Giving to God - SERMON OUTLINE

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					Gareth Simpson                            i     

                              SERMON OUTLINE

Series:       In the beginning...
Title:        Giving to God
Text:         Genesis 14:18-20
Date:         5 September 2010 am
Venue:        Lambert Road Baptist Church (
Preacher:     Gareth Simpson (Blog:

1.   God owns everything
2.   We give to God
3.   How much should we give?
4.   Giving lays up treasure in heaven
5.   The motive for giving

“Giving to God” (Genesis 14:18-20)
Gareth Simpson                                          1       

•   Intro
•   “Martyn Lloyd-Jones told a story about a farmer who went into the house one day to
    tell his wife and family some good news. "The cow just gave birth to twin calves, one
    red and one white," he said. He continued, "We must dedicate one of these calves
    to the Lord. We will bring them up together, and when the time comes, we will sell
    one and keep the proceeds and we will sell the other and give the proceeds to the
    Lord’s work." His wife asked him which he was going to dedicate to the Lord.
    "There's no need to bother about that now," he replied, "we'll treat them both in the
    same way and when the time comes, we'll do as I say." A few days later, he entered
    the kitchen looking unhappy. "What happened?" his wife asked. "I have bad news,"
    he replied, "The Lord’s calf is dead." "Wait," said his wife, "you didn't decide which
    calf was the Lord’s." "Yes" he said," I decided it was the white one, and the white
    one died. The Lord’s calf is dead".”1
•   The subject of giving/tithes/offerings is sometimes considered to be a sensitive topic.
•   Some view tithing as an unpleasant obligation.
•   All some churches talk about is money and prosperity, while other churches never
    talk about it.
•   Some believe that money is the root of all evil.
•   But it isn’t – “the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils” (1 Timothy 6:10).
•   Money, in and of itself, is morally neutral.
•   Should we talk about it in the church?
•   If the subject of money is included in the Bible, then we must hear what God’s Word
    has to say about it.
•   15 percent of everything Jesus said relates to the topics of money and possessions
    – more than His teachings on heaven and hell combined.2
•   If we are to be exposed to the whole counsel of God’s Word, then it is imperative
    that we have a Biblical perspective on giving to God.
•   In our passage for today we have the first account of tithing in the Bible: “And Abram
    gave him a tenth of everything” (Genesis 14:20b).
•   Abraham, as the father of those who would live by faith, set an example and
    precedent for all of those who would follow him.


          Alcorn, Randy. The Treasure Principle. Eternal Perspective Ministries 2001:11

“Giving to God” (Genesis 14:18-20)
Gareth Simpson                                                    2           

•      In Genesis 14:19 we read that the LORD is the “Possessor of heaven and earth”

•      This week Stephen Hawking was in the news headlines for claiming that God didn’t
       create the universe.
•      He said that, “Spontaneous creation is the reason there is something rather than
       nothing, why the universe exists, why we exist ... If you like, you can call the laws of
       science ‘God’, but it wouldn’t be a personal God that you could meet, and ask
•      But God’s Word tells us that the LORD spoke the universe into being.
•      He is the Creator of the universe and the “Possessor of heaven and earth”.
•      This truth is taught throughout the Scriptures:
           o “The earth is the LORD's and the fullness thereof, the world and those who
                dwell therein” (Psalm 24:1).
           o “The silver is mine, and the gold is mine, declares the LORD of hosts”
                (Haggai 2:8).
           o “Beware lest you say in your heart, 'My power and the might of my hand have
                gotten me this wealth.’ You shall remember the LORD your God, for it is he
                who gives you power to get wealth” (Deuteronomy 8:17-18).
•      We are told that God owns those who follow Jesus.
•      “You are not your own, for you were bought with a price” (1 Corinthians 6:19-20).
•      Maybe you don’t like this teaching?
•      One of the first words that children learn is “Mine!”
•      This is our human nature – or more accurately, our sinful nature.
•      But we are not owners on earth, merely stewards.
•      Everything created comes from God and belongs to the LORD.
•      When King David called on the people to give towards the building of the temple, he
       prayed, “Yours, O LORD, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the
       victory and the majesty, for all that is in the heavens and in the earth is yours. Yours
       is the kingdom, O LORD, and you are exalted as head above all. Both riches and
       honour come from you, and you rule over all ... For all things come from you, and of
       your own have we given you” (1 Chronicles 29:11-14).
•      Illustrate


“Giving to God” (Genesis 14:18-20)
Gareth Simpson                                          3        

•    “Once, a distraught man rode his horse up to John Wesley, shouting, “Mr Wesley,
     something terrible happened! Your house burned to the ground! Wesley weighed
     the news, then calmly replied, ‘No. The Lord’s house burned to the ground. That
     means one less responsibility for me.’ Wesley’s reaction wasn’t denial. Rather, it
     was a bold affirmation of reality – God is the owner of all things, and we are simply
     His stewards.”4
•    Questions
•    Do you consider your house/car/salary/pension to be yours?
•    If someone was to look at your monthly budget, would they clearly see that Jesus
     Christ is Lord of your life?
•    Application
•    If God owns everything, then my money and possessions aren’t mine.
•    “I’m His money manager.”5
•    Many Christians will openly admit that ‘God owns everything’, but the way that they
     live their lives suggests that they consider their money to be theirs.
•    If they do tithe, then the remaining 90% is theirs, and they can spend it as they
•    But the Bible teaches us that 100% belongs to God.
•    There is a fundamental connection between our spiritual lives and how we think
     about, and handle, money.
•    We may try to divorce our faith and our finances, but God sees them as being
•    God owns everything!.

•    The LORD said, “For the tithe of the people of Israel, which they present as a
     contribution to the LORD, I have given to the Levites...” (Numbers 18:24).
•    The people were to give their tithe to the LORD, not to the Levites.
•    We don’t give to the ‘Church’ or the ‘Pastor’.
•    We give to the LORD as an act of worship.
•    Paul wrote of the Macedonians that “they gave themselves first to the Lord and then
     by the will of God to us” (2 Corinthians 8:5).

           Alcorn, Randy. The Treasure Principle. Eternal Perspective Ministries 2001:28
           Alcorn, Randy. The Treasure Principle. Eternal Perspective Ministries 2001:26

“Giving to God” (Genesis 14:18-20)
Gareth Simpson                                    4      

•    It is written of these Macedonians that “in a severe test of affliction, their abundance
     of joy and their extreme poverty have overflowed in a wealth of generosity on their
     part. For they gave according to their means, as I can testify, and beyond their
     means, of their own accord” (2 Corinthians 8:2-3).
•    Where else will you find the juxtaposition of these terms: “severe test of affliction ...
     abundance of joy ... extreme poverty ... wealth of generosity ... gave ... beyond their
     means, of their own accord.”
•    We give to God, not to keep the local religious club going, or to pay salaries or to
     maintain buildings.
•    We give as an act of worship to the LORD.

•    “Every tithe of the land, whether of the seed of the land or of the fruit of the trees, is
     the LORD's; it is holy to the LORD” (Leviticus 27:30).
•    The meaning of the word tithe is ‘a tenth part.’
•    Ten percent was to be given back to God.
•    There were freewill offerings over and above to the ten percent, but the tithe was
•    “Honour the LORD with your wealth and with the firstfruits of all your produce”
     (Proverbs 3:9).
•    When we offer ten percent to the LORD, it doesn’t mean that that is God’s portion,
     and the rest is mine.
•    The firstfruits were given to the LORD indicating that the whole harvest belonged to
     Him – it was a symbolic act of obedience, worship, thanks and consecration.
•    When the people didn’t tithe the LORD said, “Will man rob God? Yet you are robbing
     me. But you say, 'How have we robbed you?' In your tithes and contributions. You
     are cursed with a curse, for you are robbing me, the whole nation of you. Bring the
     full tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. And thereby put
     me to the test, says the LORD of hosts, if I will not open the windows of heaven for
     you and pour down for you a blessing until there is no more need” (Malachi 3:8).
•    To not tithe is a sin.
•    Sin always has its consequences.
•    What does the New Testament teach about giving?

“Giving to God” (Genesis 14:18-20)
Gareth Simpson                                          5       

•   “Every New Testament example of giving goes far beyond the tithe. However, none
    falls short of it.”6
•   The basic guideline is to offer ten percent of what the LORD gives us, and if we want
    to give to missions, outreach ministries or the poor, then we are to do so over and
    above that ten percent, as a freewill offering.
•   We are not only instructed to tithe, but God’s Word tells us what our attitude should
    be in giving.
•   Paul writes, “whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows
    bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each one must give as he has decided in his
    heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.”
    (2 Corinthians 9:6).
•   When we read that we must give what we have decided in our hearts, this doesn’t
    mean that we are free to give whatever percentage of our income that we want to,
    with no regard to the minimum requirement of the tithe.
•   We are free to give whatever we decided over and above our tithe.
•   Illustrate
•   Studies in one Western nation indicate that “Christians give on average between 2
    and 3 percent of their income.”7
•   “A mother wanted to teach her daughter a moral lesson. She gave the little girl a
    quarter and a dollar for church "Put whichever one you want in the collection plate
    and keep the other for yourself," she told the girl. When they were coming out of
    church, the mother asked her daughter which amount she had given. "Well," said the
    little girl, "I was going to give the dollar, but just before the collection the man in the
    pulpit said that we should all be cheerful givers. I knew I'd be a lot more cheerful if I
    gave the quarter, so I did".”8
•   Questions
•   Do you agree that the Bible teaches us to tithe ten percent of everything that the
    LORD gives us?
•   Do you realise that everything ultimately belongs to God?
•   Do you thank Him for everything that He has given you?

          Alcorn, Randy. The Treasure Principle. Eternal Perspective Ministries 2001:64
          Alcorn, Randy. The Treasure Principle. Eternal Perspective Ministries 2001:64

“Giving to God” (Genesis 14:18-20)
Gareth Simpson                                    6      

•    Would you say that you sow into the Kingdom sparingly or bountifully?
•    Application
•    Mother Teresa said that, “If you give what you do not need, it isn't giving.”9
•    God doesn’t want your junk or leftovers.
•    He wants your firstfruits.
•    He knows that money can so easily become more important than Him in our lives.
•    It is very possible for two people to tithe, and for one to be joyful and the other to
     give begrudgingly; for one to be worshipping when giving, and the other trying to
     earn their salvation through legalism; for the one to be giving sacrificially and the
     other to be giving out of their abundance (with much disposable income left over).
•    God owns everything.
•    We give to God not to ‘the church’.

•    “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and
     where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven,
     where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal.
     For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matthew 6:19-21).
•    How do we lay up treasures in heaven?
•    Jesus said to the rich young man, "go, sell what you possess and give to the poor,
     and you will have treasure in heaven...” (Matthew 19:21).
•    By selling and giving this man would be laying up treasure in heaven.
•    Giving to the LORD is literally laying up treasure in heaven.
•    Jesus calls us to invest; but not in things that rust, can be stolen or are eaten by fish
•    He calls us to invest in eternal projects – soul winning ministries.
•    Jesus also said, “Sell your possessions, and give to the needy. Provide yourselves
     with moneybags that do not grow old, with a treasure in the heavens that does not
     fail, where no thief approaches and no moth destroys” (Luke 12:33).
•    “As for the rich in this present age ... They are to ... be generous and ready to share,
     thus storing up treasure for themselves...” (1 Timothy 6:17-19).
•    We very easily point fingers at the ‘rich’, but forget that in terms of the world’s
     standards, many who consider themselves to be ‘middle class’ are actually rich.

“Giving to God” (Genesis 14:18-20)
Gareth Simpson                                           7        

•    “Are you educated and literate? Do you have food, clothing, shelter, a car, perhaps
     some electronic equipment?              Then you are among the privileged, the world’s
•    Giving doesn’t save you, but it does show what the treasure of your heart is.
•    It shows what you value most.
•    Many people dread the thought of dying because everything they love and value will
     be left behind when they die.
•    All of their treasures are on earth.
•    They love possessions, children, homes, gadgets, and ‘things’ more than Jesus.
•    “We think we own our possessions, but too often they own us.”11
•    Illustrate
•    “John Wesley toured a vast estate with a proud plantation owner. They rode their
     horses for hours and saw only a fraction of the man’s property. At the end of the day
     they sat down to dinner. The plantation owner eagerly asked, ‘Well, Mr Wesley,
     what do you think?’ Wesley replied, ‘I think you’re going to have a hard time leaving
     all this’.”12
•    Questions
•    Are you laying up treasures in heaven by investing your time, talents and money in
     Kingdom work?
•    Application
•    God calls us to joyously invest our time, money and talents into His Kingdom, for His
     glory, and our eternal reward.
•    God owns everything.
•    When we give, we give to the LORD, not to the church.
•    When we give to soul winning ministries, we lay up treasures for eternity.

•    We give out of obedience to God’s command to tithe.
•    We are to give with cheerful hearts, but we mustn’t only give when giving is easy.
•    It is a spiritual discipline.

            Alcorn, Randy. The Treasure Principle. Christian Art Publishers, 2004:89.
            Alcorn, Randy. The Treasure Principle. Eternal Perspective Ministries 2001:55
            Alcorn, Randy. The Treasure Principle. Eternal Perspective Ministries 2001:44

“Giving to God” (Genesis 14:18-20)
Gareth Simpson                                           8       

•   The primary motive for giving is to do it as an act of worship.
•   God is the “Possessor of heaven and earth” - Ultimately He owns everything!
•   We give to Him the firstfruits of our labour, indicating to Him that in our hearts we
    consider Him to be our Provider.
•   Augustine said, “Where your pleasure is, there is your treasure; where your treasure
    is, there is your heart; where your heart is, there is your happiness”.13
•   You may think that you cannot afford to tithe.
•   John Piper writes, “The great danger of [money] is that our affections will be carried
    away from God to his gifts.”14
•   Giving is possibly the only thing that can rescue us from enslavement to materialism.
•   Questions
•   What does it mean to be a Christian?
•   It means to commit to Jesus and a local church.
•   Church membership is a commitment to coming together, growing in Christ, giving,
    praying and serving.
•   “When God provides more money, we often think, This is a blessing. Well, yes, but
    it would be just as scriptural to think, This is a test.”15
•   Application
•   “God is not glorified when we keep for ourselves (no matter how thankfully) what we
    ought to be using to alleviate the misery of unevangelised, uneducated,
    unmedicated, and unfed millions. The evidence that many professing Christians
    have been deceived by this doctrine is how little they give and how much they
•   May we at Lambert Road be faithful in cheerfully and prayerfully giving to the LORD
    as an act of worship, and through the faithful proclamation of the gospel lay up
    treasures in heaven, as He is pleased to bless our ministry.

           Piper, John. Desiring God. IVP, 1986:162.
           Alcorn, Randy. The Treasure Principle. Christian Art Publishers, 2004:77.
           Piper, John. Desiring God. IVP, 1986:163.

“Giving to God” (Genesis 14:18-20)