NO LONGER SPECTATORS
Moving off the sidelines and participating in God’s mission on earth
Week 1: The Great Invitation
We are ALL invited to take part
Week 2: Practice makes progress
God isn’t expecting you to start off or arrive perfect
Learning anything new requires LEARNING and APPLYING the FUNDAMENTALS
- To say another way:
- Learning the FUNDAMENTALS
If you don’t, Setting yourself up for FAILURE
Another way of talking about the fundamentals is to call them PRINCIPLES
A comprehensive law or doctrine, from which others are derived, or on which others are founded
Principles are principles because they apply no matter what
This matters for us because…
Scripture teaches that God created principles that direct His universe
- Biblical principles
A fundamental truth or law is woven by God into the fabric of his created world and reality
- Selflessness over Selfishness
- Forgiveness over Bitterness
Today we are talking about a few SPECIFIC PRINCIPLES in relation to MONEY
We’re talking about money because:
- The Bible/Jesus has a lot to say about money
- Our culture worships wealth
- A good gauge as to how you are PARTICIPATING IN GOD’S MISSION
A few things to know about Money (50,000′ view)
1: God does not hate money
2: God does not love the rich more than those without and vice versa
3: God is far more interested in your heart than what is in your wallet
4: Tithing is an Old Testament concept reinterpreted in the New Testament as extreme generosity
5: Both the Old and New Testament instruct God’s people to give generously to: The Church (Temple), Widows, Orphans
2 Biblical Principles About Money
Principle 1: You Reap What You Sow
What a farmer plants is what he gets
- Peanut seeds get cotton seeds
- Cotton seeds get cotton seeds
- No seeds get no seeds
Happens in our life
Sowing is a couple of things
- Takes Time and effort
What we put our time and MONEY into is what we are SOWING
- Our children
- Things that give us meaning
2 Corinthians 9:6-11
6 The person who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and the person who sows generously will also reap generously. 7 Each person should do as he has decided in his heart—not reluctantly or out of compulsion, since God loves a cheerful giver. 8 And God is able to make every grace overflow to you, so that in every way, always having everything you need, you may excel in every good work. 9 As it is written: He distributed freely; he gave to the poor; his righteousness endures forever. 10 Now the one who provides seed for the sower and bread for food will also provide and multiply your seed and increase the harvest of your righteousness. 11 You will be enriched in every way for all generosity, which produces thanksgiving to God through us.
Paul teaches us 4 specific things in this passage:
1 – We are ALL called to be generous with our money (v 6)
- “The person who sows…” — not just the RICH PERSON
- The person who has more than enough
2 – Giving is a conscious act (v7)
- “Not reluctant or out of compulsion…”
- A decision we have prayed to God about
3 – God takes care of ALL our needs, not just our financial needs(v8)
- “So that in EVERY WAY…”
- The world teaches that money will solve ALL your problems, the Bibles teaches otherwise
- It’s God’s grace that we desperately need
4 – When we give generously, we are like Jesus who gave ALL for us (v9)
- “He gave to the poor…”
- Jesus was poor, what did he have to give?
- He gave what we ALL NEEDED, rich or poor
- He gave us HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS BEFORE GOD
The principle of sowing and reaping is a principle of FAITH
Financial generosity is sowing faithfulness TO and trust IN God, with the anticipation that He will Supply all of your needs
- That does not mean that he will make us rich
Concerning your finances, are you sowing sparingly or GENEROUSLY?
- Are you planting seeds in God’s kingdom through your resources?
2nd Biblical Principle about money
Principle 2: Bring Your Best, Trusting God To Take Care Of The Rest
The morning of the biggest event of your life. Do you?
- Eat junk all-day
- Spend all your energy on useless things
- Show up tired
- Hope to perform at 100%?
- Of course not
We know that…
When something is a PRIORITY, it requires ATTENTION and SACRIFICE
In the Bible, we are taught the principles of something called “THE FRISTFRUITS”
- The first of your harvest was to go to God
5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not rely on your own understanding;
6 in all your ways know him, and he will make your paths straight.
7 Don’t be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and turn away from evil.
8 This will be healing for your body and strengthening for your bones.
9 Honor the Lord with your possessions and with the first produce of your entire harvest;
10 then your barns will be completely filled, and your vats will overflow with new wine.
Solomon gives a “DO THIS” and “THIS WILL HAPPEN”
He instructs us to GIVE the “FIRST PRODUCE”
This is ultimately about priority
For many, tithing is what we give if we have anything LEFT
- This is not sowing in faith
Giving to God what he asks of us comes FIRST
- That’s the First Fruits
16 Now if the firstfruits are holy, so is the whole batch. And if the root is holy, so are the branches.
What is given in faith, God blesses, but what is given reluctantly or haphazardly, He does not
God is far more interested in your heart than your wallet
What does putting these Biblical Principles/Fundaments into practice look like?
Pray: Ask Him what you should do with your money and resources.
Prepare: Knowing what you’re able to give and when. Having a plan in place for your offering and approaching each time with a generous heart.
Prioritize: Make sure that you’re prioritizing God in your finances.
Give: To the church, to other Ministries? Individuals in need?
Repeat: Make it part of your regular worship
What is the Holy Spirit instructing your heart about your financial generosity?