Matthew R. Perry

Do We Have a Biblical Attitude Toward Giving? (Introduction)

In Finances, Sermons on May 19, 2008 at 8:41 am

Birthday parties. Gas prices. House payments. Children. Car payments. High taxes. High unemployment. Credit card debt. School loans and/or tuition. Christmas. The economy in general.

What’s the combination? This list represents ways our money is often used — and also the excuses often given as to why we do not give to the Lord and His church as He commands.

As you turn to 2 Corinthians 8:1-15, you need to see that Paul desires to set among the Christians in Corinth is a pattern for giving — not just giving rightly outwardly but also from a right inward motive. And motive is key, isn’t it? Whenever a lawyer brings an event or someone’s character to bear on a court case, an objection is often raised as to whether this information is relevant. Inevitably, the lawyer will say, “Your honor, it plays to motive.” How true! It is relevant.
Macedonia was a province in northern Greece that had been decimated over the years by various wars in which Rome was engaged. The churches that Paul refers to were the churches in Berea, Thessolonica, and Philippi. These wars had left this area quite deprived and incredibly poor. So while the world may not have looked upon them with any favor, God did for these churches had a reputation of being quite faithful.

My desire is for Boone’s Creek Baptist Church to have that type of reputation. I am not talking about a reputation for giving to Annie and Lottie and Eliza (although that’s wonderful!). I’m not talking about a reputation for giving a good percentage of our budget to the Cooperative Program (again, wonderful!). It’s not ultimately about the bottom line: it all comes down to motive. How should we give? What type of attitude should we have? Do we have it now? If not, why not? What is keeping you from that point? Do we take giving to the Lord and to His church for granted? Do we give only when we like the direction of the church, but cease to give when we do not? Do we only give when the church’s general fund is low, or is giving simply part and parcel of our Christian walk?

Or is our motive to give because we love the Lord Jesus Christ and are joyful for the grace He has bestowed on sinners like we and the mercy he has extended to us.


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