Monday, January 24, 2011

Monday Morning Musings ...

Yesterday was another very good day. There was a great spirit in our worship service. The temperature was in the single digits but our attendance was reasonable, in fact it was up in Sunday School. We had all of our worship band members participating yesterday and that always adds during the music and singing part of worship.

I preached part 4 of the 5 part series "Changeover" that we are doing to begin this year. Where you focus determines your destination and your destiny. In understanding the need to focus on God's way we have been examining some spiritual disciplines we need upon which we need to focus. We have looked at Bible reading, prayer and fasting with specific challenges for each of them. (see previous posts) This week we looked at sacrificial giving and committing to a community of believers. Isaiah 43:14-44:5 is the foundation for this study with many other scriptures referenced as well. Sacrificial giving is giving from the essential instead of the excess. Sacrificial giving will be felt and will change your lifestyle in some way. Need to give for God's purposes, not just our favorite things. Matthew 6:19-21 reminds us that our hearts follow our money. Malachi 3:6-12 reminds us of the importance of giving to God and accepting his challenge to give. I believe much of our giving needs to be given where we can also serve, because this will increase our joy of giving and multiply our passion as well. John Henry Jowett sais, "Ministry that costs nothing, accomplishes nothing." Showing love requires action, in fact I believe love is sacrificial action. Many people speak of being fearful of sacrifice because of the cost. I am realizing that the greater cost is when we sacrifice God's will, God's plan and His promises for the sake of fear.

The challenge: to give sacrificially to God's cause in a place where you can also serve for this year. Then see what happens in your heart, your life and the place where you give and serve.

We looked at the need to focus on committing to a community of believers (a church). Hebrews 10:24-25. Martin Luther said, "Apart from the church, salvation is impossible." Not because we are saved through the church but because we can't truly fulfill God's call apart from a community of believers. The great commission (Matt. 28:16-20) tells us that we are to give our lives for the sake of others. Being a part of a church allows us to give where we can be personally impacted and can make a personal impact as well. God's purposes are to be accomplished in relationships/community. William Temple said, "The church is the only cooperative society in the world that exists for the benefit of its non-members." Church is not to be about our comfort but about fulfilling God's call to reach the lost. I have concluded there are three levels of commitment in the church, I have related them to where someone lives. 1) The Motel Patron - this is day to day. They check in and they check out for convenience. They desire the benefits with none of the responsibility. 2) The Renters - this is more month to month, or longer. Usually they stay a little longer and realize they have some responsibility for care, but they have no responsibility if things go wrong. 3) The Owner or Buyer - they are committed financially and in responsibility for a longer period. They understand they need to work at seeing things go as they should for their intended purpose. On which level are you operating?

The challenge: move from casual to committed in a church where you will serve.

Will you accept the challenges? When? Where?


Post a Comment

<< Home