Text: Gen. 1:27-31, John 3:16
[Gen 1:27] So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.
[Gen 1:28] Then God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”
[Gen 1:29] And God said, “See, I have given you every herb thatyields seed which is on the face of all the earth, and every tree whose fruit yields seed; to you it shall be for food.
[Gen 1:30] Also, to every beast of the earth, to every bird of the air, and to everything that creeps on the earth, in which there is life, I have given every green herb for food”; and it was so.
[Gen 1:31] Then God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good. So the evening and the morning were the sixth day.
[Joh 3:16] For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
- God gave His only begotten Son to man, so that man should not perish.
- God made the earth for man and gave everything to man for the survival of man.
- Giving is in the character of God as our Father.
- If we analyze our prayers, 90% of the time, we are asking God to give us something.
- If giving is in the character of God, giving must be in our character
- We have a problem in the church 20% of the church members do the giving that 100% enjoy.
- 80% of us do not give like they should.
- This is not just about finances. When we hear “give”, our mind goes to money.
Types of Giving
Yourself – You must give yourself to God.
- Everything that you are
- Everything that comes with you
- How? By serving God with who you are
- God gave His best to us in the person of Jesus Christ
- He expects our best to be given to Him in the person of we are
- Until we get to the point of knowing that all that we are belongs to God, we will never get to the point of serving God in the way that pleases Him.
- Jesus said – [Mat 6:24] “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.
There is a part of us that we want to give to God, and there is a part of us that we want to withhold.
No man can serve two masters. God will not share you with yourself. If you are not giving all to God, you are not giving anything to God.
- When you serve God, you serve Him wholeheartedly. Why? Because you have given yourself to Him
- Apostle Paul said – [Gal 2:20] I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.
Give your resources to God
- Your skills, your talents, your finances
- When we go to work in place, we lay all our talents on the table. We give our best effort to make sure the work is done thoroughly and professionally because we get paid at the end of the day.
- If we do any work for God, some of us do it as if we are doing God a favor.
- We give our best to man, and give the leftover to God
- The skills you have to do your work, who gave it to you?
- The job that you have, who gave it to you?
- The life that you have, who gave it to you?
- Why should God have the leftover? He should have the best.
- The best time of your day, should be given to God
- The best of what you have should be given to God
- The best of who you are should be given to God
- Let’s look at Cain and Abel –
- [Gen 4:3] And in the process of time it came to pass that Cain brought an offering of the fruit of the ground to the LORD. [Gen 4:4] Abel also brought of the firstborn of his flock and of their fat. And the LORD respected Abel and his offering, [Gen 4:5] but He did not respect Cain and his offering. And Cain was very angry, and his countenance fell.
- Both Cain and Abel came to worship God with their giving. They gave of their resources.
- Your giving is an act of worship.
- Why did God not respect Cain and his offering? Because it was not his best
- Abel brought the firstborn of his flock. The best of what he had to offer, he gave it to God and God had respect for his offering
- Cain also brought something from the fruit of the ground. It was not the best. Just some fruits that he gathered.
- The offering of Abel was accepted, that of Cain was rejected.
- If you don’t give God your best, He knows. He decides what to accept and what to reject.
- God is not desperate to accept any kind of offering
- God is not a beggar to receive any kind of offering
- If it is not your best, God, your Maker, has every right to reject the offering.
- Remember John 4:24?
- The widow of Zarephath – 1 Kings 17:8-16
- [1Ki 17:8] Then the word of the LORD came to him, saying,
[1Ki 17:9] “Arise, go to Zarephath, which belongs to Sidon, and dwell there. See, I have commanded a widow there to provide for you.“
[1Ki 17:10] So he arose and went to Zarephath. And when he came to the gate of the city, indeed a widow was there gathering sticks. And he called to her and said, “Please bring me a little water in a cup, that I may drink.”
[1Ki 17:11] And as she was going to get it, he called to her and said, “Please bring me a morsel of bread in your hand.”
[1Ki 17:12] So she said, “As the LORD your God lives, I do not have bread, only a handful of flour in a bin, and a little oil in a jar; and see, I am gathering a couple of sticks that I may go in and prepare it for myself and my son, that we may eat it, and die.”
[1Ki 17:13] And Elijah said to her, “Do not fear; go anddo as you have said, but make me a small cake from it first, and bring it to me; and afterward make somefor yourself and your son.
[1Ki 17:14] For thus says the LORD God of Israel: ‘The bin of flour shall not be used up, nor shall the jar of oil run dry, until the day the LORD sends rain on the earth.’ “
[1Ki 17:15] So she went away and did according to the word of Elijah; and she and he and her household ate formany days.
[1Ki 17:16] The bin of flour was not used up, nor did the jar of oil run dry, according to the word of the LORD which He spoke by Elijah.
The widow was commanded to give to Elijah first before herself, why?
Your first is your best and it belongs to God
If you are giving God leftover, that is not your best
That is “Cainistic” giving – like Cain
You want to give “Abelistic” giving – like Abel
The widow gave of the only resource that she had, as result, she, her son, and Elijah ate until the famine was over.
If she had not given of her last meal, she would have perished with her son.
If we read further, you will see where her son died – 1 Kings 17:17-24
Elijah raised the son back to life. Why? Because he was there.
If she had not given of her last meal, God would have made another plan for Elijah and he would not have been there to raise the son back to life.
- Give your best to God.
- Your giving is an act of worship.
- Whatever you give is not lost. It is sown as a seed and it is coming back to you. Gal 6:7-8
- [Gal 6:7] Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap.
[Gal 6:8] For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life.
What you refuse to give to God is what you sow to the flesh. What you reap from the flesh is corruption.
What you give to God is what you sow to the Spirit. What you reap of the Spirit is everlasting life.
- Our Father has been a giver from the beginning, therefore we must givers.
- You are to give yourself to God first – the best of what you have is you
- You are to give of your resources to God – the best of your resources
- Don’t give a Cainistic offering like Cain
- Give an Abelistic offering like Abel – the type of offering that God will respect.
- We will continue next week by God’s grace.