"GIVING AND FEELING GOOD ABOUT IT!"
Written and preached by David P.
2 CORINTHIANS 9:6-12
Bob McCune, U.S. Congressman, took his kids out to eat at a fast-food
restaurant. As he and his kids
sat down to eat, Bob smelled the fries in front of one of his sons and
reached over to get one. To his
surprise, the young boy grabbed his dad's hand, pushed it back, and
exclaimed, "Dad! Don't take my
fries!" McCune was stunned. He sat in front of his son in silence and
wondered, "What happened?" Then the meaning of this "teachable moment"
hit him. He thought, "My son doesn't know where
those fries came from. He doesn't realize that about five minutes ago I
went to the counter, put my
hand in my pocket, pulled out the money and bought those fries for him.
I am the source of those
fries. My son doesn't understand that, if I wanted to, I could take
those fries away from him. He
doesn't realize that, if I wanted to, I could go over to the counter
and buy a dozen orders and cover
him with fries. He doesn't know that I don't even need his fries; if I
wanted to, I could go over to
the counter and buy my own. What I really wanted from my son was his
willingness to share with
me what I had already given to him." And that's what God wants; He has
given and wants us to be
motivated to share back some of what He has provided. Consider with me
3 motives for giving, 2
of which will have you giving and feeling good about it.
- WE MAY GIVE OUT
OF A SENSE OF GUILT AND COMPULSION: V7:
- This is "I have to give and I'll feel like a low-down skunk if
I don't. Man! I wish my
conscience would leave me alone so I wouldn't feel compelled to give."
- Paul urges us not to be motivated by guilt or a sense of "I
have to whether I want to
or not!" He said, "not grudgingly or under compulsion; for God loves a
- To give grudgingly and under compulsion is giving with an
open hand, but
closed heart and clenched teeth. It is giving with annoyance at having
to give. It is giving and hating it! It is "Phooey!" giving.
- Cheerful doesn't mean giggling all the way to the offering
box; it means
"joyful and prompt to do it." No hesitation, no sense of irritation. It
gladness to render to God what is His and to serve others by giving.
- The strength of compulsion giving is that at least some money
does come in and can
be used for God's work. But the weaknesses are that
- It is unblblical to be motivated by guilt or compulsion.
- We tend to try to minimize what we consider to be our "fair
share" and give
as little as our conscience will permit..
- It is merely a mechanical, materialistic way of thinking
about giving. When
we have given, we say, "Well, I've done my part!"
- It doesn't bring any joy to the giver or to God.
- There are three kinds of givers: the flint, the sponge and the
honeycomb. To get
anything from the flint, you have to hammer on it and then you get
sparks and chips;
to get anything out of the sponge, you have to squeeze it; but the
oozes and overflows with its sweetness. You can be a flint giver, or a
or a honeycomb that just oozes out giving that is sweet with
thanksgiving and praise. So what kind of giver are you? One who gives
but hates it? One who doesn't give
unless you are forced to? Or one who delights in giving and feels good
This kind of giving, "Have to" giving is meaningless in terms of
giving and feeling good about it.
- WE MAY GIVE
BECAUSE WE SEE NEEDS AND WANT TO HELP: V12:
- We see needs all around us: people are unemployed, people don't
food; and even more importantly, people need the Lord. When we see a
need, and when we have the resources to alleviate that need, that ought
us to give.
- See how the Macedonian (Greek) Christians responded to needs:
"Now I want to tell
you, dear brothers and sisters, what God in His kindness has done for
in Macedonia. Though they have been going through much trouble and hard
their wonderful joy and deep poverty have overflowed in rich
generosity. For I can
testify that they gave not only what they could afford but far more.
And they did it
of their own free will. They begged us again and again for the gracious
sharing in the gift for the Christians in Jerusalem. Best of all, they
went beyond our
highest hopes, for their first action was to dedicate themselves to the
Lord and to us
for whatever directions God might give them." 2 Corinthians 8:1-5 (NLT). They
are a model of giving to help and to meet needs.
- There are weaknesses and strengths to this kind of giving:
- The weaknesses of this kind of giving are that
- We may be tempted to minimize the need so as to minimize
to give. We may try to rationalize that there isn't real need to give,
we don't give. "It's no real big thing so I don't have to do anything
- We may not be aware of needs. Sitting right next to you in
might be someone with a genuine need, but they are not wearing a
sign to advertise it so we just don't know.
- We may tend to withhold giving if we don't believe the
person in need
deserves to be helped.
- The strengths of giving when we see a need are that
- needs are met.
- God is glorified.
- There is joy in the heart of the recipient and in the heart
of the one
who fulfilled a need by giving.
- A young boy was taken to a busy shopping center to see Santa.
After waiting in line
for what seemed like an eternity, it was his turn to sit on the fat
man's knee. After the
usual "Ho, ho, ho's" and "What is your name" questions, the boy was
asked what it
was that he wanted for Christmas. "I would like two toy trucks,"
replied the lad. "And I want two teddy bears, two remote control cars
and two video games." "Well," replied Santa, "that certainly is a tall
order to fill. Do you mind telling me why
you want two of everything?" The little boy answered without
hesitation, "So I can
This kind of giving, "I want to help" giving goes a long way towards
causing us to give and feel good
- WE MAY GIVE SO GOD IS PRAISED AND
THANKED: VV11, 12:
- The Hebrew letter says, "With Jesus' help, let us continually
offer our sacrifice of
praise to God by proclaiming the glory of His name. Don't forget to do
good and to
share what you have with those in need, for such sacrifices are very
pleasing to God." Hebrews
- Grateful giving causes us to look at what we have in a new
light: "God gave it and
I'm thankful! Giving, then, is a tangible expression of thanks because
that what we have, He gave us. This kind of giving also brings about
the recipient, so God is doubly thanked: first by the giver and then by
- There are weaknesses and strengths to this kind of giving
- The weaknesses are:
- If we are not aware of or attentive to God's blessings or
if we take
them for granted we don't feel motivated to give.
- If we operate on the basis of what we feel, we may not
thankful and so our giving is minimized.
- The strengths of this kind of giving are that
- It reminds us that all our blessings come from God.
- It turns our hearts to God in gratitude and worship and
- A man and his wife were walking in the park when a 5-year-old
boy came racing
around a tree, running smack into them. He said, "Dad, where's Amy?"
realized his error and said, "Oh, I thought you were my Dad, I made a
man replied, "That's O.K. everybody makes mistakes!" As he began to
they noticed he had a slight limp. The boy turned around and started
steps. "My name is Billy," he said. "You were nice to me, can I give
you a hug?" After giving the man and his wife a hug he said, "I have to
go now and find my sister,
Amy. Goodbye!" Tears came to the couples' eyes as they watched Billy
limp to the
playground to play with his little sister. He gave his hug because he
kindness and wanted to express his gratitude.
This kind of giving, "I want to thank God" giving helps us to give
and feel good about it.
Let me sum up giving and feeling good about it. During the
Depression a young widow and her six
year old son prepared to celebrate Christmas. There would be no
Christmas candy, supper would be
very plain, and the gifts were very simple. She had knit a pair of
mittens for her son and herself. They weren't much but they would have
to do. Then just as they sat down for supper, the boy raced
to the bedroom and came back proudly holding out a gift to his mother.
The small gift was wrapped
in an old newspaper. "Open it, Mommy, open it!" he said. His eyes were
dancing and sparkling with
excitement. The mother removed the wrapping to find an old cigar box.
Inside the box was a shining
copper penny and a piece of paper on which was written in crayon and
terribly misspelled, I luv yu
mome!" Tears welled up in her eyes as she read those words over and
over again. Hugging him she
cried, "Thank you, thank you, thank you. This is the best gift I have
ever received!" A bleak
Christmas Eve was transformed into a joyous celebration of love. It all
happened because of a gift
joyfully given. it was a statement of love to his mom. And she
responded in deep thankfulness and
tears of joy. You can bring joy to the Father's heart as show your love
by giving all you have and
are to Him. Give yourself to Him in faith and obedience and receive
from Him the gift of abundant
and eternal life. As we sing our song of invitation and commitment,
give yourself and all you possess
to love and serve Him.
French Fries adapted from Proven Principles Of Successful
Stewardship. Billy adapted from a
true-life story frm Jim Schibsted. Christmas gift from Vernal Anderson.
Sermon outline adapted
from "Take God At His Word" campaign.
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