Text: 1 Chronicles 29:1-20

Introduction:

What fuels the Vision? Faith, Prayer, and Giving. Our main theme today is about giving, specifically, David’s model of generous giving. Remember that David was known as a man after God’s own heart (1 Samuel 13:14). Rightly to say, if there’s a person whom we ought to follow as a model—it is either Paul or David.

Singaporean pastor Edmund Chan made an illustration about giving. He asked his audience to stand and take any amount from the pockets or wallets of the person beside them. The audience was excited and took a handful of money from the person beside them and gave it to the ushers. Then, pastor Chan asked them to take any amount from their own wallets and give it to the church. Surprisingly, only a few responded, and most of them only gave less than 50% of what they have given to the church.

The point is this: it is easy to give something that is not yours. However, it is challenging if it comes from your own. But, in our passage today, it seems like everything comes from God, our wealth, strength, and even our ability to produce wealth is from God.

Background:

The temple, back then, was the place where God’s presence was available and accessible. Before the temple was built, the Ark of Covenant, the tabernacle, and even the pillars of fire and clouds in the time of the Exodus represented God’s presence to his chosen people of Israel.

Main Idea:

“But who am I, and who are my people, that we should be able to give as generously as this? Everything comes from you, and we have given you only what comes from your hand.” 1 Chronicles 29:14

  1. Generous giving produces ‘everlasting’ joy. (v. 9)
  2. Generous giving ought to be freely and wholeheartedly. (vv. 6, 9)
  3. Generous giving signifies maturity and leadership. (vv. 3, 6)
  4. Generous giving acknowledges God’s overall ownership. (vv. 11, 14, 16).
    • Deuteronomy 8:17–19 (NIV): “You may say to yourself, “My power and the strength of my hands have produced this wealth for me.” But remember the LORD your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth, and so confirms his covenant, which he swore to your ancestors, as it is today.”
    • We are merely returning to God what belongs to him: power, wealth, honor, and strength.
  5. Generous giving gives praise to God. (vv. 10, 13, 20).
  6. Generous giving affirms that you are God’s children. (v. 17)
  7. Generous giving is a test of faith and integrity—a challenge. (v. 17)

New Covenant Perspective:

Cheerful and Freely Giving (2 Corinthians 9:7-8) “You will be enriched in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us, your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God” (2 Corinthians 9:11).

In the context of building the temple, David’s purpose of giving to praise God is through this life-long project, but he knows this will not be easy—hence, he bestows this goal on Solomon. (22:6)

The promise to preserve David’s eternal kingship (17:11-14) was not completely fulfilled in the time of King Solomon nor in the succeeding kings after him. It was fulfilled in the time of King Jesus our Lord and Savior.

One of the purposes of the book of Chronicles is to create a beeline from Adam to Abraham, then Abraham to David, and finally, David to Jesus. It all leads to Christ.

Therefore, the temple—in this viewpoint—is no longer the physical temple that King David thought about. It is already the people of God that bear the eternal indwelling presence of God. Hence, if we are to put this in the context of giving for the temple, it is no longer fixated on the church building but on the people of God, the church’s missions, and vision.

o Your giving goes to:
▪ Vision
▪ Global
▪ Youth of Sucsuc
▪ Church at Sucsuc
▪ Missionaries (Youth)
▪ Bacolod (Odette)
▪ Local Church community
▪ Nexus Generation
▪ Union Student Center
▪ FSBFNA NexGen Leaders
▪ SBC IMB Missionaries

Conclusion:

Practical? Point out the old lady who gave her last two silver coins. I think the challenge is not how much we can give but how we see giving in the light of our faith. When we have a proper lens of giving, God’s ownership, and our response to praise Him, it will be easier to give our all-in-all to God.

 

Ptr. John Paul Arceno
UCBC New Jersey
July 3, 2022

 

 

 

Text: 3 John 1-8

Missions Made Possible (Full Sermon Manuscript)

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Background:

The letter is written by John dedicated to Gaius—who is an elder of an uncertain church. Probably, a church at Corinth or Ephesus, or another place. Again, since this is an epistle, this is designed to be read out loud to the entire church. Hence, the address is to everyone.

John designed his letter by commending his brother Gaius to what they have been doing regarding their support to ministerial workers, missionaries, and church planters—in a word, Gospel-proclaimers.

Main Idea:

In verse 1, John addressed Gaius as his beloved brother in Christ. Furthermore, he said that this love is grounded in truth. It states, “whom I love in truth.” Others would say, “whom I truly love.” But the word order here seems logical as well. Why? Because I believe, love is not grounded only in feelings or emotions.

Since Jesus is the Truth as stated in John 14:6, then we ought to love our beloved brothers and sisters in Christ in the truth of Jesus—a gospel-shaped love. In verse 2, we pray that everything is well with you. We pray that their soul-spiritual health—is well too.

Studying the rest of the verses, I will list 3 important duties as Christians to fulfill our assigned tasks.

Duty to Build Relationship

Verses 5-6, these strangers were treated as if they are not. Meaning, they were able to build relationships with these people. Knowing them, understanding, and loving them in Christ.

Duty to Give

Verse 7 indicates that these preachers, missionaries do not ask for money in exchange for the gospel of Christ. Unlike the ancient philosophers, sophists, Christian missionaries are not motivated by money.

However, in verse 8, John said a strong imperative—a command—“Therefore, we ought to support people like these.” WE OUGHT TO SUPPORT! There is a duty to give. 

Duty to be Fellow Workers

Given that we can be fellow workers through prayers. However, we should be careful about the so-called “false spirituality.” True spirituality in Christ is that character. If you can, yet you suppress it, then there is something wrong in your heart.

Practical Directions:

  1. Put up a bulletin board where we can see our missionary updates, so we can post pictures, and their names so we are all aware of them.
  2. Send teams to visit them and help for specific purposes.
  3. Get to know our missionaries.

Conclusion:

When we follow these things, what did John say? “I have no greater joy than these…” meaning, may this also be our ultimate joy in Christ. Doing and supporting missions and church planters.

 

Ptr. John Paul Arceno
UCBC New Jersey
October 31, 2021

 

This section is an excerpt only; download the full manuscript here.