2nd Corinthians – Wayne Barber/Part 33
|By: Dr. Wayne Barber; ©2006|
|We’ve been talking about the grace of giving and this is part 4 of that series. Today we want to talk about the effectiveness of grace giving. What effect does grace giving have on other people?|
The Effectiveness of Grace Giving – 2 Cor 9:1-5
Turn with me to 2 Corinthians 9. We are entering a brand new chapter. Paul stays on the same subject he’s been on. But it’s 2 Corinthians 9:1-5 today. We’ve been talking about the grace of giving and this is part 4 of that series, and probably a couple more before we get out of that and move into chapter 10. Today we want to talk about the effectiveness of grace giving. What effect does grace giving have on other people? “The Effectiveness of Grace Giving.”
You know, the word “give” is a word that most of us don’t want to hear if we’re not walking in the Spirit. It is used 267 times in the New Testament, out of which 143 of them are in the gospels. Giving is one of the most important words in the believer’s life. Why is that important? Because it is rooted in the love that the Holy Spirit produces in our life. Grace giving—I want to make sure we get this—grace giving is Christ living His life in and through us. It is the demonstration of what we call around here “living grace.” “Jesus, be Jesus in me, no long me but thee; resurrection power, fill me this hour, Jesus, be Jesus in me.”
How do you know He’s doing that? When you see a giving heart you know Jesus is operating in that person’s life. It’s God’s heart to give. Now say it with me, you know the verse very well, John 3:16. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life.” At great cost, but that was the heart of God and now it’s reflected in you and in me.
Last week we finished chapter 8 and we saw how sound and solid grace giving is even in the 21st century. We saw the provision of grace giving. We learned that grace giving is the only way that you can absolutely mark it down that your needs will be met later on. When you’re willing to cooperate with God, give yourself to Him, hear from Him, and you’re willing to give, you can count on your needs to be met, not your wants, but your needs to be met whenever they come up.
I heard the story of a farmer who learned to give and then learned to give even more. His friends came to him and said, “How do you do it? You give so much yet you always have so much.” And he said, “The only thing I can figure is I shovel into God’s bin and He turns around and shovels back into my bin, but His shovel’s bigger than mine.” That’s the way it works. In verse 13 of chapter 8 Paul shows us that giving is not so that other people’s life might be made easier. That’s not what it’s all about; while at the same time we give so much we can’t even pay our bills, that’s not it.
He says in verse 13, “For this is not for the ease of others and for your affliction, but by way of equality.” The word “equality” there is the key, and it means “that which is fair, that which is equitable to all.” You see, those who receive from those who have are not free from giving to others when they get back on their feet. What goes around comes around and this is the way the body responds to each other. In verse 14 he explains it out, “at this present time your abundance being a supply for their want, so that their abundance also may become a supply for your need, that there may be equality.” That we might learn that giving is reciprocal. The poor saints in Jerusalem were in dire straits, but there would come a time when the saints in Corinth might be too. And if the Corinthians were willing to give in their time of abundance, then they could count on the fact that God would prompt other believers, maybe even the saints in Jerusalem, to give of their time of need.
Again, grace giving is the only way to ensure that our needs would be met. I got an email this past week from a dear one in this church and in his quiet time he said he had already come across that. He said, “That’s a biblical principle. It runs all the way through Scripture.” Yes, it does. He said, “Proverbs 11:24-25, ‘There is one who scatters and yet increases all the more, and there is one who withholds what is justly due and yet it results only in want. The generous man will be prosperous and he who waters will himself be watered.’” It’s all through Scripture.
We looked at Luke 6:38 last time; we looked at many other verses. It’s everywhere in Scripture. So the provision in grace giving is sound, it’s rock solid because it’s based upon what God says. The precaution in grace giving is that we never hoard what God has given. Now, that’s a tendency we have. You see, there’s a fine line between saving up—you know Proverbs talks about the ant in the summer saves up for what it might have to endure during the winter; there’s nothing wrong with that—but there’s a fine line between saving up and then putting your trust in your savings rather than putting your trust in the Lord Jesus Christ. That’s a fine line and I can’t make that line drawn; you’re going to have to let the Holy Spirit do that in your life.
Verse 15, “as it is written, ‘He who gathered much did not have too much, and he who gathered little had no lack.’” And Paul quotes from a story that took place in the book of Exodus and he tells the story of how the children of Israel in the wilderness could not find food and so God so beautifully gave them what is called manna. The word for manna, it was a little thin, white, flakey stuff that came down in the morning. It was just enough for what they needed for each day. They had to trust God every day, not just one day and store it up. They didn’t have too much, they didn’t have too little. And some people needed more than others, some people needed less than others. They were told not to leave any of it lying on the ground to store it up. You always have those “in case God just forgot because He’s old anyway and He’s got a lot on His mind. Maybe He’ll just forget so we better store some up and at least have a snack between meals.”
Well, you know the story. It’s human nature all over again. They didn’t listen; what’s new? And they ended up with rotten, maggot-infested manna. And what God was teaching them was that we are to never store up what God has given with no intent of sharing with others in the body of Christ. But we’re to totally give of ourselves to the Lord and understand that we’re trusting Him; we’re not trusting our money, we’re not trusting our jobs, He is our Provider and whatever He’s given to us, we ask Him what He wants us to do with His money that he’s entrusted to us.
From what Paul teaches in 2 Corinthians 8, it seems that God is not so concerned with how much we give because you’ve got the widow who gives her mite and you’ve got the rich man’s gift. Here’s what He’s concerned with: He’s concerned with how much is left over. Whatever God chooses to allow us to live in abundance, you can write it down, there is somebody that you need to bless. There is somebody that you need to help out. Always it’s that way in the body of Christ because you’re going to go through season of abundance and you’re going to go through seasons of lack.
But we also saw the protection in grace giving. Verses 16-24, Paul outlines the character of three men that were going to go down and pick up this offering in Corinth. Titus was one of them; we don’t know who the other two are, and it’s good to review this because it’s going to come up again in chapter 9. It was like Paul’s little finance committee and these three teach us a lot about the character of those who are going to handle God’s money. They were people who, first of all, had a God-given burden to serve God’s leaders. They wanted to come alongside Paul and help him and assist him in carrying out the burden God had put on his heart. Secondly, they had a burden for the whole message of the gospel, not just that people get saved. That’s certainly very, very important but also the fact that people learn living grace, not just saving grace but living grace. Thirdly, they had a desire to see God not man glorified in the giving of His people. Fourthly they had a reputation for honesty, and fifthly they had a cooperative spirit and I thought this was so beautiful. It came out so clearly, to work with Paul, not lord over Paul.
Well today we come into chapter 9 and I want to tell you it just keeps getting exciting. I love it, in this matter of grace giving. And like I said, we’re going to talk about the effectiveness of grace giving. And some effects that the giving has and some effects that refusing to give has on the body of Christ.
The act of grace giving is contagious
First of all, the act of grace giving is contagious. I want you to see this. If you look at verse 1 of chapter 9, “For it is superfluous for me to write to you about this ministry to the saints.” Now the word “superfluous” is the Greek word perissos, and it means “over and above.” It’s more than enough. One Greek scholar said it could be translated “it is not necessary or there is no purpose.” And so Paul says it is not necessary, there is no purpose to write to you about this ministry to the saints. The phrase “to write to you” is in the present tense which better translated means “to keep on writing to you.”
It is not necessary; it serves no purpose for me to keep on writing to you about this ministry to the saints. Now the ministry to the saints he refers to is that offering we’ve been talking about. It wasn’t just Corinth that was going to be giving to it. Other churches at other places were giving to it; but it was an offering to the poor saints in Jerusalem and it was a very special time of offering. He doesn’t have to keep on telling them what the offering was about. Why is that? Because only a year before it was the wealthy Corinthians that not only knew about the offering, but they set the pace in their giving. They said, “We’re going to give to this offering. We’re going to give generously to this offering.”
The problem is, they haven’t come through yet. Possibly the reason he had to even bring it up, they knew about it, was because he knew something about the flesh; he knew something about human nature. All of us are great starters, boy, we’ll start in a minute. Most of us, sadly enough, are poor finishers. Paul possibly sensed that all the enthusiasm they had to give, even though they hadn’t given yet to the poor saints in Jerusalem over the period of time, maybe because of the complaints that came towards Paul, the criticism that was false towards Paul. Somehow all that enthusiasm had ground to a halt.
Now we must remember that in chapter 8, how Paul had used the Macedonians. Now the Macedonians were poor people, and he used the impoverished Macedonians to encourage the Corinthians to give. That was what he was talking about in chapter 8. You don’t know it until chapter 9, but this is interesting; oddly enough, it was the enthusiasm of the wealthy Corinthians that caused the Macedonians to want to give in the first place. We didn’t know that. He says in verse 2, “for I know your readiness, of which I boast about you to the Macedonians, namely, that Achaia has been prepared since last year, and your zeal has stirred up most of them.”
The word “readiness” is the Greek word prothumia, which means “eagerness, willingness of mind to do something.” Paul said, “I know your willingness. I know your eagerness and willingness to give.” And it appears from this that it wasn’t the heart to give as much as he’s dealing with here as somebody needed to go and help them take up the funds. I thought about this when I was studying this. I’m always willing to take out the trash but I sometimes need a little prompting from my wife, who is the Holy Spirit’s helper; between her and the Holy Spirit I haven’t got a chance, to take it out. It’s not that I’m not willing to do it; I just haven’t gotten around to it. And that’s kind of what I get out of this.
By mentioning Achaia, Paul evidently includes them in the sphere of influence that the church of Corinth has had, not just on the Macedonians. The Achaeans, they’re ready to give; they’ve already got their offering ready. The point is that Paul says that the zeal of those Corinthians a year ago to give generously had stirred up most of them. I like what he says, “most of them,” not all of them. Why wouldn’t it be all of them? Because giving is never the most popular subject to people that are fleshly minded.
The word “stirred up” is the Greek word erethizo, which means “to provoke, to excite, to stimulate.” The intention to give that was expressed by the Corinthians had become contagious to those in Macedonia and to those in Achaia. It excited others to give. Now, let me ask you a question today. How many of you have been around somebody that really has learned the lesson of giving and has gotten in on that divine cycle of God of how you give and it comes back and you give back and it has so excited you that you wanted to give? You see, that’s part of how the body responds to each other.
In 1981 my Mama went to be with the Lord. I was in Mississippi, and I had my little 73 Buick that would overheat 30 miles from home. Air condition never worked on that thing. I didn’t know how I was going to get home. My Mama had asked me to do her funeral and I didn’t know how I was going to get the whole family there. We didn’t have the money and my car wouldn’t make it there. We’d looked into rental cars.
I got a phone call one night from one of our deacons He said, “Doris and I have been praying and we want you to take our car. I know what kind of car you have. I want you to take our car.” You have to understand what I’m saying here. It was brand new. I told him on the phone, “I can’t do that. It’s brand new. Nobody let’s anybody borrow their brand new car.” He said, “It’s not my car, it’s God’s car. God gave it to me and I guarantee you part of the reason is for you to use it on this particular trip. Now you just receive what God’s put on our heart to give to you.” We cried. I went over to his house and left my car with him. That was a real trade.
I got in that car driving back home and I’m thinking it’s like riding on air. It’s wonderful. The air conditioning worked; the radio had big nice speakers and all that stuff. But right before we left his driveway he said, “Here’s something else. You’re going to need gas, you’re going to need a place to stay, you’re going to need food. Here’s my credit card and don’t you worry how much you put on it because I’m going to take care of it. God has told me to do that.” And I want you to know that, to this day, that continues to excite within us. I remember the first time I ever had a brand new car and somebody asked me to borrow it. Without a question I let them borrow it. Why? Because it’s not my car and you know who taught me that? Calvin and Doris in Mississippi.
You see, when you give you don’t understand how many people are being blessed by it. This is part of what the body of Christ is supposed to be doing. It says in Hebrews 10:24, it uses the same word, “and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds.” The apostle Paul is trying to tell the church of Corinth, “Man, you don’t understand. When you got so excited to give to those poor saints over in Jerusalem God so stirred within your heart, you were the ones that excited the Macedonians and they have given even beyond what they were able to give.” But you see, he’s trying to tell them something. That was a year ago and Paul doesn’t want the Corinthian believers now to be so embarrassed in front of the other churches when they were the ones who incited the others to give in the first place.
So the bottom line is that grace giving in its desire and in its follow through is contagious. When God speaks to your heart and you express the desire to give, you have to know others are going to be blessed by that. You don’t do it so that they can be blessed by it. You do it because God told you to do it; but it’s going to get contagious. When people start giving it gets contagious and other people are watching. The effect of grace giving is that it’s contagious to others in the body of Christ.
The refusal of grace giving is confusing
Well, the second thing that I want you to see is that the refusal of grace giving is confusing. I hope you can see from what we’re going to look here in the text how confusing and humiliating it is when God’s people refuse to give. You’ve heard that little commercial; I can’t remember who sponsors it, about people doing the stupidest thing. You know what I’m talking about? And they cut the tree down and it falls on his car. He tries to stop it and the little kid trying to swing a baseball bat and he throws it and it goes through the back glass doors. People do the stupidest things.
You talk about stupidity in the body of Christ. You can’t get any worse than that when a person refuses to give. We don’t know the damage we do to our testimony through the body of Christ when we refuse to give. And especially when we don’t follow through with what we told other people we would give.
When one doesn’t give as God intends it’s humiliating, it’s shameful to the whole body of Christ. Look at verse 3, “But I have sent the brethren, that our boasting about you may not be made empty in this case, that, as I was saying, you may be prepared.” Now the brethren he speaks of again are those three men, including Titus but two obviously we don’t know who they are. Now he’s sending them to make sure the Corinthians are not put to shame when they come for the offering. Paul is coming with a little group, a little entourage and he sends these three to make sure that offering is ready when he gets there.
Verse 4, “lest if any Macedonians come with me and find you unprepared, we (not to speak of you) should be put to shame by this confidence.” You see, what they had said they wanted to do they didn’t do, and hadn’t done until that point. Paul said, “It’s going to be embarrassing, especially if some of those Macedonians come with me.” Now Paul doesn’t tell exactly who travels with him in 2 Corinthians; we really don’t know. But we do know Acts 20:4 names the people that travel with Paul most of the time and probably they were with him when they went to get that offering.
Acts 4:20 says, “And he was accompanied by Sopater of Berea,” Berea was in Macedonia, “the son of Pyrrhus; and by Aristarchus and Secundus of the Thessalonians,” that was also in Macedonia, “Gaius of Derbe,” that was Galatia, “Timothy; and Tychicus and Trophimus of Asia.” So that was at least three Macedonians that accompanied him most of the time when he made his travels.
Now can you imagine, if that’s true, and evidently he suggested it will be, if these Macedonians were with Paul and they’re walking down the road going to Corinth to see what that offering is going to be. And they’re so pumped, they’re so fired up and they’re thinking, “We gave beyond our ability but these are wealthy people. What are they going to give? We can’t wait to get there and to see what their offering is going to be. Man, this is going to be some kind of offering.” And they get there and there’s no money in the plate. Oops. And you see how that reflects back on the Corinthians?
Paul knows how much discouragement this would cause if the Corinthians had not done what they had said. So he sends the three men already mentioned to make certain that they’re ready. He doesn’t want himself and the Corinthian church to be put to shame. Otherwise “if any Macedonians come with me and find you unprepared, we (not to speak of you) should be put to shame by this confidence.” The word “shame” is the word kataischuno; kata intensifies it. It’s a real heavy word; it’s the word that means to “be confounded first of all, dishonored, and disgraced.” The root idea is to be so humiliated that one shrinks back and tries to find a place to hide from shame.
Let’s put it where we live. Ever wonder who is watching you and your giving? Your Grandmom, your Granddad? What are we teaching our children? Are the little ones who are following our example, are they seeing the giving spirit in our heart because Christ lives in us? Are you sending a contagious message by the way you give or are you causing them to be confused with what you say versus what you do? This is always for all of us. You see, we talk big, all of us talk big. Talk is cheap; we’ve got to back up what we say. And I want to tell you this from my heart. The giving here is wonderful; I’m just trying to say something. When a church budget for instance, has to suffer because people won’t give, that is a humiliation to the body of Christ. And I want us all to accept that responsibility. It’s a shame; it’s a sham upon Jesus being Jesus in us. It makes us nothing more than a cold, mechanical religion that does things to impress others before we try even to impress God. That’s all it is.
But when it’s a relationship, when we’re walking with God, I guarantee you those things that God wants to do through His church, the needs will be met and we will never be ashamed when we let Jesus be Jesus in us. It’s terrible. The act of grace giving is contagious; it stirs the hearts of other believers to do what is right. The refusal in grace giving is confusing; it brings shame and disgrace when the church refuses to give for whatever reason. Especially what they have said they would give.
The heart of grace giving is clear
And then finally, the heart of grace giving is clear. Now when I say clear, I mean it’s clear of any ulterior motive. It’s clear of any fleshly greed. What Jesus does in our hearts is pure and when He does it there’s no strings attached. That’s the word haplotes when it talks about the gift of giving. It says it means liberality but it doesn’t mean that. It means to give it without any strings attached because God told you to do it.
Verse 5, “So I thought it necessary to urge the brethren that they would go on ahead to you and arrange beforehand your previously promised bountiful gift, that the same might be ready as a bountiful gift, and not affected by covetousness.” Now once again, the term “the brethren” again is those three guys. And you remember there’s another group. I just want to make sure you have it in your mind. Three are going to go ahead, make sure they’re prepared, and then there’s another group coming, of which will be some Macedonians, with Paul.
But you can see how much Paul cares for these people because he’s not going to be a benefit out of this. This is all going to some people in need. But Paul doesn’t want to see them embarrassed and humiliated when people around them know how much they have but how little they choose to give. That’s him loving those people. “So I thought it necessary to urge the brethren that they would go on ahead to you and arrange beforehand your previously promised bountiful gift.” Now, that little word “bountiful gift” is one word in Greek. It’s the word eulogia, and it means “the act of blessing someone.” It’s used for praise; when you praise God it’s eulogia. It’s to speak well of something. But it has the idea of blessing somebody, of bestowing upon somebody a blessing. The word occurs twice in two successive phrases. The one I just read and then if you continue in the verse, “that the same might be ready as a bountiful gift.” He uses it twice.
Now using this word is special, and the translation really doesn’t pick up on it, because it involves a beautiful promise. No believer can participate in grace giving—which is bestowing a blessing on somebody and most of the time they don’t deserve it—and not be blessed themselves. You can’t participate in grace giving and not be blessed yourself. Grace giving blesses both the giver and the one who receives the gift.
Paul points to the fact that the Corinthians would now experience God’s blessing for having given. Again it’s abundant, it’s a bountiful gift. In Acts 20:35 it says, “In every thing I showed you that by working hard in this manner you must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He Himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’” You say, “You’ve already talked about that. Our needs will be met.” No. Yes, that will take place, but what he’s talking about here is richer than that. It’s when you participate; this is Christ in you, it’s not you doing it for Him, it’s Christ in you, you get to experience Him for yourself. There’s something amazing that takes place when a person gives under the lordship of Christ when God tells him to give and he does what God tells him to do, then immediately he gets to experience the fullness and the richness of the presence of God in his life.
That is far richer than to have your needs met; that’s wonderful, but to walk in the power of God. Paul said that in Philippians. He said, “I want to know Him.” I thought you knew Him, Paul. “I want to know Him experientially.” And the only way you can know Him experientially is to obey Him. And when you obey Him He manifests His presence in your life. That’s the essence of what living grace is all about and I want to tell you something: when you start living that way it is so contagious. Your flesh would say, “Oh no, I can’t do that.” But you put the flesh down and you did what God said and now you can experience Him.
Yes, your needs will be met, but this is far greater. You see, the reason I bring that out is because Paul continues and makes a very important point. Grace giving is never affected by the fact that you will receive a blessing back. That’s not why you do it. It’s only motivated by Christ living in you. You want to see Him glorified; you want to see Him living in it through your life. Now the reward of that is going to be experiencing Him. But you don’t do it for that reason; you do it so that He might be glorified. There’s no agenda. There are no strings. “God, now You have to do this because I did that.” No, no. He puts a phrase at the end of that verse to qualify it. He says, “and not affected by covetousness.”
Now the word “covetousness” is a word pleonexia, which basically means “greed.” That’s what it means. Greed, the very essence of greed, is selfish, stingy; something, an agenda, that you want for yourself. Whatever it is, whether it’s money back or whatever it is, there’s a string attached and “not affected by greed.” What he shows here is there are going to be two kinds of giving. What he’s doing here is bringing up the trap that many fall into who give because of a selfish motive, of a greedy motive. They want something in return; they want something back.
I served a church once and got a letter from an individual and he said, “Listen, if you don’t do this and this, you don’t know who you’re talking to, buddy. We have the money in this church and we’ll just withdraw our money and we’ll show you who we are. We’ll show you real quickly who we are.” That’s what he’s talking about. Greed, I want something back from it. I’m going to give but I have a purpose behind it; I have a string attached to it.
Ask Dr. Charles Stanley about that. When he went to First Baptist Church of Atlanta and a guy walked up and hit him in the face and knocked him down on television and 400 people, the richest people in the church, came to him and said, “You don’t know who we are, but in this envelope we’ve got enough money to take care of you and your family for the next several years, but you must resign and leave tomorrow.” And Charles Stanley said, “I can’t do that. You can fire me and ask me to leave. That’s between you and God, but God has not told me to leave yet.” And on a given Sunday morning 400 and some people got up at the First Baptist Church of Atlanta and walked out the back door in defiance of who He is. And that was when the church began to grow like it had never grown. Because God is not honored, it’s a shame for anybody to ever give with a string attached.
And Paul’s trying to show that there are two kinds of giving. It’ll be in a church. There are people who give their money as power. There are people who give their money for an agenda. And he says, “Oh no, no, no. Grace giving is not that. Grace giving is the pure clear motive of just wanting to see Jesus glorified because you have honored Him and then the fullness of His presence and His blessing begin to exude out of your life and people know you don’t have an agenda. You just want to see God honored.
You see, that’s the contrast Paul draws here. No matter how much a person gives, if his motive is wrong, it’s never, ever recognized by God. Because you see, greed is idolatry. Colossians 3:5 says, “Therefore consider the members of your earthly body as dead to immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed, which amounts to idolatry.” This is the contrast. And we need to see that today and those of us that want to walk with God and see Him glorified have to remember that when we give with a purity of motive of our heart, no credit we want back, just Him to be glorified, that’s contagious.
And we need to understand that we’re going to be sitting beside people and walking with people in the church that won’t give, they have agendas when they do give, and yet we want to be contagious to them. So we keep on doing what God tells us to do, but don’t get beat up when you find out people don’t have that kind of motive behind their giving. It was going on in Corinth and Paul wanted to make sure they were clear of any kind of thing of fleshly, selfish greed.
Well, when we first give of ourselves to the Lord which the Macedonians taught us in chapter 8, when we understand that God owns it all, and we just want to live under His Lordship and God tells us to do with what He’s loaned to us and we do it in His name and in His power, the rest is history. The rest is history. And the testimony of the church begins to rise. These people love God. These people trust God.
So the act of grace giving is contagious. The refusal of grace giving, for whatever reason, is confusing. And the heart of grace giving is clear. It’s clear and clean of anything of the flesh.
In conclusion, over the centuries there are a lot of people who have discovered this and they’ve written some things to help us in our day and I thought I’d just read a few of them to you and bless your heart today. A merchant of St. Petersburg at his own cost supported several native missionaries in India and gave liberally to the cause of Christ at home. On being asked how he could afford to do it he replied, “Before my conversion when I served the world and self I did it on a grand scale and at a most lavish expense. And when God, by His grace, called me out of darkness, I resolved that Christ and His cause should have more than I ever spent for the world. And as to giving so much, it is God who enables me to do it. For at my conversion I solemnly promised that I would give to His cause a fixed proportion of all that my business brought in to me. And every year since I made that promise it has brought me in about double what I did the year before, so that I can easily give as I do and I double my gifts for His service.” That’s one testimony over the years.
John Bunyan tells us, “A man there was, some called him mad. The more he gave the more he had.” And then there was an inscription on a tombstone that says, “What I gave away, I saved. What I spent, I used. What I kept, I lost.” I heard somebody say one time, “I’ve never seen a hearse pulling a U-Haul.” And then one dear saint wrote and over the centuries it’s been recorded, “Giving to the Lord says another is but transporting our goods to a higher floor.” And says a noted pastor, “In defiance of all the torture and malice and might of the world, the generous man will ever be rich for God’s providence is his estate, God’s wisdom and power his defense, God’s love and favor his reward, and God’s Word his security.”
Let me just ask you that question today as we bring our service to a close. How’s your giving? You say, “I’m not going to give.” Well, I’m sad because you’re going to have to deal with God about what He gave to you, about what He wants to do with it. You know, living grace is giving grace. Living is giving. If Jesus cannot be Jesus in me, then I’m not being a giving person. A person who says he’s walking with God and loves Him and spends what he makes at the same time, that’s an oxymoron. It will not fit Scripture. So let God speak to your heart.
I don’t know what to do except just preach God’s Word and let God’s people respond out of a heart that loves Him. That’s all I know. But whether it be here or someplace else, you be giving. You be giving and I’ll guarantee you one thing: if you give as God tells you to give, you can expect to walk in the fullness of His presence in your life like you have never known.