More by this authorRich toward God
Robert Rayburn. Sermon preached at Faith Presbyterian Church, Tacoma, Wash., January 12, 2003.
In this sermon preached on 1 Corinthians 16:1-4, we see Paul encouraging the Corinthian church to support their fellow believers in Jerusalem. There should be a difference between the church’s attitude toward money and that of the world. However, money and the love of money are problems for nearly everyone, and the church is not immune to this temptation. Money is the most popular idol in the world, and it doesn’t take long before we see this clearly: For example, every day people play the lottery to “strike it rich.” The Bible speaks of money quite often, and Proverbs 30:8-9 is perhaps one of the best summaries of the attitude of the wise person concerning wealth: “O Lord, give me neither poverty nor riches, but give me only my daily bread. Otherwise, I may have too much and disown you and say, ‘Who is the Lord?’ Or I may become poor and steal, and so dishonor the name of my God.” We are to follow God’s command to contribute to his kingdom work with our money and to follow the Corinthians’ example in helping our fellow believers by being disciplined givers.
More by this authorGrace Abounding
Jonathan Redfearn. Sermon preached at Jesmond Parish Church, Newcastle, England, January 25, 1998.
In this sermon based on (2 Corinthians 9:6-15), Redfearn argues that Christians need to know the “why” as well as the “how” of giving. Christians are called to provide for the needs of God’s people, serving as partners both locally and globally in the gospel mission. Giving is an obligation, but a practice that should not be done out of reluctance but out of graciousness, for God Himself provides graciously and freely. One practical consequence of habitual giving is that “we are freed from materialism” and learn to serve rather than to be served. God promises to provide for people who share with others, as “The greater the giving, the greater the enrichment.” Giving provides a spiritual connection between the giver and receiver, and increased prayer for one another happens as a result.
More by this authorSacrificial Generosity: Part 1
Mark D. Roberts. Sermon preached at Irvine Presbyterian Church, Irvine, Calif., January 16, 2005.
For the church to expand, it needs resources and funds as well as individuals who are willing to give themselves to support the church. To support one another in the church, sacrificial generosity is needed. Pastor Mark D. Roberts preaches from Acts 2:41-45, focusing on verse 45: “Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need.” Roberts explains what value there is in sacrificial giving. He gives examples of how this type of giving has deeply affected people in his own congregation. He also teaches that this type of giving is essential and healthy for the whole body of Christ. He does not claim that all people are required to give extraordinarily all the time, but he maintains that we should not ignore promptings that the Lord has placed upon our hearts.
Sacrificial Generosity: Part 2
Mark D. Roberts. Sermon preached at Irvine Presbyterian Church, Irvine, Calif., January 23, 2005.
Pastor Mark D. Roberts takes a penetrating look at the captive role that material possessions has in our culture. Statistics have shown that money has not bought happiness, yet the desire for accumulating possessions is constantly on the rise. Are we, even as Christians, held captive at times to Mammon (money)? How can we be set free from the power of this false god? Citing Acts 2:41-45, Roberts calls us to examine ourselves in the midst of our affluent and consumerist culture. Even if we are troubled by our present situation, we still live in the midst of it. Roberts explains that it is by Christ’s sacrificial generosity that we are set free. Freedom from Mammon involves giving generously. Christ sets us free that we may give generously and freely.
Graced by a Provision beyond Ourselves
Mark D. Roberts. Sermon preached at Irvine Presbyterian Church, Irvine, Calif., October 31, 2004.
In 2 Corinthians 8:1-5 the apostle Paul tells us of the generosity of the Macedonian Christians: “And now, brothers, we want you to know about the grace that God has given the Macedonian churches. Out of the most severe trial, their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity. For I testify that they gave as much as they were able, and even beyond their ability. Entirely on their own, they urgently pleaded with us for the privilege of sharing in this service to the saints. And they did not do as we expected, but they gave themselves first to the Lord and then to us in keeping with God’s will.” Pastor Roberts explains that giving generously comes from a heart that does not fear money but, rather, fears the Lord. The Lord is steadfast in his promises, providing for our needs even when it seems that provision is unavailable. In the Old Testament the Lord provided for Abraham when he trusted the Lord, even when he called Abraham to sacrifice his own son. Pastor Roberts recounts several instances in his own church in which God greatly provided for the church when people gave in the fear of the Lord. Read also how the Lord provided financially for Irvine Presbyterian Church’s building and for a recent minister in the congregation.
More by this authorPaul’s Plan for Raising Money
Archibald Thomas Robertson. In Classic Sermons on Stewardship. Warren W. Wiersbe, comp. The Kregel Classic Sermons Series. Grand Rapids, Mich.: Kregel Publications, 1999.
Archibald Thomas Robertson (1863-1934), professor of New Testament interpretation at Southern Baptist Seminary for nearly 40 years and noted scholarly author, justifies the importance of sermons on the topic of generous giving by examining Paul’s own fund-raising message in 2 Corinthians 8-9. The apostle was not ashamed to ask the church for money, and eight particular reasons support his exhortations to give: (1) The poor Macedonians had already given in abundance (were the wealthy Corinthians going to let themselves be outdone?). (2) The Corinthians needed to fulfill their earlier pledge to help. (3) The act of giving is a concrete demonstration of love. (4) Giving generously follows the pattern of Jesus Christ, who first gave Himself for us. (5) Giving under grace should exceed the minimum amount of the tithe. (6) The Corinthians’ gifts will be managed honestly. (7) Those who sow generously will also reap generously. Finally, (8) the act of giving generously will elicit gratitude to God in the hearts of both givers and recipients. Since Paul was not afraid to preach generosity, why should the church hesitate today? Note: No downloadable text or audio is available at this time.
More by this authorThe Principles of Prosperity
Adrian Rogers. Getting on Top of Your Finances series, no. 1. Sermon, n.d.
Numerous Scriptures indicate God’s desire to bless His children. But as pastor Adrian Rogers cautions, our definition of prosperity must be the same as God’s. Ecclesiastes 11:1-10 offers eight principles to help Christians to achieve a God-defined prosperity: (1) The principle of investment: We must increase the resources God has entrusted to our care by investing in heavenly accounts. In investing, we need to examine our motives, giving out of humility rather than greed or pride. We also need to obtain wise counsel and to be wary of get-rich-quick schemes. (2) The principle of diversification: We shouldn’t put all our eggs into one basket. (3) The principle of preparation: We need to be ready for times of crisis. Though we trust in God, we do not presume on His faithfulness for tomorrow through foolish spending today. (4) The principle of venture: We need to take risks for legitimate business, planting seeds in the ground in order to get a crop. (5) The principle of trust: We often worry about our finances, but eventually we must simply trust God. (6) The principle of work: We cannot follow a formula but must earn our bread with labor. (7) The principle of perspective: we can enjoy the pleasures of this life, but we must remember that this earth is not the only reality. (8) The principle of accountability: We are simply the managers of God’s resources. Since owners have rights but stewards only have responsibilities, we must ask ourselves what God would have us do with His possessions. This resource is available on compact disc.
Success God’s Way: Part 1
Adrian Rogers. Getting on Top of Your Finances series, no. 2. Sermon, n.d.
Training children differs greatly from merely teaching them. To train means to prepare for a contest, to instruct by exercise, to form to a proper shape or to discipline to use. Just as no one ever learns to play football by reading a book but must play the game on the field, children must receive practical exercise in righteousness as well. Pastor Adrian Rogers develops three characteristics of the sort of training that Proverbs 22:6 describes: (1) Training commences with childhood. Dedicating our children to the Lord, we start their training early because curiosity, memory, humility and trust are high in children. Tomorrow our children may not want to learn. (2) Training communicates with creativity. Since we cannot force feed the word of God to a child, we must be resourceful. Jesus would draw a lesson from even a commonplace activity. Rewards are also effective means of encouraging right living. (3) Training must correct with consistency. In his heart a child harbors foolishness and silliness that must be corrected. Discipline is an act of love that God Himself practices on His children. Children also need to realize that consequences follow wrong actions. Overall, Rogers offers several good principles for being wise stewards of the children God has entrusted to our care. This resource is available on compact disc.
Success God’s Way: Part 2
Adrian Rogers. Getting on Top of Your Finances series, no. 3. Sermon, n.d.
The question most frequently asked of any pastor is how to know the will of God, or how to be a success. Though God has a specific, individual plan for each life, finding that plan often seems difficult. Pastor Adrian Rogers notes from Proverbs 3:5-6 that the success God sends will be marked by several characteristics: (1) Dependence: We must exhibit complete reliance upon God, a dependence that leads, in turn, to compliance to His commands. Since we trust a Person who is able both to provide and protect, we need have no fear in trusting and obeying Him. (2) Direction: If we trust, lean on and acknowledge God, we can be certain that God will lead us. The will of God for our lives, found in His Scriptures, is that we will be saved, filled with the Spirit and sanctified. He provides His word, prayer, commonsense wisdom and providence in order to direct us in our everyday lives. (3) Dynamism: God actively will make our paths straight. (4) Demolition of obstacles: God not only shows the way, but He clears the way as well, providing both the knowledge and the power to follow His path. Thus, true success comes to the heart that seeks after God. This resource is available on compact disc.
Planning Your Future
Adrian Rogers. Getting on Top of Your Finances series, no. 4. Sermon, n.d.
The biggest fool, asserts pastor Adrian Rogers, is not the one who says there is no God but, rather, the one who acknowledges there is a God yet doesn’t live as though he believes so. James 4:13-17 reminds us that our lives are but a vapor. Thus, when we plan our business dealings, we ought to avoid presumption, remembering that we depend on God for our next breath. To prevent failure, or success at the wrong goal, we must beware of two things: (1) Self-centered planning: The businessman in James’ letter had planned the period, the place, the procedure and the profits of his venture, but he had left God out of his calculations. We can ask after the will of God by confessing our sins, consecrating our hearts to His will and concentrating on hearing His voice. (2) Self-confident presumption: We often think that we are going to live forever, but this may be the very year that brings us to heaven. Thus, our plans must be tempered by a humble recognition of and reliance upon God’s providential power. This resource is available on compact disc.
Man and His Money
Adrian Rogers. Getting on Top of Your Finances series, no. 5. Sermon, n.d.
One can tell a lot about a man’s character by looking at his relationship to money. Some think that money brings happiness; others think wealth is sinful. However, money itself is neither good nor evil, but rather one’s attitude toward it can be righteous or unrighteous. James 5:1-5 condemns those who trust in riches. Thus, because God cares about our relationship to possessions, pastor Adrian Rogers examines four areas of money: (1) How a man saves his money: Saving money for the future is not wrong, but hoarding it when one could use it to invest in the kingdom is foolish. Our earthly wealth will vanish one day, and what will we have to show for our stingy frugality if we hoard rather than generously invest in heaven? (2) How a man secures his money: We must not defraud our workers or make money by oppressing the poor. (3) How a man spends his money: God is not against legitimate pleasure, but He does dislike lavishness that pampers the self while ignoring needs in the church. (4) How a man shares his money: We must sow seeds now in order to produce precious fruit for eternity. All we can hold in our hands is what we have given away or sent on ahead. Since the only way to send our money on ahead is to invest it in what is going to heaven—that is, the souls of men—then the giving that yields the largest dividends is generosity to our local churches. Just as U.S. President Woodrow Wilson once treasured a dime that a little boy had given him, God, too, will keep our gifts close to His heart because He knows the spirit in which we give. This resource is available on compact disc.
The Grace of Giving
Adrian Rogers. Getting on Top of Your Finances series, no. 6. Sermon, n.d.
All giving is wrapped in grace: We give in response to Jesus’ own gift of Himself. Pastor Adrian Rogers finds that generosity exists for the purposes of magnifying Jesus and His name, for moving believers toward maturity and for making Jesus known to others in our community and world. 2 Corinthians 8:1-9:15 teaches three major points concerning grace giving: (1) The obligation of grace giving: Grace giving is not eliminated by poverty. The Macedonians had nothing yet still gave joyfully. Nor is grace giving energized by pressure from external sources, excused by performance in other areas of spiritual growth, or enforced by power from a leader. Rather, we must be motivated by love for the One who died at Calvary. (2) The operation of grace giving: Grace giving is marked by performance, in which we act out what we profess, and by providence, in which we give according to how God has blessed us. Grace giving also is managed by prudence, as we allow our gifts to be handled by men of compassion, consecration, character and competency. (3) The opportunity of grace giving: Grace giving allows us to encourage the saints, to enrich the soil of our harvest and to exalt the Savior. When we give richly because of the salvation we have received, we bring great glory to God. This resource is available on compact disc.
Adrian Rogers. Getting on Top of Your Finances series, no. 7. Sermon, n.d.
The Parable of the Shrewd Manager (Luke 16:1-15) appears at first to be about a crook commended for dishonesty. While the master did not actually commend his servant’s unrighteousness, he nevertheless recognized the steward’s wisdom in preparing for the future. Since we, too, are stewards of God’s resources, He is interested in how we manage His affairs. To avoid serving money as a substitute master, pastor Adrian Rogers encourages us to ask ourselves whom we trust for security, whom we prioritize in financial decisions and whom we admire in our hearts. Faithful stewardship covers several financial areas: (1) Securing money: We must obtain wealth by working with diligence in a legitimate, God-honoring business. (2) Saving money: We must prepare for the future but avoid hoarding wealth for its own sake. (3) Spending money: Our attitudes, not our circumstances, determine wise spending choices. We may have to reduce lifestyle in order to stay out of debt. (4) Sharing money: Many Christians complain about tithing, but can we let a Jew under law out-give us who are under grace? In heaven we will find people who were impacted through our generosity. Sharing now will have eternal rewards. This resource is available on compact disc.
More by this authorGiving until It Lowers Our Lifestyle: 2 Corinthians 8:1-9
Dennis Rupert. Sermon preached at New Life Community Church, Stafford, Va.
2 Corinthians 8 deals with an offering Paul was receiving for the believers in Judea. While this chapter focuses primarily on a special relief offering, Paul’s words help us grasp some of the principles and promises of all Christian giving. Paul’s fund-raising methods have much in common with those of today. But notice that although he has plenty of intelligence about practical matters, he brings everything—the gift itself, the motivations for giving, the remarks about the “fund-raising committee,” the allusions to the reactions of the recipients, even the “Jewish mother guilt trips” which he lays on the Corinthians—into the service of glorifying God. Here are eight principles for Christian giving from 2 Corinthians 8.
More by this authorRiches and Poverty
J.C. Ryle. Sermon preached 1868.
What does the story of the rich man dressed in purple linen, and the beggar Lazarus in Luke 6:19-23 have to say to us? Anglican bishop and theologian J.C. Ryle (1816-1900) begs us to truly listen to the message of this parable. It teaches us: (1) God allots very different conditions to different persons. (2) A person’s worldly condition is no test of the state of his soul. (2) All classes of persons eventually will come to the grave. (3) A believer’s soul is very precious in the sight of God. (4) Selfishness is a dangerous and soul-ruining sin. This passage also admonishes us to: (a) Beware of living only for ourselves. (b) Beware of the damning nature of the sins of omission. (c) Beware of the special dangers that come along with riches. And lastly, (d) take special caution about selfishness in these last days. On our own we cannot rid ourselves of the disease of selfishness; it is far too deeply rooted in our selves. “Nothing will ever cure it but a personal and intimate knowledge of Christ’s redeeming love.”