Sermon Summary

This week, Pastor Chris continued in our mini-series on generosity. Pastor Chris encouraged us to consider the source and purpose of our finances. God’s priorities are very different than the world’s priorities, and the holiday season can tempt us to be consumers rather than stewards of what has been entrusted to us. By choosing to generously give away, we become more aligned with God’s generous heart.

1. Who is the source?

Psalm 24:1 (ESV)
1 The earth is the LORD’s and the fullness thereof, the world and those who dwell therein,

Deuteronomy 8:17–18 (ESV)
17 Beware lest you say in your heart, ‘My power and the might of my hand have gotten me this wealth.’ 18 You shall remember the LORD your God, for it is he who gives you power to get wealth, that he may confirm his covenant that he swore to your fathers, as it is this day.

2. Steward or Owner?
Matthew 6:19–20 (ESV)
19 “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…

• True stewardship is managing the assets of someone else.

1 Timothy 6:17–19 (ESV)
17 As for the rich in this present age, charge them not to be haughty, nor to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy. 18 They are to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, 19 thus storing up treasure for themselves as a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is truly life.

3. What do my finances come for?

4. Firstfruits to God.

“Any first thing given is never lost, and any first thing not given is always lost.”

Proverbs 3:9–10 (ESV)
9 Honor the Lord with your wealth and with the firstfruits of all your produce; 10 then your barns will be filled with plenty, and your vats will be bursting with wine.

Malachi 3:8-12 (NIV)
8 “Will a man rob God? Yet you rob me. “But you ask, ‘How do we rob you?’ “In tithes and offerings. 9 You are under a curse—the whole nation of you—because you are robbing me. 10 Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the LORD Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it. 11 I will prevent pests from devouring your crops, and the vines in your fields will not cast their fruit,” says the LORD Almighty. 12 “Then all the nations will call you blessed, for yours will be a delightful land,” says the LORD Almighty.

“Tithing isn’t the ceiling of giving; it’s the floor. It’s not the finish line of giving; it’s just the starting blocks. Tithes can be the training wheels to launch us into the mind-set, skills, and habits of grace giving.”

RT Kendall

Matthew 23:23
You guys give tithes of your firstfruits and of the spices you put on your foods, but you have neglected justice, mercy, and faith. You ought to do that…tithe but don’t leave the other undone.

“Tithing is a means whereby we can demonstrate in the material realm the existence of God and the fact of His governorship over all temporary affairs.”

A.W. Pink

God’s Priorities

  1. Tithe to the Lord.
  2. Take care of needs.
  3. Generosity.
  4. Leave a legacy.
  5. Enjoy life and pleasures.

World’s Priorities

  1. Enjoy life and pleasures.
  2. Take care of needs.
  3. Retirement.
  4. Generosity.
  5. Philanthropy.

“My Giving Covenant” (The Treasure Principle)

  1. I affirm God’s full ownership of me and everything entrusted to me.
  2. I set aside the firstfruits—at least 10 percent—of every wage and gift I receive as holy and belonging exclusively to the Lord.
  3. Out of the remaining treasures God entrusts to me, I seek to make generous freewill gifts.
  4. I ask God to teach me to give sacrificially to His purposes, including helping the poor and reaching the lost.
  5. Recognizing that I cannot take earthly treasures from this world, I determine to lay them up as heavenly treasures—for Christ’s glory and the eternal good of others and myself.
  6. I ask God to show me how to lead others to the present joy and future reward of the Treasure Principle.

Discussion Questions

  1. How would you define stewardship?
  2. What is the fruit of a steward versus the fruit of an owner? What fruit are you bearing right now?
  3. Do your priorities current day align more with God’s or the world’s (see the above chart)?

Application Questions

  1. Is the Lord asking you to give in a generous way this season? Step out in faith and obedience today.
  2. Are you looking to give away this holiday season? Adopt a child from Jennie Reed through our giving tree outreach! Email for details.