Last Sunday at Awaken Church, we launched a new 3-week series called In God We Trust? (I’m not asking if we did – the title ends with a question mark.). That’s a statement on our money, but it often seems to be a question in our lives. The irony is that the one thing that clearly states “In God We Trust” – our money – tends to be the thing that proves we don’t. It’s time to change that.
I know people get weird when it comes to money, but we shouldn’t shy away from the topic. Jesus didn’t. He talked more about money and possessions than He did about hell, heaven, prayer, and faith! It obviously has some pretty important implications for our lives!
Here are a few things we need to remember…
Generosity is not a bank balance, it’s a heart status.
Generosity isn’t about the amount of zeroes on a check; it’s about the sacrifice in our hearts. The Macedonian Christians that Paul wrote about in 2 Corinthians 8 were under a “severe test of affliction” and “extreme poverty,” and yet their joy produced generosity. God isn’t asking you to be faithful with money you don’t have – just with the money you’ve already been given!
We give by faith AND by sight.
Paul said the Macedonian Christians set an example of giving “according to their means” (giving by sight) as well as “beyond their means” (giving by faith). Both are important for us to excel in. Giving by sight involves getting to the God-given, Biblical starting line of 10%, a.k.a. “tithing”. Tithing is an act of worship and an act of faith. Beyond that, as the Lord leads, we follow Jesus’ example of grace giving by intentionally giving above and beyond.
Generosity that changes the world comes from hearts changed by God.
2 Corinthians 9:6 says, “a stingy planter gets a stingy crop; a lavish planter gets a lavish crop.” That’s pretty straightforward. If I sow a handful of seeds, I shouldn’t expect a field full of crops. And yet, we tend to desire maximum blessing with minimal effort on our part. Paul instructs us to “give as we have decided in our hearts” (2 Cor 9:7). Here are a couple questions to help guide you as you make a decision to be generous…
- What has God done for me?
- What do I want God to do through me?
Money makes people do crazy things. People may rob you for what’s in your wallet, but what’s worse is that what’s in your wallet can rob you of what God wants to do in your heart. Don’t let it.
As part of our In God We Trust? Series, we’ve built in a church-wide opportunity to give by faith. On Sunday, October 22, at all services, we will dig deep and give big as we come together to see how God will use our generosity. If you’ve been blessed by these blogs or the ministry of Awaken Church, I’d love to invite you to join us as we seek to take the message of the gospel to as many people as possible!
Check out all the great, easy ways we have to give at awaken.church/giving!
K E V I N • M I L L E R
There’s more where that came from! Click below to watch the entire message called “What’s in Your Wallet?” from our series, In God We Trust?.
Access the whole series as well as hundreds of other messages from Awaken Church at awaken.church/teachings.
Sign up HERE to receive these blog posts right in your inbox!