This weekend at Mountain Lake Church, my hubby continued a teaching series called Courageous. We’ve been learning that fear isn’t a bad thing. Instead, fear is simply an opportunity to trust God. To trust Him in our finances. To trust Him with our careers. To trust Him with the circumstances of our lives. When we choose to obey God, we must then trust Him to help us overcome our fears and move forward!
This weekend, Shawn tackled a topic that is taboo….a topic that steps on toes…..a topic that offends some people: money.
To be more specific, we learned about being generous with our resources: our time, our abilities, and yes, our money.
Do you know what I think? I think none of us have a problem with spending money on what matters to us. I, for one, can find several reasons why I need a new outfit or a new phone or a new radio for my car (my latest area of discontent). Those things provide me with instant, personal gratification. But we do have a problem with spending money in ways that don’t result in a personal reward. Yet, Scripture is replete with commands and admonitions to tithe to God through the local church and to be generous in meeting the needs of the people around us. Tithing and being generous isn’t a suggestion; it’s a command and expectation.
So why is the subject of money so taboo in churches? Why do I see people walk out of church services when money is the topic? Why do so many of my friends who pastor other churches tell stories of people complaining when a sermon about giving is taught?
The bottom line is simple: we are commanded by God to be good, faithful managers of the resources He has allowed us to have, AND we are expected to tithe, AND we are to be generous in meeting the needs of others.
Just as there are many “do not’s” in the Bible (like do not murder, do not steal, do not lie), there are also many “do’s” (like love your neighbor, forgive each other, and give generously). Both the do’s and the don’t’s are foundational elements of the Christian faith.
So, this month Shawn challenged our church to live up to the do’s of our faith….to honor God by courageously putting our finances in His hands (where they belong) and choosing to:
1. Seek God’s heart regarding generosity.
2. Set aside the first 10% of my income for God.
3. Spontaneously bless at least one person each week.
What could you do this week to meet the challenge? Here are some ideas:
1. Seek God’s heart: google bible verses regarding generosity and giving. Spend a little time each day writing down what you learn.
2. Set aside the tithe: Write the tithe check before you pay any other expense. Don’t give God your leftovers; give Him your first and best.
3. Spontaneously bless: provide a welcome basket to a new neighbor (or help them move in….now THAT’S generous!), offer to babysit for a young married couple who can’t afford childcare costs, deliver soup and crackers to a sick friend, mow a friend’s yard, buy a coke and candy bar for the cashier at Walmart, leave a surprise in your box for the mailman, or invite someone into your home for dinner.
What will you do this week? I’m praying you will courageously honor God with the resources that He has allowed you to have. And, if you do, I’d love to hear about it!