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Generous Giving: A Mark of Revival 2 Chronicles 31:2-8. “Money makes the world go round” People spend 50% of their waking time thinking about money - how to get it, how to spend it, how to save it, how to invest it, how to borrow it. ( John MacArthur, Whose Money Is It Anyway? )
Generous Giving: A Mark of Revival2 Chronicles 31:2-8 • “Money makes the world go round” • People spend 50% of their waking time thinking about money - how to get it, how to spend it, how to save it, how to invest it, how to borrow it. (John MacArthur, Whose Money Is It Anyway?) • The Bible has a lot to say about money. • 16 of the 38 parables Jesus told deal with stewardship of earthly treasures.
King Hezekiah: • 2 Kings 18:5–6 (NLT) - Hezekiah trusted in the Lord, the God of Israel. There was no one like him among all the kings of Judah, either before or after his time. He remained faithful to the Lord in everything, and he carefully obeyed all the commands the Lord had given Moses. • Hezekiah brought spiritual revival to the nation of Judah.
The Characteristics of Revival: • 1. Celebration of Genuine Worship • Psalm 51:16–17 (NIV) You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it; you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise. • Genuine worship is our heart responding to God for his saving act of grace. • Being a sacrifice is about GIVING.
2. Conviction Leading to Repentance • Revival also involves each of us doing business with God; examining our hearts. • What “idols” do we need to smash that have a higher priority than God does? • 3. Commitment to Generous Giving • 2 Chronicles 31:2 (NIV) 2 [the priests and Levites] began to offer burnt offerings and fellowship offerings, to minister, to give thanks and to sing praises at the gates of the Lord’s dwelling.
2 Chronicles 31:5 (NIV) 5 As soon as the order went out, the Israelites generously gave the firstfruits of their grain, new wine, oil and honey and all that the fields produced. They brought a great amount, a tithe of everything. • After celebrating with genuine worshipand doing business with God through repentance, the people were committed to giving to the work of God in the Temple.
a. Generous Giving • v.5 - “the Israelites generously gave” • obedience to the Law • support the work of the priests & Levites • 2 Chronicles 31:4 (NIV) - the people [gave] the portion due the priests and Levites so they could devote themselves to the Law of the Lord. • God commanded the people of Israel to give a portion of their income to the Priests and Levites so they could focus on the ministry they were called to do.
New Testament Principle: • 1 Corinthians 9:13–14 (NIV) - 13 Don’t you know that those who work in the temple get their food from the temple, and those who serve at the altar share in what is offered on the altar? 14 In the same way, the Lord has commanded that those who preach the gospel should receive their living from the gospel. • Galatians 6:6 (NIV) 6 Anyone who receives instruction in the word must share all good things with his instructor.
The people of God are called to share in the ministry of God by giving so that the work of God can continue. • 2 Corinthians 9:11 (NIV) 11 You will be made rich in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God. • Our giving to the work of the Lord must be generous.
b. Priority Giving • 2 Chronicles 31:5 (NIV) 5 …the Israelites generously gave the firstfruits of their grain, new wine, oil and honey and all that the fields produced. • God doesn’t want the leftovers – the end scrapings of our income. • The people of Judah gave the firstfruits of their grain – honey, oil, new wine; crops • Proverbs 3:9 – Honor God with your wealth, with the firstfruits of all your crops.
c. Proportionate Giving • 2 Chronicles 31:5 (NIV) 5 …They brought a great amount, a tithe of everything. • “tithe” occurs 3 times in two verses (v.5,6) • v.12 - Then they faithfully brought in the contributions, tithes and dedicated gifts. • A tithe means “a tenth” • The people gave 10% of their income to the ministry being done at the Temple.
The principle of tithing is found throughout the Old Testament: • i) The Priestly Tithe - Numbers 18:21-32 (Leviticus 27:30-33) • Numbers 18:21 (NIV) 21 “I give to the Levites all the tithes in Israel as their inheritance in return for the work they do while serving at the Tent of Meeting. • ii) The Festival Tithe – Deuteronomy 14:22-27 • Deuteronomy 14:22 (NIV) 22 Be sure to set aside a tenth of all that your fields produce each year.
iii) The Welfare Tithe - Deuteronomy 14:28,28 • Deuteronomy 14:28–29 (NIV) 28 At the end of every three years, bring all the tithes of that year’s produce and store it in your towns, 29 so that the Levites (who have no allotment or inheritance of their own) and the aliens, the fatherless and the widows who live in your towns may come and eat and be satisfied, and so that the Lord your God may bless you in all the work of your hands.
Three different tithes: equate to between 19-23% of the Israelites income. • The principle of proportionate giving is certainly reinforced in the New Testament. • Proportionate giving: give as God has blessed you & as needs are presented to you. • Acts 4:32 (NIV) 32 All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of his possessions was his own, but they shared everything they had.
2 Corinthians 8:1–3 (NIV) And now, brothers, we want you to know about the grace that God has given the Macedonian churches. 2 Out of the most severe trial, their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity. 3 For I testify that they gave as much as they were able, and even beyond their ability. Entirely on their own, 4 they urgently pleaded with us for the privilege of sharing in this service to the saints. • The Macedonian church heard about a need and they gave generously.
Giving to the local church: • Old Testament: 10% went to the priests and the Levites who “ministered to the people” • This Old Testament practice that can be clearly related to the New Testament practice in the church where the work of ministering to God’s people still takes place. • Jesus said he didn’t come to abolish the law but to fulfill it. • Jesus always raised the bar when it came to the aspects of the law he addressed.
Living by grace raises the bar higher than living by the law. • Matthew 5:20 (NIV) For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven. • Giving to the work of God: would it not make senses to start at the minimum 10% that God required from His chosen people? • “God prospers you, not to raise your standard of living but to raise your standard of giving.” • (Randy Alcorn, The Treasure Principle)
Malachi 3:8–11 (NIV) 8 “Will a man rob God? Yet you rob me. “But you ask, ‘How do we rob you?’ “In tithes and offerings…10 Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house… • …Test me in this,” says the Lord Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it. • Giving is a mark of true revival: • Generous giving; Priority giving; Proportionate Giving.