Churches always want “your” money because it’s a practical component to the work of the church and a practical way to exercise the soul. It’s Biblical and it’s good. Churches also want your time, talents and faith. Why? Because what we do with our body, time, and money are all soul acts. It’s why God cares about sex, schedules and “our” stuff.
The use of quotes is to reinforce the myth that anything we have is truly ours. Even our bodies are His (He made us and then redeemed us). The notion that our stuff is ours is foolish at best and costly in reality. Everything we are and have is given to us by God – we are blessed to be a blessing – and we are blessed when we become a blessing (though that isn’t our motivation, rather a result of God’s goodness).
This fall, put faith into action and be a blessing from that which you have been blessed. Faith in practice looks like this: 1) Bringing before God (via His Word and Spirit) all that He has given us (family, friends, finances, work or school, time, health, talents, possessions, citizenship, gender, circumstances, creation, etc.); 2) Saying thank you for these blessings; and 3) Inviting Jesus to lead us with all that we are and all that we have.
Warning! The result will be hard and awesome at the same time. Here are some of the arena’s of life to consider this week:
Your home. For Vancouverites, our prized possession. With your home, He might say sell it or give it. Or He might just say use it and invite your neighbours over for dinner. Most people in the Lower Mainland buy more than they can afford and it kills God’s plans for them. Owning a home is completely Biblical, but not if it requires compromise to God’s more important priorities. Instead of drawing our identity and security from our equity or curb appeal, surrender it to God.
Your time. For Vancouverites, our prized possession requires all our time (to pay for and maintain it). When was the last time you had time to invite a neighbour over for dinner or even just live a balanced life? How is God asking you to use your time? Is there time for devotions, family, and the Sabbath?
Your money. For Vancouverites, one of our secret shames. I read a couple years ago in the Vancouver Sun that the average British Columbian had over $38,000 in consumer debt plus their mortgage. The cost to this so much more than interest – consider the time, mental anguish, relational strain, and loss of opportunity. How is God asking you to use your money? His Word is very clear, proven, and liberating.
To borrow from Dave Ramsey, Christians live like no one else because they live like no one else. Christians awake daily to the reality that all they are and have belongs to God. And that changes how we live.
Is that your reality? I find I need to be reminded of this truth often. My motives and methods come loose with the friction and forces of self and Satan. I need the Word, Spirit and Church (we are to encourage one another and be examples to one another) to fasten me again and again to the way of the One that never moves – “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” (Heb 13:8 NIV).
My prayer for today is, “Lord, show me where to invest my life.”