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Sermon: Romans 12:13--"Managing God's Wealth"
The Apostle Paul
Text and Main Idea
Before we pick up from where we left off last week, I’d like for us to recall two words from last week’s message: privilege and responsibility. Only we, as believers empowered by the Holy Spirit, have the privilege and responsibility to live in a manner worthy of Christ. I believe that just as we cannot show the attitudes listed in Romans 12:9-12, so we cannot perform the actions required in 12:13-16 without the Spirit’s work in our lives.
To begin this morning, let’s read Romans 12:9-21 again.
Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil; cling to what is good.
Be devoted to one another in brotherly love; give preference to one another in honor;
Not lagging behind in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord;
Rejoicing in hope, persevering in tribulation, devoted to prayer,
Contributing to the needs of the saints, practicing hospitality.
Bless those who persecute you; bless and curse not.
Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep.
Be of the same mind toward one another; do not be haughty in mind, but associate with the lowly. Do not be wise in your own estimation.
Never pay back evil for evil to anyone. Respect what is right in the sight of all men.
If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men.
Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay, says the LORD.”
But if your enemy is hungry, feed him, and if he is thirsty, give him a drink, for in so doing you will heap burning coals upon his head.”
Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
Main Idea: Dedicated Christians must be good managers of God’s wealth, show mercy and empathy, and cultivate humility of mind.
Be a Grace-Filled Contributor
Dedicated Christians Must Be Good Managers of God’s Wealth (v. 13)
First sub-point: We must learn to contribute (share) part of God’s good gifts with others.
1. The word here “contributing” comes from the noun koinonia; it means something we have in common. What that means is that we must be willing to share things with other believers, because we belong to the same spiritual family and have Christ in common. Let’s look together at three ideas about giving that the Apostle Paul shares with us. Turn in your Bibles to 2 Corinthians 9. We’ll be spending some time here this morning, and we’ll be turning to several other passages. So, I encourage you to stay with me. Paul’s first idea is found in verse six.
Verse 6 reads: “But this I say: He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.”
Paul pens here an important principle the believer should understand about Christian giving: the Law of Sowing and Reaping.
In essence, it means that stinginess reaps little reward, but generosity results in a great blessing. Have you found this principle to be true? I can testify to it, as I am sure most of you can. When you give generously, God meets your needs, helps you meet the needs of others, and everyone gives thanks to the Lord. As a result, He is glorified through us.
We find Paul’s second idea in the first part of verse 7 (Read)
“So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity . . .”
Paul expects Christians to give. He also expects them to consider this act of worship carefully. When we give, we have to decide in our heart how much to give, always keeping our motive for giving in mind. It’s a heart matter, a matter of faith. That is to say, when we contribute, we should not give reluctantly or feel as if we are being compelled or forced to do so. We have to give with a willing spirit. We don’t require membership dues as other religious groups do, because we are not a club or a mere social organization. We are a living, spiritual organism that cares for the welfare of its members. I’d like to quote a section from our proposed Constitution on the matter of giving:
We must maintain a righteous attitude toward our financial support of church ministries. Paul’s epistles stress “grace giving”: cheerfully and sacrificially contributing to the needs of the saints according to how the Lord has prospered us (2 Corinthians 8-9). Under this present dispensation of the Church, we ought to consider the OT tithe as the starting point of our giving; however, the elders should not compel members to contribute funds they do not have (2 Corinthians 8:12). Nevertheless, we must keep in mind that everything we have belongs to God; therefore, we should use it all to bring Him glory.
The rest of verse 7 reads: “For God loves a cheerful giver.”
God looks with favor upon the person who has a cheerful attitude toward giving. What does a cheerful attitude tell us about how this person views wealth in his relationship to God?
I believe it tells us that he recognizes his responsibility to be a good steward over the Lord’s resources. He understands that he is contributing to God’s eternal cause of saving souls. When he recognizes this wonderful fact, he experiences a great deal of joy. For this reason, he’s not worrying about his treasures on Earth, because his treasures in Heaven are increasing.
Paul’s third idea about giving directs us to consider God’s character and purpose (Read vv. 8-9)
“And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work. As it is written, ‘He has dispersed abroad, He has given to the poor; His righteousness endures forever.’ ”
Our omnipotent God promises to enable generous givers to contribute even more toward every ministry they support— Paul writes: “an abundance for every good work.”
Wouldn’t it be wonderful to have such a giving heart? Imagine seeing people blessed in numerous ways because our heart was in the right place. Jesus said, “Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.”
In verse 9, Paul cites Psalm 112:9—one of the verses in our “Call to Worship” this morning, by the way. (‘He has dispersed abroad, He has given to the poor; His righteousness endures forever.’ ”) This verse illustrates that righteous men in the OT demonstrated this principle by spreading out their charitable giving and showing concern for the poor. As a result, they enjoyed (the text says) “righteousness that endures forever”; in other words, long-lasting legacies of honor.
Verse 10 continues this idea by using an analogy. Paul says that just as God provides the farmer with what he needs to grow crops in order to feed the world, so He’ll funnel abundant finances to generous givers so that they can do their work.
Verse 11 continues the same thought. God will increase their wealth so that they might become liberal contributors.
The "bottom line" is if you manage your wealth well, God will enable you to help Christians who truly need help. They in turn will praise the Lord for His goodness. Those who benefit from your generosity will glorify God and also pray for you.
TS: (Ok. Back to Romans 12. Verse 13 says, “distributing to the needs.”)
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