In order to make giving real, you need to let it take root in how you live out your life.
A healthy life is a giving life. We live in relationship to God and we respond to Him by giving back to Him in every dimension.
I realize that most people think that churches talk too much about money. But, here at Carson Valley Christian Center, it is one of our core values to be clear about money, because the Bible is clear about money. While this didn’t happen to me personally, I can envision it happening here...
A man called at the church and asked if he could speak to the Head Hog at the Trough. The secretary said, "Who?" The man replied, "I want to speak to the Head Hog at the Trough!" Sure now that she had heard correctly, the secretary said, "Sir, if you mean our pastor, you will have to treat him with more respect--and ask for 'The Reverend' or 'The Pastor.' But certainly you cannot refer to him as the Head Hog at the Trough!"
At this, the man came back, "Oh, I see. Well, I have ten thousand dollars I was thinking about donating to the Building Fund." Secretary: "Hold the line–I think the Big Pig just walked in the door."
At this point, I’d like to share a brief story from Jesus’ ministry (at podium, as pastor)
“Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash”(Matthew 7:24-27).
If you just hear stuff and don’t put it into practice, you’ll never be healthy. In order to make this giving stuff real, you need to make it take root in how you live out your life; and have it affect your basic worldview…
Thanks for coming in today. I’ve reviewed your paperwork and think I can be of help to you here today. Here at the Rock & Sand Center, it is our goal for you to be able to build a healthy life and establish your life on the Rock. After my review of your information, here are four things I’ve pulled out that I think will help you build a healthy life on the rock:
God owns your life
“To the LORD your God belong the heavens, even the highest heavens, the earth and everything in it” (Deuteronomy 10:14).
“No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money” (Matthew 6:24).
If you can get to the point where you settle the ownership issue, this will radically impact your worldview. No longer is life all about what I want, when I want it, and how I want it. What life is about is wrapped up in being in right relationship to the God of the Universe. You know what its like being sideways with some of your creditors... what about being sideways with your creator?
Your money reflects your priorities
But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction. 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” (I Timothy 6:6-10).
Best money plans are simple. Avoid debt. Spend less than you make.
Be a giver not a taker!
"Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers” (Galatians 6:9-10).
“But just as you excel in everything—in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in complete earnestness and in your love for us—see that you also excel in this grace of giving” (II Corinthians 8:7).
Just as learning that God is the owner radically adjusts your worldview, so this commitment will radicalize your approach to life. You have so much that has been given to you; determine to live your life as a giver! After all, God will never cheat you.
A young boy went to the local store with his mother. The shop owner, a kindly man, passed him a large jar of suckers and invited him to help himself to a handful.
Uncharacteristically, the boy held back. So the shop owner pulled out a handful for him.
When outside, the boy's mother asked why he had suddenly been so shy and wouldn't take a handful of suckers when offered. The boy replied, "Because his hand is much bigger than mine!" Learn to trust God with what He wants you to have!
Live Healthy? Give it Up!
Your life is a gift to God! Everything you do in your life is “giving up!”
Be a giver of your self, your stuff, your strengths
Become a tither and watch God work! (only test of God allowed in Bible)
“Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the LORD Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it”(Malachi 3:10).
Commit to a healthy financial plan for life
Submit your talents and treasures
Find ways to be an influence for God in your world: Invest and Invite!