GIVING FOR GOD’S WORK II (Genesis 22:1-8; Luke 18:18-25) – 16th June, 2019
Some people are excited hearing messages on giving for God’s work, others are not happy at all! It is good we understand this from the outset, giving does not flow naturally from the heart of man.
For each of us we need grace in the aspect of giving. Like the Macedonian churches, we need to excel in the ‘grace of giving’ (2 Cor. 8:1-2). Then and only then can we give of our resources to enhance the work of God on this side of eternity.
Today we shall look at two contrasting attitudes towards giving as exemplified by two personalities in the Bible. One was a cheerful and willing giver, the other was not.
I. ABRAHAM’S WILLINGNESS TO GIVE (GENESIS 22:1-8)
God asked Abraham to give Isaac his son as a sacrifice to the LORD (v.2). Abraham did not hesitate, he willingly got ready to obey God and present Isaac as a sacrifice. Abraham cherished Isaac very much, he was his ONLY son of promise and through him the covenant blessing of God would be perpetuated.
Yet God asked Abraham to present Isaac as an offering to him. And Abraham obeyed. Whether we like it or not, oftentimes, God desires that we present to him the best we have. God rewarded Abraham for his willingness to give, saying “I swear by myself, declares the Lord that because you have done this and have not withheld your son, your only son, I will surely bless you and make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as the sand on the seashore…” Abraham received the shock of his life.
The blessing must have blown the mind of Abraham away. So, as you continue to give for God’s work, the Lord shall blow your mind away with his heavenly blessings.
II. THE STINGINESS OF THE RICH YOUNG RULER (LUKE 18:18-25)
The rich young ruler has kept the law right from when he was small; “Do not commit adultery, do not murder, do not steal, do not give false testimony, honor your father and mother.” Like Abraham he too was required to offer the precious thing that was important in his life – his riches. He was asked to sell his possession and give it to the poor and he will have treasure in heaven.
To be rich is to touch a life. To be rich is to do something down here that will make fat your heavenly bank account. An opportunity was given to this man, but he squandered it, for the Bible records that the man “became very sad, because he was a man of great wealth” (vv.22, 23). Instead of a blessing like Abraham, this man received a serious indictment from Jesus, “How hard is it for the rich to enter the kingdom of God” (v.24). But there are many rich people who through their faith and generous giving are entering the kingdom.