What we are talking about was giving. You may know that this is my least favorite subject to teach, since the number 1 reason people give for why they don't go to church is some version of the perception that "all the church wants is my money." I hate that people feel that way, and don't want our church to be perceived that way.
But the truth is that a Christ Follower who does not give financially is lacking. He is not living up to what a fully devoted follower of Jesus really is. She is not realizing her full potential. And that person is missing the blessing of giving, too.
I focused a lot of energy on the 'blessing of giving' on Sunday. There are really too many to name.
- I am blessed when I obey God, because I know He is proud of me.
- I'm blessed when I give because I get to help someone.
- I'm blessed to know that I'm a part of some ministry or cause that is doing something important.
- I'm blessed to realize that money is not that important. Giving releases me from it's stronghold on my life. (this is a BIG deal, and a MAJOR blessing of giving)
- I'm blessed when God pours out the blessing on me, in proportion to the the measure I use when I give. (See Luke 6:38) (Note: the blessing I am promised is guaranteed, BUT it may not always come in the form of money!)
- I'm blessed to see a glimpse of how BIG God is and how FAITHFUL He is.
People really want to see if they can argue their way around giving. "I can give time instead of money" is a very popular argument. "Tithing is an Old Testament idea" is also often heard. "I don't know if I should give on the gross or the net." Any of those questions, oddly, speak to the real heart of the issue, as they all say, "God doesn't really own it all." or "I'm willing to be a follower of Jesus with other things, but not completely with my money."
Can't you see the spiritual implications, here? Isn't it time for an honest conversation with God about this? We MUST get to the place where we lay our entire lives on the table and say, "God, it's ALL yours. You can do with it whatever you want. You say it, I'll do it."
That's my prayer for every person today, including me.