I Love My Church

Introduction:

It’s just a fact: you can never out give God. He’ll beat you in that game every time. That’s not to say that there is a set formula that if you give “Y” that God will give you “X.” God promises to bless us and meet our needs and God has never and will never break a promise. God doesn’t need our money. He owns everything. He has infinite resources at His disposal and He is the ultimate giver. He just wants us to trust Him and obey by giving back a portion of what is already His. 

Bottom line: You can’t out give God.

Something To Talk About:

  1. Obedience results in resupply: The foundation and essence of the Christian life is to follow Jesus with all that we are and hold nothing back. That means that my financial life is inseparably connected to my worship. To love and worship God means I am a giver. It means I am generous. In other words, when we get saved, our wallets must be converted as well. The good news is giving to God is not a one-way street. The Bible repeatedly tells us that you can’t out give God, that what you give will be re-supplied. Malachi 3:10 tells us: ”Bring all the tithes into the storehouse so there will be enough food in my Temple. If you do,” says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, “I will open the windows of heaven for you. I will pour out a blessing so great you won’t have enough room to take it in! Try it! Put me to the test!”   Proverbs 3:9-10 (TLB) says, “Honor the Lord by giving him the first part of all your income, and he will fill your barns with wheat and barley and overflow your wine vats with the finest wines.”  And 2 Corinthians 9:8 says, “And God will generously provide all you need. Then you will always have everything you need and plenty left over to share with others.” Hebrews 11:6 says that God “rewards those who sincerely seek him.” 
  2. It’s the size of your faith not the size of your gift that matters: Scripture defines a tithe as an immediate gift of 10 percent at the first opportunity. The tithe symbolizes God’s ownership of everything. Tithing is the starting place of discipleship and a thermometer of our spiritual vitality. We don’t doubt that Christians should practice generosity, but what we really want to know is the particulars; just how much do we have to give to keep God happy. God doesn’t want you to give out of fear or guilt, he wants you to give out of faith. The first key to practicing generosity is trusting that God is in control of an infinite supply of whatever you need, and can multiply what you are willing to give him. And that doesn’t mean just today. “Look, I am coming soon, bringing my reward with me to repay all people according to their deeds.” (Revelation 22:12)  Proverbs 11:24-25 tells us: “Give freely and become more wealthy; be stingy and lose everything. The generous will prosper; those who refresh others will themselves be refreshed.” God challenges us about “throwing down the gauntlet” to test His faithfulness. He wants to prove He can provide for us. So I encourage you to start, even if you have to start small.

Questions:

  1. Some people view tithing as God wanting something from us. What makes us feel like God is a landlord demanding payment? What is God’s heart towards us regarding giving?
  2. Why do you think God asks us to put Him to the test? What is He trying to tell us about Himself? What is He trying to tell us about ourselves?
  3. Consider a specific area of desired growth, whether financial, spiritual, or relational. What would it look like for you to be generous in that area?
  4. When have you stepped out in faith and waited on God’s provision? When has it been hard for you to give to God?
  5. What can we do to step out in faith in the area of giving and generosity in the coming weeks?

Take One Thing Home with You

Many successful companies — including Apple, eBay, and Twitter — were built by multiple leaders whose productive relationships and combined skill-sets were a recipe for success. There is often a common trend in these partnerships: the most well-rounded pairs recognized their individual limitations and respected what the other could bring to a partnership. None of those very successful companies have a partner like Jesus Christ. We cannot make God our partner. But God can choose to make us His partners.

You might be saying, “well, what does this partnership require of me?” Partnership in any situation is always based on relationship and relationship always requires commitment on the part of all parties involved. God gives all of us the great privilege of partnering with Him in what He’s doing in the world. Northstar is committed to reaching those who are far from the heart of God, unleashing compassion into a broken world, and turning members and regular attenders into increasingly devoted followers of Christ. We partner with God when we give back part of what He has given us. 2 Corinthians 8:7 tells us, “Since you excel in so many ways—in your faith, your gifted speakers, your knowledge, your enthusiasm, and your love from us—I want you to excel also in this gracious act of giving.”

God is a faithful partner who keeps His word. I have seen God’s math at work hundreds of times in people’s lives and experienced it many times myself. I have seen people blessed in ways they could never have anticipated, simply because they put God first and faithfully gave to His kingdom. 

Giving is a Partnership with God that produces a true spiritual balance to life.