Fifth Reformed Church Blog

Marks of a Disciple - Giving March 6th, 2012



Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Marks of a Disciple:  Giving                            

(sermon audio)

Disciples of Jesus find life in giving.

“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal.  But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal.  For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also”.

Giving does not necessarily mean “financial giving” – refers to a generosity with all the resources we have; time, talent & treasure.  It seems unlikely that anyone who has crossed an initial line of faith commitment to Jesus could argue with the idea that a major goal of the Christian life is to become a more generous person.  Clearly, Jesus thought of financial giving as a spiritual bellwether. It is something that announces the direction of a trend.  As a spiritual bellwether, financial giving announces the direction of our hearts.

Reasons for Giving-

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16).

God so loved . . . that He GAVE!  You can give without loving, but you can’t love without giving.  We give because we love God in response to his goodness to us.

“‘One thing you lack.  Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven.  Then come, follow me.’  At this the man’s face fell.  He went away sad, because he had great wealth.” (Mark 10:21-22).

This guy came to Jesus asking, “What must I do to inherit eternal life?”  Jesus says, “Obey the commandments.”  The guy says, “I’ve kept all of them since I was a boy.”  And notice what Jesus told him to do.  Go sell everything and give to the poor. Cash out.  Give to the poor – not give it all to the poor, just give to the poor.  Jesus didn’t tell the guy to give him the money because Jesus doesn’t need our money.  Jesus saw that money had a hold on his heart and that the best route to spiritual health was to give.  We give because we need to give.

“For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matt. 6:21).

When you read that quickly, you take away this message:  you invest in the things you value.  Now, that’s true, but it’s not what Jesus was saying here.  Jesus said – not that our treasure follows our hearts – but that our hearts follow our treasure.  We give because when we give we set the direction of our hearts toward a spirit of generosity rather than one of greed.

Disciples of Jesus find life in giving.


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