Our church has been going through a series called Replicate, looking at what Jesus taught about discipleship in the book of Matthew. This past Sunday, our Lead Pastor preached on some practical next steps after our hearts have been changed and moved towards discipleship. This is a 3 part blog series that I wrote for our church on these next steps:
We are each given the task and responsibility of stewarding our finances well. Money is a gift from God, but money can also be used to our disadvantage if we are not careful. 1 Timothy 6:10 says this: “For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils.” Paul doesn’t tell Timothy that money in itself is evil, but he does tell him that the love of money is evil. We know that money itself cannot be evil, and it is a good thing. Making money is how we take care of ourselves and provide for our needs and families. The jobs that we work give us money, which is a good and honorable thing to the Lord. The question is, though, how are we managing and using our money?
In Matthew 6, Jesus teaches on the importance of giving to the needy. As we all know, there are people in need all around us. Christians are called to go and meet the needs of other people, but we must do so with discernment and wisdom. When we do meet a need, it should be done with humility and obedience. Jesus speaks of the importance of not giving so that you can feel as if you did something amazing, or you deserve some kind of attention. Rather, we are to give only through obedience and love for Jesus and others. How we spend our money is a reflection of our hearts, which only God can see.
Not only are we to give to others generously, but we are also to give generously to the Lord and His church. The local church is the primary means by which we can and should give back to God. Just as we have been given what we earn financially through work, God then calls us to give a portion of that amount back to him through the ministry of His church. In Genesis 28, Jacob declares that he will give back to God a tenth of everything he receives: “And this stone, which I have set up for a pillar, shall be God’s house. And of all that you give me I will give a full tenth to you.” We see this pattern repeatedly in Scripture, of God’s people giving back to God. The point of this is not to necessarily just give 10% all of the time, but rather set it as a commitment and standard to begin at, and then give more as we are given more. At Vintage Church, we say constantly that “Your generous giving is changing lives!” This statement is 100% true. We will never fully understand the impact that our giving has on the lives of others, but we know that God uses it to advance His Kingdom.
To look at some previous resources that Vintage Church has shared on giving and stewarding our finances, check out: