This past weekend at Mercy we looked at James 5 where he gives a warning to the “rich.” The warning aggressively confronts the man or woman who finds security in wealth. It is a rebuke of the rich for exploiting their employees to pad their bank accounts. It’s not a warning against being rich, but a warning against the desire to be rich. Because that desire will, if left unchecked, consume your soul. And we talked about how the gospel leads us to have an appetite for generosity instead of for consuming. Which means giving becomes the antidote to materialism.
This post isn’t intended to re-hash the sermon. You can just listen to the sermon or read the manuscript. This post is a follow-up to give you some resources that might be helpful coming out of the sermon this past weekend. If you found yourself thinking “Ok, I’m ready. I want to take some steps to change. Where do I get started?” we’ve got some resources below for you:
Reading: The Treasure Principle by Randy Alcorn
Sometimes a sermon is a spark that ignites a desire for change.
But to keep that fire going, you need to fuel it. Some of the core ideas
from this past weekend are found in the short, easy read book called
The Treasure Principle. I encourage you to take a couple hours
and read this short book. It will give you some language for what God is stirring in your heart in becoming a more generous person.
Ok listen, your generosity will always be limited by your budget. Here’s what I mean: if you don’t have a budget you are committed to, your generosity will be inconsistent and limited because you’ll never really know how much you can give. Believe me, YOU NEED A BUDGET! Regardless of your age, life stage, etc you need a budget. If you’ve never done a budget before I recommend going through Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University course. It’s more than worth the cost of the materials.
In terms of quality budgeting tools, I like the apps YNAB (You Need A Budget) and Mint. They sync with your phone and desktop and help you track every dollar pretty easily. Your budget is useless unless you stick to it. Some of you go to bed at night dreaming sweet dreams about spreadsheets and your idea of heaven is all numbers being in the right place. You may not need these tools. But for the rest of us, a tool where my wife or I can input a purchase RIGHT WHEN IT HAPPENS and then throw away the receipt is gold.
Ok, maybe you are in a financial crisis spot and need some coaching on a next step forward. Let us know if that’s the case by emailing us and we will follow up with you.
Mercy, can you imagine if everyone in our church was free of financial burdens in such a way that we could mobilize ourselves to give towards God’s mission!? We’ve ALREADY seen God do incredible things with your generosity up to this point. I truly believe that is just the tip of the iceberg. One of the greatest things you can do for your involvement in the mission of God is to become an intentional, wise steward of the resources God is already entrusting to you. I’m so grateful and excited to be on this mission to make disciples in Charlotte with you. May our greatest days be just ahead of us!