You may remember that over the past few years I have followed the membership series with a couple of weekends on the topic of giving. I am doing that again this year for reasons that I hope are obvious, but may be overlooked. First of all, let me say that I don’t think I’ve ever belonged to a local church that was any more effectively stewarding their resources than we do. Our Elders, Executive Pastor, and Administrator are to be given the credit for that. The Lord certainly is the source of our blessings, but He calls upon us to manage those resources for His glory.
As we will see this weekend, when it comes to money (like all resources!), it all belongs to God anyway. He should have His way with us in terms of how we use His money. You may be like me and say, “Yes, I know this.” But it is challenging for most of us to really trust that. And if we don’t trust that, we probably won’t obey the charge that comes with it.
You see, if you’re like me, it is easy to dismiss greed, maybe too easy, as the obstacle for why we don’t give. My lack of generosity, personally, comes down to fear more than avarice. I’m afraid to let go of the security that money provides me. Listen to that. A pastor, the one who should not only know this from study and experience, the one who calls you each week to believe God, has a trust issue. It’s pretty shameful to me, and I pray that before I reach heaven’s gate that very practical lack of security in God’s provision will be conquered.
If it is to be conquered, then we must allow the Word of God, used by the transforming power of the Holy Spirit, to deeply root us in the more practical areas of our faith. This is why I believe that our giving habits are directly related to our spiritual condition. I want to be a better giver, and I hope you do as well. The emotion that we feel in worship toward our Redeemer is more easily experienced with a clear conscience when the areas of obedience are confirmed in our lives. It’s not that we give without understanding why we are doing so. The habits of turning loose of those things that give us a false sense of security are perhaps less passionate than singing, studying or praying. But those actions are consistent with a deep devotion to God as well as a sincere expression of worship.
I invite you to explore this with me over the next two weekends. These weekends aren’t designed as a fund raising effort for our church; you can be relieved of that. They are, however, an opportunity to raise our faith in the Great Security of our lives.