Saturday, March 7, 2009

Sermon notes, 3/8/9 "Tithing Time!"

Tithing Time!

I: Introduction
A: Every first sermon should be about tithing
B: Or from the lectionary – but today is 1 great hour of sharing – still about tithing!
C: But we're not here to take your money; we're here so God can take your life.

II: Examples of Givers
A: local
1: Church mice
a: cleaners, inside and out
b: Sunday snacks
2: Musicians
3: Wednesday night study, Sunday school, Children’s Church

B: biblical
1: Zaccheus, Luke 19: 1-10
a: not just a short guy in a tree
b: gives his money and pays restitution to cleanse himself
c: giving as cleansing
2: Tabitha, called Dorcas, Acts 9:36-42
a: gave to the poor
b: so important she was recalled to life by Peter
c: giving as indispensable act – more important than life or death
3: Cornelius, Acts 10: 1-31
a: famous philanthropist
b: giving fame results in Peter coming to the Gentiles
c: giving as a binding and healing act
4: mirrors the giving of Jesus, cleansing, caring, binding – more important
than mere life and death

III: Giving is not just about money
A: Old Testament
1: Abram (soon to be Abraham) gives Lot his pick of the surrounding land in order to create peace – was rewarded by God with ALL the land Lot didn’t pick (Genesis 12)
a: I can think of some people today who might want to follow this
example, can you?

B: New Testament
1: Epaphras: shows up all over Paul’s letters as a companion wishing
everyone growth in Christ – even when imprisoned. He gives
up his freedom for Jesus and the chance to encourage and
shepherd believers. (Philemon, 23)
a: giving is the real freedom – the one that cannot be taken away

C: Jesus
1: Jesus says: How terrible for you, teachers of the Law and Pharisees! You hypocrites! You give to God one tenth even of the seasoning herbs, such as mint, dill and cumin, but you neglect to obey the really important teachings of the Law, such as justice and mercy and
honesty. These you should practice, without neglecting the others.
a: give but give more!
b: just like the offering doesn’t make the altar holy, nor the gold the temple – the gift does not make the giver holy. It’s the other way around – if you give in the right spirit – in the spirit and likeness of Christ, your gift will be good and holy. If you give like a Pharisee, for show or out of obligation, you might as well be giving dust.
2: Jesus’ ultimate gift was his life for ours, not financial stability – as we all
know now, that’s impossible – eternal life is what’s possible.

IV: Tithing as Time
A: Tithe is simply the Old English word for “tenth.”
1: current usage implies 1/10th of an annual salary given to the church
2: but let’s get Medieval. It originally meant 1/10th of someone’s production -- sheep, bread, songs – given for the use of God. That
giving of a part of ALL you have is where I want us to focus.

B: There are 24 hours in a day (DST)
1: we should give one tenth of that day to God (Sundays are already covered)
2: 2.4 hours or 144 minutes.
3: happily, 144 is divisibly by 3 – the number of the Trinity – so we can have an easy map of how we should give our time to God.
4: 48 minutes each for the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit – that’s the
same as 3 TV shows without commercials. And God is way more
important than American IDOL – get it, IDOL?

C: 48 minutes for the Father
1: The Father brought order to the chaos (Gen 1 – Awesome God) – to
what can you bring order?
a: do you know someone whose life is a mess?
b: do you see a part of the church that needs fixing?
2: The Father also is the original giver – he gave us life and eternal life
through Jesus – what can you give?
a: do you have something someone else needs more?
b: do you have something that gets between you and God?
c: do you have something you can give us for the Garage Sale?

D: 48 minutes for the Spirit
1: The Spirit teaches us, even things we’ve never tried to learn – tongues of
flame = new languages – what can you learn for the Lord?
a: a new language?
b: how other people live?
c: how to preach?
2: The Spirit also moves us – like popping Paul all over the Mediterranean or telling Peter to not see as unclean what God has declared clean – what can you move, how can you be inspired for the Lord?
a: a needed ministry?
b: helping someone get to a better place?

E: 48 minutes for Jesus
1: Jesus, as the Word, was the vessel for creation – what can you create for the Lord?
a: art, poetry, skits, songs?
b: new items needed by the church?
c: strong families?
d: strong communities?
2: Jesus not only was the vessel for creation, but the perfection of that creation through the ultimate gift – sacrifice. What can you give,
give up, and sacrifice for the Lord?
a: sin?
b: your stumbling blocks?
c: your fear and hate?
d: your money?
e: your time?

V: Closing prayer:
Lord, you have given us so much
and you ask for so little.
Move in us,
move through us,
that we may give what you and your world needs.
In Jesus’ name,
Amen.

1 comment:

javier said...

It sounds good but not scritptural, you can't tithe what's not yours you have to own it to tithe it, giving your time and talent is your reasonable service as described in Romans 12:1 the definition of tithing never changed from the Old to the New Testament. And Malichi 3:10, that there may be meat in mine house. You can't store up time, if you could everyone wouldn't have to die when time is up, all we would have to do is go get our stored up time, but time belongs to God we are just using it, if that was the case Hezekiah wouldn't had pleaded with God. So it sounds good but its not sound Doctrine. Like the saying If you take one step God will do the rest it sounds good but you won't find it in the Word of God.