Green Valley Sermons

Why "Give" To The Church?

Sunday, May 27, 2018        

2 Cor 9:7 Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. (NIV)

Why should you give to the church?

Because you are part of the team!

Because you believe in the mission of the church!

Because this is one way you can be part of helping others know the truth that God loves them and He has a plan for their life, He is their Lord.

Because you love God and you want to honor Him!

2 Cor 9:7 Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. (NIV)

What do people mean when they say, “Follow your heart?”

As far as our society goes, what is your heart? How do you “decide in your heart what to give”? Let’s look at an illustration from our Seven Areas of Life Training.

Do you remember the illustration about the Soul? Within our inner being is our soul. This is who we are. If we are in Christ, we are alive to God, we have a relationship with Him and He interacts with us within our soul.

The soul consists of mind, will and emotion. The mind is our cognitive, logical thought processor. For some our mind is very systematic, for others it may be less so, but we all think and reason. We have a mind.

We also have emotions. This is the part of us that feels: good, bad, loved, unloved, sorrow, loving, unloving, joy, happiness. We all have feelings.

Then we have the will. This is the deciding part of us. We make decisions.

Some of us make decisions primarily on the basis of the mind, what we think. Others are more into making decisions on the basis of how or what we feel. The will is where we make decisions.

Truth has both a logical, mind aspect and also an emotional, feeling aspect.

What is the basis of the decisions you make? Our souls are influenced by the world and the flesh, or by God. Who do we listen to? Do we give more weight in our decision making to what God says is true, or what the world and the flesh say is true?

When it comes to making decisions this is the choice we need to make. Will we listen to God or to the world and the old man, that is, who we were before we had God’s influence in our lives?

Does God care WHY we obey Him? Does God care why we give to Him or His work in the church?

What is our motivation? Why do we do what we do?

Think about the great commandments. What was Jesus saying when He said the greatest commandment is to love God?

The most important question we can ask ourselves about our giving is this? Am I giving because of the benefits I will receive if I give, or am I giving because I choose to love God by my giving?

Do I give because of how it looks to other people? This is the flesh! Or do I give because I know it will bring honor and glory to God? This is the Spirit’s influence, this is the real you. Are we motivated to give by the flesh or by the Spirit?

Do we give out of fear of punishment, or do we give because we love and trust God and want to do all we can to promote Him and His kingdom in the world?

Could it be that this was what God was saying through Paul as he wrote this verse?

2 Cor 9:7 Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. (NIV)

God cares about why we do what we do. Is our obedience based on fear of punishment, or on love for God and love for other people? Whether we are talking about money, or anything else in life: why do we do what we do?

Are we walking in the flesh, caring more about ourselves, or are we walking in the Spirit, caring more about God and what He is trying to do in our lives and in the lives of those around us?

Let’s think about last week’s message for a moment. I spoke about stewardship. Stewardship is the understanding that we do not own ourselves, or our possessions. Everything belongs to God. We are His servants to do what He wants us to do for the purposes that He has for us and for our things. Stewards manage someone else’s property.

If we understand and accept the truth that God owns everything, we must come to the conclusion that we are stewards who use our time, our talent, our things, everything, for the owner, for God.

When we accept this truth, we will begin seeking what is important to God and begin living as if He is Lord. We will seek His will and His purpose for the decisions we make in life.

When Jesus said the greatest commandment is to love God, we must take this as our main, our number one, purpose in life. When we love Him, we accept His love for us, we trust that He loves us, and we accept Him as Lord of All. This is how we love Him.

Does God want you to give to your local church? I would have to say a resounding, “Yes, God wants you to give to your local church!”

As a congregation of God’s people, we are gathered here for one reason: to glorify God. He calls us to follow Him, to be His disciples. If you are here, and you know this is where God has called you to worship, you are part of God’s plan to win this community for Christ.

We are called to help people to know, number one, that God loves them and number two, that He is Lord. We have expenses to cover as we carry out this work. We need your help in meeting those expenses.

We also need your help in being part of the process of planning and carrying out the work that God wants us to do. Giving money is just one way you become an active part in the work of the local church. It is a very important part.

When you decide to give, our enemies (the flesh, the devil, and the world) will try to convince you that you cannot afford to give to the church. Do not listen to the enemies of our soul, the enemies of God.

If God wants you to give, He will make it possible for you to give. However, He may not make it easy. He wants you to learn to trust Him. He wants you to learn to walk in obedience to Him. He wants you to do so because He loves you and He wants you to love Him.

Colossians 3:23 and 24 says: 23 Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, 24 since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving. (NIV)

If you are part of this church, if this is your church, God wants you to work at helping to make this congregation what He wants it to be. This means you will get involved in the ministry and work of this congregation. It means you will support this congregation as God leads you to support it. It means you will give what God leads you to give to enable this congregation to do the work of making disciples in this community.

Folks, we are at war. The enemies of God, the enemies of the church, your enemies want to make you and your church ineffective in carrying out the great commission, that is, making disciples. Are you doing your part to see this work, this ministry, become what God wants it to be?

Give as you have decided in your heart to give. How do you do that? Listen to God and give as He leads you to give. Listen to what God is saying to you about getting involved in the ministry of this congregation. When enough of us are doing so, this congregation will thrive and become the lighthouse in our community that it should be.