In just a minute I will read two passages of scripture to you this morning, the first is from the New Testament, and the second is from the Old Testament. But before we do that, please watch this video
I think I'll keep preaching on tithing, what do you think? The bible says,
"Give, and it will be given to you. They will pour into your lap a good measure—pressed down, shaken together, and running over. For by your standard of measure it will be measured to you in return." (Luke 6:38 NASB)
"’Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, so that there may be food in My house, and test Me now in this,’ says the Lord of hosts, ‘if I will not open for you the windows of heaven, and pour out for you a blessing until it overflows.’” (Malachi 3:10 NASB)
These two passages teach that God blesses generous people.
These blessings come in many forms, for instance, BEING GENEROUS ITSELF IS A BLESSING. Who would your rather hang out with, an immature, stingy person who is always looking out for themselves? Or a mature, generous person you cares about you too? Virtue is its own reward. We like being around generous people and most of us would like to see ourselves as generous.
In 2005, Time Magazine named Melinda Gates, Bono and Bill Gates as their persons of the year. According to the Time, they are Good Samaritans “on a global mission to end poverty, disease—and indifference.” (http://www.freshministry.org/illustrations.html)
Good for them. And good for Time Magazine for recognizing generosity as something worthy of recognition. While most of us don’t have the influence or wealth of this trio, we can aspire to do our part. At the least, we can cultivate a generous spirit in our hearts and avoid being tightwads.
Not only is generosity a blessing in and of itself, GENEROUS PEOPLE ARE OFTEN RECIPIENTS OF OTHER PEOPLE’S GENEROSITY. Seven years ago, the Good Shepherd Hispanic Baptist Church in Metairie, Louisiana showed compassion to fellow believers in Honduras who were suffering after a hit from Hurricane Mitch. The people at Good Shepherd sent twelve containers of food and clothing to an evangelical church and a Baptist church in Honduras in 1998 to meet the needs left by the storm. When Hurricane Katrina hit Good Shepherd hard this summer, they were surprised when both Honduran churches returned the favor by helping them.
Though the people of the Honduran Baptist Church were poor people who worked in the local marketplace, they sent their pastor a love offering of $1,000 to help their American friends. The other
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