North Anderson Baptist Church
Giving to the Church of Jesus Christ, Part 2
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  • North Anderson Baptist Church
    2308 N Main St, Anderson, SC 29621, United States
    Sunday 10:30 AM
In Part 1 of this sermon we declared the main thought to be:
God calls for us to be generous and faithful in giving to the work of God through the church.

Our first thought was: “Don’t Rob God!” - Malachi 3:6-10

And then: Our second thought was:“Give Systematically” - 1 Corinthians 16:1-3

Today, we will continue with this same subject “Giving to the Church of Jesus Christ” by looking at our third thought for today: “Give Proportionately” - 2 Corinthians 8:1-12
A pastor in Texas said, "Let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him." Paul says nothing about tithes and offerings. They were to put aside their offerings as God had prospered them.

“One of my officers owned several Coca-Cola plants, and one of them was in our town. He was a man of means, and he owned a ranch where we used to go to hunt and fish. Often he would ask me why I didn't preach on tithing. One day I said, "Why should I preach on tithing?" He said, "Because it is the Bible way of giving." I agreed, "Yes, it was the Old Testament way of giving, but under grace I don't believe tithing is the way it should be done." So he asked me, "How do you think it ought to be done?" I took him to this verse: "As God hath prospered him." Now this was during the depression. If you are as old as I am, you will remember that the depression in the 1930s was a very serious time. So I said to him, "For some strange reason, Coca-Cola is selling, and you are doing very well. However, there are some members in our church who couldn't give a tithe right now. I don't believe God is asking them to give a tenth. There are a few people who are doing well, and they are to give as they have been prospered -- and they are not to stop with a tenth. Probably they ought to give a half." Do you know that this man never again suggested that I preach on tithing! The reason was that he was tithing, but he didn't want to give as God had prospered him.

I have shared this story from a pastor from way back. Do I believe like him? Yes and no. You see, he was saying that tithing was not spoken of in this passage that Paul wrote and that is true, but one of the reasons is that this was to be a special offering the church was giving because Paul was calling the members of this church in Corinth to become generous givers to help others in need. I believe this was all about grace giving.

But, I believe in tithing as well. In the first part of this message, two weeks ago, I told you that the Old Testament tells us that God called for the tithes and the offerings. (Malachi 3:6-10) I believe the whole Bible and that even Jesus said to His disciples that they should give, even as the Pharisees gave, the tithe of what they had but even more.
So, I believe without question, that the tithe is the starting point given to us by God. The other question here is, according to this pastor, the people who were poor in the Great Depression, were not expected to give a tithe because they “didn’t have much.” We still have the poor with us and Jesus said they shall ever be with us.

Do the blessings of God, which He points out in the Malachi passage, apply only to those who have a lot of money or also to the poor who give their tithe, even from the little which they have?
Maybe His blessings will flow greater to them, giving from their poverty, even more than those who are giving from their wealth. Do you remember the event in Jesus’ life about the widow who gave all that she had to the Temple treasury, the two mites, in contrast to the rich who gave what was “just” required? After that observation, the Bible tells us,
Here, this poor widow gave not only a tithe but a large offering to the Lord God whom she worshiped through giving all she had. We don’t know what her blessings were, but for sure, one blessing was the “forever telling of this event” and one day in heaven we will meet her. Our God is faithful to do what He has promised to do, when we are obedient, when we do what He requires.

Proportional giving is simply, when you have a lot, you give a percentage of that amount, which will be a greater amount than others who do not have as much as you. And, when you have little, you give a percentage in proportion to what you have, even though it is smaller than those who have more. When they are compared you see that they both gave the same in proportion to each other, even though one is greater and the other is lesser. What you give will be in proportion to the amount God has given to you.
Let’s take a moment to glance at the Scripture for today. In verse 2 & 3, 2 “In the midst of a very severe trial, their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity. 3 For I testify that they gave as much as they were able, and even beyond their ability. Entirely on their own,” we see Paul telling us that these believers were very poor and yet they were desiring to be generous in this matter of giving. He explains to the Corinthians that the Macedonians “gave as much as they were able. ”But notice, they even gave beyond their ability. How was that done? By faith! Faith in the great God they served!

One of the great things about these passages is what Paul says about them in verse 5, “And they exceeded our expectations: They gave themselves first of all to the Lord, and then by the will of God also to us, ”they gave themselves to God first! Wow!

Verse 7, “But since you excel in everything—in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in complete earnestness and in the love we have kindled in you - see that you also excel in this grace of giving.” This verse speaks of the “grace of giving.” The thought here is giving because you love. One will give to God because we love Him. Grace is the act of giving voluntarily not because it is deserved but out of an act of concern and love for the other. Paul gives an illustration in verse 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.” Look how much Jesus loved you and me; He gave us grace.

In the 12th verse, “For if the willingness is there, the gift is acceptable according to what one has, not according to what one does not have.” we can get the gist of what Paul is talking about. Here he says if one is willing, then the gift will be acceptable, because one gave according to his or her ability to give, not according to what he did not have.

When we do that we are all giving the same way. But, isn’t it great that God leads us to continue to give more and more and more for the Kingdom of God and His glory.
Dallin H. Oaks shared a story about his mother paying tithing despite their destitution:
“During World War II, my widowed mother supported her three young children on a schoolteacher’s salary that was meager. When I became conscious that we went without some desirable things because we didn’t have enough money, I asked my mother why she paid so much of her salary as tithing. I have never forgotten her explanation: “Dallin, there might be some people who can get along without paying tithing, but we can’t. The Lord has chosen to take your father and leave me to raise you children. I cannot do that without the blessings of the Lord, and I obtain those blessings by paying an honest tithing. When I pay my tithing, I have the Lord’s promise that he will bless us, and we must have those blessings if we are to get along.””
Some might say, “That your God, who would only give blessings to those who give money, must be a very stingy God.” God is teaching us to be a faithful follower of the Lord and there are rewards for that faithfulness. When God told Malachi to write, God said, “Test me in this,” says the Lord Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it.” Is that promise just to the Jews of the Old Testament? No, it is not! Is this promise for only those who give a lot of money? No! Is that same promise for those who give a much smaller amount than others because of their smaller income? Yes! This promise of God to bless those who obey is for you and for me, who are the children of God, who have trusted the Lord Jesus Christ as their Savior and Lord!

Our fourth thought for today is, “Give Liberally and Cheerfully” - 2 Corinthians 9:6-8
Some say that the “tithing concept” is a thought that means “under compulsion.” When one’s heart and life is in tune with the Lord Jesus and you love God with all our heart, there is no compulsion but total freedom from God’s Holy Spirit to give freely, liberally and always cheerfully. God’s Word speaks all the time about the heart and doing what God leads you to do. When you have trusted Christ, have been changed by the power of God and you allow God to lead you, then that person seeks to “live a life worthy of the calling you have received. 2 Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. 3 Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.” (Ephesians 4:1-3) Because you are living a life like that, God will also have a generous, liberal and cheerful giver.
One of our purposes for giving is to help us set our sights on going forward with the Lord as growing and maturing disciples of the Lord God Almighty. The spiritual principle here is, that if you sow generously with your finances then you will reap many blessings of whatever kind the Lord desires to give you. The opposite is true too. If you sow, give, little, then the harvest is little, scarce. What kind of harvest do you want for you and your family? How about your church, what kind of blessings do you want to give to your fellowship which gives so much to you?
“Trust Me, try Me, prove Me, saith the Lord of hosts, and see if a blessing, unmeasured blessing, I will not pour out on thee!” (Baptist Hymnal 1991, 616)

There are so many in here this morning who have truly “trusted and tried,” God, as He said to do and you have found Him, the Lord God Almighty, to be faithful to His children as they give in the way in which He has instructed. He has been faithful to you, right! Won’t you trust the Lord with your money and more importantly, with your life? Today, would you surrender your life and heart to Jesus Christ and allow Him to give you forgiveness of sin and life everlasting in heaven? During the invitation would you come and profess that Jesus is Lord and trust Him as your Savior? Or, come and let us pray for you to allow your heart to be led by the Holy Spirit!
Now, one last thought for us all. The Church of Jesus Christ is more than just a local fellowship in a particular place. It is the entire body of Christ around the world in every nation, tongue and tribe. So how do we relate to them? As a Convention of Southern Baptist Churches, we cooperate with one another and the association and state and national convention to help promote the ministry of the Gospel throughout the world in numerous ways. We are giving out booklets, NOW, that will help you see how faithful our State Convention, the South Carolina State Convention, is with the money you give to them through our Cooperative Program offerings every week. I want to call your attention to several things in these booklets that will help you to understand how you give and the results of your giving.

First of all, this booklet shows us how the money we have given to God’s work here in South Carolina will be used for ministry as well as throughout the entire world in 2020.

Second, opening the booklet, you will see on the inside left page in the dark area, three sections. The first section tells us how the Cooperative Program money is divided up between SBC and the SCBC ministries and institutions. The second section gives us the breakdown of the Cooperative Program money given to the SBC and to it’s institutions and ministries. And, the third section shows us the distribution of the monies here in South Carolina using the theme for the year: Strong, Serve, Share, Send, and Start.

Third, under each of the headings, listed above, you will see on the pages that coincide with them, the Impact the state work has had. Just take note of the one on pages 8 & 9 under the heading of Share Hope! You have the results of the numbers for last year, 2019, of total baptisms, lost people being prayed for (those who are reported) college students lead to the Lord, men and boys related to Camp McCall, 200 plus minister’s wives connected, and the last, multiple regional racial reconciliation gatherings in the state. Each Impact page is from the 2019 statistics.
And lastly, please pay attention to pages 14 & 15 where we see the concept of “We Can Do More Together!” Also, read the letter describing “The Eternal Impact of Cooperative Program Giving.” Please take this booklet home and read through it.
Our church will vote today for the 2020 Budget, committing to give 7.5% of our undesignated funds to the Cooperative Program and 2%, of the same undesignated funds, to our own Saluda Baptist Association. That 7.5% is the money first goes to the SCBC to meet each of the ministries of South Carolina this booklet lays out for 2020. And then the money that is committed to the SBC, is sent there to fulfill the commitment to all the institutions listed. That my dear friends is how we impact the world as well as South Carolina through your weekly offerings.

Because we are raising our budget by 4%, we all need to ask the Lord, “What do you want me to do to help in my giving because of that increase?” Is God speaking to you about your generosity in regard to your giving more this year? Will you be one of those who in some way increases their giving to help cover the overall budget increase? Please pray and ask God what part you will have in helping to meet the larger budget for next year. As you give through the church every Sunday, God will do great things for His glory, here and all over the world, through the efforts of the Cooperative Program!

Amen!

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