Summary: Annual Faith Promise commitment message
Faith Promise: Promised by Faith
Woodlawn Baptist Church
January 31, 2005
I want to welcome each of you to our services today. To our guests, I want to say that it is good to have you in our presence. Today is a special day of the year for Woodlawn members, because it is a day when those who so choose will make financial commitments to the Lord for the advancement of missions. I say this because I don’t want you to think that we are all about money, or that this is what I always talk about. However, this is what we might call our “Commitment Sunday,” and I don’t want you to feel pressured at all by what we are doing or talking about. You are welcome to participate with us, but you are under no obligation or pressure to do so.
We have had a great month as we have been challenged by men from as far away as Costa Rica, and as near as Arlington, Texas. We have been challenged to see the fields white unto harvest, and to recognize that we alone are responsible to answer the call to be God’s laborers. We have our local field to work, and we can support those who work on foreign fields we will never see. We have been challenged to give, to go, to pray, to evangelize, and to look up. We have been called upon to stretch our faith, to allow God to grow us, to use us in a greater way, and we know that doing so will require a great amount of trust in a God that we know to be faithful.
I don’t know annual goals were prior to 1985, but I know that our goal for this year is one of the highest in 20 years, and I believe that according to our faith and God’s faithfulness we will reach this goal too. Two years ago we gave over $30,000. Last year almost $38,000, and now this year we will reach for $40,000.
How will we reach it? By faith! Who’s going to give it? We are! Where’s it going to come from? From God! Is it in your budget? Probably not – you may not see it, but if you have to see it, then there’s no faith involved. You say, “Brother Kevin, that’s foolishness. I’m called upon to be a good steward, and if the numbers don’t add up, then I can’t do it.” And do you know what? You’re right. You can’t, and so long as you have to see it and make sense of it, you never will.
Faith is acting on what you know to be true even when you can’t see it or make sense of it. Faith is you trusting God to do through you what you can’t do on your own. You see, faith was building a boat for a flood when it had never rained before. Faith was living in tents when Abraham had never seen his heavenly mansion before. Faith was praying in the window when death was certain. Faith is giving a dollar when you’ve not made it before. Faith says “God, I don’t know how I’m going to get it, and I don’t know where it’s going to come from, but if you tell me to give it, then I’ll give it trusting that you’re going to provide it.”
Now, let’s pull up here and talk about how Faith Promise works. Perhaps you’ve been hearing all about it, but you want to know the mechanics of it. As we talk about giving, first understand that we’re talking about giving over and above your tithe. If you’re not currently tithing, I want to begin by challenging you to be faithful in the tithe. If you will be faithful there first, not only will God supply your needs, but you will support Faith Promise with a tithe of your tithe. However, assuming that you are already tithing, here’s how Faith Promise would look. Let’s assume you make $2000 a month. Some of you make more, some make less, but we’ll use it as a standard. You first give your tithe: that’s $200 a month, or $50 per week. We all know that you live off the rest, off the other 90%. But now that you want to participate in Faith Promise, you are going to pray to God that He will lead you to give some amount of that 90% to missions. You see, your Faith Promise doesn’t come out of your tithe, it is given over and above the tithe.
As you pray, you may feel that God wants you to give $1, $5, $10, or $50 or some other amount every week or every month. The amount you give is completely between you and God, and it is an amount that you are going to trust God with. It should be an amount that you are going to give by faith. I want to even go so far that it will be an amount that might hurt. Is that logical? Is it rational? Is it foolishness? If you’re not of faith it may sound so – but that’s why we call it Faith Promise. By faith, I make a promise to give this amount of money to the Lord, trusting that God is going to provide it for me somewhere else.