Myth #5: “I Shouldn’t Give If I Can’t Give Cheerfully”

This myth is mostly true–especially since God basically said the same thing in 2 Corinthians 9:7.  The myth part lies in how we use that verse.  The Apostle Paul tells us something specific about the character of God at the end of verse 7: he says God loves something.  That’s a pretty big deal when the Bible spells something out so clearly and explicitly.

What does God love?  A cheerful giver.

But what if I don’t give now, or I don’t give cheerfully?  Should I wait?  I think the opposite is true: the cure for not giving is giving.  Just like the cure for a fear of dogs is to be around dogs, you will never conquer your materialism by keeping it close.  You have to let it go.

Myth #4: “You Can’t Take it With You”

It’s true, you can’t take it with you.  When you die, you will be forever separated from your stuff.  That’s why Jesus said not to store up treasure on earth; it’s not that earthly wealth is bad, it’s that it’s temporary.  Rather, he said to lay up treasure in heaven.  Why?  Because it’s forever.  So Jesus’ point in Matthew 6:19-21 is not that we shouldn’t store up treasure, but that we should change the location of it.

It’s interesting that Jesus doesn’t make an emotional appeal, but a logical one: Don’t spend all your money on something that won’t last when you can invest in the Kingdom of God, which is forever.

Myth #3: “If I Give, I Will Receive”

TV evangelists should probably get the credit for planting this myth in the minds of viewers.  The truth behind the myth is: If I give, I will receive, so I can give.  2 corinthians 9:6-11 addresses the principle of sowing and reaping, which teaches us that God provides our “seed” (money) for sowing and that when we give, we will receive–not so we can get rich, but so we can be even more generous with God’s stuff.

Ephesians 4:32 “Forgiveness”

It’s tough to forgive sometimes–especially when we still want to be mad!  But the body of Christ should be known as a gracious community that readily forgives offenses, mostly because we recognize how much God forgave us through the suffering and death of Christ for our sin.

This message looks at what forgiveness is, addresses several questions about–or challenges to–forgiving others, and reviews Jesus’ severe warning about not forgiving others.

Ephesians 4:29-31 “Watching Our Words”

That saying I learned as a kid: “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me,” was a lie!  Words can do way more damage than sticks and stones.  In this section of Ephesians the Apostle Paul instructs us to be careful with the words we use.  Instead of tearing each other down, we should seek to build each other up in the faith with words that “give grace.”