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Why Church? Why Give? - Part 2

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This week, pastors Ed Allen and Alex York preached a sermon together about Giving, from II Corinthians 9:6-11.

The passage is encouraging, but at its heart is a command:  GIVE.

Those who follow Jesus are called to give.  It's our privilege and our responsibility.  It's one way we can be involved in many more ministries throughout the kingdom of God.

We give Deliberately.

"what you have decided in your heart to give"

It's not spontaneous and not from pressure or manipulation.

The decision is made in the heart.  There's more to this than numbers.  Talk about it; pray about it.  Don't forget the faith factor.

We give Cheerfully.

"For God loves a cheerful giver."

God delights in blessing His people, and He wants to teach us how to bless others with delight.

The joy of giving grows with time and trust.  We start noticing new ways to be generous.

Why Give?  We're told to, but we're designed for it and built for it.  Part of being made in God's image.

This passage begins with a Kingdom Principle:  

"Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously."

It's not always financial blessing, but God does bless.

How do we get this done?

verse 10 -- God supplies the seed in the first place and helps us on the front end.

Then He enlarges our harvest and blesses us on the back end.

God blesses us coming and going.

From Genesis 12 and Abraham -- God blesses us so we can be a blessing to others.

You'll never find someone who's walked with God a long time who's given up on giving because God didn't come through.

We invest over time, in personal ways.

As we said before we give because Jesus talked about giving, our commitment to one another, and to feed the machine.

Right now, our congregation has a Ferrari, this beautiful new building.  Now we need fuel.  This Ferrari was built for the road!

We need to invest in:

1)  TEENAGERS!  We need to hire Moises Altamirano, our Youth Minister, full time.

2)  Our building -- We still need to make it our home.  Put in the soccer field and other things still to be done.

3)  Missions -- We need to give to people beyond ourselves.

***

Beginning Monday morning, our church is going to begin a year of reading through the Old Testament together, with a "Deeper Wider" theme.  Ed's going to kick us off this next week by going over the devotional at 6:30 am each morning this week on Facebook Live.  Join us!

 

Why Church? Why Give?

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Today Pastor Ed Allen continued his series on "Why Church?" by looking at another question:  Why Give to the Church?

When Gateway started 20 years ago, Pastor Ed avoided preaching about giving, because he didn't want to feed people's perception that the church is always asking for money.

We're not talking about money because we need it -- God will provide.  And our congregation has historically been vry generous.

We're talking about money because Jesus talked about money.  He said, "Where your treasure is, your heart will be also."  We want to talk about this way of diving in and becoming a part of the community.

We looked at the Scripture passage Acts 2:41-47.  This passage happened after Peter's preaching at Pentecost, when 3000 people became part of the new church.

"Devoted" means to occupy oneself diligently with.  Those new Christians were devoted to the apostles' teaching, fellowship, the breaking of bread, and prayer.

They met together regularly.  

"The apostles' teaching" is now in the Bible for us.  When we come to Christ, we make Jesus and His word the highest authority.

We're a well-educated congregation, and it's normal for us to make our own reason the highest authority.  Coming to Jesus gives authority to Him.

The word "fellowship" can also be translated "community."  This is what the church is!

They met in homes and were devoting themselves to each other.

Devoting ourselves to those same four things -- the apostles' teaching, fellowship, the breaking of bread, and prayer -- is a path to effective living.

Why did the first Christians give?

First of all, they gave because of their commitment to one another.

The church is a network of relationships.  We're "organized" because it helps us be there for each other.

We give to create an environment to facilitate community.

"Glad and sincere hearts" can be translated as "glad and generous hearts."

We encourage you without apology to give and give generously.

If you're a long-time Gateway member who has been giving, we encourage you "don't grow weary in doing good."  Keep on giving!

If you haven't been giving, step in and give.  (But do seek God first.)  Let's go deeper this year and seek God -- you'll be expanded.

If you're new to Gateway, step in and give.  You're not here by accident, but you're also not here to be a casual observer.

"Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."  We'd love your heart to be among us here in this network of believers.

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