Thinking with grace rather than justice, part 18; Giving; John 15:18.
length: 65:01 - taught on Sep, 28 2012
Title: Thinking with grace rather than justice, part 18; Giving; John 15:18.
Grace in giving:
1 Tim 6:6 But godliness [living the spiritual life] actually is a means of great gain, when accompanied by contentment [capacity].
1 Tim 6:7 For we have brought nothing into the world, so we cannot take anything out of it either.
1 Tim 6:8 And if we have food and covering, with these we shall be content.
1 Tim 6:9 But those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a snare and many foolish and harmful desires which plunge men into ruin and destruction.
1 Tim 6:10 For the love of money is a root of all sorts of evil, and some by longing for it have wandered away from the faith [doctrine], and pierced themselves with many a pang.
1 Tim 6:11 But flee from these things, you man of God; and pursue [in contrast to wealth] righteousness, godliness, faith, love, perseverance and gentleness.
1 Tim 6:12 Fight the good fight of faith; take hold of the eternal life to which you were called [seize your election in Christ], and you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses.
The parable of the rich man, prompted by a rude, covetous man.
Luke 12:13 And someone in the crowd said to Him, "Teacher, tell my brother to divide the family inheritance with me."
This is as absurd as it is irrelevant. Jesus Christ is offering them eternal life and this self-absorbed man interrupts that offer to attempt to gain a decision on an inheritance.
Luke 12:14 But He said to him, "Man, who appointed Me a judge or arbiter over you?" [plural - both he and his brother covet wealth]
Luke 12:15 And He said to them, "Beware, and be on your guard against every form of greed; for not even when one has an abundance does his life consist of his possessions."
Naturally what follows is that if you don’t have abundance your life still doesn’t consist of your possessions. What a wonderful thing it is to be around gracious believers who understand this.
Every American person is wealthy by world standards. Never think that these admonitions only apply to the rich and famous. Many people, even Christians, define themselves by what they own. This is my house, my car, my clothes, my jewelry, etc. God clearly states to us that as a man thinks in his heart so is he.
Mark Twain once defined "civilization" as "a limitless multiplication of unnecessary necessities," in certain societies he was right.
An unnecessary necessity is not a need but a desire that one can be perfectly content without.
Many Christians are infected with covetousness and do not know it. One can also define themselves but what they do not own and feel unfulfilled or inadequate due to what they don’t have and others do. God would ask, “What do you think in your soul?” Paul stated that we will take nothing with us out of this world, but what he meant was materialism. Divine good will be rewarded forever at the JSOC. This is based on what you think and not on what materialism you have.
Luke 12:16 And He told them a parable, saying, "The land of a certain rich man was very productive.
Luke 12:17 "And he began reasoning to himself, saying, 'What shall I do, since I have no place to store my crops?'
How do you respond to the wealthy farmer's dilemma? Here was a man who had a problem with too much wealth! If we say, "I certainly wish I had that problem!" we may be revealing covetousness in our hearts.
If suddenly you inherited a great deal of wealth, would it create a problem for you? Or would you simply thank God and ask Him what He wanted you to do with it?
People who are satisfied only with the things that money can buy are in great danger of losing the things that money cannot buy.
Luke 12:18 "And he said, 'This is what I will do: I will tear down my barns and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods.
The rich man uses the personal pronoun “I” eleven times. This is the “take care of number one” mentality and it only leads to loss.
There is nothing wrong with managing your money so that you can take care of your household …
1 Tim 5:8
But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith, and is worse than an unbeliever.
Yet providing is not the same as selfishness, greed, and a closed cold heart that only looks out for number one. You can provide for your own and still be tremendously gracious.
Luke 12:19 'And I will say to my soul, "Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years to come; take your ease, eat, drink and be merry."'
Luke 12:20 "But God said to him, 'You fool! This very night your soul is required of you; and now who will own what you have prepared?'
Luke 12:21 "So is the man who lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God."
Then the Lord makes application to the disciples and therefore application to every doctrinal believer.
Luke 12:22 And He said to His disciples, "For this reason I say to you, do not be anxious [care, concern, anxiety, used for cares that make one lose sleep] for your life, as to what you shall eat; nor for your body, as to what you shall put on.
Luke 12:23 "For life is more than food, and the body than clothing.
Luke 12:24 "Consider the ravens, for they neither sow nor reap; and they have no storeroom nor barn; and yet God feeds them; how much more valuable you are than the birds!
Luke 12:25 "And which of you by being anxious can add a single cubit to his life's span?
Worry and anxiety over needs blinds the believer to what is truly life. Just because you are alive does not mean you know how to live.
Luke 12:26 "If then you cannot do even a very little thing, why are you anxious about other matters?
Luke 12:27 "Consider the lilies, how they grow; they neither toil nor spin; but I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory did not clothe himself like one of these.
Luke 12:28 "But if God so arrays the grass in the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, how much more will He clothe you, O men of little faith!
Luke 12:29 "And do not seek what you shall eat, and what you shall drink, and do not keep worrying.
Luke 12:30 "For all these things the nations of the world eagerly seek; but your Father knows that you need these things.
Luke 12:31 "But seek for His kingdom, and these things shall be added to you.
Luke 12:32 "Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has chosen gladly to give you the kingdom.
Luke 12:33 "Sell your possessions and give to charity; make yourselves purses which do not wear out, an unfailing treasure in heaven, where no thief comes near, nor moth destroys.
Luke 12:34 "For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
The giving problem in Corinth:
2 Cor 9:1 For it is superfluous for me to write to you about this ministry to the saints;
2 Cor 9:2 for I know your readiness, of which I boast about you to the Macedonians, namely, that Achaia has been prepared since last year, and your zeal has stirred up most of them.
2 Cor 9:3 But I have sent the brethren, that our boasting about you may not be made empty in this case, that, as I was saying, you may be prepared;
2 Cor 9:4 lest if any Macedonians come with me and find you unprepared, we (not to speak of you) should be put to shame by this confidence.
2 Cor 9:5 So I thought it necessary to urge the brethren that they would go on ahead to you and arrange beforehand your previously promised bountiful gift, that the same might be ready as a bountiful gift, and not affected by covetousness.
2 Cor 9:6 Now this I say, he who sows sparingly shall also reap sparingly; and he who sows bountifully shall also reap bountifully.
2 Cor 9:7 Let each one do just as he has purposed in his heart; not grudgingly or under compulsion; for God loves a cheerful giver.
God in His matchless grace provides the motivation as well as the capital for grace giving, 2Cor 9:8.
2 Cor 9:8 And God is able to make all grace abound to you, that always having all sufficiency in everything, you may have an abundance for every good deed;
2 Cor 9:9 as it is written,
"He scattered abroad, he gave to the poor,
His righteousness abides forever."
This is quoted from PSA 112:9. I think we miss these too often as in this case the context of the Psalm brings richness to this quote.
Ps 112:1 Praise the Lord!
How blessed is the man who fears the Lord,
Who greatly delights in His commandments.
Ps 112:2 His descendants will be mighty on earth;
The generation of the upright will be blessed.
Ps 112:3 Wealth and riches are in his house,
And his righteousness endures forever.
Ps 112:4 Light arises in the darkness [adversity] for the upright;
He is gracious and compassionate and righteous.
Ps 112:5 It is well with the man who is gracious and lends;
He will maintain his cause in judgment.
Ps 112:6 For he will never be shaken;
The righteous will be remembered forever.
Ps 112:7 He will not fear evil tidings;
His heart is steadfast, trusting in the Lord.
Ps 112:8 His heart is upheld, he will not fear,
Until he looks with satisfaction on his adversaries.
Ps 112:9 He has given freely to the poor;
His righteousness endures forever;
His horn will be exalted in honor.
Ps 112:10 The wicked will see it and be vexed;
He will gnash his teeth and melt away;
The desire of the wicked will perish.
There is one who scatters, yet increases all the more,
And there is one who withholds what is justly due, but it results only in want.
The generous man will be prosperous,
And he who waters will himself be watered.
2 Cor 9:10 Now He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food, will supply and multiply your seed for sowing [scattering] and increase the harvest of your righteousness [increases all the more];
The harvest analogy is used frequently to describe the investment of a believer into the plan of God.
2 Cor 9:11 you will be enriched in everything for all liberality, which through us is producing thanksgiving to God.
Gracious giving is a part of Christian service, which produces thankfulness in the capacity of others, 2Cor 9:12.
Some people don’t have the capacity to be thankful. They just keep taking, expecting to receive, and get nasty when they don’t. A believer priest must make a decision in his own privacy, without judging from others, as to whether he should continue to give to such a person or persons or whether he should cut them off.
2 Cor 9:12 For the ministry of this service is not only fully supplying the needs of the saints, but is also overflowing through many thanksgivings to God.
2 Cor 9:13 Because of the proof given by this ministry they will glorify God for your obedience to your confession of the gospel of Christ, and for the liberality of your contribution to them and to all,
2 Cor 9:14 while they also, by prayer on your behalf, yearn for you because of the surpassing grace of God in you.
2 Cor 9:15 Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!