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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 5 -- THE ELEMENTS OF GIVING

II Corinthians 9:6-15

By way of review we have looked at the---

- Exhortation on Giving found in I Corinthians 16:1-4.

- Example of Giving seen in the Macedonian churches in II Corinthians 8:1-5.

- Excuses for not Giving seen in the response of the church at Corinth.

- Eminent Giver of all, the Lord Jesus Christ in II Corinthians 8:9.

In this study I want us to look at the "Elements of Giving" as seen in II Corinthians 9:6-15. Genuine stewardship is like a tasty dessert in that is takes the right proportions of ingredients mixed together to have the right outcome. Stewardship is not one thing, but several things which work together.

We might want to think of these elements of giving as a ladder, with each elements providing a rung.

1. Stewardship exercises a Choice, v. 6.

We are all stewards. The choice is, do you want to be a good steward or a poor steward?

You have a choice when it comes to stewardship. God has the power to shake you down and get out of you what He wants, but that usually not how it works.

You see, we given the privilege to make decisions that directly effect our financial lives.

Do you see it in verse 6? This is one of Godís law of harvest.

1: We Will Reap Only If We Sow.

2: We Will Reap What We Sow.

3: We Will Reap More Than We Sow.

4: We Will Reap In Proportion To What We Sow.

5: We Reap Later Than We Sow.

6: We Will Reap.

7: We Reap Because God Gives the Increase.

Look at the middle of this list of harvest - law #4: We Will Reap In Proportion To What We Sow.

l II Corinthians 9:6 --- "But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully."

The more you sow, the more you reap. The more seed you plant, the greater your harvest. Paul isnít talking about agriculture - heís talking about finances.

God leave how much we plant up to us, but He promises to bless everything we plant. Thatís our choice.

2. Stewardship expresses a Cheerfulness, v. 7.

II 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?

"... according as he purposeth." There is the idea of choice again. 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? Actually, you only impoverish yourself when you choose not to give.

". . . in 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.

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."

". . . so let him give." 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!

". . . 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 . . ."

". . . For God loveth a cheerful giver." Every Christian who chooses to carry through with his consecrated gift without carnal compulsions should give cheerfully. 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!

3. Stewardship experiences a Completeness, v. 8.

ďAnd God is able to make all grace abound unto you...Ē Do you believe that? Really?

What grace is Paul talking about? Look back at 2 Cor. 8:1. --- "Moreover, brethren, we do you to wit (know) the grace of God bestowed on the churches of Macedonia." It was Godís miraculous gift of enabling His people to give 'beyond their power.'

In Jack Taylorís book, 'Godís Miraculous Plan of Economy', he devotes a chapter to this verse. He calls it "Godís Cycle of Sufficiency." Bro. Taylor has a wonderful outline on this verse.

The Might ... Godís ability.

The Measure...all grace.

The Manner...abounding.

The Motive...toward us.

The Means...always having all sufficiency in all things (our adequacy)

The Ministry...every good work.

Jack Taylor says there is no work established by God for Godís glory and carried on in Godís way that will lack Godís support!

There is a wonderful, real-life illustration of this in 2 Kings 4:1-7. The story is of a prophetís widow who was bankrupt. The creditors were about to sell her two sons as slaves. Elisha asked her what she had of value and she said only a vessel of oil. It was likely a memento of the oil that was used to anoint her husband at the beginning of his ministry. Elisha told her to go to her neighbors and borrow as many vessels as she would, with very specific instruction not to borrow just a few.

She filled her house with these borrowed vessels. And then the prophet told her to pour out her oil into those vessels. She did and kept pouring until all the vessels were full. Elisha then said, "Go, sell the oil, and pay thy debt, and live thou and they children of the rest." There was the first door-to-door Avon lady! Getting out of debt freed her and restored her testimony to her creditors. She would live off of the rest and her childrenís needs would also be met. What a great God we serve who takes care of all our needs!

4. Stewardship exhibits a Contentment, v. 9-15.

Do you see the flow of this passage? What begins with a choice and is carried our with cheerfulness becomes our completion and results in genuine contentment.

John Maxwell tells the story of a woman he once pastored by the name of Helen Douglas. She was a poor woman who lived in government housing. Her old car was covered with bumper stickers. Maxwell says he used to say to her, "Helen, if you peel off one bumper sticker the whole care will fall apart."

Even thou she didnít have much money, she was faithful to the church. When time came to raise a great deal of money for a new building, the church held prayer meetings every morning at 6 a.m. Helen was always there, waiting for the doors to be opened. She prayed, wept, and fasted asking God to supply their needs.

Finally, when the day of the big offering came, she let the plate pass her by. God spoke to her heart, "Helen, why didnít you give?" She said, "Lord, Iím the poor lady. I donít have anything to give."

The Lord said, "Give all youíve got." She dug in her purse and came up with a handful of loose change. She put it is an offering envelope and wrote on it, "Itís all I have." After the service, she gave it to Pastor Maxwell.

He tried to give it back to her. She said, "No this is my gift to God." He took it home and opened it. It was $3.30. That evening, the church was packed because everyone wanted to hear how much the big offering had been. They had gone over their goal!

After everyone settled down, Pastor Maxwell said, "I want to tell you about the largest gift given today." He then shared the story of Helen Douglas. One of the men stood up and said, "Thatís the greatest story of stewardship Iíve ever heard. I want one of the coins from that envelope to remind me. Iíll give you $10 for one." Then someone else did the same.

Suddenly a spirit of giving came over the church and for the next 30 minutes people sat down and wrote checks and brought them to the front. Some went back and wrote as many as three checks. The smallest gift of all become the largest gift in the history of that church.