March 20, 2016

When You Are Free: Power!

Bible Text: Mark 12:41-44 |

We are concluding our Jesus on Money series with a message entitled When You Are Free: Power! Pastor Todd starts our time with the account of Jesus watching the offerings being brought into the Temple and the comment he made about the widow’s offering. That will touch off a discussion about generosity and sacrifice. When we do what Jesus has told us to do, it will release the power of the Holy Spirit in our lives.

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Sermon Notes

Jesus On Money
Pastor Todd Dugard // Mark 12:41-44
March 19-20, 2016

D. When I am financially free, I have the power to...

1. Bless my family
2. Help the hurting
3. Fund the mission

Questions & Answers

Q: If I am in debt, should I still give my regular offering or pay off my debt first? I’m talking about consumer debt. And how much do I give?

A: While being aggressive in paying off debt, we don’t want to become so focused on one thing we lose sight of everything else. We want to be out of debt so we can serve God with gladness and generosity. That begins now! So you should give something, and it should be an act of faith, not chump change that costs you nothing. How much? It will be different for each one. Perhaps the best way to go about it is to give an amount that forces you to sacrifice. For some, that might be a meal. For others, a vacation, or taking less vacation. Then give it first, give it regularly, and give it joyfully. Work through the 12 criteria that we learned in the series to determine what you should give.

Q: I am not in severe financial need and have no outstanding debts, other than my credit card, which I pay off every two weeks. I do struggle with some sinful spending habits, but it doesn't ever get out of hand. After the money litmus test I've determined that I am not consumed over money, and don't struggle with greed. However, I do have several saving funds in process and spend a generous amount of money on hobbies.  I also tithe regularly, and try to be generous in it, as well as have a sponsor child I support. My main struggle is, is it wrong if I spend more money monthly on a hobby than my tithe?  With a hobby and saving towards some financial goals, is that being selfish where I could use this abundance of money towards something else?  Is this something I have to just personally sort out with God?

A: Yes, you have to sort it out personally with God. It is a wisdom issue. Get some good counsel. And remember that one day you will look into the eyes of Jesus and it might sound a little lame to say “Thank you for the great times flying my plane” (real or remote control). However, remember that God wants you to enjoy what he has provided on this earth.

Q: Any advice for a couple that isn’t on the same page with the study? How can a saver handle a spender?

A: That issue isn’t financial! You need communication and problem-solving tools. They will work great in every area! The real issue is getting on the same page. If you can talk about it and find a solution that you can both agree to, there is nothing that can break your harmony! Dave Ramsay would say you both are responsible for the budget. The nerd makes it and the free spirit approves it, suggesting they both agree with it. I know you want us to say, “Curb the spender!” But the saver usually needs to lighten up a bit too!

Q: How does a believer approach the IWBNIN financial management process when their spouse is a non-believer?

A: Other than sorting out giving, pretty much exactly the same way. Seems to me most people that are wealthy, did it this way, and most of them are not saved. And most of them are generous.

Q: How does a believer approach the IWBNIN financial management process when their spouse is a non-believer?

A: Other than sorting out giving, pretty much exactly the same way. Seems to me most people that are wealthy, did it this way, and most of them are not saved. And most of them are generous.

Q: My heart is troubled and broken for those who have either been a victim of crushing debt and also for those who struggle with the devastating sin of covetousness. We all struggle with the lust of the eyes, the lust of the flesh and the pride of life. And to borrow a phrase from Max Lucado, “Jesus is the cure to this common life.” As we submit to the prompting of the Holy Spirit, we will get victory but often after many failures and disappointments. I have learned the hard way that God does not give you a U Haul and that we cannot hold on to anything or anyone too tightly in this life. I appreciate the series on money, however I wish it were tempered with a little more justice, grace and mercy. Applying the truths of 1 Corinthians 13, Galatians 5 and even more specifically Micah 6:8 in order to be sensitive to the fact that at the end of the day God does not need our money. He does not need us. But for reasons we will never fully comprehend, he loves us and this kind of love fuels our love and compassion for others. Our giving merely becomes an outpouring of love that does not expect to get any reward other than the love of our Saviour.

So in thinking how we give:

  • Is giving not under the control and leadership of the Holy Spirit?
  • Should we not be encouraged to give in such a way that is secret, without fanfare. Avoiding the sin of a Pharisee and prideful motives?
  • What about gifts of time talent and other treasures?
  • Should the church find creative ways to give that offer ways to serve Christ other than the offering plate?
  • I believe that Jesus Christ leads us into all truth as we spend time applying the truth of scripture, listening to the still small voice. We can get into a dangerous territory when we judge a fellow worker by our own personal convictions, remembering that while we are all part of the body of Christ, each one of us fulfills a very different function.

Thanks for the opportunity to truly consider this issue and put it in somewhat of a proper perspective. Still a work in progress!

A: Yes it is under the control and leadership of the Holy Spirit. (That should cover all your other comments!)

Yes, give in secret but Proverbs 11:25 says, “Whoever brings blessing will be enriched, and one who waters will himself be watered.” Also, 1 Timothy 5:25 says, “So also good works are conspicuous, and even those that are not cannot remain hidden.”

For sure we encourage giving more than money. True giving starts with our hearts but if it never reaches your wallet something is wrong! 2 Corinthians 8:5 says, “And this, not as we expected, but they gave themselves first to the Lord and then by the will of God to us.”

Q: If it is our responsibility to work and provide for our own households, is it biblical to solely rely on the donations of others to live as a missionary? Or should they both accept donations and work simultaneously?

A: Paul is pretty clear on this. 1 Timothy 5:8 says, “For the Scripture says, ‘You shall not muzzle an ox when it treads out the grain,’ and, ‘The laborer deserves his wages.’”

1 Timothy 5:17 says, “Let the elders who rule well be considered worthy of double honor, especially those who labor in preaching and teaching.”
In 2 Thessalonians 3 Paul notes he didn’t rely on their giving but not because he didn’t have that right. He says, “For you yourselves know how you ought to imitate us, because we were not idle when we were with you, nor did we eat anyone's bread without paying for it, but with toil and labor we worked night and day, that we might not be a burden to any of you. It was not because we do not have that right, but to give you in ourselves an example to imitate.”

Galatians 6:6 says, “Let the one who is taught the word share all good things with the one who teaches.”

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