Monday, September 7, 2015

SEPTEMBER 7 "CHURCH AND MONEY DON'T MIX?"

 WE'VE all met or heard of those people that "swear" they will never return to church because when they did visit, all the preacher talked about was money and giving.  "That's all the church wants, is your money," they cry out.  If we falsely look at the church as simply a religious institution that teaches nice religious platitudes to make us feel better about ourselves and teaches nice principles such as "The Golden Rule" then maybe money should be left out.  However, if the church is an institution whereby God chooses to work through to help his people, to prosper them, to give them a future and a hope, then money better be a subject and a re-occurring subject, at that, because money is one of the areas that people struggle in more than anything else.  Any survey will tell you that couples (inside & outside the church) fight mostly about money.  The #1 cause of divorce is Money, not infidelity.  We have money problems and the church is there not just to teach you religious practices but to help you in every way, according to the bible.  According to the bible, Money is an issue God wants to help us with.  According to God's word Money is an area God wants us to do better in and fight less about. In our text Paul is laying down some physical and spiritual principles concerning money.  The law of sowing and reaping (a law that many would expect to be taught in church) is not just a law that applies with wrong or good doing, but a law that also applies to money. In proverbs we read, "there is one that withholds more than he ought and it tends to lead to poverty and there is one who scatters yet increases, the liberal soul shall be made rich".  Paul follows up with this principle by writing, "whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly and whoever sows generously will also reap generously".  If God is a God that wants to help us prosper in all ways, than we'd better be hearing about money in church and the individual who is offended by talk about money in church is either ignorant or is not right in the area of mammon.  The person who is offended by a sermon on morality would be the individual who is immoral, to the others in the congregation is was just a good sermon on truth, to the one offended, it was an indictment against his/her life. The person who is offended by talk on money in the church is the person who most needs to hear and be preached to about money.  He will either return and allow the truth to shed light on the darkness or he will not return in case his inner thoughts are exposed once again. Question is, do you get aggravated when preachers preach on money and giving? Do you think matters pertaining to money should be left outside of the church and we should spend more time hearing about doing good deeds and loving our neighbors and the Golden rule and all sorts of other religious platitudes that we nod, "yes and amen" but never follow unless we are having an extremely good day.
     Not only is giving to the church spiritual and worthy of mention from behind the pulpit, but Paul goes further to say that it is even a ministry. Paul writes, "this service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of God's people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God".  Imagine, people are growing in faith and praising God (not men) because another person is giving somewhere else. Money is not flowing down from heaven but flowing through people into the hands of other people and in turn, God gets the glory.  Paul goes on to write, "Because of the service by which you have proved yourself, men will praise God for the obedience that accompanies your confession of the gospel of Christ, and for your generosity in sharing with them and with everyone else".  Paul clearly states that "The Gospel" is very much associated with our monetarial giving towards the needs in The Church. Paul commends them for their obedience to God in giving.  In other words it is God who releases the resources and it is God who then challenges us to give of those resources and in so doing he causes us to prospor even more so than before we gave. Think money talk and the church don't fit together, THINK AGAIN!