Friday, September 08, 2006

Wallet Worship

We are in a worship service.
We have worshiped through singing.
We have worshiped through praying.
We have worshiped by reading the Scriptures.
We have worshiped by listening to special music.
We are worshiping by listening and responding to the preaching of God's Word.
There was another act of worship in our service.
This act of worship is probably the most unpopular.
This act of worship is one that most do not want the pastor to talk about.
This act of worship is done with your wallet.
That's why I have entitled the sermon, "Wallet Worship".

I would like us to consider three things about worshiping God by Giving to His work.

Why should I part with my hard-earned money? Why should I put more than a token gift in the offering plate? There are, of course, many reasons. Here are three:

1. Gratitude
When you give, to whom are you giving? Are you giving to the church, the pastor, the missionary, the Sunday School, or the building fund? No! When you give in worship, you are giving to the Lord! The church, the pastor, the missionary, the Sunday School and/or the building fund will benefit, but your giving should be to God.

If you know Christ as Savior, you're giving is out of gratitude for what He has done for you. See Ephesians 2:4-10 to see what He's done for us.

2. Ownership
Psalm 24:1-2 - Because of creation God owns everything. Because of creation God owns your possessions. Because of creation God owns you.

1 Corinthians 6:19-20 shows us that God has an even greater hold on us as Christians. Because of what God has done for us, he owns us. He should be allowed to use those things he has entrusted into my care.

3. Dedication
Romans 12:1 - If my body is a living sacrifice, that means that all I have and all I am His. If what I have is that with he has entrusted to my keeping, I am responsible to properly use it.

Wallet worship is wrong when we worship our wallets, instead of worshiping with our wallets. 1 Timothy 6:10
The wrong kinds of Wallet Worship include:

1. Being Selfish
Another word for it is "stingy". You want to be "comfortable", without regard to helping others. Luke 12:16-21

2. Being Scared
Many of you never started giving generously to God when you were young. Now you are afraid that you cannot afford to tithe or to give above the tithe to missions. You are afraid that ends will not meet. Our Lord answers this concern in Matthew 6:19-21, 31-33.

3. Being Sneaky
Some folks who talk the most about giving end up giving the least. Some will even try to deceive others about the amount of their contribution to the Lord's work. Acts 5:1-11

Here are four different principles to apply for the right kind of worship with the wallet.

1. THE ABRAHAM PRINCIPLE - Genesis 14:18-20
Abraham demonstrates the giving of the tithe.
There was no law as yet about giving when Abraham did this.
But Abraham gave willingly, gratefully, systematically, and generously to the Lord's work.
If Abraham considered the tithe as fitting, shouldn't we at least make that our minimum gift?

The principle is to simply not to rob God! I think of the tithe as those, that we would give to the local church and the offerings are those gifts that are over and above the tithe. Often these gifts go to support missionaries. God promises blessing when we give properly. Malachi 3:10-11

3. THE WIDOW PRINCIPLE - Mark 12:41-44
Jesus is more impressed with the percentage of the gift (In this case it was 100%!), that he is the amount of the gift.

4. THE PAUL PRINCIPLE - 2 Corinthians 9:6-8
Paul reminds us that we will reap in proportion to how much we sow. Vs. 6
We are to give purposefully, willingly, and cheerfully. Vs. 7
When that is done, there will be no lack. Vs. 8

(This sermon outline is by Pastor Jack Peters from his Sermon Seeds ministry.)


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