a glimpse towards Sunday 8.21.15
My heart is heavy this morning.
I’m reading about 74 children crucified by ISIS for not fasting properly during Ramadan. I went to Google images to explore the reality of this horror. The dark clouds outside my office window punctuated the pit in my stomach. As I read through Isaiah 15, the graphic images were given holy words of our world’s present reality. There’s so much hurt and brokenness and need my coffee is trying to numb.
And then through a blog I like to read, thoughts were turned to Jon Oliver’s commentary on TV evangelists. I actually watched the Youtube video of Oliver’s relevant rant from his HBO show “Last Week Tonight.” WARNING: It’s pretty graphic … complete with “F” bombs and other colorful selections. Oliver’s words and the audience’s wholehearted, agreeing laughter point to how many will paint a very broad, prosperity gospel brush stroke over the entire big “C” church. Even though Oliver acknowledges the good of some 350,000 churches in America, the negative perception remains. For many, “church” is synonymous with some kind of weird, religious Ponzi scheme.
To top this wonderful morning off, we’re smack dab in the middle of our “iGive” giving series. I’m pondering the wonders of God’s sense of humor, providence, or perhaps both while getting a second cup of coffee! This is the day the Lord has made…
We’re working hard during our “iGive” series to NOT make this about just money. The Biblical idea of giving is much bigger than the number of Lincolns in your wallet. Biblical giving is attached to your time, talent, and your financial resources. Greater still, it points to a God who has giving at the center of His character, and… oh by the way… owns it all! Biblical giving never strays one inch from the story of God’s redemption and restoration. The TRUE Gospel story of Jesus is a definitive prerequisite to any Christian conversation about giving. Finally, giving is always attached to the broken, hurting, and folks in need being waved into the great banquet (Matthew 22:1-14).
What if a church was known more for being a giver than a taker… just like the God we serve? What if Christians, who value the real treasure of people, spread the fame of Jesus through their generosity in all it’s various forms?
On Sunday, we’ll keep pushing the affect of the Gospel with our giving. Please be
comfortable inviting your skeptical friends during our “iGive” series. Many churches use crisis or need or guilt when talking about giving. Our approach is love-based. Because we were loved by Jesus first, our love is enabled for both God and others. Giving, then, comes naturally and willingly along for the ride.
Sunday’s text is I Timothy 6:17-21. You’ll be pleasantly surprised where God takes us. I’m excited to teach because God is deepening our grasp of the good news of Jesus. See you at 9 & 11 a.m. gatherings on Sunday.
Weekly Giving | 8.16.15
Weekly Need $33,000.00