In last Sunday’s sermon we looked at the Bible verse that teaches us that “money is the root of all evil.” Or at least that’s what we’ve heard that it teaches.
In reality, that’s not what Scripture teaches at all. People often leave out the first few words from that familiar verse (1 Timothy 6:10), which changes the meaning altogether. As we discussed on Sunday, the verse really says: “The love of money is the root of all evil.” In other words, it’s our attitude about money that brings the trouble. That’s why I believe Sunday’s message on contentment was so important; because how we view our money and possessions drives so much of what we do.
And that is even true in churches. That’s why many people get uncomfortable when they hear a preacher talking about money. Once you’ve heard that guilt-laden, high-pressure sermon to dig a little deeper and ante up a little more when the church coffers are running short, you never are too sure about the motive behind the “thus saith the Lord.”
All of us have seen one too many preachers on television, pleading for a donation to keep their program on the air. So they can use their time on the air to plead for more donations to keep the program on the air, and on and on they go. And most have mastered the art of manipulating Scripture to convince you to send your money to them.
Some will even tell you that God will give back tenfold if you give to their ministry; that if you give $100, God will give back $1,000. I’ve always wanted to give them a call and tell them to send me the $100 and let God give them $1,000. I have a feeling their theology would not match their practice.
For many of us, financial issues continue to plague us and we never seem to be able to get ahead. As the old saying goes, “Money talks”– and usually what it says is, “Goodbye.”
I also believe that the reason many people still struggle so much financially is their attitude about money, especially when their security is wrapped up in the wrong things. They haven’t learned the secret of releasing their finances back to God and trusting Him with their money. And giving back to Him–however uncomfortable it may be to hear a preacher talk about it–is still the way God helps us truly release it. Christian giving is always seen in Scripture as a blessing, not a burden.
With that in mind, I come before you with news of a great opportunity to get blessed. The Church at Shelby Crossings needs your faithful tithes and offerings to sustain this ministry, and even more so, to move forward into other areas of ministry where we’re currently limited. We seek to be good stewards of the resources God provides, and will continue to do so, but we also ask that you give cheerfully and generously–and obediently–in support of your church.
I’m not promising any exponential returns just yet–at least not on this side of heaven–though I do believe the Scripture promises God’s blessings on those who are obedient with their money. But more than anything, it is an opportunity to lay up for yourself treasures in heaven, and make an investment that will last an eternity.
I also hope you’ll continue to pray for the Lord’s blessings on our church and His provision for our ministry needs, that “our God shall supply all of our needs according to His riches in glory.” (Phil. 4:19) It’s a privilege to be your pastor, and I look forward to seeing you this Sunday.