North Anderson Baptist Church
Being a Good Biblical Steward Helps Break the Bonds of Darkness
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  • North Anderson Baptist Church
    2308 N Main St, Anderson, SC 29621, United States
    Domingo 10:30 AM
We have placed in the bulletin a small sheet much like the ones you have seen this month on giving. This one talks about remembering the One who set you free from slavery. You might say, “What slavery was that? I have not been a slave.” The Bible says that you have and all of us have been slaves to sin. When Jesus Christ came to this world he came for one reason and that was to die for your sins so that He may set you free because sin enslaves us. The Bible says each of us has sinned, (Romans 3:23), and the one who enslaved us is satan. God looked down on the world He made and said it is time to break into history and send My Son to die for all mankind so they might know my love and be freed from the bondage of sin. So Jesus set us free from sin and our little insert basically says that since He freed us we ought express our thanksgiving for what He did. Since we are talking about Biblical Stewardship the insert suggests that we ought to express out thanksgiving by giving a tithe to the Kingdom of God. How will you express your thanksgiving for being set free from sin?

We have been speaking about Biblical Stewardship in the context of “pushing back the darkness” and we would say one of the ways a Christian expresses their thankfulness for what Christ has done for us is to give back financially from what He has given us. That is a good starting place! If we want to help others find the freedom from sin and break the sin bondage in others lives, we should give money toward helping that to happen in the lives of others.

Let’s look at our Scripture for this morning regarding our topic.
There are concepts that you will see in these verses that you and I need to comprehend and take note of. See if you can recognize them in the message today and apply them to your life: ***The grace of God, generosity, sacrificial giving, dedicating oneself to the Lord, the grace of giving.
Notice that verse 1 tells us that there were “churches” that gave an offering because of ***the grace of God. Last week we talked about the church of Philippi giving to Paul and his ministry but here it seems that “multiple churches” gave of their financial means to help with a special offering that Paul was taking up for the impoverished believers who lived in Jerusalem. Who were these believers in Jerusalem? Paul was taking a collection for those Christians who lived in the Jerusalem area who have been persecuted and hurt by those who were against the Christian faith. When a person became a Christian, they might lose not only their families but their jobs and professions and they would be alone and without means to survive. The Jewish population did not hold well to Jews leaving the religion of their ancestors to follow this “heretic, Jesus Christ.” When Paul had gone back to Jerusalem on occasion he saw the extreme poverty they were in. Remember when Peter preached, there were some 3,000 who came to know Christ on the Day of Pentecost. The start up church would have then held many who could not care for themselves and the overall finances of the first church there in Jerusalem would have been stretched thin. In Acts 2:45, “They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need.” Luke describes the situation where some sold their possessions and property to help those in need.

Who were these churches that gave to “the collection?” We know that the church at Philippi was in that area of Macedonia as well as the churches at Thessalonica and Berea. Those churches were the ones Paul referred to when he told the church at Corinth about ***the grace of God being upon “the churches.”

Then we read from Paul that those churches were also in great poverty and experienced severe trials themselves and yet, because of ***that great grace from God, joy was overflowing in their hearts and that brought about the desire from them to give ***“in rich generosity” to other believers who were suffering.

As a church are we responding like the churches in Macedonia to situations where there is great need?
Verse three through five speaks of the fact that the three ***church’s gifts were given out of their love for the Lord, those gifts were sacrificial in nature and were beyond their ability to give. All that they did came out of their own desire to give to God and not because Paul urged them to give, but they pleaded for the privilege to give. Life Application Bible Commentary says, “The point of giving is not so much the amount we give, but why and how we give.”

Many times when we give an offering we do so not really thinking much about it, but the Macedonians ***“first gave themselves to the Lord” and then decided what to give. Is it any wonder that they gave beyond what they thought they could give! They were obediently listening to the Lord who gave His grace freely among them; His gift stimulated their desire to give even more than they thought they could give. Paul was so excited that he could see the fruit of all that he had taught, knowing the Holy Spirit had told them to surrender their lives to God first and then do what was spiritually right in regard to their offering before the eyes of the Lord. Paul then saw that they gave themselves, as well, to Paul and his team, What rejoicing there must have been.

Paul then writes to the church that he had instructed Titus, reading in verse 6, to encourage the Corinthians to respond to ***the grace of God in like manner. The church is reminded by Paul that they excelled in many things, which always is good to hear and the Paul lists those things: “in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in complete earnestness and in love.” But Paul, seeking to motivate them gives one last encouraging thought…***see that you excel in this ‘grace of giving.’

Once again from the Life Application Bible Commentary, “Paul wanted them to also be leaders in giving. Giving is a natural response of love. Paul did not order the Corinthians to give, but he encouraged them to prove that their love was sincere. When you love someone, you want to give him or her your time and attention and to provide for his or her needs. If you refuse to help, your love is not as genuine as you say.”

In James 2:14-17 we read,
Even though James is speaking of faith and works, our actions are motivated by not only our faith but also our love of God. If there are opportunities to give and help those who are in need and we refuse then we are not showing love. Remember the passage in Matthew 25:31-45, Jesus speaks of helping the least of these then you are helping Him.

One of the ways that you push back the darkness is by joining forces to help others where they live to push back the darkness in their lives, lives of others and in the area in which they live. North Anderson did this in the last few days. I mentioned to you about Austin and Meryl O’Donald and their Easter Egg Hunt in Baltimore and asked you for $10 gift cards to help with the prizes for their activity. You responded out of ***the love of God in your hearts by giving 19 cards at the cost of $190 which I sent off and then I have received more and they will go soon to Austin. I thank the Lord for each of you who participated and ***sacrificed to give. God will be blessed and people hopefully will come to know the Lord because of what you did. Darkness creeps up on the most vulnerable at times because they can’t provide for themselves and God asked those who have the resources to help those who don’t.

Because of ***the grace of God in your life, will you do what the churches in Macedonia did in their lives? Will you ***first give your life to the Lord God and from out that experience, in obedience to God, give financially to His kingdom in ***a generous manner, even though it might be hard for you and do it, but do it because you trust the Lord with all your heart? Will you take the challenge of being a part of pushing the darkness out of the lives of others?
Paul speaking in this chapter of the second letter to the Corinthians reminding them that giving is a part of the Christian life. He wants them to learn the truth of the giving principle: The attitude of your heart will determine whether you will be blessed of God as you give to His Kingdom work. How is the attitude of Your heart?
Verse seven tells us about that attitude found in the heart of the Christian. God gives us the responsibility to decide how we will give and how much we will give. It really is based upon the relationship we have with the Lord Jesus. Remember in the last chapter, because the Macedonian churches gave themselves to the Lord FIRST they then decided to choose to give liberally as well as joyfully to the collection Paul was taking up. You can only imagine that they rejoiced over the gifts they gave because they were giving in obedience to God and trusting Him with their own welfare. In verse six we can see the challenge Paul lays out for the Corinthians. Will they decided to give cheerfully, out obedience to God’s desire for them? If they would go to the Lord Jesus and ask, “What do you want us to give” and respond to His directions, then they would give cheerfully. The amount they would give would be guided by their love for the Lord. As we think about our individual giving, if we would go to the Lord giving our life to Him and submitting to His authority and realizing the ***great grace of God upon us, then we could hear from the Father and respond obediently and cheerfully in our giving. While keeping that in mind, we then can look at verse 6 and see when we give generously then we will receive bountifully. But, if we sow our sparingly then we will not reap much in return. Paul is speaking about another principle of giving. That principle is found in scripture in the Old and New Testament. Proverbs 11:24, “One person gives freely, yet gains even more; another withholds unduly, but comes to poverty.” Jesus in Luke 6:38 says about giving, 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.” And then in Galatians 6:7 Paul says about the spiritual essence of conduct in this life, 7 “Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows.” Several writers say it like this, “One’s return (or blessings) is determined by his investment.” The New Spirit-filled Life Bible commentary says, “Giving bountifully blesses both the recipients and those who give.”
Where do you get that cheerful heart? According to Paul, when ***the grace of God is realized in one’s life then one responds to God’s grace with a willing and cheerful heart because you want to do what God has directed you to do. What God’s will is in your life you want to do it because of His love for you. That cheerful heart is a result of our fellowship with the Father being up-to-date and vibrant and our desire to be obedient to His will. Paul knows that if we are in a proper relationship with the Lord Jesus then our joy will be made perfect in Him and it won’t be about money, it will be about love and willing obedience to the Father.

God does not leave us out on a limb. When we surrender our life to the Father through Jesus Christ our Lord, all grace is ours in Christ. God desires that His bountiful blessings be ours because He sees His children and gives generously for all our needs. Philippians 4:19, “And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.” Look at what Paul said in 2 Corinthians 8:9, “For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich.” The riches that come from Jesus becoming poor are the riches of salvation. Each of us need hear that you are not saved because you are good, no there is no salvation in your good works or anything that you could do, it is a free gift of grace from God because of Jesus. That gift came because Jesus was willing to leave the “riches of heaven” and to become a man, poor in humanity. We are given every blessing of God because of Jesus’ willingness to provide salvation through His death on the cross. That grace not only gives us the true salvation but goes further and allows us to abound in good and generous deeds that help others in need.
Are you helping break the chains of darkness for others through that grace of God that come to you because you are saved?
Have you recognized that your complete dedication to the Father rewards you generously as you sow generously into the lives of others?
Do you live in a mindset of cheerfulness because you are reaping the fruit of your love for Christ?
Are people being blessed because of you?
Are you ready to make the move to first dedicate yourself to God and then to reach out to others in generosity?
Are you sowing sparingly or generously?
Are you ready to leave your life of sin and repent of those sins and trust Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior?
Do you believe that Jesus died for your sins and then was buried and on the third day arose from the dead to live forever more?
Why don’t you bow your head now and listen to the voice of God. Stop what you are doing and do move about no matter who you are and listen to the Holy Spirit speaking to you. What is He saying and will you be obedient to His voice?

Invitation

Dear friend if you are reading this by way of the internet please know that you are loved and cared for. If you have no relationship with God the Father through Jesus Christ His Son, then I invite you to trust Him by faith and receive Him as your personal Savior. Jesus Christ died on the cross for the sin of everyone in the world that they may have eternal life. All of us have sinned and all are guilty before Almighty God who made us to have fellowship with Him. But sin broke that ability to have a relationship and Jesus has restored the possibility to know God personally through His sacrifice. Please know that if you will seek God and turn from your sin and pray He will respond with His love and give to you a personal relationship through your belief in His Son and the sacrifice He made just for you. He will call for a change in your life too. He wants you to follow Him, not the world, not your own desires, but to follow Jesus. That brings a life change when you turn from sin and self and by faith believe in Jesus Christ as your Savior and Lord. There is no Savior without Him being Lord of your life. Your willingness to change by following Him daily in your life will be the proof of your faith. When life throws its curves your way and you have found yourself broken by others or by the world let us introduce you to the only One who can help you…Jesus! You can write or call the office and we will follow up by contacting you. Office phone number is 864-225-2575 and the website address is www.northandersonbaptist.com and the physical address is 2308 N. Main St., Anderson, SC 29621. Dear friend if you are a believer and you have been touched by the Lord and you would like to talk to someone at the church just contact us in one of the ways you see above. If you are a believer and would like to talk about the church and your interest in being a part, please call and we can set up an appointment for you and get to know you. It would be a great pleasure to share our Lord’s love with you. This is a loving church and you are important to us, so please let us know what we can do for you in the Lord.Pastor Bill Rigsby

http://www.northandersonbaptist.com