God-Reliance v. Self-Reliance
Stewardship Month 2018
Shhhhh . . . . don't let anyone know about our topic at West Pines for the next three weeks. (November 4, 11, 18) It's about money. But shhhhh . . . I don't want anybody taking a 3-week vacation from church and missing this vital subject. After all, you've heard it before . . . that "Jesus taught more about money than about heaven and hell."
Yep, this Sunday, November 4, we begin our annual tradition of Harvest/Stewardship month. I will be preaching on Biblical principles of how we make money and how we spend money. Jesus said how we spend our money is a reflection of our heart ("where your heart is"), so it's important to look into our finances as individuals and as a church to see "where is your heart"?
Our focus this week will be on my responsibilities as a pastor concerning church finances. The outline will look like this:
Pastor Paul's Responsibilities
1. Preach "the whole counsel of God" (Acts 20:27)
2. Educate the uninformed (Matthew 23:23; 1 Corinthians 16:1-2)
3. Motivate the informed to Biblical obedience (Proverbs 3:5-12)
In light of my responsibility to preach the whole counsel of God -- "All the stuff in the Bible: the good, the bad and the convicting" as one pastor put it -- I will be preaching on money and where West Pines stands financially at this point.
You'll hear that we 're not doing great.
You'll hear that your giving (all of our giving) is vital.
You'll hear that God really does want to bless you.
I end my blog this week with some personal insight and concern that comes with preaching about money in 2018.
The honest truth is this: I have more fear and anxiety preaching about money this year than I've ever had before, and I've been doing this for over 20 years here at West Pines.
Why the fear??? Why the anxiety???
I believe there has been a significant shift in our culture from being God-reliant to being self-reliant. And in our church as well. Being God-reliant allows me to recognize that all I have is from Him and He is the owner of it all, while I'm just the manager of God's blessings to me. Being self-reliant removes God as the owner and puts me in His seat. Now I own everything because I worked hard for it and I deserve it. It's mine--all mine.
The God-reliant person gives because they see who God is and who they aren't. The self-reliant person will reject and even scoff at Biblical principles of financial stewardship. The self-reliant person will not respond to the teachings of God's word about money until they know it's God's money and not their own.
So I guess it's the self-reliance issue that makes me anxious because, based on our financial position at West Pines right now, it seems like there are many who live less than God-reliant lives when it comes to money.
Come out Sunday at 9:30 or 11am and let's look together at Biblical teaching and see how trusting God (being God-reliant) pays the greatest dividends.
See you Sunday,