By Topic

Finances & Stewardship

Friday

March 24, 2017

In God We Trust

Read

Proverbs 11:25, “A generous person will prosper; whoever refreshes others will be refreshed”.
Luke 16:11, “It is also a test of our faithfulness to God. Jesus said, ‘And if you are untrustworthy about worldly wealth, who will trust you with the true riches of Heaven?’”

Think

Jesus said, “Where your treasure is, your heart is also”. There is a direct correlation between how we manage our money and what we treasure most. Question: Do you feel uptight and bristly when you hear a message on giving? Because, for many of us, our hearts and minds may be open to spiritual transformation, yet when it comes to our money, we still get funny. But the truth is, we’ll never fully understand God’s grace or see the growth we’re hoping for without first having a genuine spirit of generosity. Our wallet is a window to our soul, and where our wallet goes, we follow. You see, giving is something God wants for us, not from us. He doesn’t need our money, He wants us to need Him! Truly trusting in Him is putting our money where our mouth is—it’s where the rubber meets the road. Want to know what you love the most? Take a look at your calendar, bank statements, and credit card bills. Want to know what you trust the most? Make a generous donation. We must ask ourselves, “Do I trust God with my money?” and conversely, “Does God trust me with what I’ve been given?”

We must not confuse generosity with bringing back the tithe to God. That is not ours to keep, and it’s the minimum worship requirement. Generosity begins with willingness to give beyond the first ten percent of our income. The more we sow into the things of God, the more we will reap from Him. Favor and blessing are the byproducts of cheerful giving. Generosity is the currency for gratitude. The more grateful we are, the more we naturally want to give; it’s a show of love, devotion, and trust with thanksgiving. Winston Churchill said, “We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give”. We are never more like Jesus than when we give. Question: In what ways does your life reflect gratitude for God’s grace? Remember, when we give of our time, talent, and resources with a pure heart, God will bless us in ways we never thought possible.

Pray

Father God, give me a generous heart, and help me to trust in Your provision. Guide my thoughts back to Christ’s sacrificial death and resurrection whenever I’m in the crosshairs of greed and entitlement. Thank You for always being faithful and true—it delights my heart to praise You! In Christ I pray, Amen.

Act

Would you call yourself a cheerful giver? Why or why not? Have you seen God bless your finances or provide for you in a unique way in response to your faithfulness? Consider these questions over the next few days. Memory verse: “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.” (Matthew 5:8)

 

Thursday

March 23, 2017

Storing Up

Read

Proverbs 13:22, “A good person leaves an inheritance for their children’s children, but a sinner’s wealth is stored up for the righteous”.
Luke 14:28, “ For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it?”

Think

Motivational speaker Zig Ziglar once said, “If you aim at nothing, you will hit nothing every time”. This thought directly correlates to financial stewardship. Great stewards manage God’s money God’s way for God’s glory. Vision also plays a crucial role. This means every dollar earned needs a destination before it’s spent. But most of us fail to do to this. In fact, here’s some interesting, yet unfortunate, data about spending. 88% of Americans are living paycheck to paycheck. 18% of the 88 are facing bankruptcy, in bankruptcy, or coming out of it. The average American spends $1.26 for every dollar earned regardless of salary. 1/3 of adults in the USA are currently in the debt collection process. And finally, the number one cause of divorce in this country is the result of fighting over finances and money problems—but there’s hope!

Proverbs 21:20 says, “The wise store up choice food and olive oil, but fools gulp theirs down”. What does this have to do with finances? A lot actually. Food and olive oil were common tender in the ancient world. Storing up means to save and invest. If we don’t, then every dollar we make has an obligation to the past and has no opportunity for the future. Wise managers cut the fat and keep their spending habits lean. This requires the discipline of getting rid of credit cards and cutting every corner possible, even selling stuff we don’t need. We can live without motorcycles and boats. And ladies, do you really need another pair of shoes? Take that money and invest in the future. For example, if you put $100 every month into a mutual fund or Roth IRA starting at age 25, by 65 you will have made $1.7 million! If you’re thinking, “I don’t have a hundred dollars” think again! What about every overpriced Latte you bought at the coffee shop or those ridiculous car payments? The wise save and invest and fools spend $1.26 for every dollar they make! Are you storing up or gulping down?

Pray

Father God, I want to honor You by being a great steward of what You’ve entrusted to me. Help me acquire the discipline needed to spend wisely, save, and invest. You are my everything! Thank You for investing in me and providing me with the hope of the ultimate inheritance awaiting me in heaven. I praise You in the name of Christ, Amen.

Act

Did you know that you can learn a lot from an ant? In fact, Proverbs 6:6-8 says, “Go to the ant, you sluggard; consider its ways and be wise! It has no commander, no overseer or ruler, yet it stores its provisions in summer and gathers its food at harvest”. Today , let this verse marinate in your mind. And if you’re feeling ambitious memorize Proverbs 21:5, “The plans of the diligent lead to profit as surely as haste leads to poverty”.

 

Wednesday

March 22, 2017

Invest In the Best

Read

I Corinthians 15:33, “Do not be misled: ‘Bad company corrupts good character’”.
Proverbs 13:20, “Walk with the wise and become wise, for a companion of fools suffers harm”.

Think

We’re all familiar with sayings such as, “You are what you eat” “One rotten apple can spoil the whole bunch” and “Don’t judge a book by its cover”. Today let’s focus on another idiom: “You are who your friends are”.  You see, when it comes to financial stewardship, one of our greatest investments should be in great people with great character. We are far better at managing our money God’s way when we cultivate and maintain quality relationships built on trust. Conversely, we will never be who God wants us to be if we refuse to change or limit relationships with those still involved in sinful activities or harmful habits. Who is in your inner circle? Who is your bestie? Do they know Christ personally?

We all know that Christianity is not a solo sport. We were created for community. I Thessalonians 5:11 says, “Therefore, encourage one another and build each other up”. Our best friends should be our allies of encouragement if we are having financial difficulties. Often in such circumstances, we need to be held accountable for our spending, and accountability emerges from affinity. Proverbs 27:7 states, “As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another”. Again, who are you spending the lion’s share of your time with? Reckless spenders or wise investors? Because it’s also said that if you hang around with trash long enough you start to smell like trash. And, the kind of friend you are is the kind of friends you will attract. When we invest in God’s best in every way, we will pass the test every time and be blessed for it.

Pray

Father God, thank You for giving us Your best in Christ, the ultimate relational role model. Help me to choose friends wisely and to be a great friend to others. May I honor You today with my words and actions. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.

Act

What people or circumstances do you need to avoid? Is bad company corrupting your attempt to improve your character? With these thoughts in mind, memorize Hebrews 10:24, “And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds”.

 

Tuesday

March 21, 2017

Indebted And Debt Free

Read

Romans 13:8, “Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law”.
I Timothy 6:10-11, “For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs. But you, man of God, flee from all this, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness.”

Think

We know everything we have belongs to God, and that we simply manage what we’ve been given. So, is it a sin to be in debt? Does this mean we are living outside of God’s will? No! Nowhere in the Bible does it say borrowing money or being in debt is sinful as long as we are earnestly seeking to repay what we owe. What is a sin, though, is reckless spending, purchasing items beyond our means, and loving money or the instant gratification of buying what we don’t need. The Bible is clear about God’s promise of provision and fulfilling our needs. However, we must not confuse our needs with our ‘greeds’! This provision does not mean He will rescue us from the consequences of debt or other unwise behavior. In fact, praying for God to remove the consequences of financial debt is an affront to the fact that Jesus died on the cross to pay our ultimate sin debt—something we don’t deserve! What we do need to pray for is the wisdom, discernment, and guidance to navigate through the consequences of our debt. Good stewards seek God first. Because when we put God first, our choices will align with His mind.

Unfortunately, we can fall into debt, but we cannot fall out of it. To free ourselves from such financial burden, we begin by mapping out our spending and making a budget. Then, we prepare a debt repayment plan and apply the 10-10-80 Principle. This means we bring back the first 10% of our income to God, put at least 10% of every paycheck into savings, and live off the rest (including debt repayment). Another tip is to use cash. It helps to physically see where our money is going. Did you know using credit cards causes us to spend up to 20% more? Finally, it always pays to pray, spend time in the Word, and consult with the One who gave us life and the Giver of every blessing. We must continuously express our appreciation for God’s abounding love and grace. And, remember that we are forever indebted and debt free!

Pray

Father God, thank You for Your constant love and provision. Help me to be a wise steward with a spirit of generosity and gratitude. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Act

Memorize and meditate on Philippians 4:8. “Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.”

 

Monday

March 20, 2017

Budget From The Heart

Read

Luke 14:28, “Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Won’t you first sit down and estimate the cost to see if you have enough money to complete it?”

Think

As parents, we teach our children various responsibilities to help set them up for success. Taking care of what is given to them is a really important lesson. A key component in this is showing them how to manage their money. Too many times, though, a very important fundamental truth is forgotten; we are merely managers of our financial blessings—not owners. True financial success should be approached with an attitude of gratitude. After all, money management is not a financial issue, it is a heart issue.

The first step toward great stewardship is learning to LIVE ON A BUDGET! It’s money management 101. Benjamin Franklin once said, “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail!” No one wants to fail, especially when money is involved. Wondering where to start? Start with bringing back to God what is already His. The tithe is the first 10% of our gross income. It helps us remember that we don’t worship the provision—we worship the Provider.

Pray

Father God, thank You for your provision in my life, and for entrusting me with what I have. My heart is abundantly grateful. Help me to be prudent in spending my finances in a manner that brings You the glory You deserve.

Act

There is no time like the present to begin living on a budget. Here are some great free online resources to help you get started: www.Stewardship.com or www.Everydollar.com

Thursday

December 8, 2016

Hope of Slope

Read

Proverbs 18:11, “The rich think of their wealth as a strong defense; they imagine it to be a high wall of safety”.

I Timothy 6:17, “Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment”.

Think

In today’s culture we toss around the word hope. We say, “I hope my plans work out for this weekend” or “I hope I win the lotto”. For Christ followers, though, the word takes on a whole new depth of meaning. It’s a door that opens to a world of endless possibilities because our hope is in God. Our hope is in what we cannot see but know to be true. For us, hope is not found on a lofty bank statement or investment portfolio. You see, most wealthy people are good people; they’re just not good at being wealthy. Because greater wealth provides more options, their hope can easily shift from God down a slippery slope to their riches. But with greater wealth comes greater responsibility. And God doesn’t congratulate people for leaving millions behind—He rewards sacrifice. And remember, any annual income over $32,400 places us in the top 1% according to the Global Rich List.

One day Jesus sat in the temple courts and watched as many wealthy people tossed large sums of money into the treasury. Then He saw a poor widow approach and toss in less than a penny’s worth of coins. Jesus saw this as a great teaching opportunity and told His disciples that what she gave was worth far more than all the others because for her it was a true sacrifice. Her hope was in the Lord who always provides for what we need—not greed. You see, sacrifice is a percentage thing not a numbers thing. And true generosity starts at 11% by giving above the minimum tithing requirement. So let’s put our hope in our great and generous God who loves to bless us to be a blessing to others.

Pray

Praise our God of hope by praying through I Peter 1:3-4 using personal pronouns. “Praise be to the God and Father of my Lord Jesus Christ! In Your great mercy You have given me a new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade—kept in heaven for me.”

Act

Oftentimes, we confuse our wants with needs. On a piece of paper list your needs and wants in two separate columns and you will be amazed at how often you mistake one for the other.

 

Wednesday

July 20, 2016

God’s Financial Plan

Read

“Go to the ant, you sluggard; consider its ways and be wise!”  Proverbs 6:6

Think

Have you ever watched an ant hard at work? It finds a treasured morsel, loads it on its back, and carries it precisely along a trail that has been laid out to a destination that has already been decided. Without deviating from its plan, it stays focused on the destination and stores it up for the future. 

Too many of us focus only on today. But God wants us to think beyond the here and now. He wants us to invest our stuff in the future. But it’s not just our future; He wants us to participate in the future He has planned. A good rule-of-thumb is the 10-10-80 principle. Bring 10% (tithe) to the church, save 10% for the future and live off of 80%. When we invest 10% in the church, we are investing in the lives of others and storing up treasures in heaven. When we invest 10% in our own future, we are being wise with what we are given.  Are you experiencing God’s financial plan?

Pray

Ask God to help you with the: 1) commitment to tithe faithfully, 2) wisdom to save wisely and 3) generosity as you ask Him how to spend your money well.

Act

Read  Malachi 3:10 and Matthew 6:19-20 for a better understanding of what God calls you to do with your money.

 

Tuesday

July 19, 2016

A Heart of Generosity

Read

“Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously.” 2 Corinthians 9:6

Think

One of the most important aspects of Christianity is an accurate understanding of generosity. Throughout the Bible, God calls His followers to be generous. In fact, giving is at the very heart of God. Being made in His likeness, our very nature is generosity as well. And we should do everything we can to live that out.

As Christ followers, we are called to carry that generosity through every area of our lives, including our investment in the local church. When we are obedient and begin to sow our resources generously into the local church, we become more than consumers; we become partners with the life change that God does. 

Are you investing in the only institution that Jesus ever built, the local church? Don’t miss out on the blessing of partnering with God by generously bringing back to God what He has blessed you with!

Pray

ThanThank God for providing for you. Acknowledge the reality that all you have comes from Him. And commit to Him to being faithful in His call for you to be generous.

Act

Read this full section about generosity in 2 Corinthians 9:6-15 and learn about the power of God-focused generosity!

 

Monday

July 18, 2016

Trust is a Must

Read

“Honor the Lord with your wealth, with the firstfruits of all your crops; then your barns will be filled to overflowing, and your vats will brim over with new wine.” Proverbs 3:9-10

Think

When you think about Christianity in one word, what word comes to mind? For many, it’s forgiveness. Others would say grace. Others would say mercy, or peace, or hope. All those are true. But one word that captures the essence of Christianity more than almost any other is: trust.

God wants us to trust Him with everything, the totality of who we are…and what we have. Often, trust is tied to the tangible; faith is tied to our finances. When we trust God with the tangible assets in our lives and follow through with obedience to Him, we will discover a path and promise we could have never dreamed of on our own!

Pray

Thank God for His promises in your life. Ask Him to help you remain faithful to Him and to trust Him fully with everything you have and everything you are.

Act

Think about one area in your life where you have not fully trusted God. Write a commitment to Him to turn that area over to His authority. And prepare for a promise you never dreamed possible!

 

Friday

March 11, 2016

True Investment

Read

“Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be.” Matthew 6:21

Think

Have you ever noticed that when you put your hard-earned money into something, that something automatically becomes more important to you. Maybe you buy stock in a company. When the stock report comes out, you’re likely to pay a lot more attention. Maybe you purchase a house. As the property values change, you’re interested and focused. Why is that? Because there’s a very real, very personal, and very spiritual aspect to money that affects us all. Where our treasure (or our money) is, that’s where our heart’s focus is as well.

But every avenue of life that we can invest in is temporary. They all fade. Every avenue, that is, except for one thing: the local church. If you want to experience passion for the eternal, invest in the only institution Jesus ever built. Because when you partner financially with the church; when you put your treasure into the church, your heart lines up with God’s in reaching the world for Him. And it is then that you experience the power of true investment!

Pray

Thank God for giving us an avenue to invest in that truly makes a lasting difference. Pray for the discipline you need to experience a heart that beats fast for His House.

Act

Commit to financially supporting the local church. Make investment in God’s House and priority.

 

Monday

March 7, 2016

Need, Deed, or Seed

Read

“Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” Luke 6:38

Think

God is a generous God; generosity is His very nature. Because we are created in His image, generosity is in our nature as well. The Bible talks a lot about generosity. Specifically, it mentions three kinds of generosity. There’s NEED generosity, when we provide for someone else’s need, like a coat or a meal. There’s DEED generosity, when we perform a generous act that may not be needed but would be appreciated. And while those are great forms of generosity, the Bible focuses most on SEED generosity – calling us to sow into the life of the local church with our finances.

When we commit to supporting the local church financially, we are showing God that we acknowledge His nature and we find ourselves in a position to be blessable. As today’s verse reminds us, the measure with which we are generous plays a huge role in the blessings we will receive. And while we don’t give to get, we do get to give! Are you generous with your treasure? Are you making that financial commitment to the local church?

Pray

Thank God for His generosity. Pray for a heart that beats fast for His House, and commit to Him financially to help grow His kingdom.

Act

Perform an act of generosity today. It could be NEED generosity, DEED generosity, or SEED generosity. Whatever you do, make it a point today to reflect God’s generous nature to the world around you.

 

Friday

March 4, 2016

You Are Wealthy!

Read

"It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God." Mark 10:25

Think

If you own more than one change of clothing and have food to eat today, then you are rich compared to most of the world. So just go ahead and say it, “I am wealthy!” The question isn’t about how much you have; it is about the attitude you have and decisions you make about your possessions.

Many of us say we want to be used by God, but do we really believe that He deserves to be in control of everything? We are often more likely to trust in things than we are to entrust our things to God. But, if God isn’t Lord of all, then He isn’t Lord at all. When we trust Him with our resources, with our money, and when we steward our money the way He commands, we will finally experience the freedom and blessing He has waiting. Are you following God’s economic plan for your life?

Pray

Ask God to show you how your perspective may need to change about your money and possessions. Pray for the discipline to follow His directives for your finances.

Act

Read Proverbs 3:9-10. Are you honoring the Lord with your wealth? Are you obedient to God with what He has blessed you with?

 

Thursday

March 3, 2016

Thriving, Not Just Surviving

Read

“He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers.” Psalm 1:3

Think

For a plant to thrive, rather than just survive, it must be planted in fertile soil and have the right nutrients, light, and water. When it is properly taken care of, that plant can blossom and grow to its full potential.

The same is true of our lives. To reach our full and God-given potential, we must be “planted by streams of water.” In other words, we must root ourselves emotionally, spiritually, relationally, and even financially in the best environment for growth. That environment is the local church. When you look at your life, are you fully invested in what God is doing through the local church? By rooting yourself in the church, you place yourself in the position to grow and become the full picture of who God has created you to be!

Pray

Ask God to help you stay planted in the place He wants you to be. Pray for guidance in growing your roots and surrounding yourself in the most nurturing environment.

Act

Get involved in what is happening in the life of Fellowship Church! Don’t just be a consumer. Rather, become an active part in sharing your faith, serving regularly, and sowing generously into all that God is doing!

 

Wednesday

March 2, 2016

God’s Financial Plan

Read

“Go to the ant, you sluggard; consider its ways and be wise!” Proverbs 6:6

Think

Have you ever watched an ant hard at work? It finds a treasured morsel, loads it on its back, and carries it precisely along a trail that has been laid out to a destination that has already been decided. Without deviating from its plan, it stays focused on the destination and stores it up for the future.

Too many of us focus only on today. But God wants us to think beyond the here and now. He wants us to invest our stuff in the future. But it’s not just our future; He wants us to participate in the future He has planned. A good rule-of-thumb is the 10-10-80 principle. Bring 10% (tithe) to the church, save 10% for the future and live off of 80%. When we invest 10% in the church, we are investing in the lives of others and storing up treasures in heaven. When we invest 10% in our own future, we are being wise with what we are given. Are you experiencing God’s financial plan?

Pray

Ask God to help you with the: 1) commitment to tithe faithfully, 2) wisdom to save wisely and 3) generosity as you ask Him how to spend your money well.

Act

Read Malachi 3:10 and Matthew 6:19-20 for a better understanding of what God calls you to do with your money.

 

Monday

February 29, 2016

Bringing it Back

Read

“Honor the Lord with your wealth, with the best part of everything you produce. Then he will fill your barns with grain, and your vats will overflow with good wine.” Proverbs 3:9-10

Think

True availability to God permeates every area of our lives. If we are truly going to make a difference and be used by God, we cannot segment out what we want to make available and what we want to keep for ourselves. From our time, our talent, and even our treasure, everything we have is given to us by God. Because of that, we should make it all available to God.

God commands us to return to Him that which is already His. The word is “tithe” and it simply means the first 10% of our income. When we are obedient to God with that, we discover something amazing: the opportunity to partner with the life change God wants to see happen in the local church. Have you made your resources available to God? Are you being obedient to Him by bringing back to Him that which is already His with your tithe?

Pray

Thank God for what He has provided to you financially. Ask Him to help you remain faithful to Him by making your resources available to be used by Him in the local church.

Act

Get a vision for what Fellowship Church is doing to reach more and more people by watching this 2015 recap. And if you haven't already, commit to tithing and discover the amazing experience of partnering with God through Fellowship!

 

Friday

February 26, 2016

True Treasure

Read

“Whoever sows sparingly reaps sparingly; whoever sows generously reaps generously. Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.” 2 Corinthians 9:6-8

Think

For all you statisticians, here are some interesting biblical facts: the word “love” appears in scripture 714 times. The word “give” appears 1,448 more times than “love” totaling 2,162. Additionally, out of Jesus’ thirty-eight parables, sixteen used money-related illustrations. Jesus talked about money frequently because it affects us all. No matter who you are, money matters. But it doesn’t not necessarily make our lives any richer.

Mark 12:41-44 gives us an account of how the Lord, Himself, looks upon our offerings. One day Jesus sat and watched as people tossed money into the temple treasury. He watched many wealthy people give with ease. Then He saw a poor widow throw in two copper coins worth less than a penny. He brought this to His disciples’ attention, and said the widow added far more to the treasury than any of the others because for her it was a true sacrifice. Essentially, although poor in this life, glorious wealth awaited her in heaven. So, no matter how many zeros appear after the number in our bank account, we must be ready and willing to give.

Pray

After first giving thanks to God; ask Him to open the eyes of your heart to see life through the perspective of the poor widow. Invite the Holy Spirit to lead you into a random act of generosity.

Act

Open your Bible to Luke 12:13-21, and read the Parable of the Rich Fool.

a) What do you do when you feel prideful, or when greed rears its ugly head?
b) Why does Jesus call the rich man a fool?
c) Is God saying it is wrong to save money?
d) Are you holding back in any area of generosity either tangibly or intangibly?

 

Thursday

February 25, 2016

Our Own Trustworthiness

Read

“So if you have not been trustworthy in handling worldly wealth, who will trust you with true riches?”

Think

It can be difficult to totally trust God with our finances, even though we know that He is totally and completely trustworthy. What we often forget to consider, however, is our own trustworthiness in the eyes of God. We must ask ourselves, “Am I trustworthy in maximizing my gifts, abilities, time, and resources?” We are held accountable by God for everything we have. Our great God wants to rain down blessings on our lives for His glory.

Do not be mistaken, many with worldly wealth may appear to live in the lap of luxury, yet they will never understand the fullness of a personal relationship with Christ. They remain spiritually bankrupt. Conversely, many people with very low income are spiritually rich. Thus, tangible wealth misappropriated for worldly gain remains outside of God’s favor. By being great stewards of what we’ve been given, no matter how big or how small, we are unleashing a windfall of blessings with eternal rewards.

Pray

Thank God for trusting you to be a steward of all the blessings He’s placed in your life. Pray that He will give you the discernment and faith to consistently give back to him through your tithe.

Act

Your trustworthiness can begin today! Commit today to tithing consistently to Fellowship Church over the next 12 months. Click here to get started!

 

Wednesday

February 24, 2016

Good Measure

Read

“Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” Luke 6:38

Think

Every weekend, people come to church anticipating their favorite part of the experience. For some it’s the praise and worship. For others, it’s all about the message or the fellowship with other Christ-followers. But if truth were told, according to scripture, we should equally delight in the time of giving. This completely defies the mindset of today’s culture, yet pure and unadulterated generosity is the catalyst for greater blessing. For this reason, Proverbs 22:9 promises, “The generous will themselves be blessed”. But the key to God’s blessing is not giving to get, but getting to give.

Maybe you’re thinking, “Okay, I get it. If I give, God will give to me. But how much is a good measure?” A measure was the cup used to scoop grain sold in ancient farmer’s markets. “Pressed down, shaken together, and running over” means the grain was completely compressed within the cup and spilling over. In today’s verse, Jesus is saying, “I promise your generosity will beget blessing”. How great is our God!

Pray

Give thanks to God for His generosity and loving kindness. As you pray, lift this verse up to Him wholeheartedly: “How can I repay the Lord for all His goodness to me? I will lift up the cup of salvation and call on the name of the Lord. I will fulfill my vows to the Lord in the presence of all His people”. (Psalm 117: 12-14)

Act

Find a quiet spot today and literally count your blessings. Think back over the past several months and remember how God blessed you with both the tangible and intangible.

 

Tuesday

February 23, 2016

Trust is a Must

Read

“Honor the Lord with your wealth, with the firstfruits of all your crops; then your barns will be filled to overflowing, and your vats will brim over with new wine.” Proverbs 3:9-10

Think

When you think about Christianity in one word, what word comes to mind? For many, it’s forgiveness. Others would say grace. Others would say mercy, or peace, or hope. All those are true. But one word that captures the essence of Christianity more than almost any other is: trust.

God wants us to trust Him with everything, the totality of who we are…and what we have. Often, trust is tied to the tangible; faith is tied to our finances. When we trust God with the tangible assets in our lives and follow through with obedience to Him, we will discover a path and promise we could have never dreamed of on our own!

Pray

Thank God for His promises in your life. Ask Him to help you remain faithful to Him and to trust Him fully with everything you have and everything you are.

Act

Think about one area in your life where you have not fully trusted God. Write a commitment to Him to turn that area over to His authority. And prepare for a promise you never dreamed possible!

 

Monday

February 22, 2016

Trust in Him

Read

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to Him, and He will make your paths straight.” Proverbs 3:5-6

“For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Matthew 6:21

Think

Throughout scripture, the Bible discusses God’s faithfulness, steadfast love, and ever-present help in trouble. As followers of Christ, trusting in the Lord is a given. We lean on Him in times of difficulty, sickness, and loss. We believe God generously sent His only Son to live righteously, die sacrificially, and rise bodily, thereby securing for us a Christ-filled eternity. Why then, do we get so funny when it comes to trusting Him with our money? We submit to Him in other areas of our lives, yet we don’t trust Him with what is already His.

Today’s scripture says to trust God wholeheartedly. We cannot fully trust in Him part-time. Bringing the tithe, the first 10% of our income, is an act of worship and devotion to invest in the only institution Jesus ever built—the local church. When we fully commit and submit our hearts to God, He will bless us in ways we never dreamed possible.

Pray

Thank God for His faithfulness, guidance, and provision. And ask Him to open your eyes and heart to opportunities for sowing your time, talents, abilities, and resources.

Act

Make a list of three areas in your life lacking trust. Lift each one up to God in prayer and say, “God, I am weak, but you are strong. I submit this to you trusting fully that it will be leveraged for greatness”.

 

Tuesday

November 10, 2015

First Things First

Read

“But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you as well.” Matthew 6:33

Think

Have you ever noticed how special it is to be first? Like if your friend called you with some big news and said, “You’re the first person I called!” you would feel appreciated and valued, wouldn’t you? This is a God-given trait that reflects His own nature. God is a God of the first. For example, the first day of the week is Sunday – we are supposed to spend that day in His House! And when we come to the church the first day of the week, He multiplies the rest!

When God asks us to “seek first the Kingdom of God”, He is asking us to make Him a priority in our lives. Priorities are, essentially, decisions you make prior to the action. We should be prioritizing Him by giving Him our first—whether that be our tithe, our families, our time… it’s all about glorifying Him! Are you seeking Him and His righteousness above all else?

Pray

Thank God for all of the blessings He’s given you. Pray and ask Him to help you to seek Him first in every area of your life.

Act

Take a piece of paper and list the areas of your life in which you can give God the first (e.g. the first part of your day [for reading/praying], the first of your finances [your tithe], or the first part of your week [being in the House on Sundays]).

 

Friday

June 19, 2015

Remember and Rescue

Read

“Then the master told his servant, ‘Go out to the roads and country lanes and compel them to come in, so that my house will be full.” Luke 14:23

Think

Why would your neighbor have anything to do with your finances? These two things seem unrelated but in God’s eyes they are closely intertwined. Giving comes from a heart of generosity and from that same generosity comes the ability to care about others. Not their finances but if they have a relationship with Jesus. This allows us to focus not on ourselves, but to shift our focus to those around us.

We all have a story. If you have a relationship with Jesus, it’s your before and after story. If you don’t, right now that story is just a before look at the biggest potential and possibility that you could ever experience.

Everything in life requires an investment. Are you investing in your local church and those around you? Have you invested your heart in a relationship with Jesus?

Pray

Thank God that He wants to have a relationship with you. Ask Him to put intentional conversations in front of you that you need to have with people around you.

Act

Read Deuteronomy 26:8-10. What’s your before and after story. Write it down and remember it every time you get ready to give your first 10% back to God.

 

Thursday

June 18, 2015

The Keys to Financial Freedom

Read

“Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” 2 Corinthians 9:7

Think

We are all born with selfish hearts. As humans, we like to do what we want to do and spend what we want to spend. Because of our sinful nature, our heart follows money, but we each can experience financial freedom. The first step is to realize God’s purpose in instituting our giving of the first. God doesn’t need our money; he wants to break our hearts of selfishness.

The next step is to reel in spending. Many of us are working with a history of irresponsible behavior when it comes to our finances, but the good news is it’s never too late to start over. The process is simple; when you get paid, give the first 10% to God, the next 10% you save and you live off of the other 80%. You can then begin to pay off credit cards and bills and you’ll soon see that you are actually living off 60%.

Are you ready to begin living in financial freedom?

Pray

Thank God for His grace in healing your selfish heart. Ask Him to show you His will in your life when it comes to spending.

Act

Read Proverbs 21:20. What does this verse say about storing up treasure? Do you store up treasure or are you a grateful giver?

 

Wednesday

June 17, 2015

Staying Out of Financial Prison

Read

“But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Matthew 6:20-21

Think

Did you know that two-thirds of the people who have been incarcerated end up going back to prison? Most of us have not spent any time in jail, but we all are repeat offenders. We believe the truth that God blesses the first and yet, we continually make the decision to hold back what is His. We think that being free is what we need to stay free, but that’s simply not the case.

However, there are some key principles that can help us stay out of financial prison. These are things that are rooted in the heart and play out in our habits. Once we have a healthy heart we can begin to conquer our deep rooted financial habits.

Have you asked God to give you a heart of repentance, faith and obedience.

Pray

Thank God that He is faithful to forgive our negative financial habits. Ask Him to give you a heart of repentance so you can begin honoring His truthfulness.

Act

Read Galatians 5:1. Where does this verse say we can all find freedom?

 

Monday

June 15, 2015

Discovering God’s Plan for Your Finances

Read

"No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth.” Matthew 6:24

Think

Many people’s worst fear is to go to prison. Whether you’ve been wrongly convicted or committed a crime that put you there, the idea of being confined is terrifying to most people. Imagine, locked in a 6 feet by 8 feet concrete-floored box, being told what to do every hour of every day, with no end in sight.

But we all have spent time some time in prison. We steal from God when we withhold the first ten percent of our finances. We might not be physically locked up but our heart is put into bondage when we aren’t obedient to God’s teaching about our finances. This kind of obedience is way deeper than the love of money. When we hold back, we are telling God we trust Him with some, but not everything, in our lives.

How is your record? Do you give God freely what is His or do you hold back?

Pray

Thank God for everything that He has given you. Ask Him to guide your heart in obedience to His direction of your finances.

Act

Are you giving the first 10% back to God’s church? If so, write down some ways you have been blessed. If not, write down the reasons you are holding back.

 

Tuesday

June 9, 2015

Locked In

Read

“Now the sons of Eli were scoundrels who had no respect for the Lord or for their duties as priests. Whenever anyone offered a sacrifice, Eli’s sons would send over a servant with a three-pronged fork. While the meat of the sacrificed animal was still boiling, the servant would stick the fork into the pot and demand that whatever it brought up be given to Eli’s sons … So the sin of these young men was very serious in the Lord’s sight, for they treated the Lord’s offerings with contempt.” 1 Samuel 2:12-14, 17

Think

Have you ever felt short-changed? Maybe you don’t make enough money at work, or you feel like someone should be treating you with a greater level of respect. Society has taught us that we are entitled to more than what we already have. The fact is, every dollar, every promotion, every relationship we have is a gift from God!

When we begin to treat our blessings, especially our finances, with a level of entitlement, we rob God of the honor that He deserves. Are you giving God credit for the countless blessings He’s placed in your life?

Pray

Thank God for always providing for you! Ask Him to show you any areas of your life where you’ve been “locked in” on yourself and excluding Him.

Act

Take five minutes and write down some of the areas of your life where God has blessed you. Go through your list and thank God for each blessing one-by-one. This is an amazing way to bring your focus back to Him!

Monday

June 8, 2015

Locked Up

Read

“For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.” 1 Timothy 6:10

Think

In this day and age, it seems like nothing holds a higher priority in our lives than money. Maybe you’re working towards retirement or you’re paying off college loans. Most of us have felt “locked in” by our finances at one time or another. But the truth is, it’s our dependence upon our finances that’s really keeping us away from financial freedom.

Benjamin Franklin once said, “Money has never made man happy, nor will it… The more of it one has, the more one wants.” Money is fleeting, but God offers true freedom: both financially and in every other aspect of our lives. Trust God with your finances and watch His supernatural provision take form!

Pray

Thank God for his provisions in your life! Invite Him to take control of your finances. Whether you make minimum wage or a six-figure salary, God is the only source of true financial freedom.

Act

Make it a point this week to stop and say a quick prayer each time you feel apprehensive about money. Remember, God is in control – always!

 

Tuesday

December 16, 2014

Share Generously

Read

“Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. You will be enriched in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God.” – 2 Corinthians 9:6, 11

Think

Five years ago, Austrian millionaire Karl Rabeder claimed he would give away his $4.7-million fortune to charity. He said, "My idea is to have nothing left. Absolutely nothing. Money is counter-productive—it prevents happiness to come."

While it remains to be seen whether or not Mr. Rabeder will follow through, he is correct in believing that giving breaks the back of materialism. God wants you to own your stuff and not have your stuff own you. Giving, and giving generously, helps us live free from the bondage that materialism can bring us.

With Christmas just around the corner, it’s important to remember why you celebrate this time of year. God set the ultimate example by giving you His one and only Son. In the hustle and bustle of shopping, decorating, and celebrating, remember that it was all made possible because God gave. In return, have you given Him your all?

Pray

“God, you have never held back from me. You gave me your one and only Son. Give me your heart. Help me to display your character and always look for ways to give to your Church and to others. Let your example help me to live a life free of materialism, full of freedom.”

Act

Where your heart is, there your treasure is also. It's impossible to out-give God. Make sure your life reflects God’s character of giving today. Live a life of generosity today and everyday going forward. Find ways today to live this out.

Thursday

September 4, 2014

Diet and exercise

Read

But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil. Hebrews 5:14

Think

The path to spiritual maturity is not just a matter of showing up at church on the weekends and expecting to be fed. Like physical growth requires a balance of diet, exercise and strength training, spiritual growth requires us to do some things as well.

As Christ followers, it is vital for us to SERVE; to use our God-given ability to help others. It’s also important to SHARE; to step out of our comfort zone and tell others about your relationship with Christ. And finally, we must SOW; the Bible calls us to financially invest in the greatest thing going and growing, the local church. When we do all three, we discover the power and benefits of spiritual maturity.

Pray

Thank God for the opportunities He has given you, and pray that He continues to show you how you can continue to grow spiritually.

Act

This weekend, ask someone at church about where you can SERVE in the House. SHARE your story with at least one person this week. And respond to God’s command to SOW the first 10% of all you receive (the tithe) to the only thing that Jesus Christ built, the local church.

Tuesday

September 2, 2014

Count the Cost

Read

"For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not sit down first and count the cost…." Luke 14:28

Think

When Jesus called the people to follow Him, He didn’t pull any punches. He didn’t promise that life would be easy. In fact, He told them it would be a challenge. He told them there would be a cost.

When we begin to walk with Christ, and to truly grow spiritually, we must consider the cost as well. Because the reality is that with the Christian life, there is a relational cost, a time cost and even a financial cost. The great news, though, is that the benefits we receive—joy, forgiveness, peace, and the blessing of a relationship with God—far outweigh any cost we may encounter!

Have you considered the cost of following Christ? Are you getting the most out of the benefits of those costs?

Pray

Pray that God will help you understand the true cost of following Him and that you can see past the cost to the benefits beyond.

Act

Consider the time cost of following Jesus. Commit time each day to praying, reading the Bible and journaling what God is doing in your life.

 

Friday

June 20, 2014

Can God trust me?

Read

“Will man rob God? Yet you are robbing me. But you say, ‘How have we robbed you?’ In your tithes and contributions. You are cursed with a curse, for you are robbing me, the whole nation of you. Bring the full tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. And thereby put me to the test, says the Lord of hosts, if I will not open the windows of heaven for you and pour down for you a blessing until there is no more need.” Malachi 3:8-10

Think

If we are asked the question, “Who is the most trustworthy person you know?” who would that be? Would it be a friend, a sibling, parent, co-worker, someone at church, a person who is in a position of responsibility? Sadly, we often hear stories about people who are caught out in acts of dishonesty, cheating on their taxes, expenses, stealing from an employer, etc. But what if you were accused of robbing God?

Today’s passage makes it very clear that God considers our failure to honor His command to bring the tithe “into the storehouse” (the local church) to be just that.

But He also provides us with a promise…and a test. The result of our faithful response is clearly spelled out. If we trust in God and His word, He will bless us. Obeying God’s command will lead to the opening of “the windows of heaven”.

Are you willing to test God on this? Do you trust God? And can God trust you?

Pray

As you consider your finances after hearing these last 2 weeks about what tips the scale with God, pray for God to continue to bless you with His provision and protection.

Act

As we approach the half way point in the year, evaluate your resources and consider where you stand when it comes to bringing the tithe to the House. Sign up for the 90-day challenge. Accept God’s invitation for you to “test” him and trust him. Believe in his promises and be prepared for his blessings to pour out.

Thursday

June 19, 2014

Legacy of faith and righteousness

Read

“It was by faith that Abel brought a more acceptable offering to God than Cain did. Abel’s offering gave evidence that he was a righteous man, and God showed his approval of his gifts. Although Abel is long dead, he still speaks to us by his example of faith.” Hebrews 11:4 NLT

Think

This week we have been studying the story of Cain and Abel and that putting God first is a fundamental part of our relationship with Him. Today, we see Abel’s gift described as “more acceptable” than Cain’s. Why do you suppose that is? Was his gift more expensive or did he bring a greater amount? No. The Bible says Abel brought his gift by faith and that is what made it more acceptable. You see, for some of us, our first (our tithe) is $50, for some $500 and for some $500,000. To God, it’s not the amount that is important, but the condition of the giver’s heart. Abel’s offering by faith was a tangible reflection of his heart – that he was a righteous man. Righteous simply means his heart was right in alignment with God’s.

The passage also describes how Abel’s story still speaks to us today, even after he is gone. Consider how you influence others in your circle of friends, coworkers, neighbors, and even your family. Each of us has an opportunity to leave a legacy, a legacy of faith in God’s provision, His protection and His promises.

Pray

Pray that as you give, you would give by faith, trusting God with all that you have. Pray that as you live a life of influence, you would have opportunities to share Christ with others or invite them to Fellowship Church.

Act

Make a list of those in your life who need to hear the life-changing message of Jesus Christ. Start inviting them to one of our many experiences at Fellowship Church.

Wednesday

June 18, 2014

God Will Bless the Rest

Read

“Cain became furious, and he scowled in anger. Then the Lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry? Why that scowl on your face? If you had done the right thing, you would be smiling; but because you have done evil, sin is crouching at your door. It wants to rule you, but you must overcome it.” Then Cain said to his brother Abel, “Let's go out in the fields.” When they were out in the fields, Cain turned on his brother and killed him.” Genesis 4:5b-8 GNT

Think

As Pastor Ed says,“people get funny when you talk about money." And this is especially true at church. There's a story in the Bible that speaks very clearly about our relationship to God and money. Cain was a farmer and when it came to the fruits of his harvest, he took care of himself first. He took care of meeting his "needs," instead of giving the first to God and trusting Him to bless the rest. As a consequence of his disobedience, God rejected his offering. Cain was so angry and ruled by his sin, he went so far as to kill his brother.

In so many areas of our lives, our sin (our failure to honor God’s commands) leads us to a dangerous place, a place of anger and discontentment about our circumstances. There our "wants" are not in line with what God knows we need. We may feel that the most important thing on our list is a new car, when God has already provided a car that is paid for. You may have made the payments, but remember our provisions are from Him. He wants us to put Him at the top of our list, to “seek His Kingdom and His righteousness” then all our desires will be added by Him.

Bringing the tithe is a fundamental part of our relationship with God. But there is more at stake than just the money. God doesn’t want (or need) your money, He wants your heart, your trust and your obedience.

Pray

Do you have money or does money have you? Pray for God to lead you away from disobedience when it comes to your finances. Praise him for how he blesses you as you seek Him first and follow his command to bring the Him your best, the first 10 percent.

Act

Think of how you commit your time and resources. Do you need to press the reset button? Start by placing God first. Make a list of all the people and things in your life that are separating you from God. Start this week by coming to Flavour, Men of the House or, if you are a student, to The Mix.

 

Tuesday

June 17, 2014

Bringing the first to God

Read

“After some time Cain brought some of his harvest and gave it as an offering to the Lord. Then Abel brought the first lamb born to one of his sheep, killed it, and gave the best parts of it as an offering. The Lord was pleased with Abel and his offering, but he rejected Cain and his offering.” Genesis 4:3-5a GNT

Think

When we are under pressure to make ends meet, it is easy to think first about how we are going to pay the rent or mortgage, car payment, utility bill or buy new clothes for kids. We might have debts we need to pay, credit card bills etc. Perhaps you don’t have a job right now and feel that you need every single penny to scrape through the week. On the other hand, you may have just started a new job or got a promotion, a raise or a bonus. What is the first thing you think of when you get a pay check? Do you hesitate? Do you pay bills first and then say to yourself that you will see what’s left over?

Cain “after some time” brought “some of his harvest” and gave it as an offering to the Lord. Abel, however, brought the very first lamb born to one of his sheep. He gave the very first and the very best to God in recognition of who was first in his life.

God went on to bless Abel’s obedience and honor. But he rejected Cain’s offering.

Think about what your priorities are when it concerns your finances. Where do you place the first and the best? Do you offer it quickly and obediently to God or do you eventually submit what is left over?

Pray

Pray for God to give you the obedience and courage to present the first and the best to him, through your tithes and offerings to the local church.

Act

Sign up for the 90 day challenge that Pastor Ed Young has put out to us. If you are not tithing already, see how God blesses your obedience in so many ways.

Thursday

June 12, 2014

Step of Faith

Read

There was always enough flour and olive oil left in the containers, just as the Lord had promised through Elijah.” – 1 Kings 17:16

Think

“It doesn’t make sense.” This is a phrase commonly used when it comes to being obedient to God’s instructions, especially when it comes to our finances. That’s the fascinating thing about God though; when we bring him what he has already given us, he puts his “super” on our “natural.” It’s a test of faith that results in supernatural blessings.

For many of us though that 10% He instructs us to bring is difficult to do. We frequently use that phrase “it doesn’t make sense” or “it doesn’t add up.” But if it has to add up on paper before you obey God, your faith will never move out of infancy. Tithing is the only area God ever asked us to test Him (Malachi 3:10). And, it may not make sense now, but putting God first will be the most amazing faith journey you will ever experience.

Pray

Ask God to help you relinquish control of that portion He asks for. Ask Him to open your heart to the blessings He will pour out as a result.

Act

If you haven’t already, sign up today to take the 90-Day Challenge. 90-Day Challenge

Wednesday

June 11, 2014

Test Day

Read

“For this is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: There will always be flour and olive oil left in your containers until the time when the Lord sends rain and the crops grow again!” – 1 Kings 17:14

Think

The woman Elijah visited was in the midst of a recession. And yet when Elijah asked her to give, she gave. She put him first and experienced God’s provision and protection.

During a recession we naturally tighten the belt on our finances; we don’t eat out or shop as much. Our vacations are less extravagant, if we even take one. And while it is responsible to cut out certain spending habits during this time, we shouldn’t forget God’s instructions to put Him first.

Pay day is a test day for many of us. This is our opportunity to say “thank you” to the One who provided the paycheck. He gave us the ability to obtain the funds in the first place and by bringing the first portion of that paycheck to Him, we are saying “thank you” for His provision and protection.

Pray

Ask God to give you the courage and determination to put Him first. Let Him know any fears you may have about putting Him first. Then, ask Him to open your heart to His blessings as you take that step.

Act

Make a list of items God has provided you with. Remember that without the abilities He provided you with in the first place, you would not have them. Now, say “Thank You!”

 

Tuesday

June 10, 2014

God’s Scale

Read

“So she did as Elijah said, and she and Elijah and her family continued to eat for many days.” – 1 Kings 17:15

Think

It’s a common misconception that the wealthiest people are the happiest people. Another misconception is that more money would solve our problems. The reality is that regardless of how much money we do or do not have, it’s what we do with it that matters; especially when it comes to the first portion.

When it comes to the tipping point of God’s scale, it isn’t money that makes the difference. God promises that He will provide for us and protect us. However, if we choose not to put God first and follow His instructions, the tipping point will not be in our favor. He already knows our financial situation. Putting God first in our finances invites God to step into that situation and work on our behalf. This is the tipping point to financial freedom in our lives.

Pray

Ask God to help you be obedient to His instructions regarding your finances. Ask Him to open your eyes and heart to the blessings He will provide as a result.

Act

You may already put God first in your finances. Determine another area of your life in which you may need to put Him first.

Monday

June 9, 2014

The First

Read

“As surely as the LORD your God lives,” she replied, “I don’t have any bread—only a handful of flour in a jar and a little olive oil in a jug. I am gathering a few sticks to take home and make a meal for myself and my son, that we may eat it—and die.”  Elijah said to her, “Don’t be afraid. Go home and do as you have said. But first make a small loaf of bread for me from what you have and bring it to me, and then make something for yourself and your son.” – 1 Kings 17:12-13

Think

At first it may seem a bit strange for Elijah to instruct this woman to make bread for him first even though she had just told him the provisions she had were only enough for one more meal.  Although she didn't understand it, she was obedient - she made his first. And God was faithful. He provided, not only that meal, but many more to come.

So many times, God’s instructions don’t make sense on paper, but when we trust Him anyway, it becomes the tipping point in our favor.  When we put God first in any area of our lives, He provides for us and protects us.  Whether in our relationship, health, finances or anything else, God works on our behalf when we put Him first.  His provision and protection can bring freedom beyond our expectations.

Pray

Ask God to show you where He needs to be put first in your life.  Ask Him to give you the courage to do so beginning now.

Act

Tithing is the best example of putting God first.  If you aren’t tithing already or at all, take the 90-Day Challenge today.

 

Thursday

January 9, 2014

Partnering with God for life change

Read

"Honor the Lord with your wealth, with the best part of everything you produce. Then he will fill your barns with grain, and your vats will overflow with good wine." Proverbs 3:9-10

Think

True availability to God pervades every area of our lives. We cannot segment out what we want to make available and what we want to keep to ourselves; not if we want to experience the most out of life. From time to talent to resources, everything we have is given to us by God. Because of that, we should make it all available to God.

God commands us to return to Him that which is already His. The word is "tithe" and it simply means the first 10% of our income. When we are obedient to God in that, we discover something amazing: we discover the opportunity to partner with the life change God wants to see happen in the local church. Have you made your resources available to God? Are you being obedient to Him by bringing back to Him that which is already His with your tithe?

Pray

Thank God for what He has provided you financially. Ask Him to help you remain faithful to Him by making your resources available to be used by Him in the local church.

Act

Get a vision for what Fellowship Church is doing to reach more and more people. If you aren't already, commit to tithing and discover the amazing experience of partnering with God through Fellowship!

Friday

June 21, 2013

Fri, Jun 21

Read

“…But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” – Joshua 24˸15 (NKJV)

Think

Parents will do everything possible to provide their children with the best opportunities in life to excel in their chosen passion.  Whether it’s sports, dancing, music, etc., we sacrifice our time, energy and money to make sure they have every advantage to succeed in these activities.  While it is great for kids to be involved in these things, we have to ask ourselves, “Are we truly providing them with the best foundation for their lives?”

It’s easy to get so wrapped up in the passions of our children that we allow their schedules to overtake the family schedule.  As a result, the priority of church becomes an activity to “fit in if we can.”  In order to provide our children with the foundation to be successful in life, we need to give them an example to follow in our own priorities. We have to make church and serving God the priority of our households - not a choice. Orbiting your family around the church is the best example and lesson you can give your children.

Pray

Ask God to help you show your children the importance of making His house a priority of life.  You may not be struggling with prioritizing for children but for yourself, ask God for His guidance in aligning your priorities with His.

Act

If attending church is not a priority for you right now, determine that it will be. Find times and locations for this weekend’s experiences at www.fellowshipchurch.com, or find a Bible-believing church in the area you live.

Wednesday

December 19, 2012

Wed, Dec 19

Read

“But the one who received the seed that fell on good soil is the man who hears the word and understands it. He produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.”  Matthew 13˸23

Think

Matthew 13 tells the parable Jesus told about a farmer who sowed seed.  After reading this parable, you may ask the same thing the disciples did, “What does this mean?” 

As Christians, we are called to sow seed – the Good News of Jesus Christ.  This news may not be heard or accepted by everyone we share it with.  But for those who do hear and accept it, they will experience amazing life change through a relationship with Jesus. 

Remember,  sowing seed for God doesn't mean you have to have all the right words and answers or that everyone will listen. Just point them to Jesus and keep sowing.  God takes care of the rest. 

Pray

Ask God to give you an opportunity to share His message today. 

Act

Tie an InstaChristmas invitation to a bag of cookies and hand them out to your neighbors and co-workers. Take your sowing to another level!

Wednesday

December 12, 2012

Wed, Dec 12

Read

“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 there will not be room enough to store it.” Malachi 3˸10

Think

In every area of our lives, God has a clear cut path for us to follow. When it comes to our finances, that path begins with the tithe. The word “tithe” simply means one-tenth. And as we read today, God commands us to bring the first tenth of anything we earn to the “storehouse”, that is, the local church.
The local church is the only thing that Jesus Christ built on earth. And when we commit to bringing back to the church the first portion of what He has already blessed us with, He promises to bless us beyond our greatest expectations. This is the only time that God ever tells us to test Him. Have you stepped up in obedience in this area?

Pray

God’s path here is clear. Don’t pray for direction in this area; instead, pray for the strength to follow through with what God has already told you to do.

Act

Tithing is as easy as one click away. Right now, you can begin giving online to the greatest entity on earth—the local church. If you are already faithfully bringing the tithe, write out a list of 10 things God has blessed you with so you can see just how faithful God has been in return!

Tuesday

December 11, 2012

Tue, Dec 11

Read

8 “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...." Malachi 3˸8-10

Think

Money is one of the most intimate things in our lives. What we do with our money speaks voulmes about what we hold as a priority in our lives. Ultimately, what we do with the fincances God has blessed us with is a spiritual issue.

In this passage in Malachi, we discover that God calls us to return to His a portion of what is already His back to Him. And while most people would not consider themselves guilty of stealing, when we fail to follow God's plan for our lives, that's exactly what we are doing. But we're not only robbing God of what is already His; we're also robbing ourselves of the powerful blessings that are experiecened only through obedience.

Pray

Ask God for the discipline and structure to follow His plan for your life in every area, including your finances.

Act

Write out a budget for your finances over the next year. See where your priorities line up based on the expenses you have going out. Are you following God's plan?

Monday

December 10, 2012

Mon, Dec 10

Read

“But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Matthew 6˸20-21

Think

During this time of year, many of us start to think about what gifts we might give to those close to us, or even what we may receive ourselves. While gifts at Christmas time are good, the reality is that nothing see around us will last forever.

However, there are two things that will last forever: God’s Word and the souls of men and women. And through the local church, we have the opportunity to invest in that which will last forever. We have the chance to help others and discover that eternal investment is so much better than any here on earth.

Are you focused on collecting the things of this world for yourself? Or are you determined to help build something that will last for eternity?

Pray

Ask God a bold prayer about how much you can invest in the local church in order to help build His kingdom.

Act

As you make your list of gifts you will buy for family and friends, remember those who are less fortunate. This week, include something from the InstaChristmas toy drive  and bring it to the church this week.

Thursday

November 15, 2012

Thu, Nov 15

Read

“Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need.” – Acts 2˸45

Think

Fellowship Church is continually seeking ways to reach people seeking to know God.  It’s a “leveraging church” that positions itself to accomplish big things for God.  How?  By utilizing – leveraging - the talents, technology and finances it has – God’s gifts to each of us.  The body of believers that form the church have been given, by God, the means for the church to move in powerful ways to reach one life at a time.

It’s great to be part of a place where a person who may have never experienced church will feel comfortable and understand God’s love for them.  And even a mature believer will understand more of God’s character and grow stronger in their faith.  This is the cause behind the Seven Campaign - the cause of Christ.  This is the only cause that can truly change the world.  As a church body we are leveraging what God has given us to move as we have never moved before.  Have you become part of this movement?

Pray

Ask God to show you the gifts He has given you and how He can utilize those gifts during this Seven Campaign.

Act

Commit to being a part of the largest movement in the history of Fellowship Church – Seven!   If you have already committed to Seven, pray for the impact this movement will have on our communities, and ultimately the world, for the cause of Christ.

Friday

November 9, 2012

Fri, Nov 09

Read

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. Matthew 6˸19-21

Think

One of the loudest messages we hear is that life is all about getting more and more stuff. We’re told that if we want to experience the ultimate life, then we need the newest and best and most expensive things. But the reality is that everything we see on earth is temporal. And none of it gives us the ultimate satisfaction God wants us to have.

There is only one thing on earth that will last forever—the local church. And it is only by investing in that which is eternal that we will discover what life is all about.

As we embark on the greatest expansion in the history of our church through Seven, you have the chance to discover what true significance and impact are all about! Have you commited to the greatest movement in the world today?

Pray

Ask God boldly for what He wants you to commit to Seven as we build His church. Pray for the courage to step out in faith and to follow His will.

Act

Fill out your commitment card to Seven, whether it’s online or a hard copy. Then, bring it with confidence to one of Fellowship Church’s weekend experiences, and get in on the greatest thing going!

Tuesday

November 6, 2012

Tue, Nov 06

Read

Abimelech said, “What does this mean? These seven sheep you’ve set aside.” Abraham said, “It means that when you accept these seven sheep, you take it as proof that I dug this well, that it’s my well.” Genesis 21˸29-30

Think

From the time we are little children, we all struggle with the word, "Mine!" We are constantly concerned with possession and ownership. We go through life battling over what is ours and what is someone else's. But the way to experience the most out of life isn't by worrying about what is ours; it's by realizing that everything is God's.

In today's reading, we see a picture of how accepting God's Lamb, Jesus Christ, awakens us to the reality that everything is ultimately God's. Have you accepted God's Lamb? Are you experiencing true growth by letting go of what is "yours" and bringing back to God what is already His?

Pray

Thank God for providing the ultimate Lamb, Jesus Christ, so that you can experience the most out of a life with Him.

Act

Make a list of the most expensive possessions you "own". Now, offer a prayer of submission to God and admit to Him that you know that everything you have comes from Him.

Friday

November 2, 2012

Fri, Nov 02

Read

Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. 2 Corinthians 9˸6

Think

We are on the brink of the greatest expansion in Fellowship Church’s history. As God prepares our church, the reality is that we are being called upon for the purpose of advancing the church. It will take sacrifice. It will take risk. When was the last time you risked something so big that God had to show up?

What we do in our commitment to the church today will be on the highlight reel of tomorrow. This is our chance not only to witness history being made, but to take part in it! All week God has been working in our hearts to guide in what part we will play in this movement.  We can all do something. What has God prepared you to do?

Pray

Thank God for what He’s going to do in your life and the lives of others through this great expansion. Pray a high-risk prayer about what He wants you to step up and do.

Act

Step up and out in faith and commit to advancing the only thing Christ ever built—the local church.

Thursday

November 1, 2012

Thu, Nov 01

Read

Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him and he will do this: He will make your righteous reward shine like the dawn, your vindication like the noonday sun. Psalm 37˸5-6

Think

Being fully committed to something means taking action to see it through. It isn’t a temporary thing; it’s pledging yourself to a cause, no matter what. It’s what God is all about. And so often, He chooses us to carry out His will and plan. But it takes commitment on our part.

One area God calls us to be committed in is our financial commitment to His church. It’s not that God needs our money. He simply knows that when we commit our finances to Him, then we are willing to commit everything to Him and He can then use us to make a significant impact in the world around us.

Pray

Thank God for everything He has blessed you with. Ask Him how He wants you to commit financially to the church and our greatest expansion in history.

Act

Commit to being a part of Seven today and trust that God will do His will through your dedication and commitment.

Tuesday

October 30, 2012

Tue, Oct 30

Read

Farmers who wait for perfect weather never plant.  If they watch every cloud, they never harvest. Ecclesiastes 11˸4

Think

There is one city in the United States known to be a haven for risk-takers. That city is Las Vegas. Way more stories emerge from this city of major loses, but rarely of big payouts. Yet, people continue to risk it all for the chance they hit it big.

But there’s one risk that always pays off—taking a step out in faith. God calls us many times to take a chance on something He calls us to do. However, unlike Vegas, the odds are in our favor because we can be sure of the payout. Our faith in what God wants us to do or give will always lead us to the exact future He has for us.

Pray

Thank God that, though you may not always know the end result, you can have faith that His plan is perfect. Ask God what you need to do to step up and out in faith.

Act

Stop and observe what God has given you. Then tell someone today about the generosity of God.

Next Page