Thoughts on life, leadership and the movement called the church by Brian C. Hughes, Senior Pastor

by Brian C. Hughes, Senior Pastor

Sunday, January 17, 2010

More thoughts from Sunday

I promised more thoughts on today's message. Here are a notes from today and then thoughts that would be good for further study / prayer / investigation:

The scripture today was Matthew 25:14-30 and Psalm 50:9-15

1) Parable: A fictitious story designed to illustrate an eternal truth.
2) The 'talent' in the parable in Matthew 25 is worth several week's wages. It's a significant amount of money. However, what Jesus is trying to communicate goes beyond money. It is about everything that God entrusts to you - money, time, skill, experience, relationships, possessions, etc.
3) You are NOT the owner, you are a trustee.

What can you do?

1) Many people have wrecked finances and have not lived like God is the Owner. If this describes you, I encourage you to look on page 22 in your small groups catalog (we've been handing them out at church for a couple of Sundays and they are available for the next 2 weeks). On that page is a small group that will study a Dave Ramsey course on Biblical principals about money. It's intense and requires a real commitment, but if you are serious about getting this part of your life straight, this course is for you.

2) Tithe. The Bible is clear that giving away 10% of your income to your local church is the minimum standard for those who are committed to following God. Susan and I have been giving more than 10% for many years now, and we were never so free in our finances as when we released the bondage it had on us by giving it back to God. One time a friend said to me, "10% is a LOT of money!" I replied by quoting Jesus, "If you are faithful with little, you'll be entrusted with much." Some people give me a hard time about tithing. They want to argue away the Bible's teaching about it. All I can say is 'whatever'. If you are serious about your devotion to Jesus Christ, nothing will be off limits...nothing. Give and it will be given to you. Malachi 3:8-10 (NIV) "Will a man rob God? Yet you rob me. "But you ask, 'How do we rob you?' "In tithes and offerings. 9 You are under a curse--the whole nation of you--because you are robbing me.
10 Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this," says the LORD Almighty, "and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it."

3) Give beyond the tithe. I make sure there is capacity to give above my tithe to help people in situations like Haiti and other disasters, give extra to my neighbor in need, etc.

4) You need to know that our church tithes. We have given a tithe of every dime we've ever received through the general offering. We live out this principal.

5) Jesus talked more about money than any other subject, including heaven and hell. He knew money had the power to really hurt people. 1 Timothy 6:10 says that the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil. Hebrews 13:5 tells us to avoid loving money. One of my favorite of Jesus' teachings on money comes from Matthew 6: 19-24, where he says that it is impossible to serve God and money at the same time.

Hope these thoughts help.


Anonymous said...

Hey Doc,

When I think of giving I am reminded in the old testament when God gave Moses instructions on the Tabernacle in the wilderness. He told Moses that He wanted the people to give from what they had to fund the project but with one theme and that was, if you can't give or won't give with joy...keep it. that of course is my words but you get the jist of it.
We have been tithing since we got married and I can tell you it doesn't make sense when you look at what we have verses what we owe on paper, but God is faithful.
When people tell me that 10% is a lot of money I tell them OK start with 5% and just be diciplined and make sure you give it with a joyful heart and expecting God to bless what you give. do it for 6 months and see if you are in better shape after being consistant to giving Him that amount. What He wants is to teach us how to be good stweards with what He gives us. As we grow spiritualy we will want to give more.
I have never met anyone who is a tither who has ever said, "this doesn't work" God is a full time God and He is Faithfull all the time. Yet we want all those benefits and we want them doing part time work.
If every believer at PCC would committ to being a diciplined, joyfull giver, we wold never even have to ask for money.

Thank you for teaching us the way you do. God sacrificed His son for us, can we not give Him 10% of what He has given us to start with?

Brian C. Hughes said...

Way to go, Bob! I should have mentioned this. Often, people who have become committed tithers grew to that place.

And you are right, if all of the Christ Followers at PCC tithed, we'd set the world on fire and would never have to think about raising money.