"GIVING TO GOD."
I. THE PROBLEM OF GIVING TO GOD.
A. What could I possibly give to God that He needs?
1. He doesn't need anything.
If I were hungry, I would not tell you: for the world [is] mine, and the fulness thereof.
B. The issue becomes, "What can I give to God that He wants?"
1. In the psalm we read this morning, David asked, "What shall I render to the Lord for all of His benefits to me?"
2. The idea is, because God loves me He has lavished me with so many gifts, to show His love. I love Him, but what can I give to Him to show my love for Him?
II. WHAT DOES GOD WANT FROM ME?
A. He wants my obedience.
1. Over and over again, we are called to obey Him.
2. Jesus said, "If you love Me, keep My commandments."
3. Why is He so interested in my obeying Him?
4. Because He loves me so much, He wants the best for me.
a. The prophet Micah said, "He has shown you O man, what is good."
b. David said that if you will meditate on His word day and night you will be like a tree planted by a stream, you will bring forth your fruit in season, your leaf will not wither, and whatever you do will prosper.
c. David also said that: The Law of the Lord was perfect, converting the soul: The testimony of the LORD [is] sure, making wise the simple. The statutes of the LORD [are] right, rejoicing the heart: The commandment of the LORD [is] pure, enlightening the eyes. The judgments of the LORD [are] true [and] righteous altogether. They were to be desired more than gold, yea, much fine gold: They were sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb. By them is thy servant warned: [and] in keeping them there is great reward.
d. Note the good things that they will do:
1. Convert the soul.
2. Make you wise.
3. Rejoice your heart.
4. Enlighten your eyes.
5. They are worth more than much fine gold.
6. They are sweeter than honey.
7. There is great reward in keeping them.
5. So God wants me to obey Him for the benefit it brings to me because He loves me.
B. God wants me to give Him my love above all my other loves.
1. According to Jesus, the greatest commandment is: "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all your heart, soul and mind."
a. He wants me to love Him supremely, above everything else.
b. How do we show Him our love? By keeping His commandments.
2. Some people express this kind of love, but they do not show it.
a. Jesus said,
He answered and said unto them, Well has Isaiah prophesied of you hypocrites, as it is written, This people honor Me with their lips, but their heart is far from me.
b. John wrote:
My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.
C. God wants me to give Him my time in fellowship.
1. This is the reason that God made us.
2. If we love God supremely, it is only natural that we would want to spend as much time with Him as we possibly could.
3. Do you remember when you were dating your wife to be, how hard it was to say goodnight? Two sleepy people in dawn's early light, too much in love to say goodnight.
4. Do you find yourself longing for God's fellowship? He longs for yours.
5. I know the benefits that I derive from fellowshipping with God, but for the life of me, I cannot understand what He benefits from fellowshipping with me. It must be that He just loves me so much, He wants me around all of the time.
III. HOW ARE WE TO GIVE TO GOD?
Speak unto the children of Israel, that they bring me an offering: of every man that giveth it willingly with his heart ye shall take my offering.
Take from among you an offering unto the LORD: whosoever is of a willing heart, let him bring it, an offering of the LORD; gold, and silver, and brass.
And they came, every one whose heart stirred him up, and every one whom his spirit made willing, [and] they brought the LORD'S offering to the work of the tabernacle of the congregation, and for all his service, and for the holy garments.
And they came, both men and women, as many as were willing hearted, and brought bracelets, and earrings, and rings, and tablets, all jewels of gold: and every man that offered an offering of gold unto the LORD.
The children of Israel brought a willing offering unto the LORD, every man and woman, whose heart made them willing to bring for all manner of work, which the LORD had commanded to be made by the hand of Moses.
1. When David received an offering for the building of the Temple we read:
Then the people rejoiced, for that they offered willingly, because with perfect heart they offered willingly to the LORD: and David the king also rejoiced with great joy.
And David said: who am I, and who are my people, that we should be able to offer so willingly of these things? for all things have come from You, so we have only given back that which is yours.
2. Note how many times the word willingly is related to their giving.
B. We should give cheerfully.
1. Paul in writing to the Corinthians about giving said:
Every man according as he purposed in his heart, [so let him give]; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loves a cheerful giver.
a. You should never begrudge anything that you give to God. It would be much better not to give, than to give grudgingly.
b. You should never give out of pressure. You should not give because someone is putting great pressure on you to give.
c. You should never give in hopes of receiving something in return. That is Simony, thinking that the gifts of God can be bought.
d. You should never give in an ostentatious way, drawing people's attention to your gift.
e. You should give willingly.
f. You should give cheerfully.
IV. THERE CAN BE ONLY ONE TRUE MOTIVE BEHIND GIVING; LOVE.
A. God so loved the world that He gave His best, His only begotten Son.
B. We are to so love God that we are willing to give to Him our best.
1. We do not give to God because He needs it.
2. We give to God because we want to show our love to Him.
C. The gifts not motivated by love are not acceptable.
1. Paul said, "Though I give my body to be burned and have not love, it profits me nothing."
2. Again he said: "And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor and have not love, it profits me nothing."
V. THE RESULTS FROM THIS KIND OF GIVING TO GOD.
And they reported to Moses, that the people brought much more than they needed to do the work, that the LORD had required.
So Moses gave commandment, and they caused it to be proclaimed throughout the camp, saying, Let neither man nor woman make any more work for the offering of the sanctuary. So the people were restrained from bringing.
For the stuff they had was sufficient to make everything, in fact, it was too much.
A. Moses had to restrain the people from giving any more.
B. God will never be a debtor to man. You can never out give God.
1. Jesus said:
Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For the same measure you use to mete it out shall be used to mete it back to you.
2. Paul wrote:
Or who has ever given to God, and it was not recompensed unto him again? What God wants me to give Him most of all is my life. To just surrender my life to Him so that He can show me just how much He truly loves me. Take My life and let it be consecrated Lord to Thee.