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Pastor Jerry Locke
by Pastor Jerry Locke

5 Sermons On Stewardship
4445 Hodgkins Rd. Fort Worth, TX 76135
Sermon 1 - The Exhortation On Giving
Sermon 2 - The Example of Giving
Sermon 3 - The Excuses for Not Giving
Sermon 4 - The Eminent Giver of All
Sermon 5 - The Elements of Giving


(The Corinthian Church)
II Corinthians 8:6-9:4

The story is told of a pastor who phoned the home of some recent visitors to his church, and a voice answered quietly, "Hello?".

The pastor said, "Who is this?"

There was a little whisper on the other end. It said, "This is Jimmy."

The pastor said, "How old are you, Jimmy?"

He said, "I’m four."

"Jimmy, may I please speak to your mom?"

"She’s busy."

"Then can I speak to your dad?"

"He’s busy, too.”

"Are there any other adults at your house?”

"The police.”

"Well, could I speak to one of the police officers?”

"They’re all busy.”

"Who else is there?”

"The firemen.”

"Put one of the firemen on the phone.”

"They’re busy."

"Jimmy, what are they all busy doing?"

vThey’re looking for me."

Some Christians are just like little Jimmy. They’re hiding out. This is especially true when it comes to people’s responsibilities in the area of financial stewardship.

Those of you who were here the last couple of Sundays remember we looked at the “Exhortation on Giving” found in 1 Corinthians 16:1-4. It concerned the needs of the believers in the church at Jerusalem. Their region had a sever famine that had effected the economic landscape for more than 10 years. So the Apostle Paul led in an effort to raise an offering for those believers who had been touched by this tragedy.

Then last week we discussed the “Example of Giving” seen by the Macedonian churches in the first part of this chapter. The churches in Philippi, Thessalonica, and Berea had out done themselves in their giving to this need.

Today we want to uncover the “Excuses for not Giving” seen in the response of the church at Corinth.

It is said there are three kinds of people in the world.

(1) There are those who make things happen.

(2) There are those who watch thing happen.

(3) There are those who don’t have a clue of what’s happening!

1. Potential, v. 6-8.

The Corinthians church was a gifted church. They had the gifts of the Spirit in operation.

But something was missing. While they were a gifted church, they were not a generous church.

Let me say this: Other areas of service are not to be a substitute for a lack of giving. Giving one’s time to the church does not take the place of not giving one’s finances. Giving one’s moral support does not substitute for not giving financially to your church.

v. 8 The Corinthians didn’t need some official legislation from an apostles - they needed to prove their love by their giving. Love is not seen in platitudes, but in practice. Love is not something you say; it is something you do.

2. Promised, 2 Corinthians 9:1-2, 4-5.

Word had been gotten out by the Apostle about the need of the saints in Jerusalem.

The Macedonian churches stepped in and got involved in this giving opportunity.

The Corinthian church stood around and probably at their monthly business meeting talked about it, but decided they ought to “pray about it” before they did something. It is amazing that some churches allow a few stingy members to hold them back from doing God’s work and giving generously to help meet needs.

Keep your promise. If you have ever promised God you would tithe and give offerings God has heard that promise and expects you to keep it.

3. Postponed, 8:10; 9:2 “A year ago.”

The exhortation came to them in 1 Corinthians 16:2...A.D. 56.

Here they are holding back in 2 Corinthians 8 & 9...A. D. 57.

4. Pledge, v. 8:11a.

They had been quick to pledge to help with this need.

5. Performance, 8:11.

“Just do it.”

6. Practial, 8:12.

Start with what you have.

God will never give you more until you give from what you already have.

A preacher came to see a farmer and asked him, “If you had $200, would you give $100 of it to the Lord?” The farmer proudly said, “I would.” The preacher went on, “If you had two cows, would you give one of them to the Lord?” “Sure,” the farmer asnwered. “If you had two pigs, would you give one of them to the Lord.” The farmer said, “Preacher, now that is not fair. You know I have two pigs.”

It take no faith to wait to give when you have extra. That is like saying...

...When the harvest comes in I will plant the seed.

...When the building is completed I will buy the land.

Giving is on the front end. It is an act of faith of your part, as well as an act of obedience. It shows how weak your faith is when you are reluctant to give.

7. Pressure, 8:13.

The procedures that are followed in some churches remind me of Wall Street in New York, not a dusty street in Jerusalem, Israel. The pressure tactics of crafty and fund-raising, manipulation of emotions and mass mailings may not be all wrong, but they are for the majority very distasteful.

8. Prosperity, 8:14.

The “equality”mentioned here is not the amount, but the proportions.

The fact was this Corinthians were enjoying “abundance.”

Some use a theological excuse. “We are no longer under the law. We are under grace and we don’t have to tithe.” That is right about one matter. You don’t have to tithe as theythe law. You get to give under grace.”

Giving is taught both in the Old Tetament and the New Testament.

Let me ask a question: How can we give less under grace than others gave under law?

Some people use a logical excuse “Giving doesn’t make any sense to me.” What is missing from the logic of most people when it comes to financial giving is - God! They have left God out of their equasion.

Some use a financial excuse. “I am already in financial problems and you say I need to give. I can’t afford to give.” People who say they have figured it out that they can’t give have misfigured! The truth is people can’t afford not to give.

“If I had more I would give more.”

* “I can’t afford to give.”

* “There is no way 90% after tithing is more than 100% not tithing.”

* “I give my time to God, so I am not responsible to give my money.”

* “I give to various other causes, so I don’t have to give so much to the church.”

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."