GCC message March 30th2014
“If a person gets his attitude toward money straight, it will help straighten out almost every other area in his life.”Billy Graham
Love for Enemies
27 “But I tell you who hear me: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28 bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. 29 If someone strikes you on one cheek, turn to him the other also. If someone takes your cloak, do not stop him from taking your tunic. 30 Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. 31 Do to others as you would have them do to you.
32 “If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even ‘sinners’ love those who love them. 33 And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even ‘sinners’ do that. 34 And if you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Even ‘sinners’ lend to ‘sinners,’ expecting to be repaid in full. 35 But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. 36 Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.
37 “Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. 38 Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”
I. REAL LOVE GIVES.
When we get saved, a new life is born in us, but also in new way of life, is called upon us, this new way is demonstrated by the great commandment in Luke 10:27
- Love God with all of your heart
- Love your neighbor as yourself.
- The stranger.
- Those who hate and even persecute us.
- Our family and relationships.
- Our Christian brothers and sisters.
- The poor amongst us.
This love is a giving love:
· Bless them
· Pray for them
· When they grab from you, give them more
· When they ask be willing to help them out.
· If they want to borrow, do not just lend give to them
· Even when they hate you, love them back
· Give especially to those who do not have capacity to repay you.
· Give kindness, give compassion, do not give judgment
· Give forgiveness.
” Do to others as you would like them to do to you”
What you would love for others to do for you, do the same, give the same, act the same.
Then those people will see Jesus whom you say you love.
II. THE LAW OF SOWING AND REAPING
WHAT HAPPENS WHEN WE DO THIS?
Then God puts into practice his law or principle of Sowing and Reaping. Others call it the law of reciprocity.
“38 Give, and you will receive. Your gift will return to you in full—pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, running over, and poured into your lap. The amount you give will determine the amount you get back.”
Material gain is a by-product of giving it should never be your motive. We are called to give to those who will never pay us back, to give to our enemies, to give to causes that glorify God. WE GIVE BECAUSE WE LOVE GOD.
WHEN WE GIVE, WE BECOME PARTNERS WITH GOD.
God is a generous God, a loving God, a forgiving God, a merciful God; He has decided to show His character through His children.
He is calling us into an adventure. We are co-workers together with God. It is through us that people see the love of God
Shortly after World War II came to a close, Europe began picking up the pieces. Much of the Old Country had been ravaged by war and was in ruins. Perhaps the saddest sight of all was that of little orphaned children starving in the streets of those war-torn cities. Early on a chilly morning, an American soldier was making his way back to the barracks in London. As he turned the corner in his Jeep, he spotted a little lad with his nose pressed to the window of a pastry shop. Inside the cook was kneading dough for a fresh batch of doughnuts. The hungry boy stared in silence, watching every move. The soldier pulled his Jeep to the curb, stopped, got out and walked quietly over to where the little fellow was standing. Through the steamed-up window he could see the mouth-watering morsels as they were being pulled from the oven, piping hot. The boy salivated and released a slight groan as he watched the cook place them onto the glass-enclosed counter, ever so carefully. The soldier’s heart went out to the nameless orphan as he stood beside him. “Son…would you like some of those?” The boy was startled. “Oh, yeah…I would!” The American stepped inside and bought a dozen, put them in a bag, and walked back to where the lad was standing in the foggy cold of the London morning. He smiled, held out the bag, and said simply, “Here you are.” As he turned to walk away, he felt a tug on his coat. He looked back and heard the child ask quietly, “Mister…are you God?” We are never more like God than when we give. “God so loved the world that he gave …”
When we give, we become imitators of God. We also become partners with God for through our giving, the needs of the church and the needy are met.
Our faith is most demonstrated in our actions than in our words.
DEUTRONOMY 15: 7-15
7 If there is a poor man among your brothers in any of the towns of the land that the Lord your God is giving you, do not be hardhearted or tightfisted toward your poor brother. 8 Rather be openhanded and freely lend him whatever he needs. 9 Be careful not to harbor this wicked thought: “The seventh year, the year for canceling debts, is near,” so that you do not show ill will toward your needy brother and give him nothing. He may then appeal to the Lord against you, and you will be found guilty of sin. 10 Give generously to him and do so without a grudging heart; then because of this the Lord your God will bless you in all your work and in everything you put your hand to. 11 There will always be poor people in the land. Therefore I command you to be openhanded toward your brothers and toward the poor and needy in your land.
12 If a fellow Hebrew, a man or a woman, sells himself to you and serves you six years, in the seventh year you must let him go free. 13 And when you release him, do not send him away empty-handed. 14 Supply him liberally from your flock, your threshing floor and your winepress. Give to him as the Lord your God has blessed you. 15 Remember that you were slaves in Egypt and the Lordyour God redeemed you. That is why I give you this command today.
III. AVOID THESE NEGAVITE ATTITUDES
- Selfishness: ( hard hearted or tight fisted, ill-will)
- Grieving, or grudgingly (sorrowing over your giving)
Be careful not to harbor this wicked thought:
Pastor Robert Morris said: “Selfishness can attack us before we give, but grief can attack us after we give”.
IV. CULTIVATE THESE POSITIVE ATTITUDES
1. Be generous
· 8 Rather be openhanded and freely lend him whatever he needs
· 10 Give generously to him
· 11“Therefore I command you to be openhanded toward your brothers and toward the poor and needy in your land.
“Remember this:- you can’t serve God and Money, but you can serve God with money.”— Selwyn Hughes
2. A heart of gratitude
“15 Remember that you were slaves in Egypt and the Lord your God redeemed you. That is why I give you this command today.”
V. GOD WILL BLESS YOU.
Then the Law if reciprocity will kick in:
· Verse 10 “then because of this the Lord your God will bless you in all your work and in everything you put your hand to.”
· Verse 14 “Give to him as the Lord your God has blessed you”
· Luke 6:38
38 Give, and you will receive. Your gift will return to you in full—pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, running over, and poured into your lap. The amount you give will determine the amount you get back.”
Remember our motive is not to enrich ourselves but to be God’s hand and feet.
Someone once said: “God pours blessings on givers, and He does it so they can continue to give even more to His kingdom— but it takes a heart transplant.”
At the present time your plenty will supply what they need, so that in turn their plenty will supply what you need. Then there will be equality,
2 Corinthians 8:14 NIV
GOD REWARDS A CHEERFUL GIVER.
How does he do it?
- He creates opportunities that He only can create.
- He opens doors, divine connections
- He opens the floodgates of heaven for his children.
- He protects us from loss.
- He provides health.
God is calling us to a partnership with Him, he is calling us to an adventure, where He will use our generosity for His glory, where our lives are channels to help the needy, to take the orphans to school, to take the Gospel to the rest of the world.
WE ARE BLESSED TO BE A BLESSING!