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It's In the Seed

Pleasing God through Giving  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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It’s In The Seed

2 Corinthians 9:6-
2 Corinthians 9:6–15 ESV
The point is this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work. As it is written, “He has distributed freely, he has given to the poor; his righteousness endures forever.” He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness. You will be enriched in every way to be generous in every way, which through us will produce thanksgiving to God. For the ministry of this service is not only supplying the needs of the saints but is also overflowing in many thanksgivings to God. By their approval of this service, they will glorify God because of your submission that comes from your confession of the gospel of Christ, and the generosity of your contribution for them and for all others, while they long for you and pray for you, because of the surpassing grace of God upon you. Thanks be to God for his inexpressible gift!
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. 9 As it is written:
“He has scattered abroad his gifts to the poor; His righteousness endures forever.”
10 Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness. 11 You will be made rich in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God. (,NIV)

INTRODUCTION

John D. Rockefeller was the richest man in the world during his lifetime and the first American billionaire. Adjusted for inflation, he might have been the richest man to ever live. His early life was literally consumed with money as he had a personal goal of earning $1 million per day.
Despite his overwhelming wealth, Rockefeller had severe health challenges including alopecia (loss of hair) and persistent insomnia. He could only consume crackers and milk due to his poor digestive health. At the age of 53 and with the best physicians in the world available to him, John D. Rockefeller was given one year to live.
His medical condition baffled the best medical minds. However, Rockefeller illness was not physical, it was spiritual. He was literally being eaten alive by greed and the ruthless pursuit of more. When ask how much is enough he’d reply, “A little bit more.”
The turning point for John D. Rockefeller’s life was when his faith became more significant than his finances. A devout Baptist who occasionally served as the church’s janitor, philanthropy became Rockefeller’s life focus. He was influenced by this dictum of John Wesley –“Gain all you can, save all you can, and give all you can.”
There is a verse that best describes the transformation of Rockefeller’s life – “No one can serve two masters. For you will hate one and love the other; you will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money” (,NLT). Against all odds and the prognosis of the best doctors money could buy, John D. Rockefeller lived to age 97.
There is no subject in the Bible emphasized more than stewardship. It is the believer’s responsible management of what God has entrusted the believer with. Stewardship is also the believer’s investment of one’s talent, time, and treasure in the kingdom of God. Paul employs the natural laws of the harvest in this passage to teach the manner in which we are to give and God’s response to persons who give.

1. The Laws of the Harvest

2 Corinthians
2 Corinthians 9:6 ESV
The point is this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.
1. The identity principle – We always reap “WHAT” we sow
Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap.
Galatians 6:7 ESV
Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap.
2. The intensity principle – We always reap “HOW” we sow
Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. (6)
3. The investment principle – We always reap “AFTER” we sow
The yield always comes after the initial investment
4. The increase principle – We always reap “MORE” than we sow Man can count the seeds in an apple but only God can count the apples in a seed

2. The Practice of Giving

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.
2 Corinthians 9:7 ESV
Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.
1. Giving is a matter of the heart
a. If the objective of your life is gaining, you can never gain enough
b. If the objective of your life is giving, you can never give enough
2. Our gifts comes from one of three places:
a. Head – When people give from their heads, there is a usually need to control the gift. It is generally for their “self aggrandizement”. They give just enough.
b. Hand – When people give from their hands, there is a need to count their gift. It is basically to honor their commitments or debts. They give only what is required.
c. Heart – When people give from their hearts, the intention is simply to contribute a gift. It is for the joy of giving as a person gives more than is required.
3. Our motivation should be the “liberality” not “legality”
a. The term “grudgingly” or “reluctantly” speaks to the giver’s attitude
b. The phrase “under compulsion” speaks to the giver’s amount
4. Believers are encouraged to joyfully give beyond the minimal established by the Law – “God loves a cheerful giver.”

3. The Relationship Between Grace and Giving

1. Giving is an act of grace
But just as you excel in everything--in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in complete earnestness and in your love for us--see that you also excel in this grace of giving.
2 Corinthians 8:7 ESV
But as you excel in everything—in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in all earnestness, and in our love for you—see that you excel in this act of grace also.
2. God’s grace makes it possible for us to have what we need to invest in “every good work”
2 corinthians
2 Corinthians 9:8 ESV
And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work.
a. If you have the heart to give, God will make sure you have the substance to give
b. There is no blessing in Scripture anywhere for the person who chooses not to give (however, there are curses!)
3. God will never allow us to demonstrate more grace than Himself
(NIV)
Luke 6:38 ESV
give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you.”

3. Promises to the Giver

2 Corinthians 9:6–11 ESV
The point is this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work. As it is written, “He has distributed freely, he has given to the poor; his righteousness endures forever.” He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness. You will be enriched in every way to be generous in every way, which through us will produce thanksgiving to God.
Why I'm Glad My Church Needs Money By Don Linscott
“I wish we didn’t talk so much about money,” is a comment I have often heard while working with churches to raise funds for their important purposes. I understand the sentiment but hold an opposing viewpoint. In fact, I hope my church always needs money. Here is why.
My son, Lance, was born before it became acceptable for the father to be present in the delivery room. (A fact for which I have always been grateful!) I waited in the hallway just outside the delivery room. At precisely 4:13 p.m., I heard the unmistakable cry of a newborn baby, Lance’s first sound. The nurse emerged with a smile and said, “You have a baby boy.” Only a new father can know the wonder of those words!
The wonderful glow of fatherhood was soon dimmed, however, when I was asked to visit the business office of the hospital. They wanted me to pay for Lance! In fact, it seemed to me that my child might be held hostage until the hospital bill was settled.
I wrote the check paying all the expenses in full, freed my family, and we made our escape. That check turned out to be only the first of hundreds, maybe thousands, I would write on Lance’s behalf. Children are expensive. There was formula and food to buy. Doctor visits and vaccinations assaulted my banking account. Diapers and toys took their toll. And clothes were a constant drain. Just when he would get a good wardrobe, he would grow a smidgen and we would have to start all over.
As Lance’s age and size increased so did the expenses. Soon it was baseball gloves, Nike shoes and uniforms. Then he needed glasses for his eyes and braces for his teeth. And then, disaster struck. Lance became a teenager! Now it was cars, electronic gadgets, and cool clothes.
Then came college. Lance had always, and only, wanted to be an architect. To me it seemed he would be in school until he was forty‑two years old. Expenses soared! Tuition, books, and drawing tools led the long list of essential expenditures.
But, of course, just like loving fathers everywhere, I was happy to be able to help him and I did all I could to support his growth and his dreams. I never thought of these expenses as “sacrifice.” I was his Daddy and was prepared to give everything possible toward his life and dreams.
And then, one day, Lance died.
On a bright, beautiful, and horrible Halloween Day, twenty-one-year-old Lance was buried in his church’s little country cemetery. That afternoon I walked away from his grave and since that day I have never spent another nickel on Lance.
That is how I learned it. Death is cheap. Death can be sustained without expense. It is living that is costly. It is growth that is expensive. Our dreams, visions, and hopes require resources. Death doesn’t! And that is why I am glad my church needs money. A living, growing, thriving church will always require the continual, consistent, and conscientious financial support of its members. And that’s the church I want to belong to.
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