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Pastor Jerry Locke
NEW SERMON SERIES
by Pastor Jerry Locke

5 Sermons On Stewardship
LAKE WORTH BAPTIST CHURCH
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

Sermon 4 -- THE EMINENT GIVER OF ALL

(Jesus Christ)
II Corinthians 8:9

Those of you who were here the last few meetings remember we looked at the "Exhortation on Giving" found in I 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 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.

Most recently we want to uncover the "Excuses for not Giving" seen in the response of the church at Corinth.

Today I want to point you to the "Eminent Giver of all."

Stewardship Month here at LWBC is the time of the year we have set aside to refresh our knowledge of Godís call to giving and to renew our commitment to give as God has prospered us.

Read with me again 2 Corinthians 8:9. Here is a deep insight into the very nature of the incarnation of our Saviour.

For ye know . . . We are well informed.

Lord . . . Identifies His deity.

Jesus . . . Identifies His humanity.

Christ . . . Identifies His divine mission.

1. The Motive Of Jesusí Giving.

Why did the Lord Jesus Christ give what He gave? "Grace!" It is grace that is . . .

the herald of the New Testament.

the heart of the gospel.

the hope of the sinner.

God is a God of grace.

What is grace? It is love in action. It is love in action toward someone absolutely undeserving. He was not motivated by our worthiness, but by our unworthiness!

"For your sakes." No personal need was met by Jesusí giving. He was absolutely unselfish in his giving.

Although we are all aware of what He did, Jesus did not do what He did for the display of it. If we are not careful we will be like the fellow who stood up in a meeting and declared, "I want to give $1,000 anonymously."

Jesus gave for your sake and my sake. His own motive was His love for us.

2. The Measure Of Jesusí Giving.

How much did He give? When the offering was calculated, what did it amount to? Actually, what Jesus gave is immeasurable, but we have here an inspired insight from Paul into the measure of His giving.

"Though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor . . ."

He was rich. Oh, He was so incredibly rich! These words take us to eternity past before the event of Bethlehem. Before Bethlehem, he was essentially and eternally rich.

< Rich in glory, John 1:1.

< Rich in love. The love of God is eternal.

< Rich in praise. The angelic choir filled the heavens with praise.

< Rich in things. Psalm 24:1 Silver, gold, diamonds, etc.

< Rich in power. No rivals.

< Rich in wisdom. No one smarter.

He became poor. Note, "He became poor." There was a choice involved. It wasnít the result of a plan that got out of control, or circumstances which could not be helped. Be became poor. Several Greek words are translated "poor." One means "to barely get by." The one used here means "abject poverty."

l Born materially poor. Phil. 2:7-8. Stable . . . stall . . . star.

The extent to which Christ was willing to give was shown in HIM coming HERE for us. He did not come as a visitor or to tour a few cities. He was born into the poorest of circumstances.

l Lived materially poor, John 1:10-11. Though He had made the the world, He lived without a place to call His own.

- Ground was His couch.

- Meadow was His table.

- Tree was His roof.

- Rocks where His pillow.

- Brook was His basin.

- Breeze was His towel.

- Wind was His comb.

John 7:53 - - - Every man went to his own house . . .

John 8:1 - - - Jesus went unto the mount of Olives . . .

1 Died materially poor. When Jesus died His only possession was the robe on His back, probably a gift from a friend. He was crucified between two thieves. He committed His mother to the care of one of His disciples. He was buried in a borrowed tomb (He wouldnít need it for long).

This sure puts our giving in perspective. When you consider the measure of His giving, it makes out attempts at stewardship seem rather embarrassing.

Some are still arguing about tithing. Is it right? Is it required? Is it too much? We need to remember the supreme example of our stewardship is not Abraham giving a tithe to the king of Salem, but rather the King of Glory laying aside His glory to become poverty stricken for us.

3. The Mission Of Jesus' Giving.

The coming. What a contrast the lowly estate He chose from the holy position He had in heaven. You talk about culture shock!

The cost. To become a man. And then, to become the very poorest of men.

The consequences. Was all of this just a big show? Was it to make Jesus look good? Hardly. "That ye though His poverty might be rich."

HE RICH - - - BECAME POOR.

WE POOR - - - BECOME RICH.

"He paid a debt He did not owe, I owed a debt I could not pay . . ."

The mission of Jesus' giving was that we might be RICH! Does that mean money in the bank, a great job, a solid retirement? No. We have something better than that --- we have something that lasts forever.

WE ARE RICH IN THIS LIFE. What a terrible thought to have to live without Christ.

4 The burden of guilt.

4 The dread of Godís wrath

4 The unbearable emptiness.

WE ARE RICH IN THE LIFE TO COME. We are His . . .

4 Child. "I'm a child of the King."

4 Heir.

4 Priest.

Remember the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. Since He is our example in giving, we are to share in His mission. We are to use whatever God has put at our disposal in order that others might know the riches of Christ.

Jesus gave . . .

...His face to the kiss of the Betrayer, Judas.

...His cheeks to the strikers.

...His back to the scourgers.

...His brow to the thorns.

...His beard to the pluckers.

...His shoulders to the cross.

...His hands and feet to the nails.

...His forgiveness to the ignorant.

...His salvation to the thief.

...His mother to His disciples, John.

...His spirit to His Father.

...His side to the spear.

...His body to His friends, Joseph of Arimathaea and Nicodemus.