The subject of generosity can make us squirm. As a pastor I know it's important because the Bible so often talks about money, and at the same time it can be hard to speak about money without coming across like a late-night TV evangelist. Over the nearly eight years that I've been at St Aidan's my reflection is that if we've erred in any direction it's probably been that we've shied away from talking about money rather than the other way, so consider this a tilt back in the other direction.
Last year we took a bold step in purchasing the adjoining Tulloch Lodge property, we resolved to do that as a church because we see great potential for furthering the work of the Kingdom through having adequate facilities from which to base our ministry for generations to come. Part of the discussion was to seek special giving toward this from the congregation, there will be more details about that soon, but in this short post I want to talk briefly about our hearts and treasure.
In Matthew 6:21 Jesus says, 'For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.' In this short statement Jesus tells us the most important lesson about money. Our heart (what we love and desire) is tied closely to our treasure. Our money and our heart go together, and when Jesus calls attention to this part of our character, he confronts us. He alerts us to the powerful pull that material wealth possesses, an allure that makes us act and behave in ways that are at times in contrast to our Christian confession. We say that we live for God and his kingdom, but does our bank statement tell the same story?
One of our great problems or barriers to generosity is that we live in such an affluent part of the world and our heart (influenced by the world) tells us that we need more and more. Reflecting on the generosity of those he pastored for over 40 years in the USA Tim Keller diagnosed the problem this way: It's the "frog in the kettle" problem. Americans of 40 years ago would be shocked to see what Christians today think of as necessities. But we view things this way because we keep defining “basics” the way the consumer capitalist culture wants us to—which is always being defined upward, and fast.
In contrast, Jesus calls us to examine where we place our money and our heart: are we investing in earthly pleasures that fade away or eternal kingdom investments that will bear fruit forever? We have received immense blessings from God, he did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all (Rom 8:32). If we are gripped by the great generosity of God toward us, our hearts will love to give toward work that brings glory to him.
This Sunday - Loving God by treasuring Jesus
This Sunday we begin a short series considering God’s vision for his church. 1 Peter is written to believers calling them to live out their faith as God’s new people in the world, we are now to live for His praise, glory and honour as we treasure Christ and look forward to our certain heavenly inheritance. Alongside this sermon series will be Bible studies exploring the same themes, it would be a great time to join a Small Group if you're not part of one already.
Also on Sunday we'll be giving an update about where we are up to with property matters including information about how to give financially in order to progress in our building plans by paying down the loan for the Tulloch Property which we resolved to purchase last year.
Last week ten30church moved back to the SDA building with Kids Church meeting at Tulloch Lodge, and followed by morning tea! It's great to restart these times of fellowship, and we'll be having morning tea after the 9am service from this Sunday as well.
Plant Stall - Tomorrow!
Please come along and bring friends to our plant stall which will raise money supporting SRE teaching in Wagga. Also for sale will be about 40 plus paintings. See you there!
Kids Club begins for term 4 tonight, meeting at St Andrew's at 5.30pm.
Will start meeting next Friday, the 23rd of October, and run every Friday night until the 4th of December. We would love to welcome anyone in Year 6 to come and join us! We meet at Tulloch Lodge from 7.15 to 9.30.
We are expanding our meal ministry team and would love for YOU to be a part of it! The meals ministry is an excellent way to serve others, share Jesus, and make a difference in someone’s life. In times of need, it is an incredible blessing to see a friendly face and receive a meal. We keep meals on hand in the church freezer. If you would like to learn more or be a part of this ministry, please contact Dawn Rudolph at firstname.lastname@example.org
To stay up to date with our online church events, visit staidanswagga.org.au and like us on Facebook.