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YOU ARE BORN TO SHINE

2 Corithians Chapter 4 verse 6

LETS WORSHIP TOGETHER

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Wednesday, June 13 2018

Contributor: Leye Olayiwola

INTRODUCTION 

Why are preachers and ministries after everybody’s money? This is not the case with all. Again, we must avoid the trap of stereotyping ministers. Obviously, there are operating costs and expenses to maintain any ministry, and there are many Christian organizations which deal with the issue of offerings and fund raising very graciously and admirably. We can empathize with those who may have a negative attitude. It's not surprising why people have become weary with constant appeals for money — we really can't blame them. But at the same time, we must be careful not to become critical and abandon the spreading of the Gospel because of the abuses of some ministries. It is crucial that the message of Jesus Christ be delivered to the world. It is a matter of life or death!

  1. WHY DOES THE CHURCH NEED MY MONEY?

The church or a ministry needs money to operate. Just like you and I need an income to pay electric, water, gas and every other bills, the church needs money to pay its bills too. When you give you are helping your local church care for people in the church and your community, plus you are helping send the Gospel around the world. That's why your church or favorite ministry needs your financial support. When Christians support God's work they are following the command of God to give. Giving is an act of faith and obedience to God. At times you may wonder why you should be giving to a particular church or ministry, because you have questions about how they were spending the money. Although, ultimately God will be the judge of the leadership of that church or ministry, we should also be good stewards (and investors) of God’s resources. God is not a waster!

“Then he who had received the one talent came and said, ‘Lord, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you have not sown, and gathering where you have not scattered seed.  And I was afraid, and went and hid your talent in the ground. Look, there you have what is yours. “But his lord answered and said to him, ‘You wicked and lazy servant, you knew that I reap where I have not sown, and gather where I have not scattered seed. 27 So you ought to have deposited my money with the bankers, and at my coming I would have received back my own with interest. So take the talent from him, and give it to him who has ten talents.” [Matthew 25:24-28]

However, it is always a privilege to give to God’s work and His Kingdom.

  1. HOW MUCH SHOULD I GIVE?

Throughout the Old Testament we commonly see a reference to the tithe. Some people say in the New Testament, under the age of grace, that we should be giving even more than the 10% tithe of the Old Testament. Generous grace giving is the New Testament standard of giving. The real question is, how much do you want to be blessed? Some people give much more because they know God will bless them for their obedience. It's not a give to receive type of arrangement. It is more like, give and trust God to abundantly pour out His blessings on your family. God will bless you in ways that are far more important than money, but we must walk in obedience to enjoy those blessings. Faithfulness is the key in giving.

  1. WHAT IS GENEROUS GRACE GIVING?

When you say “grace,” a lot of people, unfortunately, connect it with hang-loose, undisciplined living. But that is not grace! Nor is grace the balance point between legalism and licentiousness. Rather grace (as a system) is totally opposed both to legalism and licentiousness, which are two sides of the same coin.

Legalism and licentiousness both operate on the principle of the flesh. Legalism is an attempt to earn standing with God through human effort and leads to pride or condemnation, depending on how well you do. Licentiousness casts off restraint and lives to gratify the flesh.

But God’s grace is His unmerited favor based on Christ’s sacrifice. The motivating power in grace is the indwelling Spirit of God. The person under grace responds out of love and gratitude to God and depends upon the indwelling Holy Spirit to conform his life to what God requires. With that basic understanding of grace, let us consider what grace giving is not, and what grace giving is.

  1. GRACE GIVING IS NOT;
  • Random and irresponsible. It does not mean that you give every now and then, hit and miss; rather, it is planned and systematic (1 Cor. 16:2; 2 Cor. 9:7).
  • Based on feelings. Being under grace does not mean living by feelings. Living under grace means walking by faith and obedience in response to God’s love. There are many commands under grace.
  • Usually less than the requirement of the law. God’s grace should motivate us to excel far more than the minimum under the law (1 Cor. 15:10).
  • Giving God the leftovers. God deserves the best, not just what is convenient. If we love God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength, then we won’t just give Him what’s left over after the bills are paid. He deserves first place.
  1. GRACE GIVING IS BASED ON;
  • God’s example in Christ (2 Cor. 8:9) -  Aren’t you glad that God did not just give a tenth! He gave all. The Lord Jesus Christ was infinitely rich. He dwelled in the unimaginable splendor of heaven, apart from the sin and corruption of this world. But He gave that up, laid aside His privileges, and took on human flesh.
  • The concept of stewardship - “You are not your own, for you have been bought with a price ...” (1 Cor. 6:19-20). All that we are and have belongs to God, not just a tenth. We are merely the managers of His resources. As a good manager, we use the Owner’s resources to further His work (see Acts 2:44-45; 4:32-37; 11:27-30 for some examples).
  • Inner motivation, not outward compulsion (2 Cor. 8:3-5; 9:7) -  Motive and attitude are crucial. It is better to give a small amount based on a loving response to God’s grace than it is to give a large amount based on outward pressure or pride. Note the attitude of the Macedonian believers: they had an abundance of joy (2 Cor. 8:2); they gave of their own accord (8:3); first they gave themselves to the Lord (8:5); they had both the readiness and desire (8:10-12, 9:2); they gave cheerfully, not grudgingly or under compulsion (9:7).
  • We should not think, “How much do I have to give?” but rather, “How much can I give?” We should not wait for someone to pressure us with a need; we should look for needs that we can meet (8:4). Look for and give to Christian organizations or workers that do not pressure donors with desperate appeals for funds. There are so many pleading for your money so that they “won’t go off the air next week.” Let them go off the air!” Christians ought to give based upon inner motivation, not outward pressure.
  • A new relationship with the Holy Spirit, not the old dispensation of the Law. Romans 8:14 says, “For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are the sons of God.” Galatians 5:18 says, “But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the Law.” The context of both passages shows that Paul is talking about the Holy Spirit leading the believer into righteous, godly living. In Galatians, such righteous living is spelled out in the context, in part, as sharing financial resources (6:6, 10).
  • It’s easier in some ways to follow a set of rules. Just give your 10 percent and that takes care of the matter. But God wants us to be led by the Holy Spirit. That’s kind of scary! The Holy Spirit might want me to give 35 percent or who knows how much! But the point is, I am not living by rules, but in a relationship with the living God.
  • How much God has prospered you. How much should you give? How much has God prospered you? (Note 1 Cor. 16:2, “as he may prosper”; Acts 11:29, “in the proportion that [they] had means”; 2 Cor. 8:3, 11, 12). Generally, they gave according to their ability, and in some cases beyond their ability. Sometimes you should give sacrificially. But the general principle is, give as God has prospered you.
  • When God entrusts you with more money, instead of spending it on more junk that you have to protect from moths, rust, and thieves, you should ask, “Lord, how do you want this money used in Your kingdom?” As God gives you more, you should increase the percentage you give, not just the amount. If you have enough to live comfortably, then invest the rest where God pays guaranteed, eternal dividends.

CONCLUSION:

“How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? 15 And how shall they preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who [b]preach the gospel of peace, Who bring glad tidings of good things!” [Romans 10:14-15]

And how can they be sent without money? And how can they get the money except it be given them in God's appointed way, by the gracious and generous giving of God’s people "who have heard the joyful sound?"

Part of this teaching was taken from “THE MIDAS TOUCH” by Kenneth E. Hagin

Posted by: Isekhua Evborokhai AT 03:12 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
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