Should We Give Beyond Tithing?

Scripture tells us in Ecclesiastes that there is a time and a season for everything. There may be seasons of abundance in our financial journeys when we feel prompted by God to use that abundance as an offering to the church, to individuals, or to organizations. This is honoring to God when done in obedience to him.

There may be times, however, when we are pressed to give and we’re uncertain as to the wisdom of the timing because of our circumstances, or because we don’t know if it was actually the Holy Spirit prompting us or a professional fundraiser guilting us into giving. When uncertain, wisdom would tell us to take into consideration the long-term picture of our financial plan and to make decisions that fit into that plan.

Everything Is God’s

When you tithe the first 10%, that doesn’t mean the other 90% belongs to you.  Everything you have belongs to God. John Wesley posed a challenging question to himself centuries ago: “Not how much of my money will I give to God, but how much of God’s money will I keep for myself?”

God Is First

In the Sermon on the Mount in the Book of Matthew, Jesus teaches us how to live a Christian life. He contrasts earthly treasure versus spiritual treasure, and He instructs us to put God first and store up our treasures in heaven. In essence Jesus communicates God is the “more” in life.

“But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”

Matthew 6:33

God Is the More

God is not the vehicle by which you get more of what you want in your life. God Himself is the more! Making this fundamental shift in your thinking will allow you to make financial decisions through a spiritual filter. John Wesley taught three basic tenets on how to manage money: give more, save more, earn more.

Close the Gratitude Gap

Scripture: Luke 17:11-19

The Gratitude Gap is the space between gratitude felt and gratitude expressed.

4 Principles (to know)

  1. Gratitude gets noticed by God.
  2. Gratitude must be expressed to exist.
  3. Gratitude defeats entitlement.
  4. Gratitude opens opportunities.

2 Practices (to do)

  1. Develop a Gratitude Routine.
  2. Improve your Gratitude Reflex.

Never Give Up

Pastor Craig Groeschel of LifeChurch.tv

Scripture:

Marriage is a covenant, not a contract.

  1. A contract is based on a mutual distrust.
  2. A covenant is based on mutual commitment.

Sowing and reaping in marriage.

  1. You reap what you sow.
  2. You reap where you sow.

Talk it over:

  • What and where are you sowing right now? Are you pleased with what you’re reaping?
  • What type of harvest do you ultimately want your marriage to reap?
  • What are some specific things you’ve learned from this series that will help ensure you never give up in your marriage?

Home Run Kids – Week 5

Courageous Parenting Decisions

1) Guide your kid’s heart. (Proverbs 4:23) “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.”

2) Don’t carry your kid’s load. (Galatians 6:2-5)

3) Release your kids from your fear. (Proverbs 28:1) “The wicked flee though no one pursues, but the righteous are as bold as a lion.”

Reflect: 

  • What is one thing I need to keep doing with my kids?
  • What is one thing I need to start doing with my kids?

Home Run Kids – Week 4

Scripture: Exodus 31:1-6

Self-Worth vs. Work-Worth

  • Self-Worth: Something God gives you and you protect
  • Work-Worth: Something Gods gives you and you pioneer

Raising Competent Kids – Love what you do:

  • Discover what I’m good at (gifting)
  • Advance in my skills (training)
  • Celebrate my achievements with God (honoring)

Reflect:

  • What is one thing I need to keep doing with my kids?
  • What is one thing I need to start doing with my kids?

Home Run Kids – Week 3

Scripture: Matthew 7:7-12
2nd Base: Relationally Capable Kids (Love Others)

  1. Have Respect (value people)
  2. Show Compassion (value people without embracing their values)
  3. Make Friends (big circle & little circle friends)

Three qualities for little circles:

  • Do what you say
  • Give & Take
  • Forgive & Get Better

Reflect: Where are you being casual with relationally critical things?

The Principle of Multiplication

Scripture: Luke 9:12-17

1. It has to be blessed before it can multiply.

2. It has to be given away before it can multiply.

What God asked of Robert to get his finances in order:

  • Get out of debt.
  • Don’t manipulate.
  • Give.

Response: What is God asking you to do to be blessed?