THANK YOU FOR GIVING By Pastor YAU
Text: 2 Corinthians 6:9-10 November 20, 2005
1) Thank you: We learned to say “Thank you” when we were still small when people gave us things, convenience, love or other expressions of good will. These people made our lives better, feel happier or easier and they deserve our expression of gratitude.
2) For giving: Give is the most beautiful character virtue among all the virtues. While this world hammers on us the need to get and to keep, those who are generous in giving make this world a much better place to live. While most people will give to their loved one, there are people who will give to others whom they don’t even know and that make it even more beautiful.
WHY IS GIVING SO HARD?
1) Because it is against human nature: The nature of man is to get and to keep, not to give. Elisa Morgan, president of Mothers of Preschoolers International shared the following insight into a child’s view on possession and giving:
THE TODDLERS CREED
If I want it, it is mine,
If I give it to you and change my mind, it’s mine too.
If I can take it away from someone, it is mine.
If I had it for a while, it’s always mine.
If it is mine, it will never belong to someone else.
If we building something together,
All the pieces are mine.
If it looks just like mine, it must be mine.
This Toddlers Creed creeps into our mindset and stays there forever. That’s why it is so hard to give even after we become adults.
2) We don’t understand the true MEANING of giving: Many people believe that all that they have are “theirs.” They made them, own them and deserve to keep all of them. In reality, all that we have are “loans” or “trusts” from God. We were given the things we have to use with people around us. No one brings anything when he/she comes into this world and no one really owns anything he/she has.
3) We don’t understand the VALUE of giving: Most people believe that if they give, they have less. Too much sacrifice. That idea is so wrong. Giving will not cost you to have less, it will make you have more: blessings from those you give to, good name, sincere respect, sweet memory, being faithful to God on His trusts, good Christian testimony, etc. All these are much more valuable than things you give away. All these will last much longer in people mind and heart than if you keep them to yourself. No money can buy honor.
MODELS OF SACRIFICIAL GIVING:
divine model: “For you know the grace
of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet became poor for your
sakes, so you through His poverty might become rich.” (2 Corinth. 8:9) Paul
pointed out the example of self giving by Jesus so we, human beings, may become
rich in the
human model: “Dying and yet we live,
beaten and yet not killed; sorrowful yet always rejoicing; poor yet making many
rich, having nothing and yet possessing everything.”(Today’s text) Paul gave
and became poor that many become rich. He never own a house, a car, a bank
account or anything tangible yet he was one of the happiest men in the world
because he led many to Christ, built many church, set great examples and became
model for so many. Because of his selfless giving, he will be received into the
3) All the saints in the 2,000 years of Christian history: Countless of the faithful have given: material possessions, sacrifices, all the hours, energy and sweat, love and dedication and even their lives, tens of millions of souls were saved, thousands of churches were built, children were taught about Jesus, disciples were trained, meals were cooked, babies were taken cared of, the list goes on and on. Without the sacrificial giving of the saints before us and those who are still with us, we won’t have what we have today
SALUTE THE SAINTS: In the past 12 months, if you have helped in:
Teaching Sunday School, leading discipleship training, helped in the Children church, the VBS, the AWANA program, sang in the choir or Praise Team, organized a prayer group, helped in the kitchen, cooking, cleaning, cut the grass, cleaned the restrooms, vacuumed the floor, emptied the trash, helped in the nursery, visited someone in need, picked up someone to church or to church organized meetings, giving tithes or the best you can afford to church budget, building fund, mission, hurricane relief fund and many others, please all stand. We, the people at FCBC, want to salute you and say “Thanks you for giving.”