Faithlife
Faithlife

40 Days of Vision - 4 Heart and Treasure - offerings

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INTRO:

ANNUAL BREAKTHROUGH OFFERING TODAY

As we approach what I’m believing to be a HOLY moment this morning, I want the Scriptures to be a reminder to us of the power of ONE!

Four ways you can give this morning:

1.     Give a cash gift.

2.     Make a pledge for a later date.
You may have finance coming available at a later date.

3.     Give a cash gift and making a pledge for a later date.

4.     Make a 12 mth giving pledge.
You can spread it out over time as it becomes available to give to God’s work.

All Cheques can be made out to ELIM Christian Centre – City church.

The Power of “ONE”

Throughout biblical history and modern day history we discover the “power of ONE”.

One LIFE – Jesus changed history by his death & resurrection, David Livingstone – missionary extroadinaire – Africa will never be the same again, YOU!

One moment – Elijah’s zeal and passion calls down fire from heaven to consume the sacrifice

One Day – You wake up one morning something happens in your life that changes things forever. Joshua speaks and the sun stands still until God’s people have vengeance on their enemies.

The Power of ONE DECISION - “I do” at marriage. Prostitution Law Reform, which was passed by one vote.

TODAY – The Power of One OFFERING!

Children of Israel – commanded to stop bringing their offering to build the Tabernacle

Ezra – rebuilds the temple with incredible giving from God’s people which leads to a REVIVAL.

Nehemiah – rebuilds the walls of Jerusalem in 52 days through dedicated giving of themselves

David – weeps with joy over the offering given to build the 1st Temple in Jerusalem

Jesus amazed at the offering of the widow’s mite in the local synagogue.

The POWER OF ONE OFFERING.

q                 We are believing today that this offering will enable us to completely re-roof our building and stop any further damage caused by leaks.

q                 To help finish off the brick room (for outreach to youth, international services, etc – flooring, paint and sound.

q                 Giving us much needed finance to upgrade our equipment for office staff and Sunday services.

To give us further MOMENTUM!

We are believing for $88,000 today to fulfill these goals.

Remember last week – How did the people rob God?

In tithes and offerings!

Malachi 3:8 (NKJV) "Will a man rob God? Yet you have robbed Me! But you say, 'In what way have we robbed You?' In tithes and offerings.

God offers us to test Him and try him in breaking this curse by giving our TITHES and OFFERINGS to his work!  Today if this is your FIRST offering to the LORD you are about to test HIM and see if He will not open the windows of heaven and pour out for you such blessing that you will not be able to contain it!

Exciting!

MONEY is a TOOL

This means it can be used by anyone for GOOD or for EVIL.

Another misquoted verse from the bible :

Money is the root of all evil!    NOPE!

1 Ti 6: 10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.(NKJV)

Many in the church and out of the church have pierced themselves with sorrow over the desire or love for money.  This is called GREED!

Let me take you to some powerful teaching in the word of God on the place money can take in our lives:

Mammon
Matthew 6:24 (NKJV) "No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.

Hhmmm!  What is mammon?  Whatever it is, it is possible to serve that instead of God.  But Jesus goes further than this:  he says it is impossible to serve both at the same time.  You will either LOVE ONE and HATE the other – loyal to one and despise the other!

Mammon is an Aramaic word that essentially means ‘riches’.  Mammon is a spirit that can come around our life that essentially tells us:  “Man doesn’t need God, you can have riches, riches will get you what you want, you don’t need God when you can have riches!”

When you serve Mammon – you cannot serve God!

On the other hand – money that is submitted to God and His purposes has the spirit of God on it – which is why it multiplies and cannot be consumed by the devourer.
I’m convinced that money that has been submitted to God – wealth that is devoted to serving Him rather than trying to replace Him – is blessed by God.  In a very real sense, God’s spirit blesses it.

Money that doesn’t have the spirit of God on it will attract a spirit of greed, selfishness and covetousness on it – a manifestation of the spirit of MAMMON.

Money that has the Spirit of God on it can transform the world

Matthew 6:19-21 (NKJV) 19 "Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; 20 "but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 "For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

Question:  Can I take my money with me when I die?  NOPE.  BUT you can send it on ahead!

When you use the money that God has entrusted to you, for righteous purposes, we are laying up treasure in heaven!

This is why the enemy of our souls works so hard to corrupt and distort our thoughts about money!

The DEVIL knows that God can take TEMPORAL money and turn it into ETERNAL SOULS.  He knows that the more money we give away to God’s eternal purposes – the more we give to church, missions, people – the MORE people are going to get SAVED, the KINGDOM of GOD can be advanced and the Kingdom of darkness will DIMINISH!

The Power of Generosity

Illustrate: Why is it so hard to learn to part with the money in our care with an attitude of generosity? 

Let me illustrate – does anyone here have a $100 bill – thankyou.  This bill represents what we exchange for our life.  We work – so many hours a week, and in exchange for our life we are rewarded with money. Therefore our money represents our life.  God then wants to teach us how to be generous with our life, because our money is our life!

Carefully place $100 bill in my pocket.

Let’s look at a powerful Scripture in Proverbs:

24 There is one who scatters, yet increases more; And there is one who withholds more than is right, But it leads to poverty. 25 The generous soul will be made rich, And he who waters will also be watered himself. Proverbs 11:24-25 (NKJV)

‘..there is one who scatters, yet increases more…”

Jesus taught in this regard:

38 Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you.” Luke 6:38 (NKJV)

‘..the same measure you use..’ – little measure, little measure comes back, larger measure, larger measure returned.

God encourages generosity and also warns of STINGINESS or a MISERLY attitude:

“..And there is one who withholds more than is right, But it leads to poverty..”

The Lord warns us all of false boasting when it comes to offerings:

14 Whoever falsely boasts of giving Is like clouds and wind without rain. Proverbs 25:14 (NKJV)

Do not come EMPTY-HANDED before the Lord:

16 “Three times a year all your males shall appear before the Lord your God in the place which He chooses: at the Feast of Unleavened Bread, at the Feast of Weeks, and at the Feast of Tabernacles; and they shall not appear before the Lord empty-handed. 17 Every man shall give as he is able, according to the blessing of the Lord your God which He has given you. Deuteronomy 16:16-17 (NKJV)

JOHN D. ROCKEFELLER - THE FIRST BILLIONAIRE: The very first person to reach the status of billionaire was a man who knew how to set goals and follow through. At the age of 23, he had become a millionaire, by the age of 50 a billionaire. Every decision, attitude, and relationship was tailored to create his personal power and wealth. But three years later at the age of 53 he became ill.  His entire body became racked with pain and he lost all the hair on his head. In complete agony, the world’s only billionaire could buy anything he wanted, but he could only digest milk and crackers. An associate wrote, "He could not sleep, would not smile and nothing in life meant anything to him." His personal, highly skilled physicians predicted he would die within a year.  That year passed agonizingly slow. As he approached death he awoke one morning with the vague remembrances of a dream. He could barely recall the dream but knew it had something to do with not being able to take any of his successes with him into the next world. The man who could control the business world suddenly realized he was not in in control of his own life. He was left with a choice.  He called his attorneys, accountants, and managers and announced that he wanted to channel his assets to hospitals, research, and mission work. On that day John D. Rockefeller established his foundation. This new direction eventually led to the discovery of penicillin, cures for current strains of malaria, tuberculosis and diphtheria. The list of discoveries resulting from his choice is enormous.  But perhaps the most amazing part of Rockefeller’s story is that the moment he began to give back a portion of all that he had earned, his body’s chemistry was altered so significantly that he got better. It looked as if he would die at 53 but he lived to be 98.  Rockefeller learned gratitude and gave back from his wealth. Doing so made him whole. It is one thing to be healed it is another to be made whole.

 

Three principles in the giving our Offerings:

1.      Bring your Offering out of a Willing Heart

1 Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying: 2 “Speak to the children of Israel, that they bring Me an offering. From everyone who gives it willingly with his heart you shall take My offering. Exodus 25:1-2 (NKJV)

This is WORSHIP. A begrudging attitude robs you and God from what can be an incredible act of worship.

Deut 15: 10 You shall surely give to him, and your heart should not be grieved when you give to him, because for this thing the Lord your God will bless you in all your works and in all to which you put your hand.(NKJV)

This passage God instructs His people on giving to the poor. When you decide to willingly give to the LORD two things may happen: 

  1. A bout of selfishness may restrict your gift
  2. After you have given, you may grieve in your heart thinking of what else you could have spent with that money if you had kept it.

 

WARNING:  Big-ticket sales people are taught about something called buyer’s remorse.  This term refers to something that often happens to people who spend a lot of money on one item, such as a car or a house.  They often get a PANICKY what-have-I-done feeling after the excitement wears off and they often try and return the item the next day.

A similar thing may happen to you after the Holy Spirit prompts you to give to an offering – you need to guard your heart before and after you give an offering.  If we are filled with regret after being a blessing, does that please God?  NOT AT ALL.

 

So how can we combat this in our giving?

Answer:  Get a proper perspective on “your” money.

Unveil the $100 bill.  Some of you have already been thinking, “Ps James are you going to give that $100 bill back! I hope you’re not going to keep it!”

The gentleman was so quick to bring me $100 without knowing why I needed it because I gave it to him before the service telling him I would ask for it at a given point.  Now let me illustrate this point:

The reason the man gave it to me promptly when I asked for it was because it was mine in the first place. He experienced no grief, remorse or emotional conflict about giving me the money. Why? Because he knew it wasn’t his.

The same is true of everything we have.  It is all God’s and we merely exercise stewardship over it.  When we get God’s perspective on money – when we understand that God owns it all – it is easy to give it when He asks for it.  We give it willingly and freely, and we don’t have to grieve over it.  We understand that it wasn’t ours in the first place!

TABERNACLE OFFERING:  The people so caught the spirit of this offering for the tabernacle that they had to restrain them from bringing their gifts to the Lord:   Exodus 36:3-7

 

2.    Refuse Cheap Offerings

2Samuel 24:21-24 David refused Araunah’s offer to be gifted the land and oxen for an offering that God required from him – ‘…nor will I offer burnt offerings to the Lord my God with that which costs me nothing…’

King David later on gave extensively to the 1st TEMPLE building offering out of his own treasury:

3 Moreover, because I have set my affection on the house of my God, I have given to the house of my God, over and above all that I have prepared for the holy house, my own special treasure of gold and silver: 1 Chronicles 29:3 (NKJV)

David had set his affection on God’s house – therefore there was no debate about his willingness to give sacrificially to God’s house.

Jesus commended the widow for her offering of 2 mites, even though it was a small monetary value – particularly in comparison with the wealthy that put in much out of their abundance. Why was she then commended? Because she refused a ‘CHEAP offering’.

When we as a church are moving forward in God and God is looking to us to provide for his work – let us ask this question “Have we done what we can?”

3.    Expect a Fresh Encounter with God

In many accounts throughout the Bible men encountered God afresh around an offering:

Noah after the flood:

20 Then Noah built an altar to the Lord, and took of every clean animal and of every clean bird, and offered burnt offerings on the altar. 21 And the Lord smelled a soothing aroma. Then the Lord said in His heart, “I will never again curse the ground for man’s sake, although the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth; nor will I again destroy every living thing as I have done. Genesis 8:20-21 (NKJV)

Children of Israel in building the Tabernacle of Moses:

21 Then everyone came whose heart was stirred, and everyone whose spirit was willing, and they brought the Lord’s offering for the work of the tabernacle of meeting, for all its service, and for the holy garments. Exodus 35:21 (NKJV)

King David – a building offering for the 1st Temple:

16 “O Lord our God, all this abundance that we have prepared to build You a house for Your holy name is from Your hand, and is all Your own. 17 I know also, my God, that You test the heart and have pleasure in uprightness. As for me, in the uprightness of my heart I have willingly offered all these things; and now with joy I have seen Your people, who are present here to offer willingly to You. 18 O Lord God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, our fathers, keep this forever in the intent of the thoughts of the heart of Your people, and fix their heart toward You. 1 Chronicles 29:16-18 (NKJV)

Solomon’s Temple:

2 Chronicles 5:1 (NKJV) So all the work that Solomon had done for the house of the LORD was finished; and Solomon brought in the things which his father David had dedicated: the silver and the gold and all the furnishings. And he put them in the treasuries of the house of God.

2Chron 5:11-14

Priests consecrated themselves and as they played their instruments and sang the glory cloud came down and they could not stand up – they fell down under the glory of God

Alabaster Jar incident

Matthew’s gospel chpter 26 tells us Mary poured this perfume all over Jesus head.

John’s gospel chpter 12 tells us that she anointed his feet and wiped them with her hair.

I tell you, she was having an encounter with Jesus that day. She had counted the cost, began at Jesus’ head and then humbled herself and wiped his feet with oil and the very strands of her head as she prostrated herself at Jesus feet in fresh encounter after giving away a $35,000 offering!

CONCLUSION

We are now going to take up our Breakthrough offering. In just a moment I’m going to ask the Musicians to have the honour of placing their offering first as they approach the platform to minister in song, when the rest of us will follow. Immediately after we invite you all to stay behind for a drink in our Café.

This is a time of worship, a time of HONOUR to our God.  We encourage you today to bring your offering and place it in the Lord’s treasury at the front. This may be cash or your pledge – place it in the treasury as an act of worship.

Music team 1st

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