Summary: Three principles that we discover about generosity in Paul's letter to the Corinthians
This is our last week of money month and for the past four weeks we have been parked in the generosity spot. Each year we take the month of April to explore the theology of money, giving and generosity. Not only within the church but in our lives in general. This idea is that if we have a particular time to address these concepts they won’t get missed and they won’t come across scolding or begging as so often happens when money is addressed in church during crisis times.
And while some folks feel that the topic of money should be avoided in church the bible doesn’t shy away from the topic and neither did Jesus. As a matter of fact Jesus tells us in Matthew 6:21 Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be.
And while most of us know the words we often get them mixed up and quote it as where your heart is there your treasure will be. But Jesus knew how people function and while our money will often follow our hearts, you only need to look at where a person is investing today to know where there priorities are today.
And there are reasons why money needs to be addressed at the local level. We don’t like to admit it but the church needs the giving of someone to exist. Some churches exist because of denominational subsidies, but somebody somewhere is giving so that can happen. Other churches depend on their endowment funds, but that means that someone gave in the past so they could exist today. And while Cornerstone was dependent on outside giving early in our life as a church today we exist because of the generosity of people who make Cornerstone their church home. There is no outside source of income for Cornerstone, no magic pot that we can dip into. The practical side is that in order for Cornerstone to exist there are bills that need to be paid. Mortgage payments, utilities, salaries etc. And as the church changes those change and often expand. So while we were meeting in the Lion’s Den in Bedford we didn’t have to pay a mortgage but many of you wouldn’t have been reached from that venue. And while Denn was the only pastor on staff the salary line in the budget was less, but pastoring a church of 50 and pastoring a church of 300 requires more time and effort than one person can provide. This is the last Sunday in April which means that today we will end with an opportunity for each person who makes Cornerstone their church home the opportunity to fill in the estimate of giving card at the end of the service and we use those figures to go ahead with our budget for the new church year. In a very real way each person who responds, or doesn’t respond is telling us what type of church they want Cornerstone to be.
But it’s not just about the practical side, it is about the discipleship side as well. Throughout the bible money is used as a spiritual barometer, because ultimately it says something about our relationship with God because it pulls back the curtains to reveal what it is that is the most important thing in our lives.