When should we give more to the local church? Acts 4 says people brought the proceeds from the sale of land and and homes and gave it to the church to distribute to anyone who had a need. This requires two things. This requires that the local church be committed to helping needy people and it also requires that those who have available resources give generously. It sounds a little like spiritual socialism. But in the first century, this type of giving was the very reason the first church survived. I am committed to the original recipe of church. Love one another, serve another, pray for one another, and rally around one another in the hour of greatest need. I believe the local church is poised for its finest hour during this time of economic upheaval. This is when we can truly demonstrate the greatest commandment – love God and love one another. God will provide. We will survive. We will testify of God’s goodness to a generation starving for authenticity and truth.
October 6, 2008 at 1:31 pm
Winter or summer, good times or bad, giving is always in season. Thanks for your good and timely word, Pastor Brady!
October 6, 2008 at 6:46 pm
Great message on Sunday Pastor Brady! I love that section from Acts. It made me think of the verse, “he who has been forgiven much, loves much.” Maybe that could apply to giving as well. If we’ve been in need a lot, maybe we give more. In other words when we try to lead safe, easy, independent lives rather than to live radical, interdependent lives for Christ no matter the cost, we might not give as readily. In our culture,independence tends to be exalted and dependence looked down upon. Interdependence is the key I think. When we live for Christ sometimes we are in great need in certain areas of our life and at other times able to give generously. Christ supplies our needs through the body sometimes so that people see His love demonstrated, they are drawn to Him and He is glorified.
October 6, 2008 at 9:10 pm
Great points, Brady.
I really love it when people can rely on their church family when life throws them a curve ball- either through support from their life group or through church-sponsored financial education or benevolence.
The coolest thing I’ve seen is when people who have been helped come back to help someone else. That is how the body of Christ is supposed to work.
Finances and life have normal ebbs and flows. But when we follow God’s financial principles, we will be okay no matter what happens.
If you have a healthy savings account and no debt and invest for the long-term, you can watch the markets go up and down (or not!) and sleep soundly through the night.
The economic turmoil will pass, but God’s financial advice works even when Wall Street doesn’t.
October 6, 2008 at 11:33 pm
Ok, here I go again. I found it so inspiring on Sunday to look at ways to give and support one another in times of need. It actually moved my intention from myself to others which is always so much healthier and productiv. I came up with a way that could help somebody in need and help me too. This reduced my anxiety because I now have a way to make a difference for others and can focus on them instead of myself. YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS, thank you Jesus.
October 7, 2008 at 10:19 am
Best Sermon Series Yet???
Maybe…but the bottom line is, they’re awesome! Keep ’em coming!
The theme of “Grace” continues to run throughout…tough to do in a “call to action” sermon!
How about a series on “Reconciliation”? Specifically,
A. Romans 5: 6 – 10
B. Romans 11: 13 – 16
C. 2 Corinthians 5: 16-21
D. Ephesians 2: 13 – 18
E. Colossians 1:19-23
Question…did the cross create a bridge for us to cross to God…or for Him to cross to us?
October 10, 2008 at 11:44 am
>>It sounds a little like spiritual socialism.<<
That phrase sounded like an apology for altruism, and tweaked me to reply…
Voluntary giving has nothing in common with socialism, and in fact predates any form of government. Families have always worked this way as necessary “jobs” within the family are picked up by those best able to do it, whether income or caregiving, or helping neighbors with food or gifts or effort. The church is just a larger family.
Socialism’s failure has to do with force – forcing people to “share”. It appeals to the worst in people – on both the “giving” and the taking side. True, compassionate, voluntary contribution to help others is simply Christlikeness, and needs no apology.
October 18, 2008 at 8:18 am
I say better “spiritual socialism” (God’s economy) than government mandated socialism! Do you suppose if God’s people won’t do what He’s called us to do, something will less than perfect will fill the void?