Sunday, 18th July 2021
Pastor Kathy Poon
A. Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life
“Judge not, that you be not judged. For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you.” (Matthew 7:1-2)
When we talk about giving, we think about money. But when we talk about salvation, we talk about giving, and when we talk about marriage, we also talk about giving. In fact, when it talks about giving in the Bible, it’s not just about giving money, but giving in all perspectives in our lives. A lot of people think that churches teach about offering because churches need money, but actually, it was God, who wants us to offer, and it is not because God needs our offering, but it’s because God cares about our heart.
“For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (Matthew 6:21)
We need to save our treasure in heaven, in the Book of Luke, it talks about judging, condemning and giving, When we judge others, others will also judge us. This is the principal of sowing and reaping, what we reap comes from what we sow, therefore if we sow the seeds of unforgiveness, judgement and condemnation, then the same things we will sow. We must be careful of what we think and what we speak. In the same way, the more we give, the more we will receive. So we need to align our hearts with the heart of God, then we can enter into this abundant life.
“Judge not, and you shall not be judged. Condemn not, and you shall not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. (Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. ) For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you.” (Luke 6:37-38)
How to be generous? Deuteronomy teaches us four things:
“If there is among you a poor man of your brethren, within any of the gates in your land which the Lord your God is giving you, you shall not harden your heart nor shut your hand from your poor brother, but you shall open your hand wide to him and willingly lend him sufficient for his need, whatever he needs. Beware lest there be a wicked thought in your heart, saying, ‘The seventh year, the year of release, is at hand,’ and your eye be evil against your poor brother and you give him nothing, and he cry out to the Lord against you, and it become sin among you.” (Deuteronomy 15:7-9)
1. Dealing with the selfish heart
Why did God create tithing and offering? because God wants to deal with our selfish heart. Selfish and greed will become sin in our lives, therefore when we see someone in need, we should help where we can. Offering and giving can help us to remove all the selfish and greed inside our lives. We give not because we want to receive more, but to get rid of our selfish heart.
Giving is from the heart, if we give because we want to receive more, then it’s not really giving. We need to change our attitude of giving, We give, because of love and mercy from God, not because we want to receive anything in return. The parents give the best for their children out of love, not because they want the children to pay them back. God wants us to walk in the path of grace, and giving is about our heart.
2. Dealing with the grieving heart
“You shall surely give to him, and your heart should not be grieved when you give to him, because for this thing the Lord your God will bless you in all your works and in all to which you put your hand.” (Deuteronomy 15:10)
Before we give, the selfish heart will attack us, and after we give, the grieving heart will attack us. Why do we grief after we give? Because we do not believe that everything we have is from God! We are only giving God back what belongs to Him! Therefore we should not have a grieving heart, because God is the God who gives!
3. Develop a generous heart
“you shall supply him liberally from your flock, from your threshing floor, and from your winepress. From what the Lord your God has blessed you with, you shall give to him.” (Deuteronomy 15:14)
We are born to be selfish, but God wants us to be generous. Giving is not about feeling that people are robbing us, but when we give, we will have the DNA of God. God is a generous God, so when we also become generous, we become more like the image of God! To become a blessed person, we have to be like a living water, blessings will come through us and flow out to others, then more blessings will come to our lives.
4. Develop a grateful heart
“You shall remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt, and the Lord your God redeemed you; therefore I command you this thing today.” (Deuteronomy 15:15)