Sunday, March 7, 2010

State of the Church - Finances

WHY look at this???

#1. It's practical. Dollars don't always determine ministry. Example: can witness, pray, counsel, encourage, study, teach, etc. without it.
However, some ministry requires money. ex. the church property, programs, personnel

#2. It's Biblical. Stewardship (handling money, possessions, influence, opportunities)
A. primary theme of scripture.
B. ought to be applied in individual Christian's life and corporate church life.
Verses on: Baptism - 40
Prayer - 275
Faith - 350
Love - 650
Money and possessions - 2,350
The recorded sayings of Jesus deal with money more than any other subject except the Kingdom of God. - Over half the parables deal with money.

Question: Is money that important to God?
Answer: No, but He knew it would be that important to us!!

Therefore, the Bible deals with the proper attitude toward and acquisition of money.
  • It instructs concerning borrowing, lending, signing for other people's debts, charging interest, and paying taxes.
  • It deals with financial planning, saving, sharing and investing our money.
  • It addresses earning an honest wage and paying a reasonable wage.
  • It instructs us to honor our personal debts, give assistance to the poor and pay a tithe to God in support of His work.
  • It applauds the wise use of money and condemns the foolish use of money.
  • Scripture contains financial advice - the rich, the poor, and the middle class.
  • It addresses wealth as both a blessing and a curse' depending on how it's handles.
  • Scripture shows the way we use our money can lead to eternal rewards or eternal losses.
So...... let's look at:
#1. Finances
#2. Where does the money come from???
#3. Where does the money go?

Some observations and applications.
#1. It takes a lot of money to finance a ministry.

#2. It takes a lot of people to finance a ministry.

#3. Many people are wonderful gives.

#4. Some people are falling short.

Pastor's opinion: 50% of "regular attendees" are "undergiving".

For those giving as they should, applaud your faith, generosity, etc.

For those not giving as they should, challenge you to consider:
A. How God has blessed you.
B. How you ought to honor Him.
C. How you ought to bless others
D. Bless self

A Quick Bible Review of Giving.

I. Why give?
A. to honor God
B. to promote His Kingdom
C. to bless others
D. to benefit yourself -
incredible blessings in giving
Luke 6:38 Heb. 13:16 2 Cor. 9:6 Acts 20:35

II. How to give? (biblical descriptions)
cheerfully gladly thankfully humbly proportionately systematically - 1 Cor. 6:1-2
wisely - As
a steward of God's blessings
According to His direction
As will best achieve His purposes

III. How much to give? (not the primary issue!!) 2 Cor. 8:12 Widow's mite
However, for many of us wealthy Americans it should be an issue!!!
One recent survey found that the average American Christian gives 2.5% of their income to charitable causes.
So.... for every $100 income - spend $97.50 on self and family
for every $1000 income $975.00
for every $10,000 $9,750.00

So, if you are average in giving .. (ie: 2.5%)
$30,000 income --- gave back #750.00. or $2.05 per day, $14.38 per week.
$40,000 income --- $2.73 per day
$50,000 income .... $3.42 per day
$60,000 income .... $4.10 per day

#1. This is your decision. 2 Cor. 9:7
#2. heed His whole counsel 2 Cor. 9:6, 8
#3. my advise..... tithe plus Luke 12:48 b

For those giving, this should be confirmation and encouragement

For those who need adjustment, it needs to be a challenge to consider!

Jim Elliott: "he is not fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose."

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