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“Churches Are Only Interested in Your $$”

So goes an objection of many people whose religious experience has been jaded by the desperate pleas and manipulative ploys of churches or TV preachers. There is some merit to this suspicion, but if you’ve been around the church for a while or read the Bible much, you understand that there is some obligation to give to the Lord. Two HUGE truths will shape your thinking about money and what the Lord “gets.” First, the Lord Jesus owns everything (Psalm 24:1). Christ’s lordship of your life means that he wants every bit of you including your pocketbook. You are just a manager of whatever
material resources he blesses you with. Second, we give because Christ gave (2 Corinthians 8:9). So…. We’re supposed to give as much as Jesus gave us? “Impossible!,” you might say. These timeless truths don’t give us the formula for giving that we often crave. Our mentality often is: “God, just tell me what I need to do or how far I can (or cannot) go without sinning against you.”

David A. Croteau’s booklet Tithing after the Cross steered me away from the “How much” question to the: ‘“Where can I cut my budget so I can give more to God’s work?”’ question. Many causes are lining up for our limited resources (especially this time of the year). Why should we dare even think of giving more to the Lord? In one
word: grace. If we spend time “soaking” in our Lord’s and his apostles’ teaching, we will discover that saving grace empowers us to serve and fuels us to generously give. The grace of God, in other words, produces an abundance of joy, generosity, and sacrificing
ourselves to God and for others.


1. Study the following Scriptures— Matthew 6:19-34; 2 Corinthians 8-9; 1 Tim 5:17-18; 6:6-10, 17-19 (and there are many others!). Then, read Randy Alcorn’s tiny book The Treasure Principle to further challenge you about giving.
2. Rejoice continually in God’s grace to you!
3. Remember that you are eternally indebted to love God with all that you are.
4. Repent of your greed and/or misuse of God’s money.
5. Radically yet responsibly re-direct your spending so that God is honored.

Posted by Will Pareja with

This Is a BORING Read…

Maybe. I want to get you thinking. I even want to excite you. God has given you a gift. In this very moment, you may not even realize it, but the gift you are using is so unimaginable and gloriously complex, yet it’s so stunningly simple.

Words.
Reading.
Literacy.

God has given you literacy. Something we all take for granted. Have you paused recently to thank God for that teacher that drilled phonics or made you trudge through Beowulf? When was the last time that you were “knocked over” by an author’s sheer power of
the pen? Have you thought that the gift of reading for you was not just a means of survival but a passport into lands that you have yet to discover?

Literacy is not just neurotically processing letters, spaces and punctuation. It is the stepping-stone to thoughts. Some thoughts utterly underwhelming; while others life-changing. Lately, I’ve been reading a book on… reading (go figure, right?!). You should
read it, too. Tony Reinke says in his book Lit!: “The gift of literacy is more profound than merely mastering literacy techniques, improving comprehension, and learning to speed-read. Fundamentally, literacy is a spiritual discipline that must overcome the spiritual darkness [ignorance] that veils us.”
Why read? Here are two reasons to chew on:


1. Because the Christian faith is a Word faith. How did creation come to be? By the simple words of God. He spoke, and it was. Probably one of the most used phrases in both testaments of the Bible is: “[God] said.” God “upholds the universe by the word of his power” (Hebrews 1:3). That great blessing of our salvation, justification, is none other than a declaration from God. We are made right with God by his very word. Jesus is called the Word (John 1:1-2).
2. Because the history of the world has hung on words. A lie in a garden. A curse to a snake. A dictator. A religious impostor. A space program. A declaration of freedom. Law(s). “I do.” A favorite brand slogan.

The truth is words can do much more than sticks or stones ever will. Stay tuned for more on reading and the Christian…

Posted by Will Pareja with

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