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Sugar and Spice, But Not Everything Nice (3 of 6)
Series: Stumbling Blocks to Spirituality
Matthew 23:23-24; Malachi 3:8-12; II Corinthians 9:6-11; Proverbs 11:24
INTRO: If you met a person who claimed to be a "born-again" Christian that told you he/she weekly robbed a bank with masks and a revolver in their hand as their way of meeting their needs, what would you think of them?
If you met a person who claimed to be a "born-again" Christian that told you he/she worked hard for a living and were honest, but to other people they were cruel and insensitive, and were unfaithful to commitments they had made to others, what would you think?
You would probably at best consider them one of the poorest examples of being a Christian, or at worst you would doubt the reality of their salvation! Of course you would not likely see yourself as one of these examples but would likely think of someone else you think matches these examples.
ILLUS: A new convert declared his determination to give all that he had for the Master. He said, "Pastor, if I had fifty pigs, I'd give twenty-five of them to the Lord." "That's very nice," said the pastor. "If you had thirty would you give fifteen to the Lord?" "Of course I would," said the new Christian. "If you had ten would you give five of them?" asked the pastor again. "You know I would," he answered. Then the pastor said, "If you had two, would you give one to the Lord?" "Now Pastor, don't ask me that. You know I have only two pigs." -- Unknown
PROP SENT: The Scriptures teach us that we are to be balanced in our walk with God, considering and practicing two important areas of lifestyle ... the material realm and the spiritual realm. We need to let God affect the giving of our tithes and our temperament! The healthy believer is the one who does both!
I. GIVING & GOD Matt. 23:23a,c; Mal. 3:8-9
A. Rightful Portions Matt. 23:23a,c
1. Is giving in the material realm important to God! YES!
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