First Baptist Church of Minneola
Loaded Down 2/2
  • INTRO - This is the second part to the message we heard two weeks ago. BTW - thank you for all the kind words regarding last week’s message.
    Today’s message is, also, the second to the last in completing our series from the book of Galatians.
    Thereafter I have something special in mind to honor and bless our senior saints and a special day to remember our Mom’s with a Mother’s Day message.
    You don’t want to miss the next several week as we will begin a series on the 10 Commandments starting the 17th of May.
    TRANS - In the first part of this set of two messages we discussed the BIG IDEA of what a Spirit-led church does.
    We noted the Bible’s “How To” instructions for doing the work of spiritual restoration. We noted that Spirit-led churches bear another’s burdens which means doing the difficult task of conducting spiritual restoration; addressing sin in the lives of fellow believers with gentleness, assertiveness, and tactfulness.
    Today we tackle part two of our message “Loaded Down.” I felt a bit funny working on this message. It might make you feel a bit awkward, but trust me, I feel more awkward about it than you might.
    I really don’t like talking about money. I spoke with a pastor two weeks ago who didn’t know the first thing about the financial status of his church.
    In my observation, including myself, most pastors don’t like to talk about money; save maybe the televangelists LOL.
    Do you know that Martin Luther didn’t like preaching from today’s passage? Listen to what he had to say about it:
    “I do not like to interpret such passages, for they seem to commend us [i.e., pastors], as in fact they do. In addition, it gives the appearance of greed if on emphasizes these things diligently to one’s hearers.” —Martin Luther
    I don’t think Paul liked to talk about money either. When Paul does talk money, he uses theological language like:
    Galatians 6:6 NASB95PARA
    The one who is taught the word is to share all good things with the one who teaches him.
    What Paul is saying to the Galatians, in a very round about way is, “pay your pastor.”
    NOTE: Let me note that I am blessed by our church and grateful for all you do for me. I don’t want you to think I am asking for money or more money. You all take good care of your pastor.
    The reason for this message is because it is in our Bible and your pastor lives by the phrase “preach the word.”
    I’m preaching this message because we are doing a book series and this is the next text. I don’t want to ever be accused of skipping a text because it is a difficult passage. All of God’s Word must be preached!
    On one side of a coin, a healthy church has a pastor who shares the spiritual resources of the Word of God to nourish and equip the people.
    On the other side of the coin, a healthy church share financial resources, so that the pastor is free of the burden of having to find ways to provide for himself and family and is able to devote his time and energy to feeding the flock.
    Now, back to the idea of “burden bearing.” Recall this verse from part one of this message:
    Galatians 6:2 NASB95PARA
    Bear one another’s burdens, and thereby fulfill the law of Christ.
    As God’s people we help one another. Another part of “burden bearing,” in addition to spiritual restoration, is sharing good things with one another. Simply put, “burden bearing” is spiritual and is sharing.
    Spirit-led people look for ways to help one another by sharing what we receive from God whether that is stern word, a good, word, or a resource. Christians seek to do good for the benefit of one another.
    Our passage even explains how financial burden bearing benefits everyone; the giver and recipient. To be more precise, both benefit, but the emphasized benefit is on the giver.
    It is in the believer’s spiritual best interest to provide for the teaching ministry of the local church.
    Perhaps you’ve heard, “sharing is caring?”
    The giver benefits the most by sharing financial resources so the whole church can be involved in sharing the Word of God. Another way to put this: paying pastors is for the good of everyone.
    Some might not like the idea conveyed in this passage. Some might even think it allows pastors to preach a selfish message.
    C. S. Lewis wrestled with this matter. Listen to what Lewis observed:
    “The New Testament has lots to say about self-denial, but not about self-denial as an end in itself. We are told to deny ourselves and to take up our crosses in order that we may follow Christ; and nearly every description of what we shall ultimately find if we do so contains an appeal to desire.”
    Today we look a the call to self-denial and sacrificial giving. Also, there is an appeal to desire, to what we can expect by doing what our text says we ought to do.
    Many Christians already give generously. Some, maybe only out of habit and don’t see the point.
    Others, perhaps they don’t give at all, not out of opposition, but because they don’t understand why they should give or been challenged to do so.
    TRANS - Let’s divide this up into three points and wrap it up with a conclusion.
    We already looked at v.6 so lets begin with vv.7-8

    Giving and Getting vv.7-8

    Galatians 6:7–8 NASB95PARA
    Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life.
    Lots of reasons people find it difficult to support a church. Perhaps the most common is folks don’t have it to give to begin with. People know that putting aside $50 or $500 a month, how that will impact their own finances.
    Perhaps that is why Paul tossed out “whatever a man sows, this he will also reap.” Maybe Paul knows people need be reminded that our actions do matter to God. This “law of the harvest” language reminds the Galatians, and us, that what we give does come back even more-so.
    ILL - Parking garages help many more vehicles into a smaller footprint than a simple parking lot. Most are four or five levels high. If you oversteer the path leading out of a parking garage, you quickly discover the law of gravity.
    God’s laws, whether gravity, separation of beach sand and water, or in the harvest do not bend! In Paul’s words, “get from what you give” flesh or Spirit rewards.
    Actions have reactions. Its another law, for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. But in our case, its the what of the actions that matters.
    What I give to God, or give to myself, results in a blessing, or something not so good, in return.
    TRANS - Now don’t miss the point. We talk a lot about eternal life with God. Understand that Paul’s “sowing” to the Spirit describes walking by faith. This new life that we have, the one that leads to our heavenly reward, is one of faith and reliance on God’s Spirit who both moves us to give and who provides us the means with which we do give.

    Getting if Giving v.9

    Galatians 6:9 NASB95PARA
    Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary.
    I don’t know of a place that says, “giving to the church will be easy.” Usually, there seems some degree of sacrifice. Perhaps that is because the Spirit calls us to self-denial? As we studied back in 5:17, the Spirit and flesh battle against one another.
    The constant inflow of the world, with all its enticements, with the over-the-top flow of sin-inducing material, with the constant presence of temptations, believers frequently feel they grow weary when attempting to sow in the Spirit.
    Weariness in doing good is another reason Christians fail to give. Sometimes, we run out of gas! Strength feels tapped out and they stop to rest.
    Perhaps Paul knows that. Maybe that’s the reason for this encouraging word, “don’t give up, lose heart, doing good.” “Keep on trucking!” (my paraphrase)
    When you think about it, this really can be applied to anything. In our context, however, Paul encourages the Galatians to keep providing financial support to the ministry of the local church.
    Jesus endured hardship. Christ Jesus’ life was spent sowing to the Spirit. Jesus kept doing the right thing by keeping his eyes fixed, as the author of Hebrews noted:
    Hebrews 12:2 NASB95PARA
    fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
    Jesus sets the example of doing the right thing even when it is difficult. Do you have your eyes fixed on what is to come? Do we seek what is above where Jesus is today? Have we forgotten that we’ve died to sin and our lives are hidden with Christ in God?
    See, when Jesus appears again, on that glorious day, we will reap from what we’ve sown.
    Sacrifices made in this life will be shown for their great significance on that great and wonderful day!
    TRANS - We have so many reasons to live a generous life. We know the reality of the law of the harvest, we confidently wait for the day God rewards us for our sacrificial living. Good news, Amen!
    Lets look at our last word which is another, more general, encouragement for us today.

    Generosity in Giving v.10

    Galatians 6:10 NASB95PARA
    So then, while we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, and especially to those who are of the household of the faith.
    Paul encourages the Galatians to do good to other people. The emphasis of this whole letter is carried in the sense of Christians living to do good to everyone.
    Sure, we can put that into a slogan, “Just do good.” Or, “The Godly do Good so others can know God.” A bit trite for me though.
    Christians do good because God helps them in so doing.
    Perhaps thats a bit less trite. Goodness is one of the fruits of the Spirit ( we looked at in chapter five (5:22).
    Godly lives leave a trail of doing good to others when as we imitate Jesus. Jesus was known for going about doing good (Acts 10:38).
    Something that grabs my attention is that this verse does not have qualifiers?
    ILL - I’ve been around ministry long enough to hear the battles about helping people and needing to hold them accountable. Usually its something like, “We give them gas only if we follow them to the station and watch them fill up the tank.” Sometimes its more like, “We will give them money, but they need to enroll in our program to improve their credit rating and get a job.”
    While accountability is not a bad thing, and I’m 100% behind helping where it really is help, I’m not so sure its always done in a spirit of good will. Quite frequently, it makes people “feel” bad about asking for help.
    Back to this verse. We live generously and do good with a priority on the local church. See, Paul has a “family first” teaching going on here. We need healthy churches.
    The church is the place we find nourishment, get encouragement, support, teaching and training, modeling and mentoring, discipline and discipleship.
    Our church is our spiritual home where we gather, where we are fed, where we fellowship with brothers and sisters.
    The church is a one-of-a-kind institution. Jesus is the head:
    Colossians 1:18 NASB95PARA
    He is also head of the body, the church; and He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that He Himself will come to have first place in everything.
    It is where the Holy Spirit resides:
    Ephesians 2:21–22 NASB95PARA
    in whom the whole building, being fitted together, is growing into a holy temple in the Lord, in whom you also are being built together into a dwelling of God in the Spirit.
    It traces back to the beginning:
    Ephesians 1:4 NASB95PARA
    just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him. In love
    It extends to eternity:
    1 Thessalonians 4:17 NASB95PARA
    Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord.
    It is a most diverse family:
    Revelation 5:9–10 NASB95PARA
    And they sang a new song, saying, “Worthy are You to take the book and to break its seals; for You were slain, and purchased for God with Your blood men from every tribe and tongue and people and nation. You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to our God; and they will reign upon the earth.”
    Perhaps the best part of the church is how we are connected to God:
    2 Corinthians 13:14 NASB95PARA
    The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be with you all.
    So what does this all mean? Here you go. Giving begins with the local church. As we are able, we give to other Christian ministries and good causes.
    But, never be in the spot where you can’t give to the local church because of over spending in other places. That falls short of Spiritual counsel to do good to all, especially to the household of faith.
    TRANS - The church is one-of-a-kind.
    It should have a first place spot in our lives and be a source of pride among all the other concerns and commitments in our lives.
    The church is our true family and family does come first in what we’ve studied today.
    Let’s wrap up our time.

    Conclusion

    The challenge, provide for the church, keep doing so, and put it first above all else because it is in your best interest to do so now and eternally.
    Giving is between you and God. Sharing from what God gives you with your pastor has nothing to do with if you like what he teaches or not. It’s not the teacher, but God to whom we all must answer. Pleasing God is our chief concern.
    This Word is future-oriented with a strong warning pointing to the days ahead and eternal consequences that follow our actions, good or bad. This life is not all there is and the best is yet to come!
    To give, we must live by the power that comes from the Spirit. Generosity does not come from trying harder of being more disciplined. We cannot side-step the Spirit and expect to be generous with time, treasure, or talents. That’s the point of Spiritual gifts.
    Lastly, we need to see the deep Christ-focus of this passage. Sharing all good things with the one who teaches fulfills the Law of Christ:
    Galatians 6:2 NASB95PARA
    Bear one another’s burdens, and thereby fulfill the law of Christ.
    Christ is the best burden bearer who shares everything with spiritually needed sinners like you and me:
    2 Corinthians 8:9 NASB95PARA
    For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sake He became poor, so that you through His poverty might become rich.
    Do you know the grace I’m talking about today? Do yo know the grace of Jesus?
    Do you know the grace of forgiveness, healing, redemption, cleansing, pardon, freedom, restoration, hope, and new life?
    Won’t you turn to Jesus today. Believe that God loves you and has a plan for you.
    Call out to God right now. Do it in your mind or quietly even. God will hear the one who believes in Him and asks to be forgiven.
    Call out to God and turn from evil ways. Ask God to forgive you.
    Ask God to save you and you will find God is most generous beyond anything you can imagine!
    (end)
      • Galatians 6:6HCSB

      • Galatians 6:2HCSB

      • Galatians 6:7–8HCSB

      • Galatians 6:9HCSB

      • Hebrews 12:2HCSB

      • Galatians 6:10HCSB

      • Colossians 1:18HCSB

      • Ephesians 2:21–22HCSB

      • Ephesians 1:4HCSB

      • 1 Thessalonians 4:17HCSB

      • Revelation 5:9–10HCSB

      • 2 Corinthians 13:14HCSB

      • Galatians 6:2HCSB

      • 2 Corinthians 8:9HCSB

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