BUILT TO LAST #6

March 12, 2023   /   Big Valley Grace Community Church

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GENEROSITY

Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be. Matthew 6:21 (NLT)

“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 (NIV)

For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 6:23 (NIV)

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not of yourselves, it is a gift of God— Ephesians 2:8 (NIV)

“Peace I leave you with you; my peace I give you.” John 14:27 (NIV)

God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble. 1 Peter 5:5 (NLT)

If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. James 1:5 (NIV)

Don’t be deceived, my dear brothers and sisters. Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights… James 1:16-17 (NIV)

And since we are his children, we are his heirs. In fact, together with Christ we are heirs of God’s glory. Romans 8:17 (NLT)

From his abundance (from God’s abundance) we have all received one gracious blessing after another. John 1:16 (NLT)

OUR GOD IS A GIVER!

…be imitators of God… Ephesians 5:1 (NKJV)

The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it… Psalms 24:1 (NIV)

I have no need of a bull from your stall or of goats from your pens, 10 for every animal of the forest is mine, and the cattle on a thousand hills. 11 I know every bird in the mountains, and the creatures of the field are mine. 12 If I were hungry I would not tell you, for the world is mine, and all that is in it. Psalm 50:9-12 (NIV) 

Everything belongs to God…He just wants us to manage it. 

Question #1: How much should I give? 
Answer: Your best! 

The LORD of Heaven’s Armies says to the priests: “A son honors his father, and a servant respects his master. If I am your father and master, where are the honor and respect I deserve? You have shown contempt for my name! 
“But you ask, ‘How have we ever shown contempt for your name?’ 
7 “You have shown contempt by offering defiled sacrifices on my altar. 
“Then you ask, ‘How have we defiled the sacrifices?’ 
“You defile them by saying the altar of the LORD deserves no respect. 8 When you give blind animals as sacrifices, isn’t that wrong? And isn’t it wrong to offer animals that are crippled and diseased? Try giving gifts like that to your governor, and see how pleased he is!” says the LORD of Heaven’s Armies. 9 “Go ahead, beg God to be merciful to you! But when you bring that kind of offering, why should he show you any favor at all?” asks the LORD of Heaven’s Armies. 
10 “How I wish one of you would shut the Temple doors so that these worthless sacrifices could not be offered! I am not pleased with you,” says the LORD of Heaven’s Armies, “and I will not accept your offerings. 11 But my name is honored by people of other nations from morning till night. All around the world they offer sweet incense and pure offerings in honor of my name. For my name is great among the nations,” says the LORD of Heaven’s Armies. 
12 “But you dishonor my name with your actions. By bringing contemptible food, you are saying it’s all right to defile the Lord’s table. 13 You say, ‘It’s too hard to serve the LORD,’ and you turn up your noses at my commands,” says the LORD of Heaven’s Armies. “Think of it! Animals that are stolen and crippled and sick are being presented as offerings! Should I accept from you such offerings as these?” asks the LORD. 
14 “Cursed is the cheat who promises to give a fine ram from his flock but then sacrifices a defective one to the Lord. For I am a great king,” says the LORD of Heaven’s Armies, “and my name is feared among the nations! Malachi 1:6-14 (NLT) 

Should people cheat God? Yet you have cheated me! 
“But you ask, ‘What do you mean? When did we ever cheat you?’ 
“You have cheated me of the tithes and offerings due to me. 9 You are under a curse, for your whole nation has been cheating me. 10 Bring all the tithes into the storehouse so there will be enough food in my Temple. If you do,” says the LORD of Heaven’s Armies, “I will open the windows of heaven for you. I will pour out a blessing so great you won’t have enough room to take it in! Try it! Put me to the test! Malachi 3:8-10 (NLT) 

“…I will not sacrifice to the Lord my God burnt offerings that cost me nothing.” 2 Samuel 24:24 (NIV) 

God requires your best! 
God deserves your best! 
God is worthy of your best! 

Guard your steps when you go to the house of God. Go near to listen rather than to offer the sacrifice of fools, who do not know that they do wrong. 2Do not be quick with your mouth, do not be hasty in your heart to utter anything before God. God is in heaven and you are on earth, so let your words be few. Ecclesiastes 5:1-2 (NIV) 

“Freely you have received; freely give.” Matthew 10:8 (NIV) 

Question #2: Where do I bring my gift? 
Answer: The church! 

Now regarding your question about the money being collected for God’s people in Jerusalem. You should follow the same procedure I gave to the churches in Galatia. 2 On the first day of each week, you should each put aside a portion of the money you have earned. Don’t wait until I get there and then try to collect it all at once. 1 Corinthians 16:1-2 (NLT) 

Question #3: How should I give it? 
Answer: With great joy! 

Remember this—a farmer who plants only a few seeds will get a small crop. But the one who plants generously will get a generous crop. 7 You must each decide in your heart how much to give. And don’t give reluctantly or in response to pressure. “For God loves a person who gives cheerfully. 2 Corinthians 9:6-7 (NLT)

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