aptly subtitled “gettin’ Bling for the King” – okay that may be a lil much, but what is all this about?
Well I have been thinking quite a bit about finances lately (as I am sure most EVERYONE has). With the economy in some of the worst shape it has been for years, gas prices soaring through the roof (if gas is even to be found down here in the ATL) and the list goes on and on. In the midst of all this I am trying to “raise funds” to support myself as I minister here in the Atlanta area. Now as always I have been fully confident that God desired me to take this step, and thus He will provide a way for it to happen, but I must confess it can get difficult at times, to simply rely. Also to figure out how much He expects of me on the “work for it” end, meaning how much is required of me so that the funds will be there. I certainly don’t believe there is a simple answer to that so I just keep working, need to do more praying, keep sharing what it is that I am doing and then TOTALLY TRUST Him to provide.
Now while in the midst of my own personal struggles with finances, I have watched as our church as a whole, the individuals that make up this body, and the community, are in a place of struggle and need as well. At the same time I know fully that God has called us to keep giving and sharing with others as the early church was doing there in Acts 2. Also I have been thinking about the fact that our upcoming sermon series is going to be a challenge for our people to give, of themselves, of their time, of their talents, and yes of their treasures, but how will this all happen?
This is where I get back to the idea of “making money for Jesus” – WHAT IF (reference to another post I wrote and extra page I added to my blog) – WHAT IF we didn’t always think in simple terms of what I can “cut-out” or “sacrifice” to be able to give more money or more of myself to the church or to worth causes? I am a firm believer that this does need to happen – I mean how can I honestly look myself in the face and spend hundreds and thousands of dollars in clothes and entertainment while people in downtown Atlanta, not just across the world – go hungry and freezing each night??? So yes there is an aspect of things I need to maybe “cut-back” or even more “cut-out” in order to share with others.
BUT WHAT IF? – What if I and others around me found things that we could do, were gifted at, or had the time to perform, that could actually bring in MORE MONEY, not to make our own wallets thicker or bank accounts bigger, or retirements nicer – but instead to bring the money to the feet of Jesus. To say simply to our Savior – here is something extra, something more than I thought I had, here is something that I INTENTIONALLY did to bring more into the storehouse of YOUR KINGDOM. MAN how exciting that would be!
So what specifically do I mean – well God has given me the ability to speak and teach and share God’s word and this opens up the doors to do “extra” events in which I get paid. I used to think that this was a reward that God blessed me with by choosing to sacrifice the money I could make in the secular world and devoting my time and energy to His service in full-time ministry (which at least in the places I have been, does not exactly pay well ha ha ha). So I used to accept those offers and do my best to use this gift and talent to bring in “extra” income, and I truly thanked God for that blessing as it helped me to pay the bills and even do some extra things. Then one day it hit me, I could TOTALLY use this as an avenue to give back more money than I had previously been able to do. Now because this whole discussion is one that can be dangerous and people don’t like to talk about since the Bible speaks of not letting the “right hand know what the left hand is doing” when it comes to giving. That we are not to do so as a “show” – I am not going to get into details of how much or percentages or anything like that. I am also not going to judge you for what you decide, I am simply sharing a conviction that I had in recent years.
So now when I go somewhere to preach, or get invited to do a wedding, or anything down those lines that I might receive a financial blessing. I firmly believe that God has done so that I in turn could take more money and pour back into the kingdom, ON TOP OF AND AS AN EXTRA to the regular giving that I am joyful to participate in. This allows me to then give to extra things such as missionaries or special offerings and then allows me to focus my prayers on something that I am giving some of my treasures to.
So let me ask you – what do you have to give? Not meaning look in your wallet or bank account or 401-K and see what else you can find. I mean what talents and abilities do you have that could be used to make more MONEY FOR JESUS? Are you artistic and can paint or do drawings to sell, are you a musician that can get out and do “gigs”, can you do yardwork for people, babysit, have a lemon-ade stand (old school), do you have things in your home that you don’t use that could be sold (we watch all sorts of tv about trash into cash or cash in the attic) – are you good with investments that bring in more money than you thought – I recently won the chance to purchase tickets to Major League Baseball playoffs that people will pay a pretty penny for – once again – an easy way to make EXTRA MONEY – not for myself but for my God!
The month of October our church is focusing on the needs of our world and our community – and we are going to be asking people to give money above and beyond their regular giving to help support the projects that we are going to be doing. So where will this come from, well a lot depends on how creative we can get – so my challenge is to EXPAND YOUR HORIZONS – ASK GOD TO REVEAL TALENTS THAT CAN UNLOCK TREASURE that can be given back to His Kingdom. I mean who knows – maybe just maybe something you have tried for years before to bring more money to your own self, now finally works cause you are devoting that money to God – not saying it will happen but I am also not saying it won’t!
So let’s give this thing a whirl and see if we can’t get focused on making some MONEY FOR JESUS to make a difference in this world and bring Him the honor and praise and glory! And hey if you have a great story or idea – why not share it right here so others can learn from it, emulate it, or just simply praise God for the good HE HAS DONE!