Giving: A Sure Test of Your Heart

Sunday, September 15th, 2013
Sermon Series: Deadly Pressures

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Giving–A Sure Test of Your Heart

Deadly Pressures part 4–battling the indulgence of materialism and greed

 

A man inherited millions, but he had a weak heart–so his wife asked their pastor to break the news to him so he wouldn’t have a heart attack. The pastor said, “Sure.” He came to the man and asked him, “Bob, what would you do if you inherited millions of dollars?” Bob said, “Pastor, I’d give half of it to the church.” Right then and there, the pastor died of a heart attack. Now why is that so funny? Because we have funny attitudes about giving.

In the process of preparing to teach God’s Word on materialism and greed, which is a deadly pressure all of us face today, it became obvious to me from the Scriptures, that materialism, the love of things, is a heart issue. It’s okay to own things, as long as those things don’t own you. It’s okay to have possessions, as long as those things don’t possess you. It’s okay to enjoy things, as long as you don’t love them.

Having a lot of money or a little money isn’t the issue–it is the greed in your heart about it. The bottom line is this–where is your heart with your money and your things? Money and possessions are either a tool or a trap. But how can you tell if your heart is wrong or right about what you possess, and how much you have or don’t have?

The never-fail indicator of your heart concerning money and things is giving. Giving will expose a wrong heart about money, and a wrong heart about materialism. Giving is the bulls eye when it comes to targeting where your heart is really at. As sure as a doctor cracking open your chest to examine your physical heart, your giving is a clear indicator as to where your spiritual heart is at.

As we wrap up this four-part series on Deadly Pressures, let me warn you, today is about you. Though you need God’s mind on homosexuality, abortion and pornography, many of you have possibly dismissed those issues, to some degree, as applying to someone else—but not today. Every single one of you, from high school students to seniors, from young married to empty nester, from collegian to the mother of five is battling with this issue. Your temptation will be to dismiss this truth, push back on this truth, excuse yourself, blame someone, justify your lack of giving by how little you have, or worse.

I hear it all the time, “Giving? I’m a collegian, I eat Top Ramen!” Don’t–there is only one response that will please our Lord today. Allow God the Holy Spirit to take His Word and expose your heart. Then with Spirit-empowered courage, make changes that will honor God’s Word. Don’t wait for a feeling–dependently obey! Let’s pray–and let’s dive in.

#1  Why do we struggle with giving?

Giving has always been a problem for God’s people. Turn to Malachi 1:6 to 8 (it’s between Genesis and Revelation. If you forgot your Bible today, I’ll assume you memorized it. It’s the last Old Testament book. Here the Israelites were giving God less than their best, so in verses 6 to 8 God says, when it came time to show their love for God, they were to go to their flocks and pick out their best sheep—“Lambo”, rippling mutton, with long, attractive, curly fleece, to give their best offering to the Lord. They’d give their best–that’s why they called it a sacrifice.

But these Israelites were giving W-w-w-wimpy sheep–their leftover, sick, blind, I’m-not-gonna-eat, breed or sell this lamb, I guess I’ll just give it to the Lord. The Lord was offended. Just like the Israelites who wouldn’t give their best, but only their leftover, sick, blind, lame, and ready-to-die lambs to the Lord, many so-called, church-attending Christians ONLY give what is extra, or leftover, or what’s easy. Believers often forget God their Father can be grieved. Those careless, afterthought, sick-lamb offerings wound God deeply.

At offering time, each of you have the opportunity to give God a lamb. The kind you select from your herd is a strong signal to God as to how you feel about Him, and He takes careful note of each and every offering that’s offered. If you grab an easily expendable lamb, loose change, or a few dollars, that’s a signal to God, isn’t it? If you grab a mid-range lamb, one you haven’t given much thought or prayer to, that’s a signal to God. But if you take time to pray, and bring to God the best lamb you have and give it to Him in worship, that delights God, and sends a signal to Him about how you feel about Him.

In practical terms, that doesn’t mean your life savings, or your kid’s piggy bank, it means a generous portion of your earnings each pay period. God cares about the kind of offerings you bring to Him each week, because it reflects the kind of love you have toward Him.

But with the Israelites, it got so bad that God said to His people, “You’re literally robbing me.” Turn to Malachi 3:8 to10. This book is about true worship, and in the midst of describing true worship, God asks this of you. God considered it robbery the way the Israelites were giving so poorly–but instead of leaving them in their guilt, God says in verse 10, “Test me. Give the way you are supposed to and watch how I will bless your life in ways you can’t even imagine.”

All these gifts coming into the storehouse were providing food for the Levitical families who served in the worship services in Israel. It’s like supporting pastors and missionaries. The Bible says, if you bring your gifts into the storehouse and leave them there, God promises to open the windows of heaven. He’s talking about rain–He’s going to bring rain so their crops will yield more than they ever dreamed, because they’re doing what God says. They’re honoring Him by bringing in the offering–therefore they’ll receive an earthly blessing from God. Rain for farmers meant wealth for farmers.

That’s the truth, but many of us don’t experience blessing from God because our motives are wrong. If your motive is to give in order to get more money, then you’ll not be blessed. That’s the problem with the health/wealth movement. So why do you still struggle with giving? Let me offer three reasons for the struggle of those who love to shop till you drop.

First  A wrong worldview

We battle with money, things and giving when we have an external, temporal and pleasure-seeking perspective. It’s only when we see things from God’s perspective that we will not struggle with giving and be able deal with greed in our hearts. When our hearts are focused on the internal, eternal and God’s glory, we will give. But we need new eyes to see things God’s way–like Elisha’s servant in 2 Kings 6:15—turn there.

Elisha is being hunted, and He and his servant spent the night in a town, only to wake up the next day surrounded by God’s enemies. But look what happens in 2 Kings 6:15 to 17. Don’t you love this? God’s angelic army was surrounding that wimpy human army that was surrounding Elisha. All the servant needed was to see things from God’s perspective. And in order for us to give, we have to see things from God’s perspective, with the reality of heaven and eternity clearly in mind. When we give, we’re investing in eternity. When we fail to give, we’re manifesting more hope for today than hope in tomorrow–more belief in earth than faith in heaven. But our struggle is not only an earthly perspective, it is also . . .

Second  A weak view of God

Turn to Revelation chapter 4. We often forget who God is, so when we give ten bucks a week, we think we’re really doing God a favor, doing our duty, or making some huge sacrifice–when it’s God who owns everything anyway, right? Who gave you life? God. Then Who gave you eternal life? God. Revelation 4 and 5 tell us we’ll worship God forever for giving us life, and worship Him forever for giving us eternal life.

Revelation 4:11, “Worthy art Thou, our Lord and our God, to receive glory and honor and power; for Thou didst create all things, and because of Thy will they existed, and were created.” Then in chapter 5 and verse 12, “Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing.”

All true Christians are doubly indebted to God, Who not only gave us life, but after we rebelled in our sins, He sought us out and bought us back so we could have eternal life with Christ in heavenly bliss. That is why 1 Corinthians 6:19 says, “You are not your own,” or 1 Corinthians 4:7, “What do you have that you did not receive?” There’s nothing we give to God that we did not first receive from Him.

This is true in every area of life. God gives us gifts so we can give to Him in ministry. God gives us love so we can love Him and others. God gives us joy so we can enjoy Him and share that joy. God gives us material gain in order to give to Him and others. God gave us life, then new life, to give our lives to Him.

Everything we have, and everything we are, belongs to God. Your body belongs to God. Your ability, your job, your time is all a gift from God. Psalm 50:12 tells us “the world is [God’s] and all it contains.” And verse 10 tells us “the cattle on a thousand hills” belong to Him. God’s not broke–He owns it all and it’s our responsibility to be good stewards of what He has given to us for His glory.

He has given some things to you to manage for Him. And part of that management involves giving your resources for His work in the world, to and through the Church. All you and I give was first given to us by God. But because of a weak view of God and a worldly perspective, we struggle with giving. And we struggle because we’re . . .

Third  Unwilling to surrender our lives to Christ

Like Romans 12 urges us, “I urge you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship.” Because Christ gave His life for us, which can never be taken away from us, God calls us to give our lives to Him. And what is the acid test of the reality of your surrender? What’s the absolute proof you’ve given your heart to Christ, where your life is surrendered to him?

Jesus told us, in Matthew 6:21, “For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” Why do we struggle with giving? Simply because we have a heart problem. Our hearts are not His–we have not surrendered our life to Christ. In Luke 9:23 Jesus didn’t say, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow Me–but that doesn’t involve your paycheck.” No, Jesus did say in Luke 14:33, “None of you can be My disciple who does not give up all his own possessions.” Then why do Christians give?

#2  Why do we give to God?

Why does Jesus teach about money more than heaven or hell combined? Why do Christians give their money to the Church? And to make it more personal, what does God think about your giving patterns? A lot of us have one goal in life–to get more. We believe Satan’s lie which says, “If I could only have this [fill in the blank] then I’d be happy”–more money, a better car, nicer clothes, exotic travel, more diamonds, a bigger flat screen, louder speakers, a faster computer. But Jesus said, “It’s more blessed [happy] to give than to receive.” God says giving makes you happier–why? Jesus shows us we can’t separate our finances from our commitment to God.

First  Our commitment follows our giving

Matthew 6:21, “For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” Where you put your finances is where your heart is at. If it’s all about yourself, your Starbucks coffee, your car, your family, your earthly future, your pleasure–that’s your heart. But if it’s all about Christ, His Church, His work–that’s your heart. There is an unbreakable link between your giving and your heart for Christ. Yet many Christians act like they can be in leadership in the church, consider themselves a mature Christian, without it altering their finances. That is a lie.

We come up with little clichés like: the church is always asking for money. No, it’s not. This church isn’t. Why did you say that? What protective screen are you putting up to protect your own interests? The Word of God boldly teaches us about giving, and since we teach the whole Bible here, we’ll teach on money.

Second  Our giving brings reward

Turn to Matthew chapter 6. Many of us have worked hard and have received some form of earthly reward–a thank you note, a gift, higher salary or a blessing that we never expected. Others of us have worked hard and have received little. But one day God will straighten it all out, for He is going to give us an eternal, heavenly reward. Why do I give my money? For a heavenly reward–verse 4 says, “That your alms may be in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will repay you.”

Is God going to reward you for what you’ve done? You bet. No cup of cold water given in His name will miss being rewarded by our Father in the future, if given with the right motive and in His strength. Friends, as you give to the ministry of the Church, you share in the eternal reward of every soul saved, every church planted, every leader trained and sent out, and every Christ-like change. You’re a part of it as you give–a reward that lasts forever. Turn over to 1 Corinthians 9 to see why else we give.

Third  Our giving supports those who preach the Gospel, and to plant churches

Turn to 1 Corinthians 9. I’m for helping everybody, but I have a real hesitancy supporting any organization that doesn’t tell people how to go to Heaven. I can give all of my money to help someone in poverty, feed the hungry, or medically heal them–but if they go to Hell, what’ve I done for them ultimately? Nothing. Sure I’ve honored Christ, but ultimately, their eternal salvation must be my greatest concern.

Never forget everyone’s greatest need is salvation, and God wants us to take as many men and women, boys and girls to Heaven with us as we possibly can. I believe God has given us a responsibility to care for creation, but I don’t understand the Christians who give all their money to “pet the piggies”, “kiss the kitties”, and “disciple the doggies”. How can we, when so many people–eternal people, people who will live forever are headed for eternal punishment in Hell.

First Corinthians 9 is summarized in verse 14, “So also the Lord directed [not suggested, but commanded] those who proclaim the gospel to get their living from the gospel.” We need to support the work of the Gospel, those who preach the Gospel and establish churches worldwide. Be careful giving to those who do good things in the name of Christ, but then undermine the authority of the Word of God, teach a shallow Gospel, and don’t see the Church as the primary place to reach the world.

Missions is doing Church elsewhere–let’s support God’s plan, the Church, God’s Gospel and God’s Word being taught accurately. Giving shows our commitment–we receive eternal reward. And giving supports those who preach the Gospel. We could also add, we honor God, receive earthly blessing and supply the needs of others by giving. But the entire reason we give is summarized under . . .

Fourth  Our giving glorifies God

Turn to 2 Corinthians 9. When you give your money, you glorify God. You say, “How does that work, Chris?” Second Corinthians 9:7 to 11 says God gives you all He has, and God has blest you the way He has, because He wants you to be generous. Look at verse 12, “This service [this offering] that you perform is not only supplying the needs of God’s people, but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God.” Verse 13 says, because of the service by which you have proved yourselves, men will glorify God for your generosity in sharing with them and with everyone else.

I know missionaries who prayed for God to meet their needs without telling anyone else. When a church met that need, they praised God for His answered prayer. They gave God glory. The church meeting the need didn’t think much about it, but because the missionaries were praying for it, they praised God for it. They gave God glory for meeting a need. God gets glorified, thanked, honored and praised as we give. Are you a faithful giver? You ask, what does that mean?

#3  How do we give money to God?

The Bible talks about three different levels of giving–own them. Level one is for every believing collegian and Christian family and is found in 1 Corinthians 16:1 to 4. Turn there now.

Level 1–Regular Giving

Verse one tells us our regular giving is to be given to and through the local church, and verse 2 tells us how. Verse 2, “On the first day of every week, let each one of you put aside and save, as he may prosper, that no collections be made when I come.” How do we give to God?

First  The Period—Weekly

Verse 2 says the most appropriate period for giving is weekly, on the first day of every week. God’s Word says our giving should be systematic. “Let each one of you put aside and save”–set aside the money for your offering “on the first day of every week.” Our giving should not be based on periodic, emotional appeals, bonus income, thermometers, or passionate cries for help, but a faithful, willing commitment of our possessions to the Lord, to His people, for His work–for His glory.

Now this isn’t a legalistic standard to make sure you drop something in the plate each week–especially for those who are paid monthly or irregularly. But giving is a part of worship—it’s a part of being a New Covenant priest offering up spiritual sacrifices to God. And even when we have nothing to give on a particular Sunday, we should be sensitive to the needs of the church, and to our part in meeting them. The tense of the phrase, “let each one of you put aside and save,” literally calls us to “keep putting aside and saving.” Our giving is to be a consistent, regular part of our worship.

Let me ask you—“Do you support your church faithfully?” But you say, “God can’t possibly be speaking to me! I’m broke, poor. We’re new. Or . . . I’m on Social Security. Or . . . I’m in High School and need my lunch money–#starving.” Who is God talking to here?

Second  The Participants–Each one of you

Look at verse 2 again—“on the first day of every week, let each one of you.” That’s pretty all-inclusive. God through Paul makes it clear here no Christian is excepted or excused. Giving isn’t just for the wealthy, long-standing members, or only for adults. Every single genuine Christian is to give. Our generosity to the Lord’s work is best determined by what we give when we have little. We’re still stewards of whatever the Lord has given us, no matter how little it may be in economic terms. Are you contributing to the financial health of your local church?

But where’re we supposed to invest our treasure so it counts for heaven? Some will say, “I use my child’s camp fee as my offering. Or I buy Christian T-shirts as my offering. I help short term teams.” Where does God say our regular giving goes?

Third  The Place–The Church

Just as giving is primarily for the church, it’s also primarily to and through the church. In the first account of Christian giving, in Acts 2: when the Church was new and unorganized, Christians shared directly with each other as needs arose. Shortly after that time, in Acts 4:35, 37, Christians began bringing gifts to the apostles for them to distribute. The basic pattern established in Acts was to bring offerings to the church to be disbursed as the leaders saw fit–they are the ones who are aware of all the needs. Paul says the same thing in verse 2.

“On the first day of every week,” implies giving as a part of Christian worship on Sunday. Then to say in verse 2, “let each one of you put aside and save,” refers to a storehouse, or a treasury where valuables are stored. The church had a safe, a designated place to put the offerings that people brought as part of their worship. The first day of the week is the day of worship, telling us how believers handle their money is completely tied to the depth of their worship–that means if we don’t give properly, we aren’t worshiping properly.

As Jesus said in Luke 16:10 to 11, “He who is faithful in a very little thing is faithful also in much. If therefore you have not been faithful in the use of unrighteous mammon [money], who will entrust the true riches to you?” Many Christians are ineffective for Christ because they’re untrustworthy with material things. As you examine how you give, you’ll know whether you’re trustworthy to minister to people, who’re much more valuable than money. But how much are we to give at level one? What does God say?

Fourth  The Proportion–as you may prosper

Verse 2 says, “on the first day of every week, let each one of you put aside and save, as he may prosper.” Giving is to be proportionate to what we receive. “As you may prosper” means according to how well you’re doing. But how much of my check–what percentage? The Old Testament required over 25% to 33% a year for festivals, taxes, the poor and supporting the priesthood. Then beyond that, they’d give some freewill offerings.

In Christ, in this age, true giving is by grace–you’re not under law, nor are you without the law of love. That means your giving is not because you have to, nor because you ought to–but believers give because they want to. Do you really want to? Are you faithful?

If you’re looking for a starting place, 10% is generally accepted as a target for believers. Sadly, 20% claim to give 10%–but in the US, only 3% actually do. Charitable giving in the US is down to less than 1 percent, and average giving in Bible-believing churches is about 2.9%. But New Testament giving is defined by two key terms, showing two crucial attitudes of New Testament giving.

Attitude #1  Giving is to be Sacrificial

Like our Savior, who as the Holy Son of God became, on the cross, an object of God’s wrath for your sake–because of that kind of sacrifice, we’re to be sacrificial in our giving to Him. As 2 Corinthians 8:9 says, “For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sake He became poor, that you through His poverty might become rich.” Giving is to be like Christ, sacrificial–which is different for each person here . . . a different amount, but the same universal commitment, sacrificial.

Attitude #2  Giving is also to be Joyful, even hilarious

As 2 Corinthians 9:7 says, “Let each one do just as he has purposed in his heart; not grudgingly or under compulsion; for God loves a cheerful giver.” The word cheerful is hilaros, where we get our word hilarious. God wants us to give with joy, freely, not because we have to or ought to, but want to. The amount of our paychecks may differ, but we should all have the same attitude toward giving–sacrificial and joyful.

Do you give cheerfully? Or when the offering plate is passed, do you have to forcibly remove your whitened knuckles from around the check or that cash? Is your giving a joyful sacrifice? Is it “1/10th of a percent or 3% sacrificial”? Is it your “best” lamb, or your “leftovers.” And is it given with grateful joy?

And remember, sacrificial is different for each person–what does it mean to sacrifice for you? Some of you need to consider. Ten percent is not the end of giving, it’s the start. I follow the example of others and seek to have our percentage of giving increase from year to year. So with a raise, we do not merely give more to maintain a percentage, but give a higher percentage of the total. Why? I was taught, giving affects eternity–do you? That’s the joy of giving. But 10% is a good starting target for level one regular giving.

Giving is definitely by grace, and always done with joy. And giving is between you and God–but friends, biblically God expects you to know what proportion you give as you may prosper. So ask God what He would have you do? When Jesus has your heart, you’ll give generously from the heart.

Level 1  God calls every Christian to joyful, faithful, sacrificial giving

Friends, that means with each paycheck God gets the first part. I was taught, with each payday at the Mueller’s, the first check we write is to the Lord, to give Him the honor He’s due. God doesn’t want my money, He wants my heart–but if my heart is His, He’ll be first with my money, every pay period, with every raise, in my financial planning, even in my will. God is first.

Do you have growing to do with your giving? Do we? Sure. At the beginning of the year, during our membership series, we did an 11% Sunday. Our giving that day shot up $20,000. And it immediately, went back down to our normal weekly amount. Regular giving to the church should be consistent, joyful and sacrificial. But with giving, there will be additional times when we have . . .

Level 2  Free Will, Special Giving

This is always over and above regular level one giving. In addition to level one giving (never instead of), at times the Holy Spirit will direct you or us to give at special times and in special ways. It could be to help a church in crisis, or to accomplish a special project. Even Israel had freewill offerings God called for when He commanded Moses to build the Tabernacle. In Exodus 25:1 to 2 God says, “Tell the Israelites to bring me an offering. You are to receive the offering for me from each man whose heart prompts him to give.”

Freewill–this is always over and above regular giving. Israel never took their regular offering and gave it to a short-term teamer or another project, because their festivals would not continue–the priests would suffer and the poor would starve. Special giving is always in addition to, over and above regular giving. These are the times when God moves you or us to give to a needy person or to a special project. In some Russian churches they actually take jewelry offerings, where gold and diamonds are collected, then sold to pay for a special project. Sometimes Christians donate cars, houses, savings, bonds, gold, jewelry, land, and other things.

Level 1  Regular giving for every Christian young and old

Level 2  Special giving at times, over and above, and . . .

Level 3  Abandoned Giving

Turn over to 2 Corinthians 8 and look at the example of the impoverished Macedonians in verses 1 to 2, “And now, brothers, we want you to know about the grace that God has given the Macedonian churches. Out of the most severe trial, their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity.” The Greek word used for “their extreme poverty” is where we derive the English word “bathysphere”, referring to depth.

The Macedonians were at the bottom depth of poverty–they were really poor. Being poor doesn’t mean thinking twice before going out to dinner, but it means being uncertain as to whether you’ll be able to feed your family at all. The Macedonians were under the most severe trial. Literally, they were being squeezed by the difficulties of their life. Their situation was impossible: grinding poverty and severe trials. But out of it came incredible grace. In spite of their extreme poverty and severe trials, they had an overflowing joy that “welled up into a rich generosity.” This was the grace of giving.

But this is nothing–listen to what else Paul says about them in verses 3 and 4. “For I testify that they gave as much as they were able, and even beyond their ability.” Entirely on their own, they urgently pleaded with us for the privilege of sharing in this service to the saints. They gave “beyond [literally contrary to] their ability.” They pleaded with Paul to give–not Paul pleading with them. Can you hear these starving folks, “Please, let us give, Paul!”–a congregation pleading with its leaders to let them give more.

The grace of giving has nothing to do with being well-off. It’s not dictated by ability. It’s a willingness to give. Giving is viewed as a privilege–it’s a joyously enthusiastic attitude that pleads for the opportunity to give more. What produces such giving? Paul gives the answer in verse 5. “And they did not do as we expected, but they gave themselves first to the Lord and then to us in keeping with God’s will.” Their remarkable giving was the result of their first giving themselves to God. It’s so simple–when someone has given all to God, giving to others becomes the natural reflex. You see, it’s easy to surrender part when you’ve already given the whole. They gave what they couldn’t afford to give, and trusted God to provide.

I knew of a super poor couple, who learned of an even poorer couple who had a $70 need. They gave the $70 anonymously, trusting the Lord to provide their daily needs. Within days, they received a $100 check in the mail from a totally different source. All giving starts with our Lord, who gave us everything we have. Aren’t you thankful we have a giving God–for life and eternal life? Our Lord Jesus gave, and continually gives to you and me every day. Romans 8:31 and 32, “If God is for us who is against us, He who did not spare His own Son . . . will He not also with Him, freely give us all things?”

Galatians 1:3 to 4 says, “The Lord Jesus Christ who gave Himself for our sins.” God is a giving God. Jesus gave up His very life for us on the cross–therefore, in contrast to our culture and in order to bring God glory, the Bible calls all who love Jesus, to give like Jesus gave. So ask the LORD today . . .

1  What does my giving tell me about my heart before God?

If the Lord Jesus Christ had to determine your love for Him merely on the basis of your giving, what would He conclude? Your true heart for Christ is seen by what you give. Jesus says in Luke 12:34, “For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” To know how committed you are to Christ, just look at your giving. Do you have a heart problem? Maybe you need a new heart that only turning to Christ can give, or you need to repent of the sin of greed and selfishness, and start giving sacrificially, faithfully and joyously today.

Have you been exposed as one who lives only for themselves? Your treasure tells you where your heart is. Christ gave everything to you, and today He calls you to give your life to Him. If your finances are a mess, then get help now, talking to a deacon, elder, RMG or ministry leader—today.

2  Is my giving a joy?

I was mentored under a man who has the gift of giving. I married someone with the gift of giving. I’ve learned the joy of giving, though I am not gifted at it. I also love what giving can do–there is a lot FBC wants to do. We want to plant churches locally, nationally and internationally, and we are on our way. We want to send out trained pastors to serve Christ’s Church. We want to send and support families from this church as missionaries to establish Christ’s Church in foreign lands.

We want to send out pastoral trainers, who can come alongside nationals, and train them as pastors with the training center. We’re dreaming about having our own food pantry, our own sonogram machine to help convince women to keep their unborn babies, a facility that is focused on evangelism every day of the week and serving our community in untold as yet ways, using the Word of God, the Gospel of God for the glory of God. All of that is costly. Yet it will come to the church that believes in the joy of giving.

Friends, you know we’re a church of about 900 with two full-time pastors. If you know us, you are convinced our elders are careful stewards of God’s money given by you. Our prayer today is to see God do great things through you–for God to use this church to do amazing things for His glory. Part of that is conditioned by how you give.

Ephesians 3:20 and 21 say, “Now to Him who is able to do exceeding abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, 21 to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen.”

 

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ABOUT THIS PREACHER

Chris is the teaching pastor at Faith Bible Church – Murrieta.

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