Behold His Grace - Radical

Behold His Grace

Many followers of Christ cringe when the topic of giving comes up. Even when we do give, we’re often motivated more by guilt than gratitude. But this is not how Scripture motivates us to give. In this sermon on Psalm 86, David Platt points us to several biblical motives for our giving. We give in response to God’s infinite grace so that others might see His glory.

As I was praying about our time together today, I thought it would be helpful for you to hear from my heart on a biblical approach to giving. The last thing I want us to do is talk about giving, or for us as a church to approach giving the way the world approaches giving. A godly approach to giving is radically different than a worldly approach. Unfortunately, I’m concerned that much supposedly Christian giving is actually godless. I suspect you can turn on any number of TV stations and see supposedly Christian ministries manipulating the Bible and people to make all kinds of money—and it’s sick. It’s not biblical Christianity—it’s practical con artists who are defaming the name of Jesus Christ.

What I’m most concerned about, though, is how worldly, godless approaches to giving can suddenly creep into the church. So I—as one of your pastors—want to make sure when we talk about giving, we know the difference between worldly giving and godly giving. I’ve been praying about how we would do that and I wish I could say I planned this, but I’m just not that smart. But the text I just so happened to have planned months ago gives us a beautiful picture of the motives for godly giving. So I want to read Psalm 86, then I want us to step back and think about five motives for worldly giving. These are motives which, if we’re not careful, will creep into the way we think and even talk about giving in the church.

After we hit those five motives for worldly giving quickly, I then want to show you five motives for godly giving in this incredible psalm. Just to be clear—this psalm is not specifically about giving, but it does contain truths that totally transform the way we think about giving. 

Let’s read together Psalm 86, a prayer King David prayed when he was in some sort of trouble. We don’t know the specifics, but he looks up to God and calls out these words:

1 Incline your ear, O Lord, and answer me,

for I am poor and needy.

2 Preserve my life, for I am godly;

save your servant, who trusts in you—you are my God.

3 Be gracious to me, O Lord,

for to you do I cry all the day.

4 Gladden the soul of your servant,

for to you, O Lord, do I lift up my soul.

5 For you, O Lord, are good and forgiving,

abounding in steadfast love to all who call upon you.

6 Give ear, O Lord, to my prayer;

listen to my plea for grace.

7 In the day of my trouble I call upon you,

for you answer me.

 

8 There is none like you among the gods, O Lord,

nor are there any works like yours.

9 All the nations you have made shall come

and worship before you, O Lord,

 and shall glorify your name.

10 For you are great and do wondrous things;

  you alone are God.

11 Teach me your way, O Lord,

that I may walk in your truth;

 unite my heart to fear your name.

12 I give thanks to you, O Lord my God, with my whole heart,

and I will glorify your name forever.

13 For great is your steadfast love toward me;

you have delivered my soul from the depths of Sheol.

 

14 O God, insolent men have risen up against me;

a band of ruthless men seek my life,

 and they do not set you before them.

15 But you, O Lord, are a God merciful and gracious,

slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness.

16 Turn to me and be gracious to me;

give your strength to your servant,

 and save the son of your maidservant.

17 Show me a sign of your favor,

That those who hate me may see and be put to shame

 because you, Lord, have helped me and comforted me. 

 

What a beautiful psalm! Before we dive into the truths that are here, let’s step back for a minute. Let’s think about worldly giving—specifically, five motives for worldly giving. We’re going to go quickly, but they’re all so significant to see.

 

Worldly giving is motivated by pride.

Worldly giving is motivated by pride, on at least two levels. First, we give to things in the world that make man look great. Maybe the earliest example of this in the Bible was the Tower of Babel. Can you imagine the fund-raising campaign for that one? “Give your bricks and mortar—we’re going to build a monument to man.” People gave generously, sacrificially and it was built. And thousands of years later, there are all sorts of people, institutions and organizations today that you and I can give to that have as their aim the exaltation of all that man can do, with no regard for God. That’s pride.

But then, in supposed charitable giving for the most worthly causes, there can be pride in our hearts over how we’re giving—even a desire to be acknowledged in some way for our giving. And if we’re not careful, churches and Christian ministries can actually fuel this with extra honor bestowed on people who give the most. We name buildings or initiatives after donors. We give plaques or create memorial books to honor donors. But Jesus has specifically warned us in Matthew 6, “When you give to the needy, don’t make any noise about it. That’s what hypocrites do, because they like the praise of men. Not with you. When you give to the needy, do it in secret, so even your left hand doesn’t know what your right hand is doing.” Godly giving is so different from even much supposed Christian giving today.

 

Woldly giving seeks power.

Pride leads to the second motive for worldly giving which is power. The more you give to something, the more power you think you have over that something. Large donors to an organization or a ministry or a church suddenly start to have more influence in what that organization or ministry or church does. People give and they expect that power. Or if or when they don’t get that power, then they’ll threaten to take their gifts elsewhere. Plainly put, that is political lust for power and it has absolutely no place in the church of Jesus Christ. The Bible specifically and sternly warns in James 2 about giving any preferential treatment to the wealthy. Acts 8:20 makes it clear that you cannot buy spiritual power with material wealth.

I realize, even as I’m saying some of these things, that fund raisers in the world would say I’m shooting myself—or even the church—in the foot here, because so much fund raising in the world, and even in the church, is driven by appeals to people’s pride and lust for power. We have to be careful that these things don’t drive us. 

 

Psalm 86 and How Worldly giving is motivated by guilt.

The third motive for worldly giving is guilt. I think this one is pretty obvious. Many giving appeals are based on guilt feelings. They cause people to feel bad about themselves for all they have, so they will give out of guilt. They feel as though they should give—or have to or need to— which is not how the Bible tells us to give. Second Corinthians 9 specifically tells us not to give reluctantly or under compulsion like that. Again, some supposedly Christian appeals for giving attempt to make us feel bad about all we have. In just a minute I want to show you how godly giving is actually driven by the exact opposite motivation.

 

Psalm 86 and Worldly giving is motivated by greed.

The fourth motivation for worldly giving is greed. Now this may at first seem surprising. You wouldn’t expect greed to motivate giving things away. But this is where appeals for even supposedly Christian giving can be so dangerous. There is so much money raised for supposedly Christian church ministries by people who promise that if you give materially to God, He will give materially to you. 

I was just in Brazil and saw that the prosperity gospel is rampant across that country in ministries and churches. It’s not just there, but it’s around the world. Pastors are raising all kinds of money off the backs of the poor, promising that if they give materially to God, they will get materially from God. I want to use my words carefully here, because in just a minute we’re going to talk about how there is fruit in our own lives that comes from Christian giving. It’s indeed good for us to give. But when we see all sorts of gimmicks that say, “Give to this ministry or this church, and you’ll get this gift, this accolade, this recognition,” we have to be careful not to appeal to the subtle sinfulness of greed that lies within each one of us. 

 

Worldly giving meets temporary needs.

The final motive for worldly giving is temporary need. This is obvious. Worldly giving is focused on needs in the world, and one day this world, and all that’s in it, is going to pass away. Which means that any giving that’s focused on this world is motivated by a desire to meet a temporary need. I want to be clear that giving to meet temporary needs is not necessarily bad or even unwise. It’s often good and wise. We should give to meet all kinds of temporary needs in the world.

Think of the most urgent physical needs in the world—needs for clean water and food among the starving, needs for education, needs for orphans and widows. The Bible itself calls us to meet in this sense temporary needs. But what I want to show you in a minute is that godly giving—unlike worldly giving—doesn’t stop with temporary needs. Worldly giving is focused on temporary needs in the world. 

So how is godly giving different? I’m using the word “godly” instead of “Christian” because, as I hope we realize there is much supposed Christian giving—even church giving—that is actually godless. It’s not honoring to God—it’s honoring to man in ways that actually steal glory from God. 

I want us to think together about five motives for godly giving and I want to show them to you in Psalm 86.

 

1. Psalm 86: Godly giving is motivated by grace from God.

Godly giving is motivated, not by pride, not by power, not by guilt, not by greed. Godly giving is motivated by grace from God. That’s what Psalm 86 is all about—grace from God. It’s a primary attribute of God in this psalm, as David is pleading for grace from God. We see this in three different places. In verse three David says, “Be gracious to me, O Lord, for to you do I cry all the day.” In verse six he says, “Give ear, O Lord, to my prayer; listen to my plea for grace.” And in verse 16, “Turn to me and be gracious to me.” David expresses his need for God’s grace even though he doesn’t deserve it. 

Verse two can be a little confusing along these lines, because there David says, “Preserve my life, for I am godly.” It almost sounds like he thinks he deserves God’s blessing. It’s like if I were to pray, “God, help me, because You know how godly I am.” Hmm. Something kind of rubs you wrong about that, right? Well, that’s where this translation is unfortunate—at least the way it comes off. The phrase David uses there is more accurately, “Preserve my life, for I belong to You as a part of Your covenant people.” It’s almost like we might pray, “God, I’m Your child. I’m in a relationship with You. I need You.”

That’s why in the very next verse David cries out for God’s grace, because he knows he doesn’t deserve it. This is the picture of grace we see all over the Bible. God’s grace is His goodness expressed toward sinners like David; sinners like you and me who do not deserve His goodness. That’s actually the central message of the entire Bible. So if you’re new to the Bible or to Christianity, here’s a summary of this Book. Every person in the world is a sinner who deserves holy judgment from God. And if we received what we deserve, then we would all be in hell right now.

Thankfully, God is gracious. God has sent His Son Jesus. It’s what we’re celebrating at Christmas—the grace of God, Who has sent Jesus to pay the price for our sins. He died on the cross for those sins, so anybody in the world who turns from their sin and cries out to God for His grace through Jesus can be forgiven of all their sin. They can be reconciled to God, now on earth and forever in heaven. Psalm 86:5 says God is “good and forgiving, abounding in steadfast love to all who call upon [him].” 

If you have never turned from your sin and called upon God—“Be gracious to me. Please save me from my sin through what Jesus did on the cross for me”—I invite you to do that today. People have been finding Christ in this church over the past weeks at Christmas Village—and I invite you to join them today. Let today be the day when you say to God, “I need Your grace in my life. I need You to cover my sin. Bring me into relationship with You as Your child.” And God will answer that prayer, because He is gracious. 

So then, for all who know God’s grace like this, who have a relationship with Him through Christ, this is now what motivates us to give. Think about how this totally transforms, not just how we live, but also how we give. Let me ask you—should we feel guilty if we are hoarding our money or our resources? Should we feel guilty if we are indulging ourselves in the possessions and pleasures and pursuits of this world, but we are ignoring the poor? Should we feel guilty if we are not giving generously and sacrificially—to the point where it hurts—to meet needs in Jesus’ name? 

The answer to those questions, based on the authority of God’s Word, is yes. All of those things are sin. God commands us to not hoard our money or resources. God commands us to care for the poor. God commands us to give generously and sacrificially to meet needs in Jesus’ name. For this reason—and I include myself in this—we need to feel guilt when any of these things are true in our lives. We need to see the sin they represent. It’s a dangerous thing when people with many material resources feel nothing about hoarding or indulging ourselves or ignoring the poor. If that’s the case, that is a sure sign our hearts are very far from God and we are guilty of sin. 

But that’s not what compels us to give. If we are sinning in these ways, then what should that compel us to do? It should compel us to cry out for grace from God to cover over our sins and to change our hearts and lives. We need God and His grace to do that in us. And the good news of the Bible is that God wants to give us that grace. He’s waiting to. Verse five: God is good and forgiving, abounding in steadfast love to all who call upon [him].” So call upon Him. “God, forgive me of my sinful selfishness. I’m prone to want more and more stuff in this world. I’m prone to ignore the poor. God, please change my heart so I don’t love the things of this world so much. Change my heart so I love You and Your commands and Your people, especially the poor around me, so I will use my resources for Your purposes.”

When you cry out to God for grace like that, God will answer you. He will pour out His grace on you. He will forgive you completely and He will change your heart radically. Then, by His grace, you will be motivated to give. Grace from God will motivate giving to God. 

I think about the way people sometimes talk about giving—and even pastors give this kind of appeal for giving. “Look at all Jesus has done for you. Look what Jesus did on the cross for you. The least you could do is give Him some more of your money,” like you owe Him that. I urge you, don’t ever think like that. Don’t ever, ever think like that. Why not? Christian, you don’t owe Jesus anything. You don’t owe Jesus your money, your time, your this or that. You don’t owe Jesus a thing. The Christian life is not that Jesus gave His life for you, so you pay Him back with your money and your time and your this or that. No. As soon as you try to pay Jesus back for all He has done for you, then you are actually undercutting the very foundation of grace that saved you in the first place. It’s not grace so you can pay it back and Jesus hasn’t called us to pay Him back. He’s not a businessman looking for a business deal with us. That’s the whole point of grace—we can’t ever pay Jesus back for what He’s done for us. 

You see how subtle it is to miss the point. This is important, because Christians condition ourselves to think about all Jesus has done for us in the past—what He did for us on the cross—and we ask ourselves, “What should I do for Him now?” We get into this sick religious mode of thinking that our church attendance or our Bible reading or our prayers and offerings are somehow going to pay Jesus, like we pay our mortgage every month? That misses the whole point. 

Why does that kind of Christianity miss the point? Thinking that in light of what Jesus has given us we now should give to Him misses the point that Jesus is still giving to us now. Christian, Jesus didn’t just give His life for you in the past. He is giving you life right now. Do you realize that every good thing in your life right now is because Jesus, by His grace, is giving it to you? There is nothing good in you right now apart from Jesus. Everything good in you and around you comes from Him. Anything good you do today is the work of Jesus in you today.

Do you know why Jesus is not a businessman looking to do a business deal with you? Because you have nothing to offer. Everything good you have comes from God. When we realize this, it changes everything about our giving. We realize the fact that we’re even able to give is because of the grace of God. It’s not like ultimately we’ve earned our money, so now we decide if we’re going to give it to God—when He’s the One Who gave it to us. Any money you have is only because of God’s grace. 

Some of you may think, “Wait a minute. I work hard for my money. I spent years getting an education and experience. I get up early every morning and I work hard all day.” I don’t doubt that for a second. But let me ask you this: Who gives you breath every morning when you wake up? Who gives you energy all day long? Who gave you a mind to think and learn and process? Who gives you a mind to make business decisions all day? Who gives you a body to work, a mouth to speak, ears to hear? It is sinful pride and utter foolishness to think that you are ultimately behind what you have. Everything good you have is evidence of the grace of God.

If we put all this together, this is why pride has no place in godly giving. There is no place for any of us to say, “Look at all I have to give,” when we have nothing to give apart from the grace of God. Further, if everything we have comes from God, then why would any of us want any credit at all for giving that which comes from God?In our pride, we can actually convince ourselves that God needs us to give to Him. In our pride, we can take the God upon Whom we are totally dependent for every breath we breathe, everything we have, and we can actually convince ourselves that God is dependent on us. Do not be so deceived. God does not need you. We do not give because God needs a helper. We give because God is our Helper. 

Let me point out the obvious. We are not in a place right now where we are worried about where our next meal is coming from. None of us is wondering if the water we drink today is going to kill us tomorrow. We’re not worried, like a million people are in Yemen right now, that we might die of cholera or basically diarrhea. We’re not worried like thousands upon thousands of Rohingyhan refugees are that all of their men are being slaughtered and all the women being raped. 

I could go on and on. I want to be careful here, because I’m not aiming to make you feel guilty that we’re not in places like that. We’re not talking about guilt—we’re talking about grace. Why was I not born in Yemen or among the Rohingyan people? You and I had nothing to do with where we were born. It is the sheer grace of Almighty God that most of us were born and live right now in one of the wealthiest places in the history of the entire world. That’s the grace of God. We just need to realize that it’s the pure grace of God that we get to sit here today and talk about all we can do as a church to meet urgent needs here in Washington and around the world for the glory of God. That is all based on His grace.

 

2. Godly giving is motivated by glory for God. 

We give because it brings glory to God. Psalm 86:1–7 contains David’s first set of petitions, with verse eight starting a new section. In this section, David moves from asking for all kinds of things to praising God for Who He is: “There is none like you among the gods, O Lord, nor are there any works like yours. All the nations you have made shall come and worship before you, O Lord, and shall glorify your name. For you are great and do wondrous things; you alone are God.”

Then David prays, “Teach me your way, O Lord, that I may walk in your truth; unite my heart to fear your name. I give thanks to you, O Lord my God, with my whole heart, and I will glorify your name forever.” That is the heart of a godly giver. He knows the glory of God. He knows there’s no God like Him. He knows God deserves glory, not just from him, but from all the nations of the earth. So he prays that his heart would be undivided for the glory of God. 

That’s huge when it comes to giving. What does Jesus teach us about giving? “Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matthew 6:21). If you want to know where your heart is, look at where you’re spending your money. It’s a humbling verse. 

We saw this same picture in Psalm 63 last week of a heart that’s in love with God. The heart that gives is a heart that’s in love with God. It’s the picture of marriage I shared last week. Tomorrow is my wedding anniversary. If I give Heather something because I feel like I should or I have to, that’s a sign of unhealth in our marriage. I give to her on our anniversary because I want to, because I love her. 

This is the motivation for godly giving and I pray that God might increase this motivation in my own life and in your life across this church. May we be driven to give sacrificially and generously and joyfully—why? Because we want more glory for our God in Washington and around the world, among the nations. The last thing we want is to give in a way that draws attention to ourselves. We don’t want people to think we’re great. We want people to think God is great. We don’t want people to exalt us in our generosity. We want people to exalt God for His glory on an individual level. Then on a community level, we don’t want people to exalt McLean Bible Church for all we’re doing. We want people to exalt Christ for all He’s doing in our midst. He’s doing so much here. 

I want to bring out some folks from backstage—which means I won’t be able to get to my last three points like I want to today. I’ll get to them later, unless Jesus comes back first—and that would be far better than this sermon anyway. I’ll give them to you briefly now, then I want have us hear what God is doing by His grace in our midst for His glory. 

Motive number three for godly giving is it’s good for others’ lives. We give so others might know the grace and the glory of God—Psalm 86:9. 

The fourth motive for godly giving is godliness in our lives. It’s not like godly giving has no effect on us, because godly giving increases godliness in us. Our relationship with God grows as we give. The more our treasure is given by the grace of God for the glory of God, the more our hearts are united in love for God and in enjoyment of His love for us (Psalm 86:11). 

Then the fifth motive for godly giving is eternal gain. Jesus told us to store up treasures, not on earth, but in heaven. Give to that which will last forever. 

This is the difference between worldly giving and godly giving. Worldly giving is focused on temporary, worldly needs. Godly giving is focused on eternal needs. It’s not to the exclusion of temporary needs. Yes, we work to help the poor, to free the oppressed, to provide the orphan a home, and on and on. But we give toward these things not just so needs are met, but because we know that every person’s greatest need is reconciliation with God, now and for all of eternity. Water filters don’t get anyone to heaven. They’re critically important, but we don’t just give physical water. John 4 says we give living water. Godly giving is motivated, not just by temporary need, but by eternal gain. 

I want us to think about the grace of God in this church and how by His grace we have opportunities to make His glory known from this church. Here we are in one of the most strategic cities in the world where God has put us together. I’m so humbled that I get to be part of this picture with you as a church family. It’s hard to know all that’s going on here, with 10,000 people playing parts in this picture. But today I want to put a face on some specific things that are happening here. 

I’m going to ask Dr. Z and Naomi to join me now. They are originally from Ethiopia. You may know that outside of Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia, Washington D.C. has the highest Ethiopian population of any city in the world. Many years ago God brought Dr. Z and Naomi here to Washington and they’ve been part of our church over the past year. They’ve started an Ethiopian fellowship that meets quarterly with a variety of Ethiopian brothers and sisters. But on a weekly basis, they are going out to share the gospel in the Skyline area among Ethiopians, Somalis and others. And then globally—Naomi won’t say this, so I’ll say it for her—she has pretty much single-handedly saved an orphanage in Ethiopia. Over 50 kids would be on the street right now, had she not led our church to help there. Dr. Z, who is an M.D. in neurology at Inova, just returned from a trip to give medical care to all kinds of kids over there. I’m just going to ask them the question, “Why? What has motivated you in this whole picture I just described, which was a quick summary of a lot more?” 

Naomi: Well, it’s obviously because of Christ. We are living out our faith, demonstrating Christ’s love. The Bible says that much is expected of those to whom much is given. We here are blessed with so much, but seeing the need over there, the little we can do really goes a long way. 

David: Give us a picture of the orphanage that was about to be shut down, and also of the government orphanage you recently visited. What did you see and what have you had the opportunity to be part of there? 

Naomi: Two years ago we went to Ethiopia just to visit, as do most of the Ethiopians who live in the United States. While we were there, we had the opportunity to visit an orphanage. After we returned here, we heard that the orphanage was shutting down because they lacked funding. So we made the connection with McLean and because of your generous contributions, people stepped in and helped the 75 orphans in that orphanage, 26 of whom were special needs children. If it wasn’t for the help from McLean, these kids would have been on the street. But by the grace of God, they’re still in the orphanage being cared for there. That was very encouraging. 

Once that was completed, we moved on to help another government orphanage. We were there last week, actually. My wonderful husband led a medical mission team of nine people, plus a couple pastors. We were able to help 270 children, 33 of whom are special needs, with different medical and physical needs. The need is so great, but the little we did really helped a lot. We’re very grateful for that. 

David: Obviously you were serving there, but God has called you to serve in an even more up-close and personal way, a way that has changed your family. Tell us a little about that. 

Naomi: Absolutely. Our family changed forever, beautifully. Two years ago when we first visited the orphanage, God called us to adopt. So we adopted little twin boys, Simon and Stephen, from Ethiopia. We brought them home last week. 

David: And here are those two precious little boys, who just came into their home last Friday. And here are their two beautiful little girls. What are their names?

Naomi: This is Adona, who is eight, and Amron, who is six. This is…I can’t tell them apart! This is Stephen; this is Simon. 

David: Dr. Z and Naomi, thank you for the picture of God’s grace in your family. This one is just one picture of God’s grace representing so many others. I think about all the other little guys and girls who have a bed to sleep in right now, with the grace of God being shown to them as a result of what Dr. Z and Naomi have done.

Again, you may not know, but over the last year and a half there in Ethiopia, McLean has planted 69 churches in that country. Through our budget we’re supporting Child Evangelism Fellowship to reach 40,000 children every week with the gospel in homes and schools. We’ve trained over 100 pastors there. We have plans to train over 5,000 pastors this next year. We’re working alongside church partners there. We’re trying to get churches planted in 16 unreached people groups in Ethiopia. We’re partnering to expand all that work with the churches and pastors and orphans into neighboring countries in the Horn that are hard to reach—Djibouti, Eritrea, Somalia. 

By God’s grace, this is what we get to be a part of—and this is just one family on one campus. Think about the grace God has given in each of our lives. We together get to be a part of taking that grace and making His glory known around the world, connecting what God’s doing in a unique city like Washington with the large number of Ethiopians here with people around the world. And it’s not just among Ethiopians. Let me invite some others to come out here—brothers and sisters from our Chinese fellowship, our Filipino fellowship, our Latino fellowship, the Nepali fellowship, the Persian fellowship, people from Afghanistan and Iran, Arabic-speaking Middle Eastern peoples. These men and women represent folks from all across different campuses who are part of fellowships like this. [Lengthy applause.]

McLean Bible Church, I just want you to see a picture of the unique place in which God has placed us. And the beauty is that together we are all one in Christ. Different languages, different cultures, different ethnicities, but we are one in Christ. Yet I want you to see in these brothers and sisters that every one of these fellowships represents intentionality. Part of their purpose in coming together is to intentionally reach out with the gospel to Ethiopians, to Filipinos, to Nepalis who are in the D.C. area. By God’s grace, we want to make His glory known. 

This is not just happening here in D.C. Let me invite Andrew and Rebecca to join me up here, because while they have jobs here in the city, God has led them to go to the Middle East with their jobs for the spread of the gospel as missionaries there. They’ve gotten jobs in one of those countries and they’re going to leave in a couple weeks to work there, sent out from this church family to spread the gospel in that country. 

Here’s my hope. First, I want us to realize that these things happen because we give sacrificially and generously and joyfully—and joyfully is the key word. We each play a part in this. I pray we don’t see God’s grace and glory like this and think, “Oh, do I have to give to that?” I want us to think, “I want to give to that! I want my life to count as this church works together.” I pray that we won’t give because of pride or a lust for power or guilt or greed, and we won’t give just to meet worldly needs. But as your pastor, I want to encourage us to give because God is gracious—for the good of others, for our own godliness, for eternal gain and ultimately for His glory. This is why we give as a church. 

I’m going to ask Wae to pray for us, that God would help us as a church to give by His grace for His glory. He’s going to pray in Chinese, then I’ll do the same in English—and together, from among the nations, we’re going to pray that God will pour out His grace on us for His glory through us. ….

Oh God, we praise You for Your grace in us. Together as McLean Bible Church, we thank You for the grace You’ve given us. Help us to give and live sacrificially, generously and joyfully for the spread of Your glory through our lives. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

Question 1 

Why do you think many Christians shy away from the topic of giving? 

Question 2

Of the wrong motivations for giving mentioned, which one(s) are you guilty of? What truths from this  message helped you correct these wrong motivations? 

Question 3

What’s wrong with living your life in order to pay God back for His grace? 

Question 4

List three of the biblical motivations for giving. How can you can grow in these areas?  Question 5

As a response to God’s grace, what are some practical ways to use your money and your resources for  God’s glory in the coming year? Why is it preferable for your local church to be the largest channel of  your giving?

David Platt serves as a pastor in metro Washington, D.C. He is the founder and chairman of Radical. He is the author of several books, including Radical, Radical Together, Follow Me, Counter Culture, and Something Needs to Change.

LESS THAN 1% OF ALL MONEY GIVEN TO MISSIONS GOES TO UNREACHED PEOPLE AND PLACES.

That means that the people with the most urgent spiritual and physical needs on the planet are receiving the least amount of support. Together we can change that!