Randall Caselman

Bella Vista Church of Christ

01/08/2017 A.M.

 

Budget Sunday

Giving – A Time Of Joy – Thanksgiving – And Praise

2 Corinthians 8.1-12   2 Corinthians 9.6-15   1 Corinthians 16.1-3

 

What a joy to be a part of this spiritual family.

 

There are many reasons to count our blessings as a church family in Bella Vista.

 

But perhaps the most appreciated is ourunity... The love that flows and the tie that binds us together.

 

Even though it is not perfect... Sometimes it’s stretched and strained… It is still beyond any other I’ve ever known.

 

May God bless us... As we work to protect this loving fellowship.

 

Secondly...We are blessed with... loving...Caring... Concerned… Shepherds.

Elders who have a genuine interest in our souls... And our ultimate salvation. Our Eldership is diligently working to involve every willing person in the Work of the Lord in this church.

 

I gotta tell you... It’s an awesome task to survey… every Deacon... every Ministry Leader... every Committee... asking what do you need?... Then taking these gathered figures from over 50 ministries into a realistic working budget for our family.

Elders... We thank you!... Amen?

 

Now… To us as a Church Family... This Budget represents a challenge

Will we accept the challenge?

If so... What Scriptural Principles must we apply to our Giving?

 

First...We give because it is commanded.

There’s not a person here this morning that doesn’t want to please God... Be obedient to Him... To worship Him in Spirit and in Truth... We wouldn’t be here if we didn’t... RIGHT?

 

Our God has always demanded giving in worship to Him...

• Cain and Able were commanded to give an acceptable sacrifice...

• Abraham paid tithes to his priest...Melchizedek.

• The children of Israel supported the poor... And the priesthood of Aaron...

 

In the New Testament... Paul clearly instructs the Corinthian church... And us to...

 

Give on the First Day of the Week... Giving is presented as a part of our Lord’s Day Worship.

 

To give as we have prospered... We are to count our blessings and give accordingly.

 

To give as we have purposed in our heart... Giving is to be planned... Decided in our heart...Purposing in our heart becomes a vow to God.

 

We are to give... Liberally...Generously... Paul reminds us of the law of sowing & reaping... If we sow sparingly... We will reap sparingly... If we sow generously... We will reap generously. Jesus said...Give and it will be given to you... Shaken down… Pressed together… And running over.

 

Our giving is to be done cheerfully... We’re not to give grudgingly or under compulsion... But freely... Cheerfully... We’re not to look at our giving as a taxation!

 

Here it is church... If you don’t feel good about the amount you give to the Lord weekly... Then you should change it... Either up or down... Because… God… Loves… desires Cheerful giving.

 

We are to give sacrificially... The New Testament teaches us that God has never been satisfied with a dead sacrifice... He has always desired a living sacrifice... He wants us.

 

And Church... When He has us... When we become His living sacrifice... His instrument of righteousness... Only then will our giving become sacrificial.

 

It was said of the Macedonian churches... that they gave sacrificially... Because they first gave themselves.

 

Secondly...Our giving is a means of saying... Thank You to God.

We must understand that we are not giving to… The preacher... The Elders... We’re not giving to just support a well-planned budget... We’re giving to God!

• God has given us...Life... Strength... and Health....

• God so loved us that He gave His only begotten Son to save us.

• Every good and perfect gift is from Him... Comes down from our Father God.

 

New Testament Scripture tells us that... His love… God’s love… compels us... Our KJ says... Constrains us.

 

God’s love demands that we thank Him by giving of our… time... Talent... Treasure... And energy... According to His truth.

 

We give because God promises to bless our generosity.

Listen to these scriptures that affirm such a faith statement...

 

Acts 20.35... In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: `It is more blessed to give than to receive.

 

Luke 6.38... Give,and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.

 

2 Corinthians 9.10-11... 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. 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.

 

God is saying... I will bless your generosity... May we individually and corporately as a church continue to Welcome and Enjoy this promise from God... AMEN?

 

Giving is an indication of our heart Health…Our religious motive.

Giving is not meant to be seen as a legalistic rule... But as a joyful expression of what’s going on in our heart.

 

Jesus said... For where your treasure is... There will your heart be also.

 

So… The question becomes… Do we treasure our Kingdom Relationship with God?... Do we?

 

When King David was collecting materials for building the TEMPLE... It was said of the people who gave... They rejoiced, for they had given willingly… Out of a loyal heart... (The King James says... With a perfect heart).

 

Giving is an indication of what’s going on in our heart. Our giving says... God I love you this much… However much that is!

 

Jesus said... If you love Me... You will give…You will keep my commandments.

 

We must know this morning that... We can give without loving... But we cannot love without giving.

 

Consider the Widow who gave a fraction of a penny... Jesus said... Many rich people threw in large amounts. But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins, worth only a fraction of a penny… I tell you the truth, 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.

 

You see church... The value of our offering is not determined by the amount we give... But by what’s going on in our heart.

 

Then finally... Our giving is a way of laying up treasures in heaven.

Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal... But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal.

 

We may not completely understand... Or be able to explain… These words from the lips of Jesus... But we do know that we can lay up treasures in heaven.

 

Jesus said... Not a cup of cold water will be given in My name without it’s reward.

 

Here is what we do know... Our giving counts... It makes a difference...Both here in this life and in our eternal reward.

 

So… Giving should be a time of… Joy… Thanksgiving… And Praise.

 

May God continue to bless our generous giving… Amen?

 

If you are here this morning and not a child of God... We give you the opportunity to join His Family Circle by being born again by… Faith...Repentance... And New Testament Baptism... Immersion in water for the forgiveness of your sins.

 

Perhaps we just need to examine our hearts this morning... Making sure we are giving God... those things that are rightly His… Becoming His living sacrifice.

 

Maybe as a baptized believer... You would like to become a part of this very special church family.

 

The Lord’s invitation & challenge is ours... As we stand and sing together.