Preacher:  Winnie Muchiri
Message: Giving 
Readings: Genesis 4:3-6, 1 Corinthians 8:1-5

Story of a man…..

Story of a man on a journey and very thirsty.  He came across a tap which was set facing upwards. Besides the tap there was a can with little water with instructions that if anyone wanted water, he should put the water in the tin into the tap. He debated within himself and eventually obeyed the instructions. He poured the water in the tin into the tap and heard gushing sound of water, which came from the tap. There was a further instruction that before one leaves, he should ensure they fill the tin with water for the next user. He did so and also added one more instruction that read “believe me it works”.
 Equally, I challenge you, believe me giving to God works wonders .
Whenever there is a counterfeit know there is also a real or genuine product. For instance no one can make a fake note of 300 bob coz an original one does not exist but we have counterfeit notes of 200 or 500 bob etc.
 There can also be counterfeit “blessings” and real blessings from giving.

The Prison…..

 I came across an article describing a word prison, which has so many prisoners who are oppressed and serving a life sentence. The prison is called WANT. The prisoners are always in want. They just want one. One new job, one new spouse, one new car etc. But when they get that one, it weathers out and they want more and are back to prison. Are you in the prison of want?.
 The Bible talks about being contented and thus we can say “the Lord is my shephard  I shall not want”
 From the first reading, Abel and Cain gave sacrifices to God. God accept the sacrifice of Abel but rejected the one of Cain.
 I have been wondering why God rejected the sacrifice of Cain.
Hebrews 11:4 says Abel gave out of faith but Cain gave from a proud way.
 Cain giving was wrong because of the attitude in the way he gave his sacrifice, the casualness of his giving.
Cain behaved like a spoilt teenage brat.
Its not what he gave but how he gave it that mattered.
In the second reading, we see the way the Macedonian church gave.
 They were in severe trial and in extreme poverty and thus had reasons not to give but they asked for the privilege to give.
 They first of all gave themselves to God and then to the apostles.
When it comes to giving it is really about our attitude to giving.
 Bill Winston has written about four types of giving as follows:-
1. Tithe prompted by obedience to God
2. First fruits prompted by generosity
3. Alms prompted compassion
4. Seed offering prompted by faith
Let us learn to do the right thing and then God will help us be free from our limitations.
 Lets remember God is trying to get something to us and not from us but we need to give God the room to do so by our giving.

Story of a King…..

Story of a King who one day while going through his palace and came across an ordinary man without much but who looked very happy. The king wanted to know the source of his happiness. The man responded that he was happy because he had a family, they had a place to stay and something to eat and thus he was contented. The response buffled the King who sought an explanation from his advisors. They advised the King that the man was happy because he had not joined the 99 club. The king wanted to understand the 99 club and his advisors advised him to take 99 gold coins and place them at the man’s door and observe what happens to the man. The king did so at night. The next morning, the man saw the 99 gold coins at his doorstep, took them and started counting them. He realised they 99 and thought they should have been 100. He thus started looking for the missing coin within and around wherever his was. He became preoccupied with looking for the “missing” coin and with time his happiness and contentment was replaced with his new preoccupation. The King the realised what the 99 club meant – looking for a presumed missing one coin instead of being contented with the 99 one has.
 Could we be in such a prison? We need to evaluate ourselves and do the right thing – get contented in God and receive the blessings from having the right attitude of giving.

Genesis 4:3-6

In the course of time Cain brought some of the fruits of the soil as an offering to the Lord. And Abel also brought an offering—fat portions from some of the firstborn of his flock. The Lord looked with favor on Abel and his offering, but on Cain and his offering he did not look with favor. So Cain was very angry, and his face was downcast.

Then the Lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast?

1 Corinthians 8:1-5

Concerning Food Sacrificed to Idols

Now about food sacrificed to idols: We know that “We all possess knowledge.” But knowledge puffs up while love builds up. Those who think they know something do not yet know as they ought to know. But whoever loves God is known by God.[a]

So then, about eating food sacrificed to idols: We know that “An idol is nothing at all in the world” and that “There is no God but one.” For even if there are so-called gods, whether in heaven or on earth (as indeed there are many “gods” and many “lords”),

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