Apr24WedApril 24, 2019
The seasons have changed. Spring is here. Yet, Jesus remains on the throne and His mission for His church remains the same. “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations…” (Matthew 28:18-19a). As Christians, we are constantly commanded back into the role of disciple-making. This requires us to build new relationships, joyfully live life with others, talk about spiritual matters and study the Scriptures with those who may have never cracked open a Bible before. It’s an exciting and grand mission that our risen Lord has set before us.
Yet, there are many things which can distract us from this mission. Money is one such distraction. We know that Jesus said, “Don’t be anxious about what you will eat, drink or wear” (Mt 6:25a) and “You cannot serve God and money” (Mt. 6:24b). Yet, how easy it is to either worry about money or fall in love with accumulating it! God’s Word invites us into something radically different. It’s called faithful stewardship.
To be transparent, my wife and I weren’t living that way when we first got married. Honestly, we were pretty careless during our first five years. Although we had consistent streams of income, we consider those years as a financial loss. We didn’t reign in our spending. We didn’t appropriately address our mountain of debt. Neither did we give the minimum ten percent to the Lord through our local church as the Scriptures encourage.
Before we had even reached our ten-year anniversary, we had journeyed near the sinkhole of bankruptcy and woke up to the reality that we needed to make some BIG changes with our financial habits! The next several years required hard conversations, sacrificial decisions and new ways of tracking our spending habits. Now, we can look back and see how the Lord was faithful in leading us onto a more secure financial path.
Part of the turn-around in our financial story was discovering the value of ongoing, financial conversations and education. We realized that we need to talk frequently and honestly (with one another and spiritual friends) about our current financial reality, our actual habits and our future goals.
We also realized that listening to the advice of biblically-sound stewards is crucial to healthy living. We need to learn from those who live simply, give generously and know how to save without hoarding. We need to see real example of Godly stewards. Without these areas of financial accountability and learning, we’d very easily slip back into old habits and let money control, distract and weigh us down from the mission of investing in people.
What is your financial story? Are you moving towards healthy stewardship and generous living or have you become entrapped or distracted by money in some way? As I mentioned earlier, my wife and I still have a lot of learn. We still have questions. We still have financial habits which need tweaking. And we still have a long way to go in becoming as financially generous as those among the Early Church.
Therefore, I am excited that the Stewardship Commission has invited our Everence consultant to FMC this coming Sunday. Lyle Miller will be presenting during the 9:30am hour, during our 10:30am worship and even into the afternoon. Lunch is even free! (That definitely fits into your budget.) Regardless of your age and experience, I strongly encourage you to keep growing in financial stewardship through opportunities like these. Together, let’s grow towards become healthier stewards of God’s resources so we can maximize our energy towards making disciples for the glory of God!