Pastor Jerry Locke
Another Sermon Series by Pastor Jerry Locke

4445 Hodgkins Rd. Fort Worth, TX 76135

Webmaster's Note: A Selection of 24 Single, Stand Alone Scripture
Sermons by one of our outstanding Independent Baptist Preachers,
Brother Jerry Locke, of Fort Worth, Texas. Enjoy!
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18 - Single, Stand Alone Scripture Series
2 Corinthians 9:7 - "God's Guidelines For Giving in a Single, Stand-Alone Sermon"

Introduction - Single, Stand Alone Scripture Series
The Bible contains powerful:
Books...Genesis, John, Romans, Revelation
Passages...Genesis 1; Psalm 23; Isaiah 53.
Verses...Too Many to List

Most all Scripture needs a context for correct interpretation. Isolated verses are often the source of misinterpretation and ultimately heresy. The fact is, most Bible verses are not intended to stand alone.

But there are some single scriptures that are so powerful, so clear, so complete that they are able to stand alone. There are three things we are intending to do with each of these “single, stand alone” scriptures.

Memorize...Psalm 119:11 “Thy word have I hid in mine heart that I might not sin against thee.” We will assign the scripture a week in advance to memorize.

Message...Organize and discuss these single scriptures.

Meditate… Psalm 1:2 ”But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.”

18 - Single, Stand Alone Scripture Series
2 Corinthians 9:7 - "God's Guidelines For Giving in a Single, Stand-Alone Sermon"

Have you ever traveled down I-45 south outside of Huntsville and seen the huge statue of Sam Houston? Sam Houston is an authentic American hero.

Although he is usually associated with Texas history, Houston really belongs to all America. He was born in Virginia, and long before he came to Texas he was a congressman and then governor of Tennessee. When his unfortunate marriage failed, he resigned as governor and lived among Indians in Arkansas for several years.

Eventually he moved to Texas, which was then a Mexican territory, where he soon joined in the fight for independence. As commander of the Texas army, he led in the defeat of General Santa Anna and the forces of Mexico at the Battle of San Jacinto. When Texas became a republic in 1836 he was elected its first president. When Texas was admitted to the Union in 1845 he became its first senator. Then, in 1859 he was elected the sixth governor of the state.

Life on the Texas frontier was rough and rugged. Men molded by the frontier knew how to fight, gamble, drink, curse and kill. Sam Houston fit that lifestyle comfortably. His reputation as one of the boys earned him the nickname, “Big Drunk.” Houston married a devout Baptist wife, who prayed for years that he would be saved and join the church. The Texas hero had long claimed to be a believer but baptism and church membership were not easy disciplines for him to accept.

Late in life he surrendered his life to Christ, vowing to go all the way with God and join the Baptist church. He made his decision one Sunday when Dr. Rufus Burleson, president of Baylor University and pastor of the small Baptist church at Independence, Texas, preached on the text, “Better is he that rules his own spirit than he that takes the city.”

Sam Houston had taken many a city but he had never ruled his own spirit. He walked down the aisle, shook Burleson’s hand, and said, “I give you my hand and with it I give my heart to the Lord.” Houston was baptized November 19, 1854, in Brushy Creek. Word of his baptism spread throughout the country and over 250 people came to witness it. Dr. Burleson had a sense of history, so he tried to think of something significant to say when he brought Sam Houston out of the water. He said, “Now, Sam, your sins are all washed away.” Houston replied, “God help the fish.”

Just before Burleson baptized Houston he said, “General, I suggest you take off that watch and chain. You’ll ruin it if you get it wet.” “Thank you, I will,” Houston said, handing the piece to a friend. “And General, perhaps you’d better hand him your wallet, too.”

“No, I believe not, pastor. I’m afraid it needs baptizing too.” From that day on Sam Houston became a non-compromising giver to the cause of Jesus Christ. He paid one-half of the pastor’s salary at his church. He faithfully gave financial assistance to ministerial students at Baylor University as long as he lived.

Like Sam Houston, you may understand that the Christian life is inseparable from giving. But you might be wondering, Where do I start?

2 Corinthians 9:7 is a great place to start. If another title were given to this study it would be, "What the Bible teaches about Christian giving in twenty five words or less."

There are many human authorities on money and giving. The authority which is quoted here is GOD! These are GOD'S GUIDELINES.

1. Give as a Christian. "Every man"

2 Corinthians 9:7 begins, "Every man..." The appeal to give is for every Christian. One of the amazing things of our day is that not every Christian behaves like a Christian in every area, yet wants the recognitions of a Christian.
> Every Christian ought to attend church at every service.
> Every Christian ought to read his Bible every day.
> Every Christian ought to pray every day.
> Every Christian ought to witness of his faith in the Lord.
> Every Christian ought to give.
You have probably heard people pray, "Lord, bless those who can give and those who cannot. Hey, that may sound good, but it's not Scriptural. Really it is a cover up for the tightwads. "Every man" that is a Christian should give. Does you giving reflect that you are a Christian?

2. Give as a Choice. "... according as he purposeth."

All of life is about making choices.

Giving is a planned choice. Giving, like every other Christian activity, is no accident. You may give my mistake, but not by accident. "Purpose" implies "a plan, a determination."

Giving is a personal choice. Like in salvation, no one else can give for you.

Giving is a positive choice. One way or another you have made a choice about giving. Some had made a negative choice and are not giving. Others have made a positive choice and are giving.

Did you know that it is generally true that we do what we want to do. If something is in the realm of possibility and we want to do it, we find a way to do it.

You might be thinking, "What if I don't want to give?" Then you ought to pray for a new "want to." Do you think you will impoverish God by not giving? Will you break the church by not giving? Will you hinder God's cause by not giving? You lack of giving may hinder the church from moving faster and farther behead, but, you only impoverish yourself when you choose not to give.

3. Give as an act of Consecration. " his heart."

Now follow the progression of this Scripture. Every person who is a Christian who chooses to give should consecrate his gift to God. God is not only interested in what's in your hand, but what's in your heart! It's not just the amount, but also the attitude.

The heart of the problem with stewardship is still the heart! There seems to be so little heart put into the work of God. A few heads, some hands, but not enough hearts.

Some have asked, "Should I tithe on my net income or my gross income?" If you are that chinchy, it will not matter, because your heart is not right. For the Christian, giving is more than a financial contribution, it is an act of worship to his God. Do you want a net blessing or a gross blessing?

A boy was saving some choice meats for his dog when his dad said, "You eat your meat and your dog can have the scraps." After dinner the boy went to his dog with the scraps and said dejectedly and apologetically, "Spot, I wanted to give you a love offering, but all I can give you today is only a collection."

All true giving must be first from the heart.

4. Give as a Commitment. " let him give."

Keep up with these words. Every Christian chooses to consecrate his gift should carry through his commitment by giving! Once the heart and mind is joined in arriving upon giving a certain amount, he hands are to take hold of that money as an offering given to God. Once the amount has been arrived at, then it is to actually be given!

Occasionally people give their excuses for not presently giving. There are those who say "they can't afford to give." Agreed, there is much difference between all of us in our financial abilities. But look at your life. You have a decent job, a few nice benefits, projected retirement plan, house, food, clothes, car. Ninety percent of the peoples of the world would love to trade places with you for just one day — to work one day at your job for your pay, to live one day in your house, to eat one meal at your table, to go one day to your church!

You may have many excuses but none of them will hold water. Actually, you have every reason in this world and the next one to come to give.
"He never asks me to go anywhere He has not gone,
To face anything He has not faced,
To love anyone He has not loved,
Or to give anything He has not given."

Some people had made commitment a difficult thing.

5. Give without Carnal Compulsion. "...not grudgingly, or not of necessity."

Our giving is not without compulsion, but it is a spiritual compulsion. We are compelled to give by character, conscience, and Christ. "The love of Christ constrainteth us..."

I love our grandchildren and seeing them grow up. ”MINE!” You share. Reluctantly, his little fingers are torn away and he “gives.”

The idea of some seems to be that Christians give to God the way they pay their taxes — grudgingly and reluctantly. Our church does not and will not stoop to using a Madison Avenue approach for fund raising. The only compulsion we must respond to is that teaching of the Holy Bible and the leading of the Holy Spirit.

6. Give Cheerfully. "...For God loveth a cheerful giver."

Every Christian who chooses to carry through with his consecrated gift without carnal compulsions should give cheerfully.

This single verse concludes, “For God loveth a cheerful giver.” Doesn’t God love everybody? He does. “For God so love the world that He gave His only begotten Son…”

Then why does this verse say God loves a cheerful giver? Because He does!

The word "cheerful" means "hilarious." Can you even imagine such giving as this? Can you imagine how many people would be awaken during the offering if some broke loose with a "hallelujah" or "praise the Lord"? It would be unthinkable!

The deadest part of the service is the offering. You may have read of a guy that had an heart-attack and died in the morning service of his church. They called the paramedics and it took them fifteen minutes to find which one was actually dead.

But what kind of salvation did you receive when God saved you? It was the "happy kind," if God gave it. You didn't have much, but you were happy. You didn't know much, but you were happy.

"God loves a cheerful giver," but He will also take from a grouch!

The hilarious giver…
Has the source solved. Knows that everything he gives comes from God.
Has the satisfaction solved. There is joy in serving Jesus.

What a privilege to give!

When people give cheerfully...
Love is exemplified, 2 Corinthians 8:8.
God's people are edified.
God is glorified, 2 Corinthians 8:13.