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Let's Keep The Home Fires Burning # 7


Intro: In the course of preaching these messages on the home and family, we have dealt with several sensitive and controversial topics. Tonight may prove to be the touchiest subject of all. Tonight, I want to turn the spotlight of God's Word directly on your money and the way you handle it. This is an issue about which many are sensitive and close mouthed. However, it is an issue about which the Bible has much to say. And, it is an issue that affects every person in this room. Therefore, I would like to take a few minutes to talk about God's Word On Your Money. Before we get into these verses, let's take a moment to consider several statements which I feel are important in discussing this matter.

1. Money Is Essential - We depend upon money to provide homes, food, clothing, cars and other things we say are the necessities of life. If you do not have money in this society, then you are in serious trouble. I think we would all agree on the fact that money is very important.

2. Money Is Overrated - This world is all about telling us how we can go about getting more of the stuff called money. However, too often we get caught up in trying to get more of the stuff and we end up hurting ourselves because we get to the place where we stop depending on the Lord. Our provision is His business - Matt. 6:25-33.

3. Money Can Be Used For Great Good - It has built hospitals, fed the hungry, clothed the naked, provided for the needs of the Kingdom of God and helped countless millions. (Ill. The parable of the Good Samaritan - Luke 10:30-37.)

4. Money Can Be Used For Great Evil - Money has financed the drug culture, pornography, prostitution, wars and every other vile practice known to man. It is the grease that lubricates the axles of sin - 1 Tim. 6:10.

5. Money Must Be Used Properly - Every Christian has the responsibility to use the resources which have been given to him by God to further God's kingdom upon the earth. When we invest our money in the kingdom of God, we also place our heart there. When we place our finances in the hands of the world, then we likewise tie our affections to things below and not things above - Matt. 6:19-24.

6. Money Can Lead To Terrible Bondage - When we allow ourselves to fall into the slavery of debt, we are hindering our ability to follow the Lord properly. Often, our indebtedness prevents us from serving the Lord as He would have us to - Pro.. 22:7.

7. Money Must Be Used To Bring Glory To God - 1 Cor. 10:31. When money is properly used to glorify the Lord, then the Lord is given the wonderful opportunity of proving His power to provide for His people, Mal. 3:8-12. When God is denied this opportunity, then the child of God has forfeited a great blessing and has entered into a state of unrepentant sin before the Lord.

All of this leads us to the primary use for our money. That is, we are to use all that we have to bring glory to the Lord. This means that the primary use for money is for giving. When we give, we honor God, we advance His Kingdom, we demonstrate faith in His promises, we expose ourselves to His blessings and we do something in which everyone can participate.

With these thoughts in mind, let's join Jesus and His Disciples in the Temple as Jesus watches the people make their offerings. In these few verses, Jesus gives some principles that should govern the use of our money especially in the matter of our giving.


A. Jesus Cares About Our Giving - This is evident from the fact that Jesus was observing the people casting their money into the treasury. He was watching them as they gave. Notice how this verse is worded, "and beheld how the people cast money into the treasury..." How many believe that Jesus was here this morning? How many believe that He is still watching people give? What would He have said about your giving this week?

B. God's Challenge In Our Giving - The yardstick has always been what is called the "tithe." This is a word that simply means "the tenth." God desires that every person be actively involved in giving their tithe to the Lord. There are 3 basic reasons why people do not tithe.

1. Many Have Never Been Taught To Tithe - Perhaps their mothers and fathers did not tithe. Perhaps their preachers have been silent about the matter of tithing. But, whatever the reason, some people simply do not understand the place tithing holds in the lives of believers.

2. Many Misunderstand The Place Of Tithing In The Lord's Kingdom - There are those who feel that tithing is not for us to do today. This comes from a lack of understanding about what tithing is and where the concept came from. This will be cleared up in just a few minutes.

3. Many Simply Refuse To Obey The Lord - Many do not tithe even though they know that the Bible tells them to. Many refuse because they are willing to be rebellious to the Word of God instead of obedient. If you know that it is the Lord's will and you don't do it, then don't complain when you begin to pay a financial price for your rebellion - James 4:17.

C. God's Claim To Our Resources - Too often, we get hung up on the tithe and forget that every penny we have to our names is the Lord's. All of our money, not just the tithe, is to be used as He leads and directs us. It isn't 10% that belongs to God, it is 100%! Are you living your life by this principle?

I. The Matter Of Our Giving


(Ill. A little background on this scene might be in order right about here. As Jesus stood there that day watching the people give their offerings, He was watching not how they gave, but how much as well. At the Temple treasury, there were 13 brass chests, or boxes, into which the worshipers cast their offerings. These "chests" were called "trumpets" because they were shaped like trumpets. As the metal coins were cast into these trumpets, they make a loud noise. The more money that was cast in, the louder the sound. Each chest bore an inscription declaring what the money inside was to be used for. Considering the nature of these chests, it becomes obvious that those who wanted to put on a show could do so quiet easily. This was a practice that was rebuked by Jesus, Matt. 6:2. When the little widow gave her 2 small coins, they sounded mighty small compared to the offerings of the rich. However, to the Lord, they made the noise of a vast offering! When this little widow gave ALL she had, Jesus could no longer contain Himself, but used her giving as an example to all who were present that day. Her testimony still stands as one of the greatest examples of sacrifice in all of recorded human history.) With this in mind, notice a few principles from the bible concerning the measure of our giving.

A. We Are To Give Proportionally - That is, everyone is expected to give the same amount. Not the same dollar figure, but the same percentage. God's ideal starting point for giving is 10% for everyone. This principle of giving is called the tithe and it is the Lord's - Mal. 3:10; Lev. 27:30. Any other use of this money constitutes stealing from God and will result in the removal of His blessings!

(Ill. Tithing did not originate with the Law. 430 years before the Law was given, Abraham offered the Lord a tithe of all his increase, Gen. 14:20. Even before that, Abel brought the Lord of the "firstfruits" of his flocks, Gen. 4:4. The idea of giving the Lord His part directly off the top is as old as humanity itself.)

(Ill. Regardless of who you are, your part is exactly the same as my part. We are all required to give to the Lord His tithe! Anything less is theft.)

B. We Are To Give Properly - There is a proper place that has been appointed by the Lord for us to give our tithes. Notice, Mal. 3:10, we are to bring our tithes into the storehouse, also called the "Lord's house." In our day, we call this place the church. God's plan is that ALL the tithe is to be brought into the church and from there, it is to be distributed as the Lord leads.

(Ill. Is it proper to give my tithe to a missionary, to the needy, to some ministry, or to but things for the church? NO! The ONLY proper use for the tithe is for it to be brought into the Lord's house to be distributed as the Lord directs.)

C. We Are To Give Perpetually - According to 1 Cor. 16:2, we are to make our giving a regular part of our lives. Many give only when they have excess. Others do it when they are moved by conviction and guilt. When the feeling bad stops, so do they. The proper method of giving is when you have received increase, you are to give at least 10% of that increase to the Lord.

(Ill. We are to give of our firstfruits. According to the Bible, when we make the first part holy, then the rest becomes holy as well, Rom. 11:16. This means when we give our tithe, we are making the statement that everything else belongs to the Lord as well. When we refuse to give as the Lord has given to us, then we are telling God that He has no right to anything that belongs to us.)

I. The Matter Of Our Giving

II. The Measure Of Our Giving


(Ill. I can imagine the reaction of the crowds as the rich men threw in their large sums of money. I would expect that there was some major "ooohing" and "ahhhing" as the trumpets sounded and the money fell into the collection boxes. Then, I can see that little widow woman as she comes to the chests. She drops in her offering. Only 2 mites, equal to about cent in our money. The crowds were probably silent as she gave her offering. But, while the others received the praises of men for their gifts, this woman received the praises of God. You see, it isn't the dollar amount that makes the offering a blessing, it is the heart behind the gift. It all comes down to motive. Let's talk for a minute about the motive of our giving.)

A. We Should Give Thankfully - That is, we ought to do our giving in light of what the Lord has done for us. When we consider the fact that the Lord loved us and gave His life for us, then saved us by His grace when we simply asked, then the tithe seems awfully small. A thankful heart is a giving heart!

B. We Should Give Cheerfully - According to the Bible, God loves a cheerful giver, 2 Cor. 9:7. This word literally means, "hilarious." We should give, not because we feel obligated to give, but because it delights our hearts to be able to give unto the Lord! (Ill. Giving at Camp Zion!)

C. We Should Give Liberally - This simply means that we are not to be stingy when it comes to giving to the Lord's work or His people. In truth, we can expect God to bless us in direct proportion to the level of our giving, Luke 6:38; 2 Cor. 9:6. Do not be guilty of being a skinflint when it comes to giving. The Lord will not bless your life! This is the only kind of liberal the Lord will use and bless!

(Ill. There will be some who will pretest that they cannot afford to give. I say that is not true! Regardless of what comes into your life, you can always give the Lord His 10th. Anything less is rebellion, pure and simple! The truth is, you cannot afford not to give! I challenge every person here tonight who does not give the Lord His true tithe ever time you receive increase to take the Lord at His work and put Him to the test, Mal. 3:10. Otherwise, do not complain when you walk through tough times financially!)

D. We Should Give Sacrificially - In our text, Jesus was impressed, not by the amount of the widow's gift, but by the fact that she gave out of her need. The rich gave out of their surplus, she gave all she had. That got the Lord's attention! It still does! If you wait to start giving when you have plenty, you will face 2 problems. 1.) You'll never get to where you think you have plenty. 2.) When you do have extra, it will seem like too much to give. The best thing to do is to give everything you have to the Lord. When He already owns it all, then that little 10% won't matter too much.

(Ill. Sadly, many in our day seem to be afflicted with that terrible disease known as Cirrhosis of the Giver. This terrible malady renders the afflicted person's hand incapable of moving from the wallet to the offering plate. The only known cure is to remove the sufferer from the Lord's house where the condition seems able to cure itself. This is seen in the fact that the sufferer is more than willing and able to spend money at restaurants and in activities which he/she enjoys. If you have this disease, there is a permanent cure. It is called repentance and obedience to the Lord. If you are afflicted by Cirrhosis of the Giver then allow me to point you to Dr. Jesus. He has the cure you need!)

Conc: When we come to the topic of money, there are always those who get a little touchy. Some people simply are not going to honor the Lord with their giving until they get right with God. Some will say, "Preacher, it's not about the money." In truth, that's what it is always about! Anyone who refuses to give the Lord what belongs to Him loves his money more that he loves God. What is God's word about your money? That your money belongs to Him and that you will give an account as to how you use His money.

Sermon By Alan Carr


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