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Giving To The Lord

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v      Three types of offerings:

Ø       Tithes – tenth of everything that we have  Malachi 3:8-12.

Ø       Offerings – Freewill gifts that we choose to sow into God’s work -  Acts of benevolence (acts of kindness and generous gifts.

Ø       First fruits – First of increase.  It is an acknowledgement of what God has done and what is expected.

 

 

2 Corinthians 9:5-7

(Amplified New Testament)5 That is why I thought it necessary to urge these brethren to go to you before I do and make arrangements in advance for this bountiful, promised gift of yours, so that it may be ready, not as an extortion [wrung out of you] but as a generous and willing gift. 6 [Remember] this: he who sows sparingly and grudgingly will also reap sparingly and grudgingly, and he who sows generously that blessings may come to someone] will also reap generously and with blessings. 7 Let each one [give] as he has made up his own mind and purposed in his heart, not reluctantly or sorrowfully or under compulsion, for God loves (He takes pleasure in, prizes above other things, and is unwilling to abandon or to do without) a cheerful (joyous, “prompt to do it”) giver [whose heart is in his giving].

(NLT)5 So I thought I should send these brothers ahead of me to make sure the gift you promised is ready. But I want it to be a willing gift, not one given under pressure. 6 Remember this—a farmer who plants only a few seeds will get a small crop. But the one who plants generously will get a generous crop. 7 You must each make up your own mind as to how much you should give. Don’t give reluctantly or in response to pressure. For God loves the person who gives cheerfully.

v      There’s a connection with the blessing and sowing.  This text implies that what and how much I reap is connected to what I sow.  I believe that God has a tremendous harvest in store for us.  I sense that the moves of God that we are experiencing is the first fruit of our harvest.

Ø       Requirementsof the first fruit is that we give it back to God.  We must find a way to give it back so that we can reap a full harvest.  (Excited about what God will do in 2002).

v      Giving must be willing and not as the result of pressure (Give or just give in).

Ø       Give according to need in order to further God’s work.

 

Chapter summary. Relationship with God is a personal, not a public kind of thing. Thus our acts of righteousness (6:1), our gifts of loving concern (vv. 2–4), and our prayers of devotion (vv. 5–8) are to be done “in secret” to please Him rather than to win a reputation for piety with our fellowmen. … The “in secret” relationship we have with God will transform our attitude toward others (vv. 14–15). We will put aside all hypocrisy, and our expressions of commitment will be directed to God rather than to others (vv. 16–18). An “in secret” relationship with God will free us to value heavenly rather than earthly treasures, thus transforming our values (vv. 17–24). Knowing God in the intimate, private, and personal relationship a child has with a father will free us from anxiety, for we will realize that our Father will meet our needs as we concentrate on doing those things that please Him (vv. 25–34).[1] –

·        {If I take care of God’s business He will take care of mine.}

[2]

 

Matthew 6:1-4 (NLT)1 “Take care! Don’t do your good deeds publicly, to be admired, because then you will lose the reward from your Father in heaven. 2 When you give a gift to someone in need, don’t shout about it as the hypocrites do—blowing trumpets in the synagogues and streets to call attention to their acts of charity! I assure you, they have received all the reward they will ever get. 3 But when you give to someone, don’t tell your left hand what your right hand is doing. 4 Give your gifts in secret, and your Father, who knows all secrets, will reward you.

·         6:2–4.  Greeks and Romans did not support personal charity; wealthy contributions to public projects or to poorer clients were meant to secure the giver’s popularity. In contrast, charity was central to Jewish piety; some writers even said that it saved a person, although later Jewish laws technically did not permit one to give over 20 percent above his tithes.  Some commentators have taken the trumpet sounding literally, but it is hyperbolic (people did not blow trumpets when giving alms) and may reflect a play on words (charity boxes were often shaped like trumpets). Not letting one’s left hand know about the right hand’s gift is clearly hyperbole. The language of “having” a reward “in full” is the language of repayment in ancient business receipts.

1 Corinthians 16:1-4 (NLT)1 Now about the money being collected for the Christians in Jerusalem: You should follow the same procedures I gave to the churches in Galatia. 2 On every Lord’s Day, each of you should put aside some amount of money in relation to what you have earned and save it for this offering. Don’t wait until I get there and then try to collect it all at once. 3 When I come I will write letters of recommendation for the messengers you choose to deliver your gift to Jerusalem. 4 And if it seems appropriate for me also to go along, then we can travel together.

v      Three types of offerings:

Ø       Tithes – tenth of everything that we have  Malachi 3:8-12.

Ø       Offerings – Freewill gifts that we choose to sow into God’s work -  Acts of benevolence (acts of kindness and generous gifts.

Ø       First fruits – First of increase.  It is an acknowledgement of what God has done and what is expected.

2 Corinthians 8:1-15 (NLT)1 Now I want to tell you, dear brothers and sisters, what God in his kindness has done for the churches in Macedonia. 2 Though they have been going through much trouble and hard times, their wonderful joy and deep poverty have overflowed in rich generosity. 3 For I can testify that they gave not only what they could afford but far more. And they did it of their own free will. 4 They begged us again and again for the gracious privilege of sharing in the gift for the Christians in Jerusalem. 5 Best of all, they went beyond our highest hopes, for their first action was to dedicate themselves to the Lord and to us for whatever directions God might give them. 6 So we have urged Titus, who encouraged your giving in the first place, to return to you and encourage you to complete your share in this ministry of giving. 7 Since you excel in so many ways—you have so much faith, such gifted speakers, such knowledge, such enthusiasm, and such love for us—now I want you to excel also in this gracious ministry of giving. 8 I am not saying you must do it, even though the other churches are eager to do it. This is one way to prove your love is real. 9 You know how full of love and kindness our Lord Jesus Christ was. Though he was very rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, so that by his poverty he could make you rich. 10 I suggest that you finish what you started a year ago, for you were the first to propose this idea, and you were the first to begin doing something about it. 11 Now you should carry this project through to completion just as enthusiastically as you began it. Give whatever you can according to what you have. 12 If you are really eager to give, it isn’t important how much you are able to give. God wants you to give what you have, not what you don’t have. 13 Of course, I don’t mean you should give so much that you suffer from having too little. I only mean that there should be some equality. 14 Right now you have plenty and can help them. Then at some other time they can share with you when you need it. In this way, everyone’s needs will be met. 15 Do you remember what the Scriptures say about this? “Those who gathered a lot had nothing left over, and those who gathered only a little had enough.”

                That your abundance may be a supply- is stated in KJV

v      Quantity is not the issue.  I always have something to give.

v      It begins with dedication to the Lord and dedication to the work.

What is sown looks nothing like what is harvested.

·         1 Kings 4: the Shunamite sowed good deeds and reaped a child and favor.

A cry must go forth – the widow cried to the Lord, the people with the pot cried to the Lord.

 

The Israelites were restricted from partaking of the barley harvest in any way until this offering was made. The statement instituting a lasting ordinance (v. 14) appears to unite the eight-day celebration of Passover/Unleavened Bread½arley firstfruits.

Giving for the building of God’s house:

Exodus 25:1-9 (NLT)1 The Lord said to Moses, 2 “Tell the people of Israel that everyone who wants to may bring me an offering. 3 Here is a list of items you may accept on my behalf: gold, silver, and bronze; 4 blue, purple, and scarlet yarn; fine linen; goat hair for cloth; 5 tanned ram skins and fine goatskin leather; acacia wood; 6 olive oil for the lamps; spices for the anointing oil and the fragrant incense; 7 onyx stones, and other stones to be set in the ephod and the chestpiece. 8 “I want the people of Israel to build me a sacred residence where I can live among them. 9 You must make this Tabernacle and its furnishings exactly according to the plans I will show you.

Exodus 30:11-16 (NLT)11 And the Lord said to Moses, 12 “Whenever you take a census of the people of Israel, each man who is counted must pay a ransom for himself to the Lord. Then there will be no plagues among the people as you count them. 13 His payment to the Lord will be one-fifth of an ounce of silver. 14 All who have reached their twentieth birthday must give this offering to the Lord. 15 When this offering is given to the Lord to make atonement for yourselves, the rich must not give more, and the poor must not give less. 16 Use this money for the care of the Tabernacle. It will bring you, the Israelites, to the Lord’s attention, and it will make atonement for your lives.”

2 Chronicles 2:1-6 (NLT)1 Solomon now decided that the time had come to build a Temple for the Lord and a royal palace for himself. 2 He enlisted a force of 70,000 common laborers, 80,000 stonecutters in the hill country, and 3,600 foremen. 3 Solomon also sent this message to King Hiram at Tyre: “Send me cedar logs like the ones that were supplied to my father, David, when he was building his palace. 4 I am about to build a Temple to honor the name of the Lord my God. It will be a place set apart to burn incense and sweet spices before him, to display the special sacrificial bread, and to sacrifice burnt offerings each morning and evening, on the Sabbaths, at new moon celebrations, and at the other appointed festivals of the Lord our God. He has commanded Israel to do these things forever. 5 “This will be a magnificent Temple because our God is an awesome God, greater than any other. 6 But who can really build him a worthy home? Not even the highest heavens can contain him! So who am I to consider building a Temple for him, except as a place to burn sacrifices to him?

1 Chronicles 29:1-19 (NLT)1 Then King David turned to the entire assembly and said, “My son Solomon, whom God has chosen to be the next king of Israel, is still young and inexperienced. The work ahead of him is enormous, for the Temple he will build is not just another building—it is for the Lord God himself! 2 Using every resource at my command, I have gathered as much as I could for building the Temple of my God. Now there is enough gold, silver, bronze, iron, and wood, as well as great quantities of onyx, other precious stones, costly jewels, and all kinds of fine stone and marble. 3 And now because of my devotion to the Temple of my God, I am giving all of my own private treasures of gold and silver to help in the construction. This is in addition to the building materials I have already collected for his holy Temple. 4 I am donating more than 112 tons of gold from Ophir and over 262 tons of refined silver to be used for overlaying the walls of the buildings 5 and for the other gold and silver work to be done by the craftsmen. Now then, who will follow my example? Who is willing to give offerings to the Lord today?” 6 Then the family leaders, the leaders of the tribes of Israel, the generals and captains of the army, and the king’s administrative officers all gave willingly. 7 For the construction of the Temple of God, they gave almost 188 tons of gold, 10,000 gold coins, about 375 tons of silver, about 675 tons of bronze, and about 3,750 tons of iron. 8 They also contributed numerous precious stones, which were deposited in the treasury of the house of the Lord under the care of Jehiel, a descendant of Gershon. 9 The people rejoiced over the offerings, for they had given freely and wholeheartedly to the Lord, and King David was filled with joy. 10 Then David praised the Lord in the presence of the whole assembly: “O Lord, the God of our ancestor Israel, may you be praised forever and ever! 11 Yours, O Lord, is the greatness, the power, the glory, the victory, and the majesty. Everything in the heavens and on earth is yours, O Lord, and this is your kingdom. We adore you as the one who is over all things. 12 Riches and honor come from you alone, for you rule over everything. Power and might are in your hand, and it is at your discretion that people are made great and given strength. 13 “O our God, we thank you and praise your glorious name! 14 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 have already given us! 15 We are here for only a moment, visitors and strangers in the land as our ancestors were before us. Our days on earth are like a shadow, gone so soon without a trace. 16 “O Lord our God, even these materials that we have gathered to build a Temple to honor your holy name come from you! It all belongs to you! 17 I know, my God, that you examine our hearts and rejoice when you find integrity there. You know I have done all this with good motives, and I have watched your people offer their gifts willingly and joyously. 18 “O Lord, the God of our ancestors Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, make your people always want to obey you. See to it that their love for you never changes. 19 Give my son Solomon the wholehearted desire to obey all your commands, decrees, and principles, and to build this Temple, for which I have made all these preparations.”

alms, gifts to the needy. Almsgiving is a common practice in the Bible that recognizes God’s blessings and maintains proper community relations. In the ot care for the poor is recommended (Prov. 14:21, 31; Isa. 58:6-8) as just behavior, required by the tithe for the poor every three years (Deut. 14:28-29) and the leaving of fallen produce at harvest for the poor (Deut. 24:19-22). The nt also recommends the traditional Jewish practice of almsgiving (Matt. 6:1-4), calling it by a word that comes from the Greek word for ‘mercy.’ The early Christian community cared for its poor (Acts 6; 2 Cor. 8-9) and the parable of the sheep and the goats (Matt. 25:31-46) makes final judgment depend on care given to the needy. See also Love; Poor.   A.J.S.


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[1]Richards, L. (1991). The Bible reader's companion. Includes index. (Mt 6:1). Wheaton, Ill.: Victor Books.

[2]Keener, C. S. (1993). The IVP Bible background commentary : New Testament (Mt 6:2-5). Downers Grove, Ill.: InterVarsity Press.

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