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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19 - Single, Stand Alone Scripture Series
1 Corinthians 16:2 - "A Single Stand-Alone Verse (On Giving) in Reverse"

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.”

19 - Single, Stand Alone Scripture Series
1 Corinthians 16:2 - "A Single Stand-Alone Verse (On Giving) in Reverse"

Do you believe you are doing all you can do in the area of giving? What do you think hinders you from doing more? Some would say . . .
* “If I had a better job, I’d be able to give more.”
* “If old aunt Bessie would kick the bucket, I’d have some money to give.”
* “If I could get out of debt, I would give more.”

Actually, what most people need is not more money, but more motivation! I have been praying that God will use our gathering today to provide all of us some new motivation.

The University of Oklahoma is quite proud of its wrestling team. They were going down to wrestle at Memphis State. The Coach says, “Guys, Memphis State has developed a hold called the double reverse. They take a guy and bend him in two once, then they bend in two a second time, turn him upside down, get him where he can’t move his arms or his legs and they’ll pen him and it's over. Guys, whatever you do, don’t let them get you in that double reverse.” Guys, “OK, coach.” But the first five guys were defeated by the double reverse. The coach went to their little flyweight and said, “Son, if you get caught in the double reverse we won’t even place in this meet. Whatever you do don’t get caught in the double reverse.” The kid said, “Coach, I’ll do my very best.”

Well, he went out and got caught in the double reverse — bent in two once, twice, turned him upside down and the coach groaned and covered his eyes. And when he did, he heard a scream and a shout and applause. For the first time in history the infamous double reverse had been broken. Coach, “What did you do?” “He bent me over.” “I know.” “He turned me.” “I know.” “I couldn’t move.” “I know, I know, what did you do?”

“Coach, as I was going down I remember what you said, ‘Do whatever you have to do!’ And I looked out there and this guys big toe was right out in front of my mouth. So I reached out there and plum nearly bit that thing off. You know something coach, its an amazing thing what a guy can do when he nearly bites off his own big toe.” Now that’s motivation!

1 Corinthians 16:2 is a strategic stewardship scripture. It is one of those verses that sums up in a few words God’s eternal principles about giving.

I want to study with you today 1 Corinthians 16:2 from the Reverse Standard Vision. Now, don’t get up and leave and say Brother Jerry has taken up some liberal Bible. I am sticking with my old King James Bible. Today I want to look at this verse in reverse. Let’s break into this verse toward the end and move backward - a verse in reverse. Notice the phrase . . .

1. “As God hath prospered you...”

In the reverse standard version this verse begins with “As God.” Do you understand that is how all giving on our part begins — it begins with the presumption that God has blessed our lives! If you believe that is true, say a heartily “amen!” Your “amen” has just been a verbal testimony of the goodness and generosity of God toward you. God is our ultimate provider - not your education, not your resume, not your company, not your personality - but God.

And this God that you have come to know through Jesus Christ our Savior is a good and generous God! For in the reverse standard vision it says, “As God hath prospered you...”

Calls for Reflection. The song says, “Count your blessings, name them one by one, count your blessings, see what God hath done.” Hay, we need to slow down and smell the coffee. God has given us health, a job, a salary, a retirement, friends . . . see what God hath done! This verse doesn’t say our giving starts when we become prosperous. It says our giving should immediately begin because God has prospered us. 1 Timothy 6:17 declares it is “God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy.”

Some people are always “going to” “someday” “be able” to give. I want to announce to you that your someday has arrived and you are able to give based on what God has already done for you.

Hold you place here and turn over to 2 Corinthians 8:11-12. “Now therefore perform the doing of it; that as there was a readiness to will, so there may be a performance also out of that which ye have. For if there be first a willing mind, it is accepted according to that a man hath, and according to that he hath not.”

Do you see what that says? It says you don’t have to wait to give. It says we need to take in inventory of what God has done for us and on that basis give.

Calls for Rejoicing (celebration). Giving is a means of celebrating the goodness and generosity of God. The Bible says in 2 Corinthians 9:7 that “God loveth a cheerful giver.” The word “cheerful” there is from the Greek word hilaros which sound almost like its English counterpart “hilarious.” Why does God love a hilarious giver? Because the hilarious giver has figured out his real source (God) and his real status (blessed).

Calls for Release, which leads us to the next phrase in the reverse standard vision.

2. “Lay by him in store . . .”

We are to lay aside a percentage amount - 10%. This is what everyone can and should give. There is not a person too rich or a person too poor who cannot at least give a tithe - 10% to the Lord.

Sir John Templeton, chairman of Templeton Fund that manages $15 billion dollars annually said, “I have watched 100,000 families over my years of investment counseling. I always saw greater prosperity and happiness among the families who tithed than among those who didn’t,” ---Plus Magazine.

And we are to lay aside a proportionate amount - as God has prospered you. No exact amount or percentage is given here. The matter is determined by two things:
(1) The blessings of God upon a person.
(2) The love and obedience of the blessed believer.

Everyone should give what they can give, that’s the tithe. But those who have experienced a greater material prosperity are expected to participate to a greater extent than those who have less. If you have more, you should want to give , because you are able to give more.

Some are stuck on a strict 10% and say they cannot give more. Yet they will spend $100 on a football game or a concert, eat out regularly, hunt, fish or play golf — all at the expense of honoring God by giving more.

Where do we lay this aside? A cartoon in the funnies a while back “Do you tithe?” “Yea, in my own way.” “Where’s that?” “I play bingo.”

Where do we lay our giving in store?
Old Testament... God has only one place - the tabernacle and then the Temple.
New Testament...God has only one place - His churches.

3. “Let every one of you . . .”

Calls for responsibility. This message by the Apostle Paul was originally addressed to the church at Corinth. This is to Christians, like ourselves, who had been baptized and joined one of the Lord’s churches. To all of us this scripture says, “Let every one of you...” No member is excluded. This is for young and old, rich and poor - all have a responsibility to give to the Lord through the church.

* Our Lord commended the widow’s two mites to teach us that no one could be too poor to give. * And He also received the wealth of Barnabas to demonstrate that no one could be too rich to sacrifice for God!

Someone might ask, “Am I to give if I don’t feel like it?” Well, let me say your life is or would be a mess if you lived it my your feelings. You would not be married if you determined your marriage by your feelings.

You know what I am talking about! You don’t always have that “warm, fuzzy” feeling about your mate. Sometimes it is a “sick, nasty” feeling. We are like the man who said that when he was first married he loved his wife so much he could have eaten her and now he wished he had! Where is the feeling when your honey rolls over in the early morning and you can see the words as they come out because their breath is so bad. Ouch!

There are three (3) levels of giving.
1. I have to . . . law.
2. I need to . . . obligation.
3. I want to . . . love.

Meaningful giving comes from the heart, not just the checkbook or pocketbook. Giving is not just an obligation to get God off my back; it is an opportunity to get God in my life.

4. “Upon the first day of the week . . .”

Now, this calls for regularity. What is behind this phrase, “Upon the first day of the week . . .” Well, on every Lord’s day you are to gather with the Lord’s people in the Lord’s house to hear the Lord’s Word and bring the Lord’s offering.

God wants us to take time to look back over the last seven days and record a testimony by our giving that He has provided for us, even causing us to prosper in many ways. On the first day of the week you need to take time to settle your account with God.

Deuteronomy 16:16 says of those in the Old Testament that “they shall not appear before the Lord empty.”

1 Chron. 16:29 --- “Give unto the Lord the glory due unto his name: bring an offering, and come before Him: worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness.”

Now you might ask, “Well, what If I am not able to attend on a given Sunday?” Mail your tithes and offerings in if you are not able to gather on a Sunday.

I like the motto I recently read that was on the Ebenezer Baptist Church in Kansas City. “Wake up, pray up, sing up, preach up, pay up, and never give up, let up, back up or shut up, until the cause of Christ is built up!” Now, that’s the kind of commitment I’m talking about that we need to move forward this year.