Tis the Season…
– To give to Lottie Moon
– To pray for missionaries
– To train your children to love Jesus and the cross more than Santa and Christmas trees
– To treasure Christ and pleasing Him more than the warm feeling in your gut when someone is really pleased with the gift you bought them. I know, that sounds kind “Scrooge” like, but we need to guard against any feeling that gives us greater satisfaction than the feeling of pleasing Christ.
Sho’ me the money…
I seriously don’t like most of what I see in televangelists and even the grand commercialization in our “Christian” bookstores. So, you can imagine that focusing so much on money this coming months makes me tense on a certain level.
However, Matthew 6 makes clear that Christ is very interested in using money as both a means and example of how we are to treasure Him above all else. As you know, we have a new initiative call “The Challenge” at UBC. This initiative has its goal to see us completely out of short term debt by the end of the year by raising an additional $350k (approx) to pay off the line of credit (hate that thing) and put enough in reserves not to touch the line of credit again.
It’s the right thing to do.
It’s about treasuring.
Matthew 6 has a bit of a crescendo to it as all things flow toward treasuring Jesus and His righteousness above all else. So, being out of debt is not the spiritual goal, though it is our temporal goal. Our spiritual goal is to treasure Christ more. We will be able to do just that while we get out debt and our monies will certainly be more freed up to treasure Christ in how we use our financial resources after we are out of debt.
Remember that Paul said that there is great gain in godliness with contentment (1 Tim.6:6). This is written to a pastor for his personal pursuits and His corporate leadership. I need to work on this in my own life. I’ve been honest with you about my struggles with “stuff” (fruit-bearing tech toys, 2 wheel motorized vehicles, etc). I know there is a pull and tug toward these things. Having these things does not mean you’re not treasuring Christ. This is why the Word of God must be poured over you so that it will get into those in between places and reveal the real intention of your heart (Heb.4:12-13).
So, let’s live with less and pursue Him more. Let’s sell some stuff and give some stuff away. While we do that, let’s spend more time with the gospel in our faces that we may more clearly reflect Christ to one another and the world.
We have a serious opportunity to see some financial miracles that will be indicative of the miracle of faith, to love the One we do not see greater than the the things we do see. And we know that faith pleases Him (Heb.11:6)!