Hebrews 13:5, “Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, ‘Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you’”.
Proverbs 11:24, “One gives freely, yet grows all the richer; another withholds what he should give, and only suffers want”.
People distracted with loss, those in pain, and the terminally ill are not concerned with stock options. People in ICU or on their deathbed aren’t calling for their investment brokers or accountants; they’re calling for their pastors and families. Big houses and fancy cars suddenly no longer matter, because we come into this world with nothing and we leave with nothing. But somehow, in the midst of the hustle and bustle of life and in striving for success, we forget that there are some things money can’t buy.
Money is neutral and therefore not problematic. It’s our attitude toward it that can lead to trouble. Unlike money, we aren’t neutral because we’ve all sinned and fallen short of God’s glory. If our hearts truly beat for God, then they will beat fast for the local church. In order for the house to thrive we must give. Generosity is the essence of Christianity and tangible giving brings blessings in ways money can’t touch. When we compare what we’ve done for God—nothing—with what He’s done for us—everything—our hearts should overflow with gratitude. So, it’s time to check our spiritual pulse to see if our hearts are beating fast for the things of God. Because, if we’re not content with what we have now we won’t be content with more. The key to financial success is not only bringing back to God what is rightfully His; it’s giving more. It’s partnering with the vision of extending the church’s reach and living in the sweet spot of God’s blessing. When we love God first, we can truly understand how to love the benefits of generosity.
Partner with Fellowship Church in prayer. Pray for seats to be filled, for lives to be changed, and for overall generosity in the hearts and minds of those considering end of the year giving.
Check your spiritual pulse by considering the following questions.
- Which would make you the happiest? Inheriting $100,000 or sharing your story and leading 10 people into a relationship with Christ?
- If you earned extra money beyond your regular income, would you bring back the first 10% to God?
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”.
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.
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.”
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.
I Timothy 6:18-19, “Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life”.
“Call Me Wealthy” is a motto we need to be reminded of regularly. Maybe you’re thinking, “Yeah right! I’ll never be rich!” Well, if you have indoor plumbing, electricity, more than a couple changes of clothes, and clean water—you’re rich. We don’t have to have a bunch of zeros behind the number in our bank account to be rich if we’re rich in God. Storing up treasures for ourselves in this life without a spirit of generosity and a willingness to share is the poorest way to live. Question: Have you ever seen a U-Haul trailer behind a hearse? The answer is no—and you never will. In this life, the measure of our treasure in God directly affects our measure of treasure in heaven.
Today’s verse says laying up treasure in heaven allows us to take hold of the life that’s truly life. We innately want to have meaning and purpose in our lives. And the only way to live an authentic “real deal” life is by giving generously to God’s work in deeds and action sowing the tangible and intangible into the body of Christ. Because, remember, eternity doesn’t start when we die—it’s starts here and now. So let’s focus on being trea-SURE-minded in Christ—the only everlasting measure of eternal pleasure.
Thank God for providing all the amenities and conveniences in your life daily. And ask Him to show you any areas—time, talent, or resources—lacking in generosity.
We have daily opportunities to make a difference in our community. Join us as a church by getting involved in one of several local missions that partner with FC. For more information, click here: https://fellowshipchurch.com/local-missions/
What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Mark 8:36
In our materialistic world, it can be easy to think that “things” are the highest priority we should have. We’re bombarded with commercials that tell us what we have to have. We’re told that to be happy, we need certain possessions. And if we listen long enough to that message, we can begin to convince ourselves that things are the key to our happiness.
The truth, though, is that things are not what lead to the life God has in store for us. It’s not bad to want things, to work for things. But we have to ask the question: do we have things, or do things have us? Don’t let the pursuit of possessions take priority over your relationship with God. Instead, put the things in your life in their proper place. And make God your biggest pursuit.
Thank God for your relationship with Him. Ask Him to help you have the right perspective on the things in your life. And pray for the discipline to pursue Him over every thing else!
Consider these questions throughout the day. “Do I have things? Or do things have me?” Use that question as motivation to help you keep the right perspective in life