Giving, Gaining and Greed
Pastor Jonathan Falwell
Acts 20:35 I have shown you in every way, by laboring like this, that you must support the weak. And remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’
We are embarking on the season of giving, although many today see it as the season of getting. There are many who are so consumed by their “wants” that they have no concept of giving and helping others. All of society is motivated towards “getting more” with only a passing nod at helping others. Not only is this not healthy emotionally, it is not Biblical. Today, let’s talk about giving, gaining and greed.
Acts 20:35 And I have been a constant example of how you can help those in need by working hard. You should remember the words of the Lord Jesus: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’
1. Having never leads to contentment
Jeremiah 22:13-15a (NLT) And the Lord says, “What sorrow awaits Jehoiakim, who builds his palace with forced labor. He builds injustice into its walls, for he makes his neighbors work for nothing. He does not pay them for their labor. 14 He says, ‘I will build a magnificent palace with huge rooms and many windows. I will panel it throughout with fragrant cedar and paint it a lovely red.’ 15 But a beautiful cedar palace does not make a great king…
– The world is consumed by consuming, they want more and more of everything – It seems the more we get, the more we want, the more we are dissatisfied – Having things is not wrong or evil, only when we hold too tightly to what we have do we lose sight of the real owner of those things – We are not defined by what we have, we are defined by who we are, whose we are, and what we give. Why?
2. Giving is what brings joy
Jer. 22:15b-16a Your father, Josiah, also had plenty to eat and drink. But he was just and right in all his dealings. That is why God blessed him. 16 He gave justice and help to the poor and needy, and everything went well for him…
– An interesting note in these verses is that Josiah had “plenty,” yet was focused not on getting all for himself, but on giving and providing for others – He found great contentment and joy in giving – “everything went well for him” – This one statement is worth being a giver…
3. Giving is what brings you closer to Christ
Jer. 22:16b Isn’t that what it means to know me?” says the Lord.
– Not only did he find joy in giving, he found God in giving! – When we give, we have a new sense of who God is…
4. Giving is what makes you more like Christ
2 Cor 8:9 You know the generous grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. Though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, so that by his poverty he could make you rich.
– When we give, for the right reason, we are more like Christ than in any other situation – He gave His all for those who did not have, did not deserve, and could not get, because He loved
5. Giving is what leads to reward
Luke 14:12-14 Then he turned to his host. “When you put on a luncheon or a banquet,” he said, “don’t invite your friends, brothers, relatives, and rich neighbors. For they will invite you back, and that will be your only reward. 13 Instead, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, and the blind. 14 Then at the resurrection of the righteous, God will reward you for inviting those who could not repay you.”
– Giving allows us to experience not only great reward in the moment, but eternal rewards in Heaven – Our rewards should not be our motivation in giving, rather they should simply be a reminder of how we can trust God in everything
– Jer. 22:15b-16a Your father, Josiah, also had plenty to eat and drink. But he was just and right in all his dealings. That is why God blessed him. 16 He gave justice and help to the poor and needy, and everything went well for him…
2 Cor 8:11 Now you should finish what you started. Let the eagerness you showed in the beginning be matched now by your giving. Give in proportion to what you have. 12 Whatever you give is acceptable if you give it eagerly. And give according to what you have, not what you don’t have.