- I was so tired tonight
- I spent Wednesday through Friday in Chicago visiting family for Katie’s mom’s wedding
- But, in spite of all that
- Tonight was off the hook
- I love the nights where it is obvious God is working in people’s lives and people are being changed
- Tonight was a very personal topic: money
- For me, as I said tonight, money is one of my biggest idols to overcome
- I think it is for many people
- It is also the reason that many of us struggle in our relationship with God, because of the way we view money, we actually create a relationship with God and a faith where we don’t need God
- Here is my belief on money: those who use money in a God honoring are more likely to see God work in their lives, to see their faith expanded and for God to use them
- If you missed tonight, you can listen to it here
- Laid out our 90 day giving challenge tonight
- Love what God does through these
- If you are curious where I got a lot of my information from, here you go: A Biblical model of giving (this is a great article by a theologian), Radical (this is a must read book by David Platt) and Money, Possessions & Eternity
- The best way to learn about stewardship and giving though, is to just do it
- Got an email this week from a woman who listens to the podcast every week who lives in Texas
- I am blown away by how God uses technology to work in people’s lives
- Since Katie and the kids will be away for another week, this week is all about getting some sermon prep done for the summer series we are doing: The Perfect Kid and The Couch
- Gonna be good
- I’m also thinking about running Sabino Canyon this week
- Picked up the new album from Mumford & Sons, good stuff
- On the plane this week I read Unmasking Male Depression, easily the most eye opening book on men
- This book is right on in understanding why men act the way they do, why they react the way they do
- When I got to Chicago I told Katie I found another book for her reading pile
- The only problem with being married to someone who loves books is they are constantly giving their spouse new books to read
- Definitely a must read for couples
- If you want to sign up for our partnership class but haven’t yet, you can do so here
- Next Saturday we start Nehemiah 13, this chapter is easily one of my favorites in the whole book
- You’ll to wait to see why
- Three letters come to mind when I think of chapter 13: UFC
- Had someone tell me tonight, “I’m finding that I am feeling bad when I do something wrong, but that I am doing less wrong”
- Love hearing how God is working in people’s lives
- Never gets old
- There are a lot of plans being made behind the scenes right now as we prepare for our move to 22nd St.
- Be in prayer for our team as we make this move
- I have always prayed and dreamed that Revolution would become what it is and is becoming, but to see it happening is so humbling
- I’m grateful that God has chosen to work through us and in us and bless us at this time
Tonight, I preached on the topic of money and stewardship and its connection to our relationship with God as well as the rest of the world. While this is a topic often misunderstood and very personal, the Bible has a lot to say about it. When it comes to this topic and others like it, this is another reminder of why I like preaching through books of the Bible. It forces us to look at topics we normally wouldn’t look at.
One of the things I have come to see in my own life and in the lives of others is the deep connection between our money, how we use it and God. I believe that God works through people who are generous with their stuff, time and money. For a few reasons:
- It gives God a chance to show His power.
- It shows God that we in fact trust Him.
- Generosity is the pathway to freedom.
- Generosity is evidence of a changed life.
While I don’t believe the Bible lays out a specific amount that we are to give (here is a great article that I pulled a lot of information from for tonight). I know many pastors point to 10% as the tithe, but the tithe in the Old Testament was actually closer to 22%. In the New Testament we are given principles when it comes to giving. They are:
- We should give.
- It needs to be systematic. We need to decide how often we will give.
- It needs to be generous and sacrificial. It should cost something. (Not giving will cost us something, but you’ll have to listen to my talk to here that part)
- It needs to be proportional.
- It needs to be intentional.
For Katie and I, we started at 10%. It was a round number, which helps. But when we began, it was sacrificial. As we have gotten older, God has blessed us with more, our giving has changed. I’ll post later about what that is.
So, tonight, as I preached through Nehemiah 12:44 – 47 and looked at this new church and how they worshiped through their finances, I laid out what we call the 90 day giving challenge.
Here is how it works. If you are not giving, start. If you are giving a little, move to greater generosity.
We don’t lay out a specific amount. Just look at the 5 principles above. For the next 90, give back to God through Revolution. If you feel at the end of those 90 days that it was a waste of time, you didn’t see God move in your life, you didn’t see God stay true to Scripture. Just tell us and we will give you the money back.
It is that simple.
We closed tonight with a story of someone who did this the last time.
Last week we continued our series in the book of Nehemiah by looking at the idea of idols and what keeps us from joy, happiness and fulfillment the way God intended it (you can listen to it here).
This week, we are going to look at the most personal area of our lives when it comes to joy, happiness and fulfillment: money.
Now, I know what you are thinking. If I come this Saturday you are going to tell me that God wants me to give 10% of my money to the church. What if I told you, that is not even close to what God wants from us or for us.
What if I told you, that by getting this area of our lives aligned with God and what His word says that we would actually experience the most blessing, joy, happiness and fulfillment possible? What if I told that on the other side of what God has to say about money, when we get it right, a whole new world opens to us?
So, do whatever you have to do to get to Revolution this Saturday night (and don’t forget to bring a friend with you)! To use an e-vite, just go here.
Remember, we meet at 5pm at 410 S. Pantano Rd.
See you then.
My friend Chris had a killer post, listing some things that he just didn’t understand. Here’s a few of my favorites:
- Folks that show up to church only a few times a year but expect the pastor to drop everything to provide them with his undivided attention.
- People that put nothing in the offering plate but still have the stones to expect that their opinions on the church should count.
- Parents who ground their children from church or the youth group…the very things that could help them with their behavior, future and afterlife.
- People that expect the pastor to tolerate their political views…but leave the church because of his.
- The occasional volunteer that expects the church to throw a parade in their honor just because they finally did what the Bible commanded.
- People that have basked in the grace of God…but fail to give grace to anyone else.
- Pastors that leave one church for another…for better pay.
- The need for church growth plans, programs, books, conference, seminars and resource kits…when we already have the Bible
- Women that tolerate their husbands having multiple affairs…”for the sake of the kids”.
- Pastors that would rather be political pundits or civil rights leaders…instead of just preaching the life-saving message of the Word of God.
- People that have one spiritual standard for their pastor…and another for themselves.
- Folks that think the word ‘disciple’ is a noun…and not a verb.
- People that make comments about needing to go “deeper” in God’s Word…as if there is a Scripture in the Bible that isn’t deep.
- Pastors that think accountability means never asking them the tough questions or taking the hard line when it comes to their failure to follow Scripture.
- Men that think being the head of the household has something to do with the amount of money they are bringing in or the title they acquire at work.
[Source: Here to Lead]
This past Sunday we had our partnership class. There are several things we call all of our partners to do: be in a group, pray for Revolution, attend Revolution, serve on a team and honor God with their finances.
There is always one question that comes up in the area of giving, “Why do you have automated giving at Revolution? Doesn’t that take the worship out of it?”
It is a great question and honestly, one we wrestled with as elders before deciding to give this option to our church. In the end, we felt like offering this to those who attend Revolution Church was a good idea, for a few reasons:
- You are better able to plan when it comes to giving. You know when it will happen and you know that you will not miss an opportunity give back to God, even if you are not at church.
- It is worship because you decide it is worship. Just because someone gives back to God in a service does not make it worship if the person’s heart is not a worshipful heart. We have many people who will write on a giving envelope, “Gave back to God online this week.” “Gave through my automated giving this week.” This gives you a chance to put something in the offering box if you like.
Those are the two biggest reasons and objections I hear. Automated giving is the option that we encourage everyone to do. It is the way we honor God with our finances.
If you have ever prayed that God would break your heart with the things that break His heart, this has been a devastating week. The images and stories that have come from Haiti are almost beyond our comprehension. I know that many of you have been praying for the victims of the earthquake and for the aid workers that are rushing to save the lives of tens of thousands of people who have been injured, displaced and orphaned. These people need our prayers so please continue asking God to do what seems impossible in this moment.
Along with our prayers there are a number of things that we can and will do as the Revolution Church community to help the people of Haiti. This Saturday we will be asking all of you to give financial aid to fund the relief efforts. We have a very effective distribution channel through the Nazarene Church who has active missionaries in Haiti and will put 100% of the relief money we raise directly into helping the Haitian people. We ask that you make a donation in addition to your weekly tithes and offerings because God calls us to give sacrificially in these moments. Pray about this need and give what you feel compelled to give. Along with your gifts, we will be giving a significant portion of our tithes and offerings for the week to this effort because God calls us to sacrificial giving as His church too. Please write a separate check or make note of the amount you want to go to this relief effort on your check or giving envelope. You can also give online here.
While financial aid is important, it doesn’t go very far when the people of Haiti have nowhere to go to even buy the things they need for daily life; the things we sometimes take for granted.
Here are some things we can collect:
- FIRST AID SUPPLIES: Antibiotic creams/ointments, antiseptic wipes, bleach in tablet form, Band-Aids, gauze and tape, first aid kits, gloves.
- OVER THE COUNTER MEDICATIONS: Pain relievers, tummy aids, antibiotic creams/ointments, liquid bandage (aka New Skin).
- EMERGENCY NEEDS: Flashlights, DRY goods (beans/rice), infant/powder milk, supplemental drinks (i.e. Ensure), gently used of new blankets.
- HYGIENE: Toothpaste and tooth brushes, nail clippers, wash/face cloths, non-alcohol or baby shampoos, bar soaps such as Ivory.
We will have containers around the church this weekend and next Saturday for you to deposit these non-cash donations. Once collected, the containers will be delivered to the Red Cross who has the distribution channels in place to get this aid where it is needed.
We also intend to send our love to the children of Haiti. This weekend the children of our church community will be drawing pictures and creating inspiring messages of love and hope that will be included in our shipment. Perhaps more important than money or supplies is reminding these children that there are people who care deeply about them, who cry with them and who have hope to encourage them in their time of need.
God calls us to live a life of Faith, Love and Hope and in doing so, to help people find their way back to Him. Do not underestimate the impact of your decision to sacrifice and share the abundant blessings that have been poured into your life. Take this opportunity to move in faith, believing that the gift you give will have an eternal impact in the life of someone whom you will never meet . . . in this world.
“Thinking about eternity helps us retrieve [perspective]. I’m reminded of this every year when I figure my taxes. During the year, I rejoice at the paychecks and extra income, and sometimes I flinch when I write out the tith and offering. I do my best to be a joyful giver, but I confess it is not always easy, especially when there are other perceived needs and wants. At the end of the year, however, all of that changes. As I’m figuring my tax liability, I wince at every source of income and rejoice with every tithe and offering check – more income means more tax, but every offering and tithe means less tax. Everything is turned upside down, and perhaps, more appropriately, right side up. I suspect judgment day will be like that.” – Gary Thomas, “Wise Christians Clip Obituaries”