In his book Neither Poverty nor Riches: A biblical theology of possessions theologian Craig Blomberg says “…discipleship will inevitably produce a tangible impact in the area of stewardship of material possessions. Indeed, this area is often the most important test-case of one’s profession of discipleship.”
In another book on the subject, Christian teacher Randy Alcorn states that of all the topics handled in Jesus’ ministry, money was one of continual focus. We often think of Jesus teaching a great deal about heaven and hell, but as Alcorn notes, Jesus said more about how we handle money and possessions than everything he said about heaven and hell combined.
Money is one of those subjects that people can get very touchy about. Yet as Christians, and as a church (particularly in America), it is a topic we can’t afford to shy away from. I’ve read numerous statistics on how we handle our money as Americans, and from what I gather the average household in the USA carries around $10,000 in credit card debt. This doesn’t count car loans, student loans, or home mortgages. Yet, in a culture where financial intelligence and personal discipline are sorely lacking, people who tithe to their local church (give the first 10% of their income) seem to live in a different universe.
A recent study revealed that 80% of people who tithe carry no unpaid credit card bills, 74% have no car payments, and 28% are completely debt free. When you compare these (and other) findings to the average state of personal finance in American households, it is almost as if those who give regularly and consistently are drawing from a different source.
In our first sermon series of 2014, From Him and Through Him and To Him, we’re going to seek out that source. We’ll start in Genesis 14 in week one (this Sunday, January 5), trace our way through Proverbs in week 2, and then spend 3 weeks in the teaching and parables of Jesus in Luke 12. It’s going to be an awesome series. I’ve spent months researching this subject and am very excited to preach these texts over the next 5 weeks at LPC.
We’re heading in 2014 ready for the best year in the history of our church family. We believe God is calling us to take some major steps forward on the mission he has prepared for us. Pray for us and join with us as we follow Jesus on the journey.