A great revival had broken out in Antioch (Acts 11:19-26). The name “Christian” originated from this revival.
The spirit of giving always accompanies revival. This can be observed in the revivals under Hezekiah (2 Chron. 31:5-12); Josiah (2 Chron. 35:7-9); Nehemiah (Neh. 10:37-39); in the early church (Acts 2:45; 4:36-37) and at Antioch.
I believe one reason for this is when we experience revival, we die to self and recognize God as Lord of our pocketbooks.
We do not need money as much as we need revival!!! When real revival comes, God’s work never lacks for funds or blessings!
It has been often said, “You can give without loving; but you cannot love without giving.” That is true. But it is also equally true– “You can give without revival, but you cannot have revival without giving!” When people are experiencing revival in their souls, they do not resent appeals to give. If someone doesn’t like teaching or preaching on Biblical stewardship, it is a good indication that they need revival in their heart!
A prophet named Agabus came to this revived church and made an appeal for funds to help out the saints in Jerusalem who were in the midst of a famine. The Christians at Antioch immediately responded without any compulsion. It was a spontaneous act of love.
I. THE PEOPLE WHO GIVE (11:26 cf. v. 29). The disciples–Christians.
- God’s work will not be supported by the unsaved.
- All God’s people should take part in giving (v. 29; 1 Cor. 16:1-2).
II. THE PROPORTION TO GIVE (11:29). “according to his ability,” that is, according to how much God has given to him.
- The amount we give is according to what we receive (2 Cor. 8:11-12).
- We will be judged according to what we receive (Mk. 12:41-44).
III. THE PURPOSE TO GIVE (11:29). “DETERMINED to send relief…”
- It was not done haphazardly. It was a matter of purpose (1 Cor. 16:1-2; 2 Cor. 9:7).
- It was for a specific purpose.
IV. THE PLACE TO GIVE (11:29-30 cf. v. 26). Giving is to be channeled through the local church (1 Cor. 16:1-2; Gal. 6:6)
V. THE PERFORMANCE OF GIVING (11:30). “Which also THEY DID…” Let’s not just talk about it– Let’s do it!
SERMON OUTLINE By Al Hughes (Pastor Bible Baptist Church, Port Orchard, WA)