Giving Facts We live in the most affluent society in human history. American Christians control 70% of the world’s Christian wealth. The average American Christian gives 2.6% of his income.
Average giving by adults attending U.S. Protestant churches: $17 a week $70 a month $840 a year • 96% of American Christians give away less than 10% of their income.
The younger a church-goer, the less he gives (proportionately). • 80% of the money given to the American church is given by those age 55 and older. • Within 50 years, $100 trillion will pass from older to younger.
The average Christian gives one quarter the amount required by one of three tithes commanded the people of Israel…mostly poor, who hadn’t experienced Christ’s transforming grace or the empowerment of the indwelling Holy Spirit. How is this possible?
The Average Christianin our churches gives 30% less than the average American gave in the depths of the Great Depression. • What does this tell us? • What needs to change, and how? • Who’s positioned to lead a giving revolution?
Lack of Giving means lack of • Impact: Church and Mission funding • Kingdom-mindedness • Joy • God’s blessing • God’s grace
Money and Mirages • Advertising’s job: Persuade you that you need what you really don’t • Convince you that you’ll be satisfied with what can’t satisfy Study: “Six months after winning lottery, winners were no happier than if paralyzed in a car crash.” 1999, 9.
Ecclesiastes 5:10-15 The More You Have… Whoever loves money never has money enough. The more you have, the more you want.
Whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with his income. The more you have, the less you’re satisfied.
As goods increase, so do those who consume them. The more you have, the more people (including the government) come after it.
And what benefit are they to the owner except to feast his eyes on them? • The more you have, the more you realize it doesn’t meet your real needs.
The sleep of a laborer is sweet, whether he eats little or much, but the abundance of a rich man permits him no sleep. The more you have, the more you have to worry about.
I have seen a grievous evil under the sun: wealth hoarded to the harm of its owner. The more you have, the more you can hurt yourself with it. or wealth lost through misfortune. The more you have, the more you have to lose.
Naked a man comes from his mother’s womb; as he comes, so he departs. He takes nothing from his labor he can carry in his hand. The more you have, the more you have to leave behind. You Can’t Take it With You
Do not store upfor yourselvestreasureson earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store upfor yourselvestreasuresin heaven,where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is,thereyour heart will be also. Matthew 6:19-21
Don’t renounce treasure: relocateit. • Don’t abandon the idea of storing up treasures for yourself; put it where it’ll last. • When it comes to treasures, be smart, not stupid.
You can’t take it with you • but... You can send it on ahead!
Sell your possessions and give to the poor.Provide money belts for yourselves that will not wear out,atreasure in heaventhat will not be exhausted.Luke 12:32-34 Not that I am looking for a gift, but I am looking for what may becredited to your account. Philippians 4:17
KEY #1 God owns everything;I’m His money manager.
God’s Ownership The earth is the Lord’s, andeverythingin it, the world, andallwho live in it. Psalm 24:1 The land ismineand you are but aliens and my tenants. Leviticus 25:23
God’s Ownership The silver ismineand the gold ismine. Haggai 2:8 You are not your own; you were bought at a price. 1 Corinthians 6:19–20
My Stewardship I’m God’s money manager It isGod who gives you the ability to produce wealth. Deuteronomy 8:18 It is required of astewardthat he be foundfaithful. 1 Corinthians 4:2
We will all stand before God’s judgment-seat…eachof us will give an account of himself to God.Romans 14:10-12 His master said to him, “Well done, good and faithful servant.You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much.Enter into the joy of your master.”Matthew 25:21
KEY #2 My heart always goeswhere I put God’s money.
Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. Not a value judgment; a simple fact. The law of vested interests: Whatever we invest in, we care about.
Where we put money shows where our heart is. But it also determines where our heart goes. • Good news: the choice is yours; you can put your heart wherever you want to.
Don’t wait to take action until your heart’s in it. Take action so your heart will be in it. Don’t let your giving follow your heart. Give so your heart will follow your giving.
Your heart is NOT where: • your treasure used to be • you wish your treasure was • you hope or plan your treasure to one day be Your heart is where your treasureISNOW
How do we solve a problem of hearts being in the wrong place? Give, to put them in the right place. • Ask: If I were the person God wants me to be, what would I do with God’s money? • Do it now…then watch God make you into the person He wants to be.
Theabundanceof a rich manpermits him no sleep.Ecclesiastes 5:12 Where your treasure is,there your heart will bealso. Matthew 6:21
KEY #3 Heaven—the New Earth—not this Earth under the Curse, is my home.
The greatest deterrent to giving? The illusion that: • this present world ismy home • I’ll onlygo around once on this earth;I’ll live it up while I can • this ismy only chanceto live out my earthly dreams
Life on New Earth Intermediate Heaven Life on Earth Resurrection Death
But the saints of the Most High will receive the kingdom andwill possess it forever—yes, forever and ever. Daniel 7:18
No longer will there be any curse.[Not:no longer will there be any earth.]The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city, and his servants willservehim. Revelation 22:3
Attherenewal of all things, when the Son of Man sits on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. Jesus, Matthew 19:27-28
“[Christ] must remain in heaven untilthe time comes for God to restore everything, as he promised long ago through his holyprophets.” Acts 3:21
They were aliens and strangers on earth …looking for a countryof their own…longing for a better country—a heavenly one,for he has prepared a city for them.Hebrews 11:13-16 Our citizenship is inheaven. Philippians 3:20 We are looking forward to anew heavensand anew earth, in which righteousness dwells. 2 Peter 3:13
Whenever I think about heaven, it makes me depressed. I’d rather cease to exist when I die.I can’t stand the thought of endless boring tedium. Heaven doesn't sound much better than hell.I’d rather be annihilated than spend eternity like that. An evangelical pastor
With a negative view of Heaven… who’d look forward to it? 2 Peter 3:13 Who’d set their minds on it? Colossians 3:1-2 Who’d want to store up for themselves treasures there? Matthew 6:19-21
Satan lies about Heaven: 1)Hesuppresses the central truthof God’s ultimate redemptive victory: theresurrectionand theNew Earth. 2)He covers upGod’s coming reclamation of earth, humanity, nations and culture in the “renewal.” 3)He hidesthe promised reversal of the curseand Messiah’s & mankind’s eternal kingdom reign.
KEY #4 I should livenot for the dot,but for the line.
The Dot:Life on earth The Line:Life in heaven • Moses chose to be mistreated along with the people of God rather than to enjoy thepleasuresof sin fora short time. He regarded disgrace for the sake of Christ as ofgreater valuethan the treasuresof Egypt,because he was looking ahead to his reward. • Hebrews 11:25-26
He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose. • Jim Elliot, 1927 – 1956 • 1927
KEY #5 Givingis the only antidoteto materialism.
The Physics of Keeping v. Giving • Mass, Gravity, Orbit • Needed: A Shift in the center of gravity; a Copernican Revolution of Giving
People who want to get rich fall intotemptationand atrapand into manyfoolishandharmfuldesires thatplunge men into ruin and destruction. People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith andpierced themselves with many griefs. 1 Timothy 6:9-10
Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogantnor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, butto put their hopein God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. 1 Timothy 6:17
Command them to do good,to berich in good deeds, and to begenerousandwilling to share.In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that istrulylife. 1 Timothy 6:18-19