The Pastor\’s Pen

An Independent Baptist Preacher\’s Musings and Observations

Posts Tagged ‘Giving’

The MOTIVE of Giving

Posted by Pastor Szekely on September 18, 2008

Through this study on the CONSIDERATIONS ON GIVING, we’ve looked at:

 

–The MATTER of our giving…It’s not an economic matter ~ it’s a heart matter! The WAY people gave mattered to the Lord – Mark 12:41, “And Jesus sat over against the treasury, and beheld how the people cast money into the treasury: and many that were rich cast in much.”

 

–The MEASURE of our giving…WHAT people gave also mattered to the Lord – Mark 12:42-44, “And there came a certain poor widow, and she threw in two mites, which make a farthing. [vs43] And he called unto him his disciples, and saith unto them, Verily I say unto you, That this poor widow hath cast more in, than all they which have cast into the treasury: [vs44] For all they did cast in of their abundance; but she of her want did cast in all that she had, even all her living.”

 

In this final post on giving, I want us to think on the MOTIVE of our Giving.

 

Remember what was said about the Temple Treasury in the post, the MEASURE of Giving…“many that were rich” were casting in much and great noise echoed from those “Trumpet” chests. This outward show must have stirred the ones around! The crowd must have “oohed and ahhed” as the giving was going on.

 

BUT: what do you think happened when that poor widow woman threw in her two mites [2 mites = about one-fifth of a cent; to man, it was hardly worth it to give]? Can you imagine a silence? Was there a feeling of pity for the woman? Were there any praises from man? There may not have been any praises from man, but this woman had the praise of God! Read again Mark 12:43-44.

 

This woman’s HEART was in her gift unto God. Her motive for giving stemmed from her heart! Shouldn’t OUR MOTIVE for giving stem from the same? What should motivate a child of God to give from the treasure that God has blessed them with (as stewards)? Or basically…how should we give?

 

A.  THANKFULLY

 

The Motive of Thankfulness. This motive says that “we are so thankful to give unto God because God gave it all for us and to us.” Can you list 10 things that would cause a child of God to have a thankful heart before God and motivate him to give? As a Christian, you should AT LEAST be able to list 10 things from God that gives you a thankful heart. Remember them, and the next time you give to God of the treasure He has given you, you WILL BE motivated by thankfulness!

 

B.  CHEERFULLY

 

The Motive of Cheerfulness. This motive says that “our spirit and attitude of giving is good, pleasant, and even joyful because we know the Recipient of our giving.”

 

–We know how God accepts our giving. In 2 Cor 9:7 the Bible says, “Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver”. God loves it when we give cheerfully, and this motive is acceptable before Him!

 

I like this – the word cheerful in 2 Cor 9:7 means merry or hilarious. What are you like during offering time at your church? God loves a merry, HILARIOUS giver…one who expresses true happiness about giving unto the Lord!

 

–We know how He uses our giving. We ought to come to God with a cheerful heart in giving because He takes what we bring unto Him and multiplies it for the work of His Kingdom!

 

–We know how He is honored by our giving! Heb 13:15-16 says, “By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name. [vs16] But to do good and to communicate forget not: for with such sacrifices God is well pleased.” We ought to come to God with a cheerful heart in giving because we have the opportunity to honor, bless, and please God Almighty!

 

C.  LIBERALLY

 

The only time I want to be known as a liberal is in my giving 🙂

 

The Motive of Liberal Giving. This motive says that “we want to give back generously and bountifully (i.e. liberally) because we’ve experienced God’s generous Hand and bounty in our lives”. Can you give specific examples of God’s generous Hand and bounty in your life?

 

And let me ask you this: Can we ever “out-give” God? Not by what these verses tell us:

 

Mal 3:10, “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.”

 

Luke 6:38, “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.”

 

 2 Cor 9:6, “But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully.”

 

Just a thought: How many people do you know who went penniless and starved to death because of they gave to God? How many people can you name that “out-gave” God? BUT: How many people can you name that have a testimony of a lack of God’s provision because they failed to put into practice Biblical giving?

 

Ps 37:25, “I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread”.

 

D.  SACRIFICIALLY

 

The Motive of Sacrificial Giving. This motive says that “we deprive ourselves for an express need that God has laid on our hearts.” Here are some examples of sacrificial giving: Mark 12:44 [see above] / Acts 4:32-37.

 

When it comes to the giving of our treasure, our method of giving is doctrinal and our motivation for giving is love! A love for God is a heart for God…and that’s a heart of: thankfulness, cheerfulness, liberality, and sacrifice. These motives can ONLY be manifested and plentiful if there’s a heart for God!

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The MEASURE of Giving

Posted by Pastor Szekely on September 16, 2008

And Jesus sat over against the treasury, and beheld how the people cast money into the treasury: and many that were rich cast in much. And there came a certain poor widow, and she threw in two mites, which make a farthing. And he called unto him his disciples, and saith unto them, Verily I say unto you, That this poor widow hath cast more in, than all they which have cast into the treasury: For all they did cast in of their abundance; but she of her want did cast in all that she had, even all her living.” Mark 12:41-44

 

The Lord Jesus Christ Himself cared about HOW people were giving their treasure [vs41]…but also, The Lord Jesus cared about WHAT was being given [vs42-44]. 

 

DID YOU KNOW that the Temple Treasury consisted of 13 brass chests, or boxes, to cast in offerings. These chests were called “Trumpets” due to them being shaped like a trumpet, or the “bell” of the trumpet. As metal coins were cast into the “Trumpets” a loud noise would be heard by those around the Temple Treasury…the more someone gave, the louder the noise!

 

If someone wanted to “put on a show”, it wouldn’t be too difficult. IN FACT, the Lord Jesus rebuked the ones who did put on a show in this way…Jesus said in Matt 6:1-2, “Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven. [vs2] Therefore when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.”

 

When this poor, widow woman “threw in two mites” [Mark 12:42], they sounded “mighty small” in comparison to the other offerings being made. HOWEVER: What kind of sound did it make in the Lord’s ears? Mark 12:43-44 again says, “…Verily I say unto you, That this poor widow hath cast more in, than all they which have cast into the treasury: For all they did cast in of their abundance; but she of her want did cast in all that she had, even all her living.” From what we read here, we can definitely figure out how man would measure her giving verses how the Lord did measure her giving!

 

HOW IS OUR GIVING TO BE MEASURED? HOW ARE WE TO GIVE?

 

A.  We are to give PROPORTIONALLY

 

In the measure of the giving of what God has given to us, we can give the same amount “proportionally”. For example: One person’s income is $2,000/month and another person’s income is $9,000/month. If Biblical, proportionate giving is practiced, BOTH would give the same amount proportionally! Both would “bring back a tenth part to God’s storehouse”!

 

BTW: What proportion, or what percentage, did the poor, widow women give in Mark 12? She gave 100% of all her living!!! Jesus said in Mark 12:43, “That this poor widow hath cast more in, than all they which have cast into the treasury”!

 

Notice, too, that the Apostle Paul endorsed proportional (or proportionate) giving: 1 Cor 16:2, “Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come.” What Paul was saying here is: “When you bring all the tithes and offerings into God’s storehouse, give in proportion to your income or to your increase”…as God hath prospered you!

 

HOW IS OUR GIVING TO BE MEASURED? HOW ARE WE TO GIVE?

 

B.  We are to give PROPERLY

 

Malachi 3:10 says, “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.” From this verse and 1 Corinthians 16:2, we can clearly see that God has appointed a “proper place” to bring the tithes and offerings. That proper place is His New Testament Institution and Storehouse, the Church.

 

HOW IS OUR GIVING TO BE MEASURED? HOW ARE WE TO GIVE?

 

C. We are to give PERPETUALLY

 

God has designed our giving to be systematic. Giving ought to be a regular part of our livesProverbs 3:9-10 says, “Honour the LORD with thy substance, and with the firstfruits of all thine increase: So shall thy barns be filled with plenty, and thy presses shall burst out with new wine.” Every time we have increase, we need to honor God with the “firstfruits” of that increase.

 

We’ve already looked at 1 Cor 16:2 more than once: “Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come.” When did Paul instruct the church at Corinth to “lay by him in store as God hath prospered him”? …upon the first day of the week, or the Lord’s Day!

 

Sadly today, many only give when they have “left-overs” or when moved by conviction or guilt, but this is not God’s plan and this isn’t how God measures our giving. Many miss the blessings of God in their MEASURE of giving.

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The MATTER of Giving – Part 2

Posted by Pastor Szekely on September 14, 2008

Let me ask you this: From where should our giving stem?

FILL IN THE BLANK: “Your giving will start with your ___________”

The answer is your heart. The Apostle Paul wrote in 2 Cor 8:5 that the churches of Macedonia – churches with very little – took on the fellowship of the ministering to the saints, i.e. they took part in giving to other churches in need. “And this they did, not as we hoped, but first gave their own selves to the Lord, and unto us by the will of God.”

“…but first gave their own selves to the Lord…” That’s a heart-issue and not an economic one! SO: I believe it’s fair to say that your giving is a good indicator of your heart’s spiritual condition.

SHOULD YOU BE CONCERNED OR CARE ABOUT YOUR GIVING, OR THE LACK THEREOF?

Mark 12:41-44, “And Jesus sat over against the treasury, and beheld how the people cast money into the treasury: and many that were rich cast in much. [vs42] And there came a certain poor widow, and she threw in two mites, which make a farthing. [vs43] And he called unto him his disciples, and saith unto them, Verily I say unto you, That this poor widow hath cast more in, than all they which have cast into the treasury: [vs44] For all they did cast in of their abundance; but she of her want did cast in all that she had, even all her living.”

The Lord Jesus Christ Himself cared about WHAT was being given [vs42-44]…BUT ALSO, the Lord Jesus cared about HOW people were giving their treasure [vs41]! It’s evident from this text that the Lord cares about HOW we give.

Q) Do YOU think the Lord Jesus observes YOUR GIVING? Do you think He CARES about your giving? And why would He care? It is because giving is a matter of the HEART! Again, your giving IS a good indicator of your heart’s spiritual condition.

IF THE LORD JESUS CARES ABOUT OUR GIVING, THEN WHAT IS GIVING? HOW IS THE GIVING OF OUR TREASURE ACTUALLY DEFINED?

Simply stated, the giving of our treasure that stems from our heart is defined in TITHES and OFFERINGS.

WHAT IS A TITHE? Well, the Bible defines this word for us when we compare the following Scripture texts:

Gen 14:18-20, “And Melchizedek king of Salem brought forth bread and wine: and he was the priest of the most high God. [vs19] And he blessed him, and said, Blessed be Abram of the most high God, possessor of heaven and earth: [vs20] And blessed be the most high God, which hath delivered thine enemies into thy hand. And he gave him tithes of all.”

Heb 7:1-2a, “For this Melchisedec, king of Salem, priest of the most high God, who met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings, and blessed him; [vs2a] To whom also Abraham gave a tenth part of all

From comparing these verses we see that the tithe is a tenth part…and a tenth part of all…of your whole increase. So if you’re increased with $1,000 you’re tithe is a tenth part, or $100.

Oh“, but you might say, “tithing is Old Testament and not for today“…but that is a WRONG STATEMENT. Tithing is throughout the Bible! I got the following illustration from “The ABCs of Christian Growth“, Bible Baptist Church Publications, Pastor Robert J. Sargent. This is a list that shows tithing throughout the Word of God:

Abraham COMMENCED it – Gen 14:18-20

Jacob CONTINUED it – Gen 28:20-22

Moses CONFIRMED it – Lev 27:30

Malachi COMMANDED it – Mal 3:8-10

Jesus COMMENDED it – Matt 23:23

God COMMISSIONED it – 1 Cor 9:13-14

Paul CONFORMED it – 1 Cor 16:2

 

Tithing IS a SCRIPTURAL PRINCIPLE! Abraham and Jacob tithed 500 years before the Law was instituted; Moses, Malachi, and the Lord Jesus spoke of tithing during the period of the Law; and Paul explained tithing after the Law in the New Testament. So should a Christian tithe? YES. Is tithing optional? NO. BTW: Too often, we get hung up on the tithe and forget that every penny we have is the Lord’s. All of our treasure, not just the tithe, is to be used as God leads and directs us. As stewards, it isn’t 10% that belongs to God, it is 100%!

 

WHAT IS AN OFFERING? An offering is something that is presented for acceptance; oblation; sacrifice; can also mean a treat or gift. To get an understanding of an offering, read these verses from the Book of Ezra:

 

1:4, “And whosoever remaineth in any place where he sojourneth, let the men of his place help him with silver, and with gold, and with goods, and with beasts, beside the freewill offering for the house of God that is in Jerusalem.”

3:5, “And afterward offered the continual burnt offering, both of the new moons, and of all the set feasts of the LORD that were consecrated, and of every one that willingly offered a freewill offering unto the LORD.”

7:16, “And all the silver and gold that thou canst find in all the province of Babylon, with the freewill offering of the people, and of the priests, offering willingly for the house of their God which is in Jerusalem

8:28, “And I said unto them, Ye are holy unto the LORD; the vessels are holy also; and the silver and the gold are a freewill offering unto the LORD God of your fathers.”

What we get from these verses is the offering was a freewill gift given for the LORD’S acceptance. The offering IS DIFFERENT FROM the tithe. The tithe is a required amounta tenth part – given obediently. The offering is an unspecified amount given devotedly.

We ought to be concerned about this matter of our giving…God is. Our giving is a matter of the heart. The giving of our treasure consists of tithes and offerings, and God has ordained those tithes and offerings to be used to finance His work.

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The MATTER of Giving – Part 1

Posted by Pastor Szekely on September 12, 2008

This post is the beginning of a detailed series of posts I’ll call, “CONSIDERATIONS ON GIVING“. I’ll break up into a few parts this first subject, the MATTER of Giving, then we’ll delve into the MEASURE and MOTIVE of the giving of a believer…and as always, your responses and comments are valued and appreciated.

Thanks for following along, and stay tuned!

 

There are many things that we ought to be giving back unto the Lord…for example:

 

TIME – Ephesians 5:15-16 says, “See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, [vs16] Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.”

God’s saying that He wants you and me to ‘redeem the time’, or to ‘rescue the time that He’s given to us from waste and evil’, so that it can be used for Him…think about this: God has given us time so that we may give God our time!

 

TALENTS (Abilities) – If God has blessed you with the ability and talent to play an instrument, sing, teach, write, manage finances, sew, weld, communicate with others, or WHATEVER talents and abilities God has blessed you with…YOU NEED TO USE THEM! 1 Corinthians 10:31 tells us, “…whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.”

Use your talents for God – Give them back to God!

This ought to be a ruling motive in the life of a believer!

 

TESTIMONYPsalm 107:2 says, “Let the redeemed of the LORD say so”! I truly believe God can use a testimony that we’re willing to give when there’s an opportunity to witness and to minister to others…Let the redeemed of the LORD say so!

 

SO…In knowing all this, remember 1 Corinthians 4:2: “Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful.”  The word Steward means Overseer; Manager. A Christian is an owner of nothing that he has, but he is a steward of everything he has!

 

Christians are [supposed to be] stewards of their time, talents, and of their testimony. We as believers don’t actually own anything, and we’re supposed to manage and give back what we have unto the Lord for His Glory. Well…wouldn’t this also apply to our TREASURE?

 

How we are as stewards of the treasure that God has entrusted to us is truly important and it demands our thoughtful and prayerful consideration. Each one of us as stewards ought to really be thinking and praying on how we oversee God’s treasure!

 

A friend of mine a while back sent me this article…the title of it is, “Five Habits of Millionaires”. This article found consistent patterns among millionaires, or those people who “have treasure”…I really think it’s interesting to take note of their patterns:

 

#1 – Avoid The “Earn-to-Spend” Mentality

Many millionaires view money as something to save and invest rather than income to spend. How spiritually wealthy would we be if we saved and invested in the work of God?

 

#2 – Focus

Millionaires resist the impulse to be scattered in their efforts and interests…they clearly write down their goals, making it easier to keep in focus. Basically, they have a plan. What’s your plan as a steward  of what God has given you?

 

#3 – Do Whatever Is Necessary to Meet Your Goal

People who earn their millions are able not only to focus but persevere in the pursuit of their goals. They press toward their mark. Paul said in Philippians 3:14, “I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” Are you pursuing with a passion to be a blessing with what God has blessed you with?

 

#4 – Take Calculated Risks

These folks had to take strategic risks to earn and grow money. They had to put some faith in what they were doing…not blind-faith, but a trust in certain methods and teachings. Are YOU ready to step out in faith with the finances God has given you? It’s not “blind-faith”, but a trust in the One whose blessed you and desires your obedience in the matter of giving.

 

#5 – Be Generous

 

Many millionaires give much and are truly generous. We may not know the motives of their generosity, but our motives ought to be the Love of the Lord Jesus Christ and HIS generosity – JESUS PAID IT ALL! 2 Corinthians 9:6, “He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully“. May we be generous!

 

In the world of “high finance”, we see by their habits that these people take great consideration in their treasure. So should we! We are the ones who are involved in “the finances of the Most High”, and we ought to really give our thoughtful and prayerful consideration when it comes to the giving of the treasure that God’s given to us as stewards!

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