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Quotes from Sunday's sermon

"But just as you excel in everything-in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in complete earnestness and in your love for us-see that you also excel in this grace of giving. I am not commanding you, but I want to test the sincerity of your love by comparing it with the earnestness of others. For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich." (2 Corinthians 8:7-9)

“Now thank we all our God, with heart and hands and voices,
Who wondrous things has done, in Whom this world rejoices;
Who from our mothers’ arms has blessed us on our way
With countless gifts of love, and still is ours today.

O may this bounteous God through all our life be near us,
With ever joyful hearts and bless├Ęd peace to cheer us;
And keep us in His grace, and guide us when perplexed;
And free us from all ills, in this world and the next!

All praise and thanks to God the Father now be given;
The Son and Him Who reigns with Them in highest Heaven;
The one eternal God, whom earth and Heaven adore;
For thus it was, is now, and shall be evermore.”

(--Martin Rinkart, 1663. This hymn was written at the close of The Thirty Years' War by Lutheran minister Martin Rinkart who, at one point when his city was under siege and the plague was rampant, was conducting fifty funerals a day.)

“God wants your heart. He isn’t looking just for 'donors' for His kingdom, those who stand outside the cause and dispassionately consider acts of philanthropy. He wants people so filled with a vision for eternity that they wouldn’t dream of not investing their money, time, and prayer where they matter most.” (--Randy Alcorn)

"Generosity is more a function of the richness of one’s relationship with God than of the size of one’s bank account. It is more of an attitude than an amount given.” (Scott Pearson)

“God prospers me not to raise my standard of living, but to raise my standard of giving.” (Randy Alcorn, The Treasure Principle)

In Matthew 6:19-21 Jesus says, "Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."
"Notice that Jesus does not say that treasure in heaven will be the unexpected result of generosity on earth. No, he says that we should intentionally pursue treasure in heaven. Lay it up! It is not selfish to pursue the rewards that Jesus promises. In fact, it is foolish not to! The principle of sowing and reaping means that there are rewards for giving generously --the Bible teaches that storing up treasures in heaven through generous giving offers both greater safety and a higher rate of return than any other investment. It is not just nice to give / it is not just good-hearted to give / it is not just the Christian thing to do -- more than that, it is the wisest use of money with the greatest gains." (Scott Pearson)

"I fear, wherever riches have increased (exceeding few are the exceptions), the essence of religion, the mind that was in Christ has decreased in the same proportion. Therefore I do not see how it is possible, in the nature of things, for any revival of true religion to continue long. For religion must necessarily produce both industry and frugality; and these cannot but produce riches. But as riches increase, so will pride, anger, and love of the world in all its branches.

"What way then can we take that our money may not sink us to the nethermost hell? There is one way, and there is no other under heaven. If those who 'gain all they can,' and 'save all they can,' will likewise 'give all they can,' then the more they gain, the more they will grow in grace, and the more treasure they will lay up in heaven." (--John Wesley)

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