Wednesday, February 27, 2019

A Beautiful Thing : Part 2 | Colin D

This message was preached by Colin D at Word of Grace Church on  February 25th, 2019. To listen/download the audio please click hereTo listen to the Sunday's worship and prophetic contributions please click here

Let us remind ourselves what we heard in last Sunday’s sermon. We got to know that Jesus spoke more about money. According to the research made, there are 2350 verses in Bible which talk about money and possessions. Statistics show that 15% of Jesus’s recorded words are about money. What is that He knows and we don’t know?
How we handle our money is the barometer of our spiritual health. How do we know the health of our spiritual life?

Matt 6:21 – For where your treasure is, there your heart will also be
The true test of our heart is to see where it is. If we want our heart to be in the right place, we should know where it is.

We all know about the story of Zacchaeus, the tax collector. Zacchaeus was a short man and hence he had to climb the tree to see Jesus. He was a tax collector. In Jesus time, the tax collectors were as respectable as a prostitute.

Matt 9:11 – When the Pharisees saw this, they asked his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?”

Matt 21:32 – For John came to you to show the way of righteousness, and you did not believe him, but the tax collectors and the prostitutes did……

Tax collectors were of very low ranking and were looked down. But why were they looked down upon? The tax collectors were Jews who used to collect the tax and give it to the romans with some of the tax going into their own pockets.

Luke 19:5-8 – When Jesus reached the spot, he looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, come down immediately. I must stay at your house today.” So, he came down at once and welcomed him gladly. All the people saw this and began to mutter, “He has gone to be the guest of a sinner.” But Zacchaeus stood up and said to the Lord, “Look Lord! Here and now I give half of my possessions to the poor and if I have cheated anybody out of anything, I will pay back four times the amount.

When Zacchaeus’s heart was touched, he changed. When Jesus asked him to come down, Zacchaeus did not say Lord’s Prayer or sinner’s prayer. But he did the right thing and a generous thing.

When there is a call to giving, we tend to decide on some safe amount. But we need to align every area of our lives according to God’s word.

Last Sunday we saw how Mary, Martha’s sister gave. It was not a safe quantity. It was a generous and sacrificial quantity. It was worth one year’s wages. Today, we’re going to see the longest content on money.

2 Cor 8:1 – And now, brothers and sisters, we want you to know about the grace that God has given the Macedonian churches.
1.      Giving is a result of grace
If we don’t understand grace of God, then we cannot give.
Stage 0 – There is no grace. People struggle to give.
Most of the people in the world are like this. But sadly, most of the Christians are like this too.
We see many advertisements on TV. All these are help people part with money.
People don’t mind spending money on themselves. It could be a new model phone or any new gadget. But they have a problem spending the money on others
When we as Christians, truly understand the grace of God, we will know how to be gracious in giving.
The richest people on the earth cannot buy salvation. We’re so blessed to have salvation, though we don’t deserve it. Hence, our response should be amazing. When we die, we can’t take anything with us.

Matt 6:19-20 – “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 treasure in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal.

Jesus has no problem with you storing up treasure. He wants you to store up the treasure in heaven.

How do we store up treasure in heaven? As we give to the poor, to gift offering , help others, we store up treasure in heaven.

2.      Financial situation / Difficult time
Some people may say that their financial condition is very bad or they may be genuinely going through some difficult times.
Let us see what Paul says about the Macedonians.

2 Cor 8:2 – In the midst of a very severe trial, their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity

How could the Macedonians give out of severe trial and extreme poverty? It’s because of God’s grace and immense joy that was overflowing

2 Cor 8:3 – For I testify that they gave as much as they were able, and even beyond their ability.

Stage 1 – Able
Stage 2 – Beyond ability (sacrificial)

We always want to increase the standard of our living. But God wants us to increase the standard of our giving.

Whatever Jesus spoke is recorded in the gospel lessons. But only one is recorded outside the gospel lessons and that is in Acts

Acts 20:35 – In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work, we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said, “It is more blessed to give than to receive”

3.      Attitude
What was the attitude of the Macedonians?

2 Cor 8:4 – they urgently pleaded with us for the privilege of sharing in this service to the Lord’s people.

2 Cor 8:7 – But since you excel in everything – in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in complete earnestness and in the love we have kindled in you – see that you also excel in this grace of giving

Here is a question for all of us – Am I excelling in giving?

Jesus watches us when we give.
Jesus saw the old lady giving 2 copper coins. As the disciples were calculating who gave the most, Jesus said that the old lady gave more. It’s not the amount alone that is important. How much do we keep and how much do we give? We don’t compare ourselves with others.

2 Cor 9:6 – Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously.

If we want bananas, we need to plant the banana tree. If we want tomatoes, we need to plant tomatoes plant. Similarly if we want money, we must plant money that is give money.

Once, my mom told me that they were planning to get small houses built for the homeless. So, she asked me to give some money towards it. I gave. Then, my mom blessed me that one day God will bless me with a beautiful house. Today, I have a beautiful home.

As we shovel into God’s Kingdom, God will shovel back into our lives. The good news is that the shovel used by God is bigger.

2 Cor 9:12 – This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of the Lord’s people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God.

So, as we give, it not only meets the needs of the people but is an overflowing of thanks to God.

Here is the promise –

2 Cor 9:10-11 – Now, he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness. You will be enriched in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving. To God

 Word of Grace is an Evangelical (Born Again),  Spirit-filled (Charismatic), Reformed, English speaking church in Pune that upholds the Bible as God's inspired Word for life. We are a church community that has people from every part of India and parts of the world. We are here to put the Great Command and the Great Commission into practice by equipping and releasing every member into works of service.  Word of Grace is a part of a wider international family of Churches called RegionsBeyond.To know more about us please log onto 

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