Giving Thanks By Thanks Giving1

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					                        “Giving Thanks By Thanks Giving!”
2 Corinthians 9:7-11, “Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give;
not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver. And God is able to make
all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may
abound to every good work: as it is written, He hath dispersed abroad; he hath given to
the poor: his righteousness remaineth for ever. Now he that ministereth seed to the sower
both minister bread for your food, and multiply your seed sown, and increase the fruits of
your righteousness; being enriched in every thing to all bountifulness, which causeth
through us thanksgiving to God.”

So today, for the sake of a Thanksgiving message, I would like to talk to you on, “Giving
Thanks By Thanks Giving!”

Many in America have become so fortunate that we fail to appreciate the real meaning
of this time of the year that we celebrate as Thanksgiving. We lean toward celebrating
Thanksgiving as a time of giving thanks rather than a time of thanks, giving! We give
thanks to God for our provisions for life, but fail to show our thanks by giving to those that
are less fortunate. You can’t celebrate this holiday by only looking at it one-sided! We
must feel the compassion that Jesus had when He looked at the needs of those around
Him. As much sickness, hunger, suffering and trouble we see in this world it has not yet
driven us to a sense of compassion that we are so thankful where we are willing to give of
ourselves. We express ourselves only by giving thanks instead of thanks giving. We thank
Him for everything else, but fail to thank Him for the most important gift of life – Jesus! Then
we fail to be thankful by giving like Jesus gave! We can never be truly giving thanks until
we show thanks giving! Can you imagine how this world would be if we spent this time of
thanks giving? Thanks, giving to the causes of the world! Thanks, giving hope to the
hopeless! Time of thanks, giving to the friendless! Time of thanks, giving to the fatherless!
Time of thanks, giving to the motherless! Time of thanks, giving to the lost! I encourage
each of you to spend time with God giving thanks for all that He has done for you, but I
also encourage each of you to spend some time of thanks, giving to your fellowman that
is in need! Giving thanks by thanks giving!

As we come to our text we find Paul giving a discourse to the church at Corinth on the
principles of giving as followers of Jesus Christ. The church at Corinth was composed of
both Jewish and Gentile converts to Christianity. The Jewish Christians knew of the law of
tithing, but the non-Jewish believers knew nothing of the laws of the Jews and were not to
be held to this burden of giving that was built around temple worship.           The New
Testament church wasn’t based on temple worship with any priests of the Levitical order,
but Christ as our high priest. There was no need of going to the temple for non-Jews or
converting to Judaism to become a Christian. When Christ died on the cross the veil in
the temple was rent from top to bottom that torn down any division between Jew and
gentile eliminated any need for sacrifices that the Levites and the other priests had to
carry out. This opened the access to God up to every believer without the need to go to
the temple or have a priest to pray intercessory for us. We now can approach the throne
of grace for ourselves in the name of Jesus our priest forever. This order was new to the
converted Jews and Gentiles causing some confusion and misunderstanding in the faith.
Paul teachings in our text this morning were for many of the non-Jewish believers their first
lesson in proportional giving. The Jews has been used to tithing, but this mixed church
had mixed ideas on that principle. So Paul started off this chapter talking about
ministering to the needs of others and teaching them about the principle of seedtime and
harvest. Paul told them in verse 6 before our text that, “He which soweth sparingly shall
reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully.”
Understanding economics was not this peoples problem in that Corinth was a merchant
city. They knew about investments and return, so Paul spoke to them on a subject that
they well understand. He understood that these merchants would be thankful that their
investment would get a bountiful return. This he knew they would be thankful for!

First, in our text he teaches them, “Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let
him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.” By laying the
foundation of seedtime and harvest, Paul now lets them know that if your have it, its now
time to give it! God has no demands on us to give just because of the letter of the law.
God desires that we give because of how He has blessed us with a harvest. He bountifully
gives to us and to show our thanks to him, we give to help others in need advancing the
kingdom of God. That’s what showing thanks, giving is all about! When God blesses us, it
should move our heart to give freely, without being felt pushed, or by some law, but
cheerfully because of what God has given us. Our text says that God loves a cheerful
giver! This should encourage all of us to be thankful and give so that we can receive the
love of God!          It didn’t say how much like the law requires, other than Strong’s
Concordance says, to choose for oneself. Don’t allow anyone else determine what you
should give! The Bible says, “For whosoever shall give you a cup of water to drink in my
name, because ye belong to Christ, verily I say unto you, he shall not lose his reward.”
With heartfelt thanks, giving to God by your own choice cheerfully grants you the love of
God. What greater reward can you receive? God doesn’t measure our faithfulness by
the size of the gift! He measures what’s in our heart! The Bible says in Mark 12:41-44, “And
Jesus sat over against the treasury, and beheld how the people cast money into the
treasury: and many that were rich cast in much. And there came a certain poor widow,
and she threw in two mites, which make a farthing. And he called unto him his disciples,
and saith unto them, Verily I say unto you, That this poor widow hath cast more in, than all
they which have cast into the treasury: for all they did cast in of their abundance; but she
of her want did cast in all that she had, even all her living.” She gave the least, but all that
she had she gave freely out of her heart! Giving for someone else, for the law, or being
compelled by any other reason except by your own choice will not get you the love of
God! God expects all of us to show Him thanks by giving to those that are less fortunate
and in need by choice. Giving thanks to God by giving out of your heart is the only way
of thanks giving! Giving thanks by thanks giving!

Finally, showing our thanks by giving brings us bountiful blessings from God. Our text says,
“And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all
sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work: as it is written, He hath dispersed
abroad; he hath given to the poor: his righteousness remaineth for ever. Now he that
ministereth seed to the sower both minister bread for your food, and multiply your seed
sown, and increase the fruits of your righteousness; being enriched in every thing to all
bountifulness, which causeth through us thanksgiving to God.” It’s hard for most people
to believe that the secret to wealth is giving. It seems counterintuitive to the principles
that the world teaches, but God’s formula for attaining things begins with giving them
away. When you begin to trust God rather than trying to hold on to everything you have
starts you out on the road to being rich in grace. One scripture says, “But my God shall
supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” How many of you
believe that? We tend to believe and trust in everything except what God says! When
we show God our thanks by giving, it opens up the portals of heaven to bless us with
grace that fills us with satisfaction even though we don’t have everything. Have you
noticed that riches don’t fill you up? Rich folks are striving everyday to get richer never
satisfied to that place of feeling filled! When you start sharing your blessings with others it
will begin the process of you being satisfied filled with the grace of God. When you are
willing to turn it loose, God will increase your blessings enriched with a feeling that you’ve
never experienced before in your life. Thanks giving to the cause of Christ to minister to
the needs of the world bring us fruits of righteousness that can’t be obtained by money
and the riches of this world. Jesus teaches us in Luke 6:38, “Give, and it shall be given unto
you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men
give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured
to you again.” He warns in Matthew 6:19-21, “Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon
earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: but
lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and
where thieves do not break through nor steal: for where your treasure is, there will your
heart be also.” The riches treasures that we can attain in this world are those that we give
to serve God. Giving thanks by thanks giving will increase our reward on earth and in
heaven! Being blessed by thanks giving!

As we closing, there’s this little story that says:
      “The master of a Zen monastery required larger quarters since where he was
teaching was getting overcrowded. A merchant decided to donate five hundred pieces
of gold toward the construction of a more comfortable and larger monastery. He brought
the gold coins to the master.
      The master accepted his donation.
      The merchant gave the master his sack of gold pieces but he felt quite dissatisfied
with the master's attitude. His sack of five hundred gold pieces could feed hundreds of
monks for many, many years.
      "There are five hundred gold pieces in that sack, " he hinted at the master.
      The master replied, "You already mentioned that."
      "Although I am a wealthy merchant, that is still a lot of money for me," said the
merchant.
      The master said, "Do you want me to thank you for it?"
      "You should," answered the merchant.
      The master answered, "Why? It is the giver who should be thankful."

Just as the master told the rich merchant, we should be so thankful that God has blessed
us with the capacity to give! We are so blessed to live in a nation that has so much when
the rest of the world is suffering so much! We are so blessed to live in a nation where we
can worship any way we desire! We are so blessed to have the freedoms that we enjoy
now after all that our ancestors had to go through! We are so blessed that we all should
be thanks givers to show God our gratitude to be able to give!              All of us can give
something no matter how poor we are. Seek to be a thanks giver by giving of your time,
your talents or your treasures to help someone less fortunate than you are. You don’t
have to look far to find someone to help. My mother’s favorite song was that lived by
was:
                              “If I could help somebody pass along,
                              If I can cheer somebody with a song,
                         If I can show somebody he’s traveling long,
                                 Then my living will not be in vain.”
If you would take the time to help somebody with the least of what God has blessed you
with giving thanks by thanks giving, then your living will not be in vain. God will give you
purpose in your life with a sense of fulfillment like nothing you’ve ever experienced in your
life. Give thanks to God for all things, but with all things be a thanks giver! Let’s give God
thanks this Thanksgiving by thanks giving! Sounds a little strange don’t it, but it works! Let
me say it again! Let’s give God thanks this Thanksgiving by thanks giving! Giving thanks
by thanks giving! Then my living will not be in vain!

				
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