A Certain Kind: Discipleship Essentials
Do you believe that God directly blesses people according to their generosity in giving?
Is there a biblical connection between offering and blessing?
Does God need your money?
Are your offerings worthy of God’s blessing?
Do you invest more for the final 20 years of your life than for all eternity? Have you been?
Are offerings that should go to God going to other gods/ things?
Do you have a determined plan of giving? Is it your first priority of the week?
Do you believe your money is invested in what you treasure most?
According to your spending (outside of necessary living expenses) what do you treasure most?
Do you believe that investing in eternity is the wisest investment of all?
Does your investing reflect your belief about that?
Are you struggling financially? Are you giving generously? Do you see any connection between the two?
Do you trust God? Do you believe your offerings reflect that or deny it, or are you not sure?
“Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves…” (Matt. 16:24)
For most people in the west, resolving the money issue is “about dismantling the final wall in the kingdom of self.” (Lorne Jackson, After the Faith Decision All Else is Stewardship, 2007)
Disciple expectation - Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect. (Matt. 5:48)
Jesus and the rich young man - “What do I still lack?” (Matt. 19:20)
“One thing you lack.” (Mk. 10:17)
“…if you want to be perfect…go sell your possessions and GIVE… and you will have TREASURE in heaven.” (Matt. 19:21)
“God so loved the world that he GAVE His one and only Son…” (Jn 3:16)
“… though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, so that through His poverty you might become rich.” (2 Cor. 8:9)
WHAT IS IT THAT YOU STILL LACK AS A DISCIPLE?
“How hard it is for the rich to enter the Kingdom of God.” (Mk. 10:23)
HOW HARD IS IT FOR YOU TO TITHE (GIVE 10%) TO THE LORD? Is tithing required of the NT community?
- Gen 14:20 – Abraham tithed to Melchizedek before the law was given.
- Rom. 8:2-4 –“no man can know what it is to be Spirit-filled without fulfilling the righteousness of the law.” (John Lamont)
- Mal 3:6, 8-12 – unchanging God
- Matt. 19:16-29; Mk. 10:17-30; Lk. 18:18-30 –Rich young man focus of God’s continuing complaint against Israel—robbers vs. stewards—“the earth is the Lord’s and everything in it.” (Ps. 24:1)
- Christianity isn’t about changing to be good; it’s about changing gods.
- The God-devised system to teach us self-denial and to know where God is in the pecking order of life is your wallet. “What money is to us shows us what God is to us.” (Piper)
Discipleship, whatever else we may think about it, is determining to do whatever is necessary to make and keep the Lord Jesus as the core passion of your life… (Matt. 6:19-34)
1. You must settle on your treasure, because where your treasure is, there your heart is. (6:19-21)
Attempting to invest in two treasures puts your heart at risk.
2. Look wide-eyed at the things of God until they are your treasure; looking longingly at the things of this earth pulls a curtain of darkness over your heart. (6:22-23)
The things of this earth play tricks on your mind—if the light you think you have is really darkness, how terribly tragic is that delusion!
3. If you are trying to juggle God and your money, you cannot be Jesus’ disciple—Christ requires of his disciples total worship. (6:24)
Christianity is not about being good; it’s about exchanging gods—ME for JESUS—money is a god, it messes with your will. This is not merely a discipleship challenge, it’s an idolatry issue.
4. Become a slave to God and not your money and say goodbye to worrying about your money. (6:25-34)
Your treasure is guarded in heaven, your eyes are wide-open to the way God-things are, you’ve chosen a life of God-worship, “you now get to relax and not be so preoccupied with GETTING, so you can respond to God’s GIVING” (the Message)—freed to GIVE! (6:33)
ARE YOUR TREASURES IN HEAVEN CHECKBOX (taken from Greg Ogden, Discipleship Essentials, 2018)
Robbed God: must honestly admit that I have withheld giving a tithe (10% of income).
Ready to trust God: I am ready to tithe in faith and watch God provide.
Am trusting God: living on the stretch in trust and have watched God come through.