Sunday, November 11, 2007

Part 11 - Giving

INTRODUCTION

Matthew 6:1-4 – Giving to the needy

1 "Be careful not to do your 'acts of righteousness' before men, to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.

2 "So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. 3 But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, 4 so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.”

I. JESUS ADDRESSES PRIDE

1 "Be careful not to do your 'acts of righteousness' before men, to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.

a. Alms and righteousness

LIT GRK

Watch out, your righteousness is not done in front of men in order to be seen by them.

A serious matter of righteousness and the reason for your giving.

Giving is part of our righteousness. We know this because Jesus is saying so.

But everything is dealt with in our hearts.

Salvation and sin both take place in our hearts.

This is why Jesus tightened the Law so men would understand this.

The words we speak come from the overflow of our heart. Luke 6:45

Isaiah 64:6

All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags; we all shrivel up like a leaf, and like the wind our sins sweep us away.

If OUR righteousness is filthy rags, then how can WE be righteous?

1 Corinthians 1:30

It is because of him (God) that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption.

Because we act, not in OUR righteousness, because ours is filthy rags…But in Christ’s righteousness.

Our righteousness says “look at me everyone!”

Christ’s righteousness says … nothing. He does in the name of God.

b. Pride and giving

2 "So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full.

Giving in Christ’s righteousness or our own becomes a matter of pride.

As the Pharisees wanted to be seen…

Matthew 24:23-

23 "Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices—mint, dill and cumin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law—justice, mercy and faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former. 24 You blind guides! You strain out a gnat but swallow a camel.

They tithed to God, but had no justice, mercy or faith.

Jesus said tithe to God is meaningless if you do not live righteously!

25 "Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence.

Selfishness and pride.

27 "Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of dead men's bones and everything unclean. 28 In the same way, on the outside you appear to people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness.

Jesus goes on and on about them…

They are an easy target for those spiritually minded.

They DID, but not in righteousness.

Everything was done for the approval and praise of men.

c. Pride and humility

Matthew 5:20 – Jesus said

For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven.

II. GIVING

a. When you give

Jesus said “when you give”, in the Greek says “when you do your merciful deeds”

Two things to note here…

1 WHEN – Not “IF”

God expects you “TO DO”.

What fruit is coming from your heart?

2 MERCIFUL DEEDS – “this was meant as in addition to tithe”

Jesus rebuked the Pharisees because they tithed, but had no Justice, Mercy or Faith.

2 Corinthians 7:10-11 JUSTICE BECAUSE OF GOD

10 Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death. 11 See what this godly sorrow has produced in you: what earnestness, what eagerness to clear yourselves, what indignation, what alarm, what longing, what concern, what readiness to see justice done.

Hosea 6:6 MERCY BECAUSE OF GOD

For I desire mercy, not sacrifice, and acknowledgment of God rather than burnt offerings.

Hebrews 11:6 FAITH BECAUSE OF GOD

And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.

b. How you give

3 But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, 4 so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.” (LIT – will repay you publicly.)

First you tithe…

When the Pharisees tried to trap Jesus about paying taxes to the government, because they were still trying to get Him to do something illegal so they would have cause to kill Him, He answered in Matthew 22:21

"Give to Caesar what is Caesar's, and to God what is God's."

If you belong to a Kingdom, you support the operation of that kingdom in many ways. One way you support the kingdom is through financial support.

It is no different if you are a citizen of the Kingdom of Heaven.

But Jesus stated that there is more than just tithing.

He spelled it out in the beginning of the Sermon on the Mount.

Our behavior as citizens of the Kingdom.

And He spelled it out to the Pharisees, Justice, Mercy, Faith.

Remember, the Greek says WHEN you do your MERCIFUL DEEDS.

It’s not always about money.

It’s about showing mercy to those in their time of need.

c. Why you give

We must give out of obedience to God, and to have Mercy on others.

If we give for any other reason than Christ’s Righteousness, then we have our reward already on earth.

But God rewards those who are obedient, and committed to serving Christ and living His righteousness.

Those who show mercy for Christ’s sake will be rewarded by the Father.

CONCLUSION

What is the intent of your heart?

When you give, whether it be tithe or alms such as the Deacons offering, why are you giving?

10% is Old Testament

But you see, everything you have is God’s, that is, if you are committed to Him.

Some are required to give more, some are required to give less.

But more and less is relative to the individual.

Mark 12:41-44

41 Jesus sat down opposite the place where the offerings were put and watched the crowd putting their money into the temple treasury. Many rich people threw in large amounts. 42 But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins, worth only a fraction of a penny.

43 Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, "I tell you the truth, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. 44 They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything—all she had to live on."

Many give out of their wealth…

But the widow gave ALL, having faith in God.

2 Corinthians 9:6-8

6 Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. 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. 8 And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.

The widow was more generous than those who gave out of their wealth.

She gave more in the eyes of God.

It’s not a question of “how much of my money am I going to give in tithe and for alms?”

The question is, “How much of God’s money am I going to keep for myself?”

Everything is a heart decision with God.

Salvation and sin take place in the heart.

Giving for the right reason takes place in the heart.

What you should give takes place in the heart.

And the Righteousness you do, must come from the heart.

For the right reason.

It must be Christ’s righteousness we live, not our own.

From the heart.

Luke 6:45

The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For out of the overflow of his heart his mouth speaks

If we are storing up good in our heart, then good comes out…

If we are storing up evil…

What is in your heart today?

Speaking on the parable of the sower and the seed Jesus said in Luke 8:11-13

…The seed is the word of God. 12 Those along the path are the ones who hear, and then the devil comes and takes away the word from their hearts, so that they may not believe and be saved…

The Word of God is what is stored up in our hearts when we read and study and pray…

If you have heard the Word, but the devil has taken that seed from you…

If you are having trouble being committed to Christ…

If you do not know if you are saved…

Come forward and I will pray with you.

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