Sermon Notes: 6/26/22
📝 = Fill in the Blank
Two weeks ago we briefly talked about a verse that I believe we can’t just blow past like it’s no big deal. There are certain verses that we can’t just read like they’re normal, everyday verses because what was taking place in the book of Acts was ANYTHING but normal. Let’s go back to Acts 2:42 this morning….
“They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles.”
“All the believers were together and had everything in common.”
“They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need.”
I know this was a significant moment, because the author repeated the same thing in more detail, just 2 chapters over. Acts 4:32 says,
“All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of their possessions was their own, but they shared EVERYTHING they had.”
“With great power the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And God’s grace was so powerfully at work in them all that THERE WERE NO NEEDY PERSONS AMONG THEM.For from time to time those who owned land or houses sold them, BROUGHT THE MONEY FROM THE SALES and put it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to ANYONE who had need.”
“Joseph, a Levite from Cyprus, whom the apostles called Barnabas (which means “son of encouragement”), sold a field he owned and brought the money and put it at the apostles’ feet.”
16 chapters later, Paul is addressing the elders at the church of Ephesus and says in Acts 20:34,
“You yourselves know that these hands of mine have supplied my own needs and the needs of my companions.”
“In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: ‘IT IS MORE BLESSED TO GIVE THAN TO RECEIVE.’ ””
“Dear brothers and sisters, I want you to understand that the gospel message I preach is not based on mere human reasoning. I received my message from no human source, and no one taught me. Instead, I RECEIVED IT BY DIRECT REVELATION FROM JESUS CHRIST.”
Somewhere along the line as Paul was fellowshipping with Jesus Christ, the Son of the living God, this meant so much to Jesus, that out of all the things to talk about, Jesus told Paul directly…
📝 "IT IS MORE BLESSED TO GIVE THAN IT IS TO RECEIVE.” -Jesus
I want to speak to you today, about something that’s near and dear to heart of God, and I pray to God that you catch it. I want to talk to you today about,
Sermon Title: THE MORE BLESSED LIFE
Luke, the author of Acts was a physician that was known for writing with great intentional detail. This is why Luke opened up his gospel in Luke 1 by saying,
“Many people have set out to write accounts about the events that have been fulfilled among us. They used the eyewitness reports circulating among us from the early disciples.”
“Having carefully investigated everything from the beginning, I also have decided to write an accurate account for you, most honorable Theophilus, so you can be certain of the truth of everything you were taught.”
So for Luke the disciple, who was also a well known physician, who carefully investigated everything from the beginning, for him to double down on what the first church did as it relates to giving, and then to insert it again towards the end of book of Acts, in Acts 20 must be for a very clear intentional reason.
📝 GIVING MATTERS TO GOD.
📝 Since GIVING matters to God, then GIVING matters to ME.
Genesis chapter one opens up with the first 25 verses with God creating, and working hard, for us only to find God giving it ALL away in the next verse.
“Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; LET THEM HAVEdominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”” Genesis 1:26
“The highest heavens belong to the Lord, but the earth he has GIVEN to mankind.” Psalms 115:16
“For God so loved the world, that he GAVE his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” John 3:16
God didn’t have a back up Son.
God gave us His only.
God gave us all He had.
And yet some of us tell God what we aren’t going to do. And yet some of us tell God reasons why we aren’t going to give. And yet some of us give reluctantly when it’s time to give. God gave us His only. God gave us all He had. Paul had direct marching orders from Jesus Christ for His church, "Tell my people it’s more blessed to GIVE than it is to receive.”
GIVING IS A MATTER OF UNDERSTANDING.
When it comes to giving, here’s what we need to understand:
God gave us His ONLY.
God gave us ALL He had.
God gave us ALL THAT WE CURRENTLY HAVE.
“The Lord has been mindful of us; He will bless us; He will bless the house of Israel; He will bless the house of Aaron. He will bless those who fear the Lord, Both small and great.”
“May the Lord GIVE YOU INCREASE MORE AND MORE, You and your children.”
“The heaven, even the heavens, are the Lord’s; But the earth He has GIVEN to the children of men.” Psalms 115:16
Does this sound like a selfish God? Does this sound like a God who doesn’t desire for you to live a blessed life? All He asks of us is Deuteronomy 8:18,
"And you shall REMEMBER THE LORD YOUR GOD, for IT IS HE WHO GIVES YOU POWER TO GET WEALTH…” Deuteronomy 8:18
I hear you Paul but I’m not fooling with you! You and that church house just want my money. To that Paul writes in Philippians
“Moreover, as you Philippians know, in the early days of your acquaintance with the gospel, when I set out from Macedonia, not one church shared with me in the matter of giving and receiving, except you only;”
“for even when I was in Thessalonica, you sent me aid more than once when I was in need.”
“Not that I seek the gift, but I SEEK THE FRUIT THAT ABOUNDS TO YOUR ACCOUNT.”
This is the way to THE MORE BLESSED LIFE.
“I am not trying to get something from you, but I want you to receive the blessings that come from giving.”
Philippians 4:17 CEV
“Not that I desire your gifts; what I desire is that MORE be credited to your account.”
Philippians 4:17 NIV
📝 The way to MORE is through GIVING.
The why behind our more?
“Now the Lord had said to Abram: “Get out of your country, From your family And from your father’s house, To a land that I will show you.”
“I will make you a great nation; I WILL BLESS YOU And make your name great; AND YOU SHALL BE A BLESSING.”
The why behind desiring more is to be a blessing to more.
I wonder what does God desire to UNLEASH that you’re yet to see because of what you’re holding onto.
“Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.”
2 Corinthians 9:7
“And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.”
2 Corinthians 9:8
“As the Scriptures say, “They share freely and give generously to the poor. Their good deeds will be remembered forever.””
2 Corinthians 9:9
📝 People aren’t remembered by what they KEPT. People are remembered by what they GAVE.
This is the way to THE MORE BLESSED LIFE. A life that isn’t centered around us, but others.
MOTION CHURCH, HOW WILL WE BE REMEMBERED?
📝 I pray that we’ll be known as “UNCOMMON GIVERS,” to the point where it’s common for us to give in an uncommon way.
“I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; AND ALL PEOPLES ON EARTH WILL BE BLESSED THROUGH YOU.””
We LITERALLY have an opportunity of a lifetime before us. God wants to work through us to change a generation. God wants to work through us to leave behind a legacy for the generations to come.
"A good man LEAVES an inheritance to his children’s children…”
Church, what are we going to leave? I’m going to tell you what we’re going to leave…
We’re going to leave behind a clear pathway to JESUS CHRIST.
We’re going to leave behind practical tools for mental and social EMPOWERMENT.
We’re going to leave behind available RESOURCES for HELP.
We’re going to leave behind A FIRM FOUNDATION for the next generation to build on.
We’re going to leave behind successors who’ve we discipled, prayed with, and prepared, who will be charged to locate their successors to disciple them, pray with them, and prepare them, so the vision doesn’t die with us! ChURCH…CAN YOU SEE IT???
Recap all that God has done.
Cast vision for all that God is looking to do.
When we all do our part, the vision will become WHOLE.
That’s how the first church did it. Not just a few people, EVERYONE played their part.
“ALL THE BELIEVERS were together and had everything in common. They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need.”
“ALL THE BELIEVERS were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of their possessions was their own, but they shared everything they had.”
“…God’s grace was so powerfully at work IN THEM ALL that there were no needy persons among them. For FROM TIME TO TIME those who owned land or houses sold them, brought the money from the sales”
DON’T MISS YOUR TIME.
They understood that…
📝 Giving is a matter of FAITH.
📝 Giving is a matter of TRUST.
📝 Giving is a matter of OBEDIENCE.
📝 Giving is a matter of the HEART.
““Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, THERE YOUR HEART WILL BE ALSO.”
📝 It’s not MONEY that God is after, it’s your HEART.
TALK to God about it.
START where you are.
Give by FAITH.
This is the way to THE MORE BLESSED LIFE.
“In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’ ””
WHAT’S YOUR PART?