Home > FBCH > Sunday AM Remix – 12-04-11

Sunday AM Remix – 12-04-11

December 5, 2011 Leave a comment Go to comments

“In Generosity” 

* Just because there are things we have possession of … doesn’t necessarily make them our things.

* The Bible says that we own nothing, but are stewards of many things.

* One of the marks of a spirit filled church and spirit filled christian is Generosity. Look at these verses,

“Give generously to the poor, not grudgingly, for the Lord your God will bless you in everything you do.”  Deuteronomy 15:10 (NLT)

“The wicked borrow and never repay, but the godly are generous givers.”  Psalm 37:21 (NLT)

“Light shines in the darkness for the godly. They are generous, compassionate, and righteous.”  Psalm 112:4 (NLT)

“The generous will prosper; those who refresh others will themselves be refreshed.”  Proverbs 11:25 (NLT)

“Blessed are those who are generous, because they feed the poor.”  Proverbs 22:9 (NLT)

“But generous people plan to do what is generous, and they stand firm in their generosity.”  Isaiah 32:8 (NLT)

* REMINDER: Generosity is not about stuff, it’s a reflection of your heart.

* QUESTION: When it comes to possessions and generosity, where is your heart? Does it drift toward the things of the world or the things of God?

 * REALITY: Many times we don’t like to talk or think about generosity because it hurts.  However, when the Lord speaks and it hurts or you don’t like it, it indicates and an area that is unhealthy and needs to be healed.

 TWO THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT GENEROSITY 

1.  Generosity defeats MATERIALISM.

* Every time you give generously your heart grows.

“You cannot serve both God and money.”  Matthew 6:24b (NIV)

2.  Generosity makes me MORE LIKE GOD.

 * It’s part of the sanctification process. Every time we give we become more like Him.

 ‘For God loved the world so much that He gave His one and only Son . . .’  John 3:16a (NLT)

* TRUTH: You can give without loving, but you cannot love without giving.

* When God is living on the inside of you, you think generous thoughts!

* When you realize nothing is yours, it’s easier to be generous! Ex. If its someone else’s money, it’s easier to give away.

 “But who am I, and who are my people, that we could give anything to You? Everything we have has come from You, and we give You only what You first gave us!”  1 Chronicles 29:14 (NLT)

 “The earth is the Lord’s and everything in it.”  Psalm 24:1 (NLT)

* When we get angry and defensive about being generous we take for-granted all the things God gives us.

* What if God started to take away everything he let’s us use?

LEVELS OF GENEROSITY

Level #1:  Generous people start with A TITHE.

* The Hebrew word for tenth = Ma`aser

* This is the most basic form of generosity.

‘”A tithe of everything from the land, whether grain from the soil or fruit from the trees, belongs to the LORD; it is holy to the LORD.”’   Leviticus 27:30 (NIV)

 * A tithe is a tenth of everything that comes in.

 * In scripture it’s the first tenth that we are supposed to give.

 * You can rob someone without harm simply by withholding something from them.

* When you neglect to tithe you rob (withhold what is his) God.

‘Will a man rob God?  Yet you have robbed Me! But you say, “In what way have we robbed You?”  In tithes and offerings.  You are cursed with a curse, for you have robbed Me, even this whole nation.   Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be food in My house, and try Me now in this,’  Says the LORD of hosts, ‘If I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you such blessing that there will not be room enough to receive it.’  Malachi 3:8-10 (NKJV)

* Some would say that this is Old Testament and now we are under grace so it doesn’t apply. However, like one pastor said,  To give less under grace than the law is a disgrace.

* God has given us a tithe to know where generosity begins. This is his way of teaching us how to be generous.

* We use the excuse that we don’t have enough to tithe … Can we really afford to rob or steal from God?

* QUESTION: Are you a tither? What are the challenges or blessings you have seen in tithing? What is one thing you would say to someone wanting to grow in this area?

* Old Testament Temple = New Testament Church

* You can designate your offering but not your tithe.

* We do this so there may be food in the house. In other words we do this so ministry can go out.

* INTERESTING STAT: If every church member in the US was put on welfare but everyone tithed off of that check, every church in the US would experience a 30% increase in income.

* God can do more with 90 percent than you can do with 100 percent! God will take care of you!

* The only place that God dares us to challenge Him is in our giving.

Level #2:  Generous people give WILLINGLY.

“Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.”  2 Corinthians 9:6-7 (NIV)

* The Greek word for cheerful = Hilaros. This is the attitude we should have when giving.

* Generosity is not about the amount, but the attitude.

* Sometimes we are more convicted about what we give or don’t give instead of the condition of our heart.

 “In the midst of a very severe trial, their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity. For I testify that they gave as much as they were able, and even beyond their ability.”  2 Corinthians 8:2-3 (NIV)

* When your attitude is right, God will make sure the amount is right.

Level #3:  Generous people give SACRIFICIALLY.

* This is where we give even when and  tho it hurts.

 “But the king replied to Araunah, ‘No, I insist on paying you for it. I will not sacrifice to the LORD my God burnt offerings that cost me nothing.’”  2 Samuel 24:24 (NIV)

* Our God is a sacrificial God and He expects us to be giving sacrificially to make us like Him?

* QUESTION: When was the last time you gave and felt it?

* God is crazy to love us the way he does and when we give sacrificially it shows him how crazy we are about Him.

 “Calling His disciples to Him, Jesus said, ‘Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything—all she had to live on.’”  Mark 12:43-44 (NIV)

* Where are you today? What is God asking you to give?

SMALL GROUP DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

1.  What’s the most generous thing anyone has ever done for you?  What is the most generous thing you’ve done in the last month?

2.  Read the following Scripture passages, and talk about the commands and promises concerning generosity.

Deuteronomy 15:10, “Give generously to the poor, not grudgingly, for the Lord your God will bless you in everything you do.”

Psalm 37:21, “The wicked borrow and never repay, but the godly are generous givers.”

Psalm 112:4, “Light shines in the darkness for the godly. They are generous, compassionate, and righteous.”

Proverbs 11:25, The generous will prosper; those who refresh others will themselves be refreshed.”

Proverbs 22:9, Blessed are those who are generous, because they feed the poor.”

Isaiah 32:8, “But generous people plan to do what is generous, and they stand firm in their generosity.”

3.  Read Matthew 6:24.  Why do you think so many people struggle with greed and materialism?  What area of your life do you struggle to be generous?

4.  Pastor Bob said when we struggle to be generous with what God has given us it’s a sign we are really struggling with ownership.  Do you agree?  Why or why not?

5.  Read Leviticus 27:30 and Malachi 3:8-10.  What is a tithe?  Do you think tithing is for New Testament Christians today?  Why or why not?  Do you think God has lowered His standard of generosity from Old Testament days to the New Testament times?  What does that mean for us today?

6.  What are the promised blessings of tithing and consequences of not tithing?  Have you experienced either of these in your life?

7.  Read 2 Corinthians 9:6-11.  What are some of the principles of giving that we learn in this passage?  In what area do you do well?  In what area do you need to improve?

8.  Have you ever given sacrificially to the Lord?  Do you think God ever calls us to do this?  Why or why not?

9.  How do generosity and financial planning fit together?

10.  What is the clearest thing God is saying to you through this study?

MUSICAL WORSHIP SET

Salvation Is Here – Houston

Go Tell It – Davis

God Is Able – Morgan & Fielding

I Surrender All

We hope that you found Sundays Message and following Small Group Questions helpful. If you missed this weeks message, I encourage you to get it here.  While you are there, browse around our website … we think you will like it and find it to be a great tool in inviting friends to FBC Harvester.

As always, I hope you make plans to join us at FBC Harvester next weekend! If distance is a problem, you are always welcome to listen to any of the teachings from our worship service on our website. If you have questions, please feel free to contact us here. We would love the privilege of helping where we can and seeing God do amazing things in our lives together.

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  1. December 5, 2011 at 12:43 pm

    In Nehemiah 10:37 we learn that the firstfruits were taken to the temple for the priests, and the tithes were taken to the Levites who lived in the Levitical cities. Therefore, we see that firstfruits have nothing to do with the tithe.

    THE FIRST TITHE
    Leviticus 27:30-33 defines this tithe as a tenth of crops and animals in herds and flocks.
    Numbers 18 gives the ordinances, or instructions, for this tithe, and commands this tithe be taken to the Levites.
    Purpose of this tithe: to support the Levitical Priesthood.

    SECOND TITHE
    Deuteronomy 14:22-27: aka The Festival Tithe – a tenth of crops, plus add to that the firstborn animals, and take for the yearly feast.
    Purpose of this tithe: “that thou mayest learn to fear the LORD thy God always”

    THIRD TITHE
    Deuteronomy 14:28-29: aka The Three-Year Tithe aka The Poor Tithe – a tenth of crops, kept at home, and invite the Levites, widows, orphans, stranger to eat.
    Purpose of this tithe: to feed the poor.

    The ONLY people in the Old Testament that were commanded to tithe were those who INHERITED THE PROMISED LAND WITH EVERYTHING ON IT. They got the land, house, animals, crops, etc. ALL FREE AND CLEAR. No mortgage payment or rent to pay. And THEY were commanded to tithe on the crops and animals and take it to the Levites who INHERITED the tithe INSTEAD OF the promised land with everything on it. No one else tithed. Wage earners did not tithe. Jesus did not tithe as a carpenter. Paul did not tithe as a tent maker. Peter did not tithe as a fisherman.

    Therefore, giving did not begin at 10% for wage earners.

    When God gave the Israelites the promised land, he RESERVED, for Himself, a tenth of the crops and every tenth animal. They NEVER did belong to the Israelites. In other words, the tithe was from God’s increase of FOOD, not from man’s income. It was a way to distribute FOOD to the Levites and priests who did NOT inherit any land.

    No one, not even the farmers, tithed on their income.

    The farmers made their income by SELLING and/or barter-exchanging their crops and animals but did NOT tithe on that income.

    Today, ALL born-again believers are priests. ALL of us are called to be deciples of the Lord. No one of us is higher than another. Our bodies are the Temple where the Spirit dwells. According to the scriptures, priests do not tithe.

    The New Testament teaches generous, sacrificial giving, from the heart, according to our means. For some, $1 might be a sacrifice, while for others, even giving 50% of their income might not induce a sacrifice. In the Old Testament, ONLY the farmers tithed, and it was equal percentage (a tenth). The New Testament teaches the principle of equal sacrifice instead of equal percentage. Equal sacrifice is much harder to achieve, if not impossible, than giving ten percent.

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