October-5th-2008-Giving-God-Your-best-Ps-Darryl by lsy121925


A man went out and bought a new TV for his family. He went on a business trip and when he
returned he walked in the compound and announced ―I am home‖ normally everyone would
come and greet him, his kids would run to him, his wife would welcome him with a kiss – but this
time nothing – he thought they were not at home. But when he came into his house he seen
everyone gathered around the TV, they barely looked up at him and greeted him. He wanted to
throw the TV out of the window. He felt bad.

When God created us He created us to have fellowship with us. These days there are so many
things that are distracting us from our relationship with Him, at times He must feel a bit like this
father did. There are two main areas that we must guard ourselves against or our relationship
with God will suffer. There areas that I am referring to are time and money.

Time and money – are two things that most people wish they had more of. They also tell us a lot
about our priorities.

Time and money either draw us closer to God or further away. If you give God time and give
Him your money you feel closer to Him. On the other hand if we never give God any time and
never give him our treasure – our hearts will grow cold towards Him.

This is important because only you can decide how you will spend your time and your money.

But if you don‟t put yourself in check with your time and money – it‟s easy to mismanage both
time and money.

Do a quick check.

Time: Work, school, Sleep, Eat. Most people will be left with about 4-6 hours. What you do
with those 4-6 hours will tell you where your priorities are.

Money: With money you can‟t add up how you spend your money and see what‟s left over to
find out where your heart is. With money it‟s at the other end it starts at the top. Your first ten
percent goes to God, then the rest of your money – you decide where and how you‟re going to
spend it, but if you wait to see what is left over you usually won‟t have much to give. And this is
what I want to talk about today.

At 84, Tom White has almost achieved his life's goal—to give away his entire fortune. Tom
White is a Boston businessman who has given away $75 million. But his proudest relationship is
with the poorest country in the Western hemisphere, Haiti. He's involved in health and justice
projects there. When people ask him "why," he responds with "give me three reasons I shouldn't,"
and then proceeds to give three reasons he should: "I can't take it with me, my kids are okay, and
my wife's taken care of." He'll also tell you, "I'm motivated a lot by what Jesus wants me to
do…and I think he wants me to help make the world a better place."

At the beginning of this year – I warned you about the rising food prices and necessity to put
yourself in check and begin to down size your life.

Downsizing a person‟s life means to look for ways to spend less so you so you can give more
to God - that is the only safe place.

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When a person does not put God first in their finances then they feel this pressure to make
things happen for themselves and they get scared and nervous. Because when money gets
low or food prices go up – you feel like you’re the one that has to look for more money. But
when you put God first, He will put things right for you.

Testimony: We decided to down size and trust God. At first it seemed like it might be difficult –
it really hasn‟t – because we have put God first and He has worked everything out. It‟s been
amazing. I don‟t know how it has worked out, but it has.

Here‟s the principle and this applies in any area:

Whatever you want God to bless you put Him first in.
If you want God to bless your family, put Him first in your family.
If you want God to bless your career, put Him first in your career.
If you want God to bless your relationships, put Him first in your relationships.
If you want God to bless your schedule, your time, put Him first in your schedule.
If you want God to bless your finances, put Him first in your finances.

Most people put God first with their mouth but their actions betray them. In other words they will
say God is first, but their actions say something else.

When we speak of God being first he must be first in word and deed.

Joke: There once was a farmer who had two cows, he decided to give one to the Lord but he
not yet decided which one to give to the Lord. That night he went to sleep and one of the cows
died. He looked at the dead cow and took off his hat and well that‟s too bad Lord – it looks like
your cow died.

I thank God for many of you have learned the importance for putting God first in your finances
and have learned to be generous, far beyond your tithe.

But not everyone has and as a nation we struggle in this area. The way I see it there are really two
main reasons that this country in particular struggles with poverty and those reasons are:
Alcoholism and corruption.

1) Alcoholism. Uganda drinks more alcohol per person based on their income than any other
country in the world. That is based on percentages. In other words the amount of money spent on
alcohol per person compared to how much money they earn is the highest. A person may make
200,000 shillings a month and spend over 70,000 shillings a month on beer – that‟s a third of
their income.

2) Corruption. I don‟t need to say a lot here. Uganda always does quite well in corruption– we
are usually near the top in world as the most corrupt.

But how does relate to you. Most of you here are not struggling with alcohol or corruption. I
hope not. But the spirit behind these things is something that all of us deal with and that spirit is
selfishness or greed.

God gives us an answer to selfishness and greed so it does not destroy us.

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      The bible tells that money will destroy us, unless we learn to give it away.

Example: Even Bill Gates knows that, the richest man in the world.

      Bill Gates only lets his children spend 45 minutes on the computer a day (that includes
       playing video games). While many other kids throughout the world assuming they have a
       computer on average spend anywhere 3 to 9 hours a day.
      Stephen Spielberg is one of Hollywood‟s biggest movie producers but he does not let his
       kids watch TV.

Today I want go over the basic difference in Tithes and Offerings. Because they are not the same
as many people assume.

Knowing what God says about them can keep us on tract with how God wants us to give.

Malachi 3:8-12
8 “Will a man rob God? Yet you have robbed Me! But you say, „In what way have we robbed
You?‟ In tithes and offerings.
9 You are cursed with a curse, For you have robbed Me, Even this whole nation.
10 Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, That there may be food in My house,
And try Me now in this,” Says the Lord of hosts, “If I will not open for you the windows of
heaven And pour out for you such blessing That there will not be room enough to receive it.
11 “And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, So that he will not destroy the fruit of your
ground, Nor shall the vine fail to bear fruit for you in the field,”
Says the Lord of hosts;
12 “And all nations will call you blessed, For you will be a delightful land,” Says the Lord of

The bible teaches that we are to give in both tithes and offerings.

      Tithes are to be given systematically and to the local church,
      Offerings are usually given for a specific period or event and can be designated to a
       variety of different organizations.

Before we talk about offerings, let‟s take a minute and talk about tithing.

1) We don‟t pay our tithes to God, we bring them.

Malachi 3:10
Bring all the tithes into the storehouse,….

Malachi says to bring. If I loan you a book and ask for it back. I ask you to bring it back. The
tithe belongs to God, He has given it to you on loan, when he asks for it back He asks you to
bring it not pay it.

When are you supposed to bring them?

1 Corinthians 16:2 (LB)

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―On every Lord’s Day you should put aside something from what you have earned during the
week, and use it for this offering. The amount depends on how much the Lord has helped you

By bringing your tithe as soon as you get – means you bring the first part – as it says in

Proverbs 3:9-10 (LB)
“Honor the Lord by giving Him the first part of all your income, and He will fill your barns… to

He doesn‟t say the leftovers. I discovered in tithing that if I waited until the end of the month to
tithe, it‟s not there. I have to do it as soon as I get the paycheck. Then the promise ―He will fill
your barns to overflow.‖ I get more testimonies about this principle than any other. Literally
hundreds, maybe thousands, over my lifetime about giving and about tithing.

This helps you to avoid some of the pitfalls of tithing:

     Some people say they forget.
Why did you forget? Maybe on purpose you forgot. People often forget their tithe because they
neglect these other areas. For example: When you out of fellowship it’s easy to forget. When
you‟re not in the word and prayer it‟s also easy to forget. But for someone that really loves God,
they can’t forget – because it’s part of their worship.

     Some people say they spend it too soon.
What did you spend it on? Put it aside immediately. Put it in an envelope. Bring it to the church
during the week. Don‟t borrow it. DON‟T BORROW IT!

What if I am sick or my family is sick and I need to go to hospital and all I have is my tithe? My
question is – what happened to the other 90%?

Some get hungry and eat it.

      Some people say they can‟t afford to tithe.

You can‟t afford not to tithe. People that say they can‟t afford to tithe don‟t understand how
tithing works. Tithing insures that your needs will be taken care of by the Lord. Many people get
into this way of thinking that we should only give after we have taken care of our other needs.

Example: Some find it easy to tithe when they have no job.

Man who had no steady job was making about 5,000 a week. He went to the pastor and told
him that he was in financial trouble, the pastor told him to start tithing. He did and got a good
job. His income increased each month until he was getting 500,000. He went back to the pastor,
told him he wanted to stop.

William Colgate: Kept giving more until he became a reverse tither.

      Some say tithing doesn‟t work.

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Our primary reason for tithing should be out of obedience and a willingness to serve God. God is
not a machine and tithing is not the Stock Market. There is no better way to invest your money
than putting it where it will never rust or rot. God has given us a promise in the area of tithing
that if we give the 10% we can test Him by expecting Him to come through for us. He will
provide for our needs and more. Some people think that tithing is like a watch when the
batteries run out the thing stops working. Some people give for a while and see great results
but when they don‟t see results they stop giving. Tithing is not something we do for awhile. It is
a lifestyle.

2) Tithes are to be given to the local church.

The second thing that Malachi 3:10 tells us is that we are to bring the tithes to the store house.

Malachi 3:10
Bring all the tithes into the storehouse,….

That‟s why in verse 10 it says to only to bring the tithes into the storehouse and not the

1 Corinthians 16:2 (LB)
“On every Lord‟s Day you should put aside something from what you have earned during the
week, and use it for this offering.

They should be brought on the Lord‟s day because they should be given to the local church you

Tithes are for needs of the local church.

This church receives no outside support for it‟s day to day running expenses, even the continued
construction is predominately all from the tithes of the members of this church.

Some people tithe to Benny Hinn. If you give to Benny Hinn or any other person or organization
beside the local church you attend then that should be an offering not a tithe.

Example: A guy once asked me if he could buy me a book. Said he always did that with his

3) You should tithe on all your income, including money that is given to you as a gift.

1 Corinthians 16:2 (LB)
“On every Lord‟s Day you should put aside something from what you have earned during the
week, and use it for this offering. The amount depends on how much the Lord has helped you

A tithe is 10%.
Someone who does not know what a tithe is will give whatever is in their pocket. Pay tithe on
all income that given to you or you have earned. Keep an account.

      All money that you earn from your job or from other sources should be tithed on.

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      If someone gives you money for any reason you should tithe on it.
      What if someone gives you a gift like a car or school fees. I think then it is up to you. But
       if it‟s cash, defiantly you should.

God instituted the principle of tithing for three reasons.
   1. It takes care of your past.
   2. It takes care of your present.
   3. It takes care of your future.

Whenever I tithe the first shilling goes back to God.

First, in my past. It’s a statement of gratitude. Whenever I tithe it‟s saying, “God, I realize
all this came from You and if it wasn‟t for You I wouldn‟t have any money anyway. I wouldn‟t
have my life. I wouldn‟t have my intelligence, my health to work. So in gratitude realizing it
all really comes from You. So the first ten percent goes back to You in gratitude. I‟m not an
ungrateful person. I‟m very grateful for what You‟ve done in my life. So here it is.” I can say
I‟m grateful but if I don‟t tithe I‟m not grateful. I‟m kidding myself.

In the present. It’s a statement of priority. It says, “God, I want You to be number one in
my life so right off the tip, the first part of my money goes back to You as a statement of priority
that You’re number one in my life.” I could say God‟s number one but if I‟m not tithing He‟s
really not number one. What I do with my money and what I do with my time really show
what‟s important to me.

It’s a statement of faith in God in the future. “God, You‟ve made all these promises – this is
one of them – that you’ll take care of me if I put You first in my money. So, I‟m going to
tithe. Even though I don‟t have it, I‟m going to give the first ten percent back to You in a
statement of faith that I believe that You will take care of me in the future.”

God says “try me or test me in this, says the Lord.” He says, “Prove Me, test Me.

Malachi 3:10
….And try Me now in this,” Says the Lord of hosts,

So I dare you. I dare you to tithe. I dare you to say, “Ok, God the first ten percent goes back to
you. See if God won‟t keep His promise.

There are more promises in the Bible about tithing and giving than any other subject. It‟s
true. More promises about giving than any other subject. in the Bible. Why? Because God
wants you to learn to be like Him. God is a giver. As long as you‟re stingy, you‟re not like God.
He wants you to learn to give. It‟s a character building thing. If you want God‟s blessing, just
do what He says.

When we tithe God promises to take care of our basic needs of food clothing and shelter.

1 Timothy 6:7,8
For we brought nothing into the world, and it is clear that we can carry nothing out. But having
food and clothing, we will be content.

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When these needs are not being taken care almost always a person is not tithing. If they are and
these needs are not meet they are usually not being a good steward.

Example: Even many Pastor’s don’t tithe (I know, I have caught them).

Besides bringing the tithe – then we give in offerings.

Here at VCC Ntinda. We ask that everyone to give to missions in addition to their tithe.

Malachi 3:8
8 “Will a man rob God? Yet you have robbed Me! But you say, „In what way have we robbed
You?‟ In tithes and offerings.

Missions giving provides you an opportunity to receive more from God. Most do not see it
this way – but this is the way the bible teaches us.

2 Corinthians 9:10
Now may He who supplies seed to the sower, and bread for food, supply and multiply the seed
you have sown and increase the fruits of your righteousness,

The wonderful thing about God is that He runs His kingdom on grace and love.

He never asks for anything that He first does not give you.

He first gives you money and then only after He gives it, does He ask you to bring the tithe
and the offering. He does not ask for it before He gives it.

So in God‟s economy tithing is like God giving you a fish. But once you eat the fish it‟s

But God wants to give you more than a fish. He wants to show you how to fish.

So He gives a fishing pole or fishing net and then shows you how to fish, that is where offerings
come in.

Some are content with just eating fish – others want to know how to fish so they can give fish
to others.

Knowing how to fish is a lot like planting seeds. Seeds can help us reap a harvest – but
seeds must go through a process before they can be reaped.

Psalm 126:5,6
Those who sow in tears shall reap in joy. He who goes forth and weeps, bearing precious seed,
shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him.

Example: Sowing story*

1) You must plant the seed.

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      Seeds don‟t grow unless you plant them. Planting the seed means to give it.
      Don’t eat your seed. Eat your bread.
      God gives the seed to us so we can increase. The seed is the power to increase.

2) The seed we plant determines the crop we will harvest.

     If you plant cabbage seeds you get cabbages? Carrots, peppers?
Many people believe that if they give to help someone with their school fees, wedding or
birthday party that this is the same as bringing an offering to God - it‟s not.

     Giving to God means giving to God.
If you give to others you may get something back from them. Hopefully thank you, maybe a
card, they may think highly of you. But it giving to God we don‟t receive back in the same way.

If you give to God, you will receive back from God. Building a house for you aging parents is
wonderful but it does not qualify you as giving to the Kingdom of God.

You see even unsaved people will do this. Our motivation should be as though we are giving it to
the Lord, but Giving to God means giving to God, not to someone else. Giving to a need is
being generous. That‟s good, you should do that. My wife and I do that. God tells to do that. That
is biblical. But we should understand the difference between giving to a need and giving to God.

This is a bit tricky if you’re not getting me. I hope you understand what I am saying.

3) The more seeds you plant, the bigger the harvest.

      If you plant a many seeds you will be blessed with many crops.
Now at that time my salary was $50,000 a year, that was a $100,000 gift. You need to know that
I don't take a salary from Saddleback anymore. We lived in a 1200 square foot home, and I built
the kid's bedrooms in the garage. And my 3 kids grew up in bedrooms that I built in my garage.
And God said, I want you to give $100,000 to this gift, to this building, and you are going to trust
me. I said, "God what am I supposed to live on in the next 2 years?" And He said, "Do you
really believe the Bible? "Yeah." "Well, then trust me." So the next week, those of you that
were here back in '93 will remember this, I stood up, and my knees were quaking, and I said, "I
don't want to do this, but the Bible talks about the leaders leading the way, and God has told us to
give $100,000 to this offering." And I went home and I thought, you fool, what in the word have
you done? And it was pretty dicey because I had no idea where I was going to get that money
and what we were going to live on. Four days before that offering, it was 4 weeks later, 4 weeks
of tension, a publishing company called me up on the phone and said, “Rick, we think that you
should be an author, and we want to you write a book called the Purpose Driven Church,” not
life, church. And I said, "That doe sound like a good idea." “So we are going to send you a
contact for $150,000.” All right, God, yeah. Okay. Oh, now we are talking, Okay. Okay. And
the next week I got up and I announced to the whole church and they knew -- and the place went
crazy. We were all clapping and cheering. And you know what? I would not give anything for
the lesson that I learned in faith that day.

4) If you plant you will reap.

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     No one has ever experienced a crop with no harvest when they give to Lord. No crop
No one can touch your seed.

Matt 6:19-21
“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves
break in and steal; (20) “but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor
rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. (21) “For where your treasure is, there
your heart will be also.

5) The harvest does not come over night.

    Seeds take time to grow and so will yours.
Examples: Businesses take time to grow, marriages take time to mature.

When a farmer sows his seed. He believes it will grow and he will have a harvest. He proves it

   1)   Watering it.
   2)   Fertilizing it.
   3)   Protecting it.
   4)   Waiting for it (not growing impatient and digging up his garden).

Your harvest will come……………It will come….if you have planted a seed and you are waiting
for your harvest - IT IS COMING!

We are responsible to sow; the Lord is responsible for the harvest.           He is the Lord of the

In closing. Today I have focused my sermon on the benefits of giving to God our money and God
giving back to us financially.

But before I close, I want to look at the deeper reason for giving to God.

Giving to God is not really about money at all. It‟s much bigger than that.

It tells us where our treasure is. It tells what we are living for. You can almost tell about how
much of your life you‟re giving to God by how much money your giving.

Pastor, you cannot be saying what I think your saying. Yes I am. If your giving 10%. You could
be considered a 10%, Christian. 20%, 30%, 40%. I know people that give a 100% so it‟s
possible. You can give a 100% and if you have no love or do it for the wrong reasons, it‟s all for

Though example I gave is not literal. Giving to God tells us a lot about how much we trust Him.

It‟s all based on percentages not, how much or how little. Thank God for that!!

Secondly, the real blessing in giving to God is not money anyway.

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When you move from getting blessed to being blessed, the way you look at money changes.

Some people really only want the blessing, not the blesser. I want the blesser. I would rather
have Jesus than silver or gold!

      Some people give to be blessed. Others give because they are blessed.
      It depends how you view God and your relationship with Him.

But this blessing is not only in finances it is also in our relationship with God.

Let me tell you what it means to be cheerful giver as the bible says we can be?

It means having Jesus as your reward, that you‟re not bothered about giving. That is why your

Psalm 73:25,26
Whom have I in heaven but You? And there is none upon earth that I desire besides You. My
flesh and my heart fail; But God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.

For most people Jesus is only a means to get what they want in life. Including money, education,
a wife or a new car.

Living on earth will never compare to the mansion you will have in heaven.

There will be no greater success than for us to sit with Christ on His throne. Can you imagine

Revelation 3:21
"To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat
down with My Father on His throne.

Example: Sowing story*
The following article is based on a sermon by missionary Del Tarr who served fourteen years in
West Africa with another mission agency. His story points out the price some people pay to sow
the seed of the gospel in hard soil. I was always perplexed by Psalm 126 until I went to the
Sahel, that vast stretch of savanna more than four thousand miles wide just under the Sahara

In the Sahel, all the moisture comes in a four month period: May, June, July, and August. After
that, not a drop of rain falls for eight months. The ground cracks from dryness, and so do your
hands and feet. The winds of the Sahara pick up the dust and throw it thousands of feet into the
air. It then comes slowly drifting across West Africa as a fine grit. It gets inside your mouth. It
gets inside your watch and stops it. The year's food, of course, must all be grown in those four
months. People grow sorghum or milo in small fields.

October and November...these are beautiful months. The granaries are full -- the harvest has
come. People sing and dance. They eat two meals a day. The sorghum is ground between two
stones to make flour and then a mush with the consistency of yesterday's Cream of Wheat. The

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sticky mush is eaten hot; they roll it into little balls between their fingers, drop it into a bit of
sauce and then pop it into their mouths. The meal lies heavy on their stomachs so they can sleep.

December comes, and the granaries start to recede. Many families omit the morning meal.
Certainly by January not one family in fifty is still eating two meals a day. By February, the
evening meal diminishes. The meal shrinks even more during March and children succumb to
sickness. You don't stay well on half a meal a day. April is the month that haunts my memory. In
it you hear the babies crying in the twilight. Most of the days are passed with only an evening
cup of gruel.

Then, inevitably, it happens.   A six- or seven-year-old boy comes running to his father one day
with sudden excitement.

"Daddy! Daddy! We've got grain!" he shouts.
"Son, you know we haven't had grain for weeks."
"Yes, we have!" the boy insists. "Out in the hut where we keep the goats -- there's a leather sack
hanging up on the wall -- I reached up and put my hand down in there -- Daddy, there's grain in
there! Give it to Mommy so she can make flour, and tonight our tummies can sleep!"

The father stands motionless. "Son, we can't do that," he softly explains. "That's next year's seed
grain. It's the only thing between us and starvation. We're waiting for the rains, and then we must
sow it."

The rains finally arrive in May, and when they do the young boy watches as his father takes the
sack from the wall and does the most unreasonable thing imaginable. Instead of feeding his
desperately weakened family, he goes to the field and with tears streaming down his face, he
takes the precious seed and throws it away. He scatters it in the dirt! Why? Because he believes
in the harvest.

The seed is his; he owns it. He can do anything with it he wants. The act of sowing it hurts so
much that he cries. But as the African pastors say when they preach on Psalm 126, "Brother and
sisters, this is God's law of the harvest. Don't expect to rejoice later on unless you have been
willing to sow in tears."

And I want to ask you: How much would it cost you to sow in tears? I don't mean just giving God
something from your abundance, but finding a way to say, "I believe in the harvest, and therefore
I will give what makes no sense. The world would call me unreasonable to do this -- but I must
sow regardless, in order that I may someday celebrate with songs of joy."

                                Victory City Church – Ntinda

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