Summary: A message written for the 30 Day Church Challenge
This message is adapted from material included in the 30 Day Church Challenge Kit from Outreach Marketing and the message written by Pastor Hal Seed.
In this world it is not what we take up but what we give up that makes us rich – Henry Ward Beecher
The intent of the 30 Day Church Challenge is to engage in the five purposes of the first church. We as individual Christians and as a congregation need to seek a deeper walk with God and to become more like the first church. The challenge is for us to engage the purposes of the church and embrace the vision of Jesus.
We don’t just want to go to church, we want to be the church. The church is a place where a vibrant relationship with God is possible. The church is the place where we can experience the kind of community that Jesus intended for us.
Week #1: Authentic Community – Join a Sunday School class
Week #2: Worship – Attend worship services during the challenge and be active participants
Week #3: Pursue Spiritual Growth – Spend time with God each day
* Bible Reading
* Devotional material
Five Purposes of the Church
Become part of the church family
Worship with your whole heart
Daily pursue spiritual growth
Invest in eternal priorities
Reach out to those around you
Biblical reasons to give
* Honors God for His blessings
* Break the bondage of greed
* Move beyond materialism
* Sign of spiritual commitment
* Means of spiritual growth
Ways that we can give to God
The issue that many people face with giving is that they are giving to the church. The truth is that when we give, it is not about the local church but about giving to God. There are more than enough ways to give to the Kingdom. Our opportunity to invest in Christ’s Kingdom is short and now is our chance to do things that will impact eternity. How are you investing in the priorities of Christ’s Kingdom?
Stewardship is God’s resources deployed through His people to mobilize His people to evangelize. – Stan Toler
23 Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, 24 since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving. Colossians 3:23-24
When was the last time that you gave God your absolute best without reservation?
Resources are God given. We are only giving God back a small portion of what He has given to us. Giving is far less about the resources sacrificed but rather rests on the trust we offer to the giver of every good and perfect gift. Giving to the work of God is simply investing in the dividends of an eternal future. If we really believe that we are headed to heaven, why wouldn’t we want to invest in that Kingdom? The Kingdom of Heaven is our inheritance. Refusing to give to God is simply living a life focused on ourselves.
On earth In eternity
There are several different kinds of giving that we focus on in the Kingdom of Christ:
Tithe: the first tenth of income that is given to the storehouse
Treasure: general offerings given after the tithe
Talent: those natural and spiritual gifts that God has blessed us with
Time: Personal investment into the kingdom of Christ
Life is simply a series of investments made over time. Each day you make the decision of how you are going to invest your time, how you will invest your treasure and how you will invest your talents. The question is not if you are investing these things but where you are investing them. What are you doing with your life that will outlast your life? What are you doing with your life that will impact eternity?
Investments are measured in three key ways
Investment of Time - Service
Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom Psalm 90:12
What we sow in time, we reap in eternity
How we use our time is how we invest our lives. Life is measured by time, we are called to invest our lives in Godly things. When we invest, we are giving our time to the things of God. Every moment we have is a gift from God and how we spend our time speaks volumes about our commitment to Christ.
Our time is limited
There is no one with an open ticket on time. Every one of us is given the same amount of time each day but we do not know how many days we will be given. The question we need to ask is how are we spending our time?