Route 17 - Giving to the Lord - John 3:16
The act of giving something to the Lord is recorded in scripture from the earliest days of mankind.  Is it s a sign of
man's acknowledgment of his Creator, a token of his appreciation for all that he receives.  Yet questions arise when
man offers a sacrifice to God:  What should he offer?  How often should he do it?  With what heart should he do it?  
And for what purpose should he do it?  Also, what makes an offering to God acceptable, or unacceptable?  In this
study, we hope to find answers to these questions, so that we may be assured that when we offer something to the
Lord, it will be accepted by Him as a pleasant thing.




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17- Giving to the Lord - John 3:16
  - If we are looking for the best example of giving, we will find none better than the example of God.
  - Because of His love for the souls of lost men, He planned before the foundation of the world to send Jesus Christ
     to die for us so that we might forever live with Him.
  - Christ gave Himself to keep us out of hell.
  - Our learning to give to Him in return is not bad.  Rather, it makes us more like God and Christ.

       
Tithing

Tithe: Hebrew meaning - a tenth of everything the Israelites had.

17 - Genesis 28:20-22
  - As Jacob fled before his brother's anger, he vowed to give a tenth of his possessions to the Lord.
  - By this act, what was he acknowledging about his relationship with God?  That he was dependent on God's gifts
     to protect and sustain him.

17 - Leviticus 27:30,32
  - To whom did one tenth of the Israelites' possessions of crops and animals belong?  To the Lord.
  - They were to give it back to Him.

17 - 2nd Chronicles 31:5-6
  - Did the Israelites delay in offering their firstfruits?  No.  "As soon as the commandment was circulated."
  - Actually, taking into account all the sacrifices and offerings the Israelites made, they gave much more than a
     tenth.
  - By their example, we are to think of our giving to the Lord first and foremost before any of our other necessities.  
     When we give to the Lord first and give to Him willingly, then He will provide for our needs.

       
Unacceptable Giving

17 - Leviticus 22:17-24
  - What stipulations did God place on an offering?  No flaw or blemish.
  - Malachi 1:8
       - If man offers damaged goods to the governor, will he be pleased?  No.
       - Would he feel favorably toward the one who gives it?  No.
       - God is much, much greater than the governor, and deserves only our best, and to be thought of first.
       - Giving something to God that is flawed is unacceptable.

17 - 2nd Samuel 24:22-24
  - Araunah meant well by his offer to king David.
  - Why would David not take the gift from the hand of Araunah and offer it up to God?  David knew that to truly
     sacrifice to the Lord, we must give something up.
  - Allowing someone else to sacrifice for us is unacceptable.

17 - Malachi 1:13
  - Will the Lord accept a gift from us that was not ours in the first place?  No.
  - Will He accept a gift from us that is being offered begrudgingly, and with disrespect in our heart?  No.
  - Giving what is not ours and with an impure heart is unacceptable.

17 - Matthew 23:23
  - What were the Pharisees focusing on in their giving?  Visible, meticulous tithing to the smallest detail.
  - Should they have given a tenth of mint and anise and cumin?  Yes.
  - What had they failed to give?  Justice, mercy, and faith toward their fellow men and God.  This made them
     hypocrites.
  - Tithing was not enough.
  - Giving what we WANT to give while refraining from giving what we OUGHT to give is unacceptable.
       - Genesis 4:2-7
               - Abel's offering to God was acceptable to Him, while Cain's was not.  Why not?
               - Hebrews 11:4
               - Abel's offering was done in faith, and therefore was acceptable to God.
                       - Romans 10:17

       
Acceptable Giving

Giving the greatest of our possessions

17 - 2nd Corinthians 8:5
  - What is the greatest gift we can give to the Lord?  Ourselves.
  - If we will first give ourselves to the Lord, it will be easy for us to give the proper amount, and with the proper
     attitude.

Giving with liberality

17 - Exodus 36:2-7
  - When the tabernacle was to be built, what was the response of the Israelites?  They gave too much!
  - They gave liberally, and gladly.
  - The Lord had to make them stop!

17 - Mark 12:41-44
  - Our giving must express our complete dependence upon and trust in God.
  - The widow gave all with the attitude that God would supply her with what was needful if she gave all to Him.

17 - 2nd Corinthians 8:12
  - Although the widow had little to give, how could He look on her with favor?  He did not look at the amount, but the
     generous condition of her heart to give.
  - If what we have was given to us by God.  He knows how much we have prospered.
  - How could that fact reassure us?  Because God knows.
  - How could that fact frighten us?  Because God knows.

17 - 1st John 5:3
  - If our heart is right toward God, obeying His command to give will be joyful for us.
  - It is always a joy, no matter the hardship, to do the will of the God we serve.

       
Examples of Giving in the New Testament

17 - 1st Corinthians 16:1-2
  - The church at Corinth, as well as other congregations, were commanded to take up a collection.
  - When were they to do it?  On the first day of the week.
  - Why on the first day of the week?  That was when they gathered for worship and to observe the Lord's Supper.  
      It was a logical and convenient time to take up a collection.

17 - 2nd Corinthians 9:6-7
  - If a farmer sows little seed, what will he harvest?  Little
  - If he sows much seed, what will he harvest?  Much.
  - What should characterize our giving, and why?
       - Give generously
       - Make it a deliberate decision beforehand.
       - Do not give reluctantly or because we have to.
       - Because it pleases God.
  - Compare giving under the Old Law with giving under the New Law.
       - They were commanded to tithe.
       - We are to give as we purpose in our hearts, and as we prosper.
  - Do men today have the right to tell a person how much they are expected to give?  No.  It is our decision as we
     purpose in our heart.

17 - Luke 6:38
  - What image is drawn by the words, "good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over"?  A
      container being filled, compacted, shaken to fill the empty places, and filled again beyond its capacity.
  - What is the lesson in this for us?  If we are obedient to God in our giving, He will bless us beyond our wildest
      imaginations:  contentment, peace, material necessities, a greater love for mankind, the realization we don't
      need everything we think we do, a greater thankfulness for what God has given us.

17 - Matthew 6:19-21
  - Giving into the treasury of the kingdom of the Lord has the effect of setting our minds on heaven and
     undoubtedly moves us to greater resolve to dwell there eternally.
  - "Give until it hurts.  Give until it stops hurting.  Give until it makes you feel good."
  - If we truly desire to give, God will make it possible.
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