There has been a bit of an emphasis on money and giving at Kingsway lately as we have led up to the kingdom builders offering. I know pastors don’t really want to spend too much time talking about it, and we would prefer not to hear too much of it. Nevertheless, Jesus spoke about money more than heaven and hell combined. There are over 2300 verses in the Bible concerning money. Clearly money and our relationship with it is very important to God. Money can get in the way of the first commandment to have no other gods before our God, and the new commandment to love the Lord our God with all our heart, mind, soul, and love our neighbor as ourselves. It’s that self-thing that is a recurring problem for us.
I have been thinking about something Pastor Bryon said in the last few weeks about sacrificial giving. I have been wondering how much of our (my) giving in our affluent society is truly sacrificial. Most of us will not have the experience of the widow who gave the two mites that were all that she had. I will not feel guilty for the blessings of God, nor will I fail to recognize that much responsibility comes with the blessing. Our attitude towards money can be an accurate barometer of where our heart is. We are instructed to guard our hearts for it is the wellspring of life and everything we do flows from it. God has replaced my heart of stone with one that beats for him and yet the flesh that wars against the spirit is desperately self-centered and in need of constant submission to Him. I must guard my heart against the draw to love money and what it can offer– material goods, comfort, self-reliance, pride, selfishness.
Surrender is the word from today’s message that brought my sacrificial giving meditation full circle. Although surrender has negative connotations in our society, in God’s kingdom it is freeing. The last thing the Lord wants is for my giving to become legalistic. I know that the Lord loves a cheerful giver and the more that my heart becomes in tune with His the more joy I have in giving. Although I cannot give as the widow did, each time I do give I have the opportunity to surrender my will, and my self-centered selfishness to a greater good outside of myself. An opportunity to build His kingdom and not my own. As Lindsay shared in her exhortation and prayer, today we have one chance. It’s going by fast; what are we going to do with it?
by Fred Meserall
Fred and his wife Susan began attending Kingsway in June of 2014. They found Kingsway to be a place of refreshment and healing after their previous church experience. Fred is passionate about pursuing God, family, and lifegroups (including his current group which has been meeting continuously for 16 years). Fred and Susan absolutely love the fact that they, their two daughters and their husbands, and grandchildren all attend church together. Fred is a non-recovering “aquaholic” who enjoys spending as much time as possible at the beach, communing with God, working on his videoblog (aptly titled “Still at the Beach”), and all things surf and family.