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Grace Giving: 7 Principles. (1st preached April 2nd 1998) April 26, 2001

(Miracle Baptist Church Mission Conference)

Intro: We live in a day when the prevailing philosophy is, "Whosoever dies with the most toys wins"

We live in a cultural vacuum where folks try to satisfy themselves with material goods.

We enjoy the highest standard of living anywhere on earth. Those who live on welfare are better off than 80% of the world’s population.

Most people on earth live on less than what you throw away each year. That ought to concern us. If it does not concern you, you ought to be concerned with your lack of concern.

Materialism is sending more people to Hell each year than all the Catholics and Muslims and J.W. s and Mormons combined.

Materialism is doing more damage to the cause of Christ than any ecumenical group out there.

When the lost see you putting more time and effort into the trappings of this world than into home and foreign missions, they laugh and think it’s a big joke.

The world can see what your priorities are! And more importantly God can see what your priorities are!

I’m preaching to individuals here tonight, I’m preaching to you tonight!

I am not going to preach on tithing. If you have been a Christian for any length of time and do not tithe you are a rebel. "Well that’s O.T." –you’re an ignorant rebel...

What I want to bring, by the grace of God are 14 principles of Grace giving.

The Bible teaches the tithe is what you owe God- the tithe is the Lord’s, an offering is giving what you have but grace giving is giving what you do not have.

I realize that doesn’t make sense to some of you but the fact is you do it all the time when it comes to the things of the world:

Oh yes we have no problem giving what we don’t have when it comes to a new lazy boy, or a new computer.

"Well pastor, I don’t like this kind of carnal preaching. I want something spiritual." There are few things that will measure your spirituality than how you spend your money.

Turn in your Bibles to II Cor. 8:1-4 (II Cor. 8,9,10 are all about giving).

2 Corinthians 8:1-4,

Moreover, brethren, we do you to wit of the grace of God bestowed on the churches of Macedonia; 2 How that in a great trial of affliction the abundance of their joy and their deep poverty abounded unto the riches of their liberality. 3 For to their power, I bear record, yea, and beyond their power they were willing of themselves; 4 Praying us with much intreaty that we would receive the gift, and take upon us the fellowship of the ministering to the saints.

(pray)

Principle #1: Outward circumstances and difficulties should not hinder generosity in giving.

v.2 gave from poverty, not abundance.

v.3 "willing" gave because they wanted to, not because they had to

v.3 their giving far exceeded their financial ability

How do you give what you do not have? Faith Promise missions giving! Promise God an amount that you have purposed in your heart to give and trust God to supply that extra amount each week or month.

(expand with examples)

*ILL. Gold coin, sold it and the exact amount was returned.

v.4a it was viewed as a special privilege to give this offering, not an obligation.

v.2 Joy and Generosity go hand in hand

*ILL. Lady who was about to have a breakdown-give flowers to sick

Principle #2: II Cor. 8:5 All financial giving should be proceeded by self- giving.

Romans 12:1, I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.

V.5 to God and your pastor. You can not be in the will of God without submitting to God and your pastor. Don’t tell me you support the pastor if you’re not involved with his program.

Principle #3: v.6-7 Christians ought to be taught the principle of grace giving and to abound in grace giving.

I preach it: to be a blessing to our church, our missionaries and to our people. I believe our people are qualified to be lifted up as an example of what God does in lives who submit to this important teaching. In 1998 our annual budget was $33,000 -last year almost $85,000 came in. Our people do not lack anything. They have made it a priority to support me and my family full time and 26 missionaries. Our monthly missions budget is now at $1950, and with special offerings we are giving well over $25,000 to missionaries each year. God is blessing our people because of it. One lady in our church just started a job paying more than $30/hr. How does it work? Some of you forget the words of the Lord Jesus:

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.

The problem with some of you is you haven’t gotten past tithing. Some of you may not even be doing that.

The time for making suggestions is over, brethren you need this just as straight and pointed as I can make it!

Jesus gave it all, all to Him I owe. Now live it!

I’m not trying to be unkind, I’m trying to help you! We’re too soft! We are too comfortable! Our problem is we’re not broke like the Macedonians were. We have it too good and we are trying to hang on to it.

*ILL. I appreciate what your pastor did by leaving that job. I don’t know if I would have done the same thing.

Some of you need to take a pay cut so you can give a little more. Yes, a pay cut- you’ve had plenty of raises and you don’t give any more.

Principle #4: 8:6,10 & 9:5 Our goals in giving should be fulfilled and brought to completion.

*ILL. It bothers me when folks get into church just long enough for God to bless them. They make some financial commitments then they get mad and quit. If your boss made you mad would you quit your job?

Principle #5: 8:8,9,24 Generous giving is a tangible way to give evidence of the sincerity of ones love.

You put your money where your mouth is! "Oh, I just love Jesus-I have no time or money to put into the work of God, but I love Jesus..."

You say you love the missionaries and those they minister to-prove it!

Listen, no one has gone broke supporting missions.

*ILL. Broke, no food 2 muffins and $5.00 and called back into work the next day.

Principle #6: There is a connection between "the grace of God" and "the grace of giving"

John 3:16, For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

Our giving should be rooted in His giving, He gave it all.

Principle #7: (9:8) Grace giving moves God to supply more seed and meet all needs.

The needs are resupplied that the work may continue. I have made it a personal goal of mine to increase our families giving each year. God always supplies for our needs and we lack nothing. In fact we are left with more to give next time!

We love to quote Philippians 4:19, But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus. (that promise was given to a church, to a missions giving church!)

Principle #8: (8:12) The willingness to give is more important than the amount given-once you are willing, GOD WILL SUPPLY!

The widows mites. I’m looking forward to hearing what she had for breakfast the next day!

*ILL. A man in our church no job but determined to give. He got a job.

Principle #9: (8:13-15) The sufficiency of some to the deficiency of others. This is God’s economy. Some people and churches will need to supply for the needs of others.

We never turn away a church sent missionary. We have it written into our constitution.

Principle #10: (8:16-21) The spending of God’s money must be done with accountability.

Principle #11: (9:1-2) Generous, Spirit led giving will have a godly influence on others’ giving.

Principle #12: (9:7) The attitude in which your money is given is of utmost importance to God.

*ILL. $495.00 gross = $49.50 @ 10% Grudgingly give the extra $.50 or cheerfully give $75 or $100.

Principle #13: (9:11-14) Generosity will result in praise and thanksgiving to God

You give God glory when you support missionaries because they will thank God for the gift!

Principle #14: (9:15) Generous giving is the appropriate response to God’s unspeakable gift!

Let me leave you with this: If this message does not cause you to determine to give more to the church and to missions then you are a hearer of the Word and not a doer.

James 1:22-25, 22 But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. 23 For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: 24 For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was. 25 But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.

Beloved, ask God what He would have you to do in this regard.