Summary: Part 8 of the series focuses on worshiping God with our finances.
Worship Is A Verb Part 8
In my message on last week, I shared with you the importance of the music ministry in our worship service. As you may recall, the music should not over shadow the worship, nor should it be viewed as a requirement for worship to take place. The music, as with all things pertaining to our worship of God, starts in our hearts. We should not require musical instruments in order to enter into worship; we can make music flow from our hearts. This morning we will dig deeper into another area of worship that I mentioned earlier in this series and that is giving. Although there are many things we give to God during our worship services such as giving Him glory, praise and strength, this morning I will focus strictly on finances.
The trustees made a request last year that I do a sermon series on giving so that the Church would understand its importance. You see, they know every penny that comes into this Church and unless you give cash without an envelope, they know every person who is supporting this Church and worshiping God with their finances. All of you know that I am not a pastor who spends any time begging for money or beating you over the head about what you give. I purposely keep a distance from the finances of the Church because I think it can be a conflict for me to know what any of you are giving. As long as I do not know, I can go about thinking that all of you support the Church to the best of your ability. But although I am not one who focuses on your money, this message will bother some of you because I will be very clear about what it means to worship God with our finances. And one point you need to take away from this message if you do not remember anything else is this – some of us are in the financial situation we are in because we refuse to honor God and worship Him with our finances. Now, having said that, as always, what you give is between you and God and I will leave it at that.
A. Worship Involves Giving
There are a lot of people who give very little to the work of God. They do not tithe to their Church; they do not give in the offering for their Church (although they will give to other Churches); they do not give to the poor; or give anything to help others. This same individual who give chooses not to worship God with their finances, are the first ones in line to come to the Church when they have a need. They are the first ones in line to want their kids participating in something that the Church is funding. They are the first ones in line to make recommendations about how the Church should budget its money. They are the first ones who suggest ways in which the Church can use its finances to help those who are in need. They are the first ones to tell when the finances are not being used “right” by the Church. There are many Pastors who hold the opinion that if you do not worship God with your finances (tithings) then you do not have a voice in how those finances are use. I was a member of a Church once where they kept records of who tithed and who didn’t and you could not get counseling from the Pastor if you did not tithe. Rev. Fulks told the story about a Pastor who told a woman she’d lost her baby because she did not tithe. Although I do not believe this, let me tell you what I do believe:
Something Is Wrong With That Picture When you have taken more money from the Church (in the form of benevolent offerings) than you have given to the Church. If you received your giving statement in January and you gave less than $52 dollars to your Church, that’s one dollar a Sunday, and you have a job, something is wrong with that picture. If the kids of the Church who receive an allowance from their parents give more to God than the adults who are working full time, something is wrong with that picture. If you worship McDonald’s and eating out more with your finances than you do God, something is wrong with that picture. If you worship the boats and the slot machines with your finances more than you worship God, something is wrong with that picture. Understand this; your worship of God involves you giving of your finances. If everyone was like these people and took more from the Church than they gave, the Church would never exist nor would they ever be able to take care of their true ministry – preaching and teaching Christ and reaching out to those who are lost. As I shared with the class on Wednesday evening, we can fast and pray from dusk to dawn that God will provide us with a permanent building, but if we do not worship Him with our finances, it still will not happen. Let’s examine what the Bible says about worshiping God with our finances.