The Gifts We Should Give Part1

Matthew 2:1-2,11

Malachi 3:8-10

Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the east came to Jerusalem, saying, ‘Where is he who has been born king of the Jews? For we saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him. . . .

And going into the house they saw the child with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshiped him. Then, opening their treasures, they offered him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh.” 

“Will a mere mortal rob God? Yet you rob me. “But you ask, ‘How are we robbing you?’ “In tithes and offerings. You are under a curse—your whole nation—because you are robbing me. Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the Lord Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it.

Last year during the advent season I preached a series entitled the gifts that God gives.  I shared with you that the gifts that God gives are special because he loves us.  The gifts God gives are specific because he knows us.  The gifts that God gives are spectacular because he’s God.  And the gifts that God gives are spiritual because God is spirit and those that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.  Last year it was all about worshipping and praising God for the wonderful gifts that he gives us.  And how many people today can give God praise for the gifts that he gives.  We may not get what we want, but he always gives us what we need!

This year I would like to focus on the gifts that we should give.  That’s right we cannot always be receivers, we must give as well. My mother-in-love always says you’re not living if you are not giving.  

I mean you cannot always have your hands out.  

You cannot always expect someone to be giving something to you.  

You cannot always be the one on the receiving end.  

As good as God has been to us, it should be easy for us to be good to someone else.  

As much as God had given to us, it should be easy for us to give to someone else.

I just believe that we should be following the example set by our father.  What are you talking about Pastor Brian?  

For God do loved the world that He gave….   

He gave his only.  

He gave his best.  

He gave his child.

He gave us breath.  

He gave us life.  

He gave us health.

He gave us strength.

He gave us everything.  

So because our father is a giver we should be givers as well. 

So during this advent season I would like to talk about the gifts that we should give.  

This sermon series actually coincides with what I am teaching in Bible Study this month as well.  We are talking about the significance and symbolism of the gifts that the wise men bought to Jesus, and the first gift that they gave Jesus was gold.  

They presented Jesus with gold to signify that he was the king of kings and the lord of Lords.  

They presented him with gold because that’s what you give to royalty and Jesus is royalty.  

He rules and he reigns!

And his rule reign shall never end.  

And just like the wise men gave Jesus their gold, their treasure, we should give our treasure as well.  

Shall we look at the text?

Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the east came to Jerusalem, saying, ‘Where is he who has been born king of the Jews? For we saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him. . . .’

And going into the house they saw the child with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshiped him. Then, opening their treasures, they offered him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh.” 

Now we do not know much about these wise men, whom some have called magi.  Some people have referred to them as kings, but we don’t know if they are kings.  All we know is they came from the east.  They saw the star and they followed it to their king.  

We don’t know much, but we do know that they were not Jewish.  We do know that they were gentiles.  

We do know that they were foreigners.  

We do know that they traveled a long way to worship a kings they knew nothing about.  

We do know that they worshipped Jesus.  

We do know that that they gave him gifts of gold and frankincense and myrrh.

We do know that they gave him their treasure.

I think that it is important to note that the wise men gave their treasure.  They gave their gold.  As mentioned earlier they gave gold to signify the rule of Jesus.  Because gold is what you give to royalty.  Gold is what you give to kings and queens.  Gold is what you present to rulers. But gold is also precious, valuable, and expensive.  And that is what is so significant about them giving it to Jesus.  They could have easily given him silver or copper or livestock or grain, but they chose to give him their gold, their treasure.  So many people today are so hung up on their treasure, their money.  

How much do they have?

How much do they need?  

How much can the get?  

How much can they spend?  

How much can they save?

And they fail to realize that there are so many things that are much more important than money.  

That was the problem with the young man that came to Jesus asking what good thing must I do to inherit eternal life…. When Jesus told him what he needed to do he went away sad because he had much wealth.  This is when Jesus said it is easier for a camel to walk through the eye of the needle than a rich man to enter eternal life.  You cannot be so caught up and hung up on your money that you are not willing to give.

Which bring us to Malachi 3:8-10, “Will a mere mortal rob God? Yet you rob me. “But you ask, ‘How are we robbing you?’ “In tithes and offerings. You are under a curse—your whole nation—because you are robbing me. Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the Lord Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it.

We cannot be so caught up in our treasure that we rob God.  We cannot be so caught up in what we have that we fail to give God what rightfully belongs to him.  It is funny how people can be all into church until you start talking about their money.  

You can talk about my sin.  

You can talk abut my character.  

You can talk about me needing to get involved.  

You can talk about me not being committed, but don’t talk about my money.  I once heard someone say, Me and God have an understanding.  I stay out of his business and he stays out of mine.  Now as children of God this cannot be our attitude.  I believe we all know that God does not want pieces or parts of our lives.  He wants it all, and all includes your treasure.  

I Timothy 6:10 clearly states, 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.  Now money in and of itself is not evil, it is the love of money that is evil, and the love of money will cause you to rob God.  And Jesus says in Mark 8:36, What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul?  So let me give you three reasons why we should give our treasure and then let I will let you go.

First we must give our treasure to support the ministry.  Giving our treasure is just a fancy way of saying our tithes and offering. 

It is our tithes and offering that pay the mortgage.  

It’s our tithes and offering that keep the lights on.  

It’s our tithes and offering that keep the heat on.  

It’s our tithes offering that keep the water running.  

It’s our tithes and offering that keep the ac cool.  

It’s our tithes and offering that keep the internet running.

It’s our tithes and offering that take care of the building enabling us to do the ministry that God has called us to do.  

We must give our treasure to support the ministry.

Secondly, we must give our treasure to sustain the mission.  Our church’s mission is to love God and to love people.  We cannot do that without the giving of our treasure.  I mean we can say it, but we cannot not actually do it without the giving of our treasure.  

Coat donations, which by the way are still coming in, giving of our treasure.

School supply drive, giving of our treasure.

Sock drive, giving of our treasure.

Hats and gloves collection, giving our treasure.

Snack pack give away, giving of our treasure.

Trunk or treat, giving of our treasure.

Media ministry, giving of our treasure.

I am not stating these things to be braggadocios, but to let you know that there is a reason and a purpose to the giving our treasure.  

We have work to do.  

We have things to accomplish.

We have a mission to sustain.

And it all costs money.  

So we give our treasure to sustain the mission.

Last but not least we give our treasure because it’s sovereignly mandated.  God told the Israelites through Malachi to bring the whole tithe to the storehouse.  

Not some.  

Not a portion.  

Not a part.  

Not a little bit of it.

Not a down payment.

Not a layaway plan.  

Not 90 days same as cash.

Bring all of the tithe to the store house.  And if you do he will bless you!  He will bless you so much that you will not even have room to store it.  Let’s think about that for a moment.  When you give God a tenth of what is his anyway, he is going to bless you for giving you 10% of what is his.  To me that is a win win situation.  But let me give you a visual.

Now I did not come up with this example myself.  I seen it used by Pastor John Jenkins of First Baptist Church in Glenardon, Maryland who happens to be a great friend of my spiritual father.  And I just thought it would be a good fit right here..

So even when we are giving our treasure which is his anyway, God is still blessing us.  Sometimes you have to look at it from a different angle.  Don’t think of it as what you are giving up. Think about what he allows you to keep.  

Let me close with this story about John Wesley.

The modern Australian way is to spend, spend, spend, to the very limits of your income and then some more!

A few hundred years ago the great preacher and evangelist John Wesley showed us another way. Wesley lived in economically uncertain times, yet from humble beginnings he became so well known that his income eventually reached 1400 pounds per year. In 2001 this would be the equivalent of earning around $300,000.

So what did he do with all this wealth? Did he tithe it? No. Wesley went way beyond tithing. He disciplined himself to live on just 30 pounds of the 1400 pounds he earned every year. He gave away 98% of all he earned and lived on just 2%!

Wesley once preached a sermon on Luke 16.9. In it he spelled out his philosophy: money is a tool that can be used for great good or great ill. “It is an excellent gift of God” he claimed, “answering the noblest ends. In the hands of his children, it is food for the hungry, drink for the thirsty, raiment for the naked: It gives to the traveller and the stranger where to lay his head. By it we may supply the place of an husband to the widow, and of a father to the fatherless. We maybe a defense for the oppressed, a means of health to the sick, of ease to them that are in pain; it may be as eyes to the blind, as feet to the lame; yea, a lifter up from the gates of death! It is therefore of the highest concern that all who fear God know how to employ this valuable talent; that they be instructed how it may answer these glorious ends, and in the highest degree.”

He went on to spell out three simple rules which can guide us: gain all you can, save all you can, give all you can.  

Which brings me back to what my mother-in-love always says, you’re not living if you’re not giving.  And I don’t know about anybody else in the room or online but I want to live so I am going to give.

And right now I am going to give God praise.

I am going to give God Glory.

I am going to give God my worship.

Because from the rising of the son to the going down of the same  the name of Jesus is worthy to be praise.

Oh little town of Bethlehem, how still we see thee lie

Above thy deep and dreamless sleep the silent stars go by

Yet in thy dark streets shineth, the everlasting light

The hopes and fears of all the years are met in thee tonight.

For Christ is born of Mary, and gathered all above

While mortals sleep the angels keep their watch of wondering love

Oh morning stars together, proclaim thy holy birth.

And praises sing to God the king, and peace to men on earth.

Because God gave us Jesus, we must give as well.

The first thing we must give is our treasure.

We give our treasure to support the ministry

We give our treasure to sustain the mission.

We give our treasure because it is sovereignly mandated.


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