Give it Up!

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“In the same way, none of you who are unwilling to give up all of your possessions can be my disciple” (Luke 14:33, Common English Bible).

Here is a question for you to consider this morning. Why do we trust God with everything but our money?

We in the church love to say we trust God. We will even go into great detail of all the ways we trust God or show our trust in God. But, our giving and our commitment to giving show something entirely different.

As a pastor I often hear people say, “I give by giving my time.” And, in many, if not most cases it comes from people who do give their time. That, however, is only part of the equation.

I also know many who will give freely of their money but are very protective of their time. In other words, they are willing to throw money at the problem but they aren’t willing to give of themselves.

We talk a lot in the church about tithing and how “it is the Biblical standard” for giving. That really isn’t true. It is more accurate to say tithing is the minimum Biblical standard. If we are truly giving, this should be the bottom line of our gifts. I have heard it said, until we are tithing, we are not really giving.

Additionally, in the verse above and in the story of the Rich Young Man, Jesus is saying something more, we have to give up all our possessions in order to be a disciple. If we read that literally, and many say that is the way they read Scripture, we own nothing and really we should have nothing. To my way of thinking, such would include both our money and our time.

I actually think this isn’t something intended literally but as a condition of our hearts. In our hearts, everything we have, when we enter the faith, should belong to God. The deed to the house may have our name on it, but we know it really belongs to God. The title to the car may have our name on it, but it really belongs to God. God allows us to use them. God allows us to be stewards over them. But in reality, they are not ours, they are Gods.

Then, when it becomes time to place money in the offering plate or when it comes time to be involved in a ministry requiring our time, we give from glad and generous hearts because all we have isn’t ours to begin with. If I see everything I have as belonging to God, it is easy to give because it wasn’t mine to begin with.

In reality, if we don’t trust God with our money (all our possessions for that matter) and our time, we don’t trust God at all.

Have a blessed day in the Lord – oh, and go to church and worship – and give of your time and money.

Grace and Peace,
Keith

Copyright 2016, James “Keith” Broyles, All Rights Reserved

Author:

"The Pastor Ponders" is my attempt to share some of my thoughts. I often share what I am thinking with my dog "Bishop," but he keeps his thoughts to himself. He will even go to sleep sometimes while I am sharing my thoughts with him. The truth is, if it doesn't involve getting his ears scratched, his belly rubbed or some kind of treat, he really doesn't care. I will say this for him, he never argues with me or tells me I am wrong. So, I decided to share some of my thoughts with whoever might come across this blog in their ramblings around the Internet. Bishop and I live in Sweeny, Texas where I am the pastor of First United Methodist Church. I have served here for the past two years. For the past 27 years I have served United Methodist congregations throughout East Texas including rural Madison County (Elwood UMC), Lovelady (First UMC) and Kennard (Center Hill UMC), Canton (First UMC), rural Smith County (Mt. Sylvan UMC and Union Chapel UMC), Grapeland (First UMC), Tyler (Pleasant Retreat UMC), Santa Fe (Aldersgate UMC), Freeport (First UMC) and Oyster Creek (Oyster Creek UMC), Diboll (First UMC), and now Sweeny (First UMC). My wife Cindy and I have been married for over 40 years. We have two grown sons. Wayne and his wife Nikki and all our grandsons (Kaleb, Noah, and Jaxon) live in Southern California. Christopher and his wife Morgan and both our granddaughters (Jenna and Natalie) live in Tyler Texas. I enjoy preaching and all aspects of preaching from research to writing to the actual preaching event. I also love writing, reading, playing the guitar as well as a bit of drawing. I have spent quite a bit of time over the past two years working with paracord on various projects, mostly prayer ropes I usually give away. I sing bass with a local barbershop chorus called The Coastalaires. I have also recently begun doing a little wood carving. I also enjoy playing with Bishop, something he likes a great deal better than listening to my thoughts. I hold an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Business Data Processing, specializing in Microcomputers from San Jacinto College in Pasadena, Texas, a Bachelor of Science in Political Science with a minor in History from Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, TX, a Master of Divinity from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX and a Doctor of Ministry from Carolina University of Theology. When I was a student at Carolina, the school was in Iron Station North Carolina. They have since relocated to Manassas Virginia (Yeah, go figure, a school named Carolina geographically in Virginia). This blog is mostly devotional writing, but there are other things here too. Just about every week I will either post my sermon manuscript or a video of the worship service. On occasion, I will post something I see in society. Occasionally I write a short story, a poem, or a song and will post it here too. I will say this, my motivations for writing this blog are really selfish. I write it to get what I am thinking out of my head and onto something a bit more permanent. They say, after all, once something is on the internet it never really goes away. Still, I hope you enjoy reading it. And, should you desire, you can one-up Bishop and actually tell me what you think. Who knows, it might generate a bit of discussion between you and me and anyone else who might make their way here. With Joy and Thankfulness, Keith Sweeny, Texas May 2018

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