Making a Living So We Can Enjoy Giving – 1 Timothy 6
The 2nd message in The Generous Life sermon series.
Last week was a great day for our church.
We had a really great crowd here.
The parking lot was full, the sanctuary was full, the overflow was full, we ran out of tables to eat at, but we did not run out of food.
It was our highest Anniversary Sunday count, but it’s only the 3rd highest day of this year. Easter and VBS Sunday were larger.
Easter didn’t feel as packed because we did 2 services. VBS Sunday didn’t feel as packed because we had 40 kids in Childrens church.
Here’s whats crazy about last week, we didn’t have a real big number of guests- and the guest we did have for the most part were not first time guests. What we had last week was mainly made up of people who ought to be here every week.
Right now we have a very large crowd- a large group that is affiliated with our church, that if you were to run into them at the grocery store and invite them to church they would say, oh thanks but I go to Faith Church in Chandler…
We need to see more people move from the crowd to the congregation and from the congregation to the committed and eventually to the core.
Here are the steps:
Last week I invited everyone to be a part of the New Core Group.
some next steps that I’d like for everyone to consider are the following:
- Believe in Jesus
Before we can talk about taking steps to be more involved we need to talk about the most important step of all, believing in Jesus. It’s a commitment to trust Jesus with your life and follow Him. It’s the invitation that Matthew accepted when He walked away from everything and followed Jesus. It’s the invitation that you need to accept. It’s the most important step of this process and it is the most important step of your life. Following Jesus is not only the first step in becoming a part of our church, it is the most important step of your life.
2. Grow in a group
We have classes for every age at 9:30 on Sunday mornings. These classes all cover the same biblical theme so families can discuss what they learned through the week.
We have Bible Studies for every age on Wednesday nights, plus a group for those needing to take the steps of recovery.
3. Serve on a team.
The entry level on serving is at an event- like at Trunk or Treat, the upcoming Christmas parade, etc. These are a one time commitment and usually require little prep.
The next level of serving is to join a ministry team. We’ve got sound and media team, worship/music team, facilities and maintenance team, teaching team, kids ministry team, etc.
We are introducing team meetings over the next couple of months and starting in 2017 we will give one Sunday night a month to bring all teams together to spend 15 minutes on vision and strategy for everyone serving and then break into the different teams to meet for 30 minutes with their specific team, discussing ideas/issue that pertain to their particular ministry.
4. Give to the cause.
The next few Sundays are going to be focused on finances. There are many people who would like to give, but they find themselves in a financial situation where they are unable to give.
I hope to cover some basic money principles from God’s word that will help everyone who wants to give be able to give and encourage everyone to is able to give to make the commitment to give.
Now, this process isn’t going to be easy. It shouldn’t be. It shouldn’t be something you can do in your sleep, it needs to be a commitment on your part. The first difficulty is going to be listening to a sermon on money.
Money is a difficult subject. People say it’s not polite to talk about politics and religion, however people talk about this all the time in a very personal way but few people talk about their personal finances.
You’ve probably never said, I’m rich. But you’ve probably said I’m broke. Even at the point in your life that you had the most money or the best income, you probably didn’t consider yourself rich. However, by most standards some of you were or are-but even me saying that feels a little uncomfortable.
What you have probably said is, They’re rich. They’re loaded. It’s easier for us to make judgment calls about other people’s finances even though we know very little about it and hard for us to make the judgments about us even though we know the most about our own…
You’ve probably never said about yourself, I’m a cheapskate, I’m stingy, but you’ve probably said it about other people.“Oh man, he is soon cheap.” “I can’t believe how stingy he is, he is clearly loaded.”
“Nothing confounds the human heart quite like money.”
– Carey Nieuwhoff.
We see this all the time- people make statements, take stands, choose sides in politics, sports, and business and then suddenly change their stance, position, or team and we quickly find out why.
I remember years ago listening to sports radio and people were talking about some major changes that a team had made that didn’t seem to make any sense. They were asking why would they do this? Why would they get rid of their best young recruits? Why would they move to a new city?Tony Kornheiser said, the answer to all of your questions is money, money, money.
Money is a great motivator, right?
Be honest, for many of you the only reason you’re going to work tomorrow is because they’re going to pay you for it. Because money is so confounds and motivates our hearts, because our lives are so wrapped up with it, the other part of this Nieuwhoff quote is true.
“Nothing confounds the human heart quite like money.”
“When you trust God with your money, you’re finally trusting God.”
– Carey Nieuwhoff.
Some of you right now you would say, oh I trust God. But do you? If you were to say to me, Pastor Daniel, I trust you. I’ll confide to you my deepest darkest secrets and come to your for advice.What if then I said, Can I borrow $100? I’ll pay you back next week.
That’s a different feeling isn’t it…
Money wraps itself around our hearts and eventually it will choke out our generosity, gratitude, kindness, and joy. Paul wrote to Timothy a younger pastor and encouraged him to lead his church well and he said this to him in 1 Timothy 6:9-10. He was saying, Timothy money can be quite the dangerous trap. Back up a few verses to 6 and read through verse 8. Paul is telling Timothy- Godliness and Contentment are a wonderful combination. When you believe in God and you trust Him to take care of you, you’re happy with what you have, it’s a beautiful thing- but a love for money is evil and dangerous. So how do they combat this?
Look down at verses 17-19.
Many, many years ago a guy visited the church and it just so happen that he showed up right as we started a series on money, of course. I met him for coffee and he said, so is the church about to start a building campaign.
Is the church about to hire a staff member?
Is the church trying to pay off some debt?
No… Why do you ask.
He said, well you just started this series on money so I figured there was some major expense you were trying to raise funds for…
I want you to know I’m not talking about money today because there is something that we want to build or buy. We just had the carpet put down and when the trim goes in over it this week it will mark the completion of our foyer project and we’ve paid for it in cash as we’ve gone. We’ve afforded this because so much of the work has been done by our volunteers.
I’m not talking to you about money this morning because I want something from you, I’m talking about money this morning because I want something for you. I want you to be invested here. I want you to be bought in to the mission- I want you to be all in on the difference we are trying to make here in the community. I want you to own it.
Giving to the mission of the church makes you “own it.”
I’m not talking about ownership in a “this is mine!” type of attitude, I’m talking about ownership in the sense that you are committed, you care….
Craig Groeschel told the story of a time he tried to go into a sandwich shop to buy some food for a bunch of volunteers that were working at the church. He said, I got there at 7:55 and said I need to order 30 sandwiches. The lady said, I’m sorry we are closing. He said the owner would have said, 30 sandwiches! Great! A huge sale! but the employee said, I’m getting off in 5 minutes, I’m not doing that….
I don’t want you to say, I just attend at Faith Church. I want you to be all in.
I don’t just want you to be able to give, I want you to BE RICH.
Paul said in verse 18
18That they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute
BE RICH! God wants you to truly be rich. Rich in good works. Ready to distribute.
God wants you to be in a place where you have money in your pocket ready to give to a need, ready to be generous with. Because I want something for you- I’m going to share with you 3 of the major financial issues that Scripture addresses again and again.
They are reoccurring in scripture because they’re common issues. I believe that for many of you, you want to give but you’re convinced that you can’t.
It’s difficult to be faithful in giving when you’re struggling to make a living.
I want to help you this morning so that nothing hinders your giving but also so that you’re able to pay for next vacation in cash, so that when you’re car breaks down you don’t have to borrow money from your parents to fix it, so that you can watch your retirement funds grow instead of wondering where you’ll be working at age 75.
So let’s cover these 3 reoccurring issues.
- Your eyes are bigger than your check.
Whenever I would put more on my plate than I could eat, my grandmother would say, “your eyes were bigger than your stomach.” The bad news is that my stomach caught up with my eyes. For many, your eyes are bigger than your check. You want stuff that you can not afford. You buy stuff that you can not afford. And whenever your check catches up to your eyes, your eyes just get bigger. You’ve got richer tastes than you did a last pay raise. Your extra income wasn’t extra because it just went to pay for the stuff you had already bought.
10 He that loveth silver shall not be satisfied with silver; nor he that loveth abundance with increase: this is also vanity.
Your paycheck will never catch up with your wants and desires.
Right now some of you are scheming for that next pay raise or promotion because you figure when you get that, then you’ll have the money you need to get what you want, do what you want.
You’ll never be satisfied with more if you don’t learn to be content with what you have.
In Luke 12:15 Jesus said,
a man’s life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth.
Now some of you are thinking, well Pastor Daniel it’s not like I just want lots and lots of stuff, I just want the basic necessities…
Would you consider that in a materialistic culture like ours that materialism is considered normal?
The average person owns a little more than 3 times as many outfits as the average person of decades ago.
The average size of home has increased dramatically and still we don’t have enough room for all of our stuff so
only 25% of garages have enough room for a car to be parked in them…
Storage units are being built everywhere because we don’t have enough room for all our stuff in our homes or garages or sheds.
- Your pockets have holes in them.
Some of you have never held onto money for longer than a month.
You can’t miss a day of work because you’re already out of last paychecks money.
I like what I read someone say online,
our family used to live paycheck to paycheck but through determination and handwork we now live direct deposit to direct deposit.
That’s right where most of you live.
You’re money is gone immediately.
You put it your pocket and it’s gone.
5 The thoughts of the diligent tend only to plenteousness; but of every one that is hasty only to want.
Hastiness leads to poverty.
Proverbs 23:5 says
for riches certainly make themselves wings; they fly away as an eagle toward heaven.
Money disappears fast enough all on its own, but some of you are helping it out.
For some of you, you’re only budget is pay these 6 bills that are past due and then do what you want with what’s left.
Your already looking forward to getting your tax refund and it will be gone within the month.
You’ll be flush with cash for 4 to 6 weeks, maybe and then by summer you’ll be living check to check.
You should have budget- a plan for your money that includes saving at least 10%.
For some of you that might mean doing an envelope system.
For others, it might look like having a an automatic withdrawal from your checking account into a savings account the day after your get paid.
Now right now you’re thinking, well I really need to spend that money. We needed this or that. It has actually saved us money in the long run, I think…
back in the 70’s and 80’s the American car manufacturing industry was losing ground to Japanese made automobiles at an incredible rate. A few American car executives went to Japan to tour the Japanese car plants.
They noticed at the end of the line where the doors were put on that the worker didn’t carry a rubber mallet.
In the US the guy who put on the door always had a big rubber mallet to knock the door into place because it wouldn’t quite fit or would be snug and he’d use the mallet to push it in.
One of the executives asked, how does he make sure the door will go in all the way and close if he doesn’t have a mallet?
The tour guide was perplexed by this question and simply responded, we make sure the door will fit when we design it.
They had taken the time in design and development and they didn’t have to beat it in later.
Many times we don’t follow a financial plan, we just do what feels right or what we want, and then we break out the rubber mallet and we beat the decision into making sense.
We rationalize our hasty purchase.
We are experts at justifying the decision that we want to make.
“Well, I needed a new car to drive to work because you’ve got to have reliable transportation. yeah, I’ve barely got any money left over because I can hardly afford the payment, but you know I’ve just got to have this.”
“Well, this vacation was more expensive than we had planned, but we figured if we are going to do this, we want to go all out, and we won’t be taking another trip for a long time- I mean I know we said that 6 months ago, but the deal that we got on the hotel room was something we just couldn’t pass up.”
“Yeah this furniture was pretty expensive and a lot more than we planned on spending, but they gave us such a great deal. We saved so much money by spending more than we have on hand, but it’s no big deal because they have great financing options.”
- Your back is broken by debt.
Have you ever seen the offices and headquarters of places that loan money. They didn’t make enough money to build those monstrosities by merely giving you money and you paying them back, they make their money on the interest.
Whenever you finance something, you are paying more for it.
You are giving someone money.
The rich ruleth over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender.
Taking on debt so that we can get what we want now sounds great, until you consider just how much more you are paying to have it now.
Right now, many of you are so bound by your debt that you are trapped and the only way out is to make some radical changes.
This doesn’t sound like any fun, but it will bring you freedom.
I remember seeing a guy make a half court shot and winning a large sum of money and they asked, what are you going to do with the money!?
I’m going to pay off my student loans.
The announcer was like, oh…
His facial expression read, “Boring!”
But if that guy owed $50k at the standard rate for student loans and still had 10 years to go, he just saved another $10k.
His $50k half court shot became a $60k half court shot!
Act your wage.
Make a budget that includes giving & saving
Speak with a debt counsellor or develop a debt snowball plan