and doing so as a cheerful giver. 
     2.  To a great extent, what kind of givers we are 
          a.  depends upon what kind of recipients we are! 
          b.  Unless we receive the grace of God in our lives, 
          c.  we will be unlikely to give gracefully to others. 
     3.  With that thought in mind, 
          a.  please remember a warning from the apostle Paul: 
               "For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted,
               and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee:
               behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is
               the day of salvation" (2 Corinthians 6:2). 
     4.  Christian, have you received the grace of God in vain? 
          a.  Non-Christian, have you received the grace of God at all? 

INVITATION
Samuel A. Matthews
samatm@lasal.net
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