At Drink Deep, our Sunday night Sr. High program, we are talking about Stewardship for the rest of August. The idea that God owns everything was our discussion last Sunday and this Sunday will be money and giving. I know, popular topics for Christian living here in America. But I think it's more important here and now than anywhere else. Why? Because we have the riches, I just don't know if we have the heart...
I've been reading through Mark lately, and in that wonderful little gospel there's a story of a rich man who comes to Jesus saying he wants eternal life, and what must he do to get it. Jesus says to obey all the commandments, which the rich man says he has done (yeah, right! Have you read all of them? There's 613 in the Torah, and he hasn't broken one? Anyway...). So Jesus adds for him to sell all his stuff and give the money to the poor. Instead of an, "Okay Jesus, let's do it!" the man walks away sad. He can't part with his things.
Sound like America? We can't part with our stuff, that's no secret. Lorie and I went and looked at a house the other day someone was selling, the former tenants had destroyed it because they didn't like the idea of the bank foreclosing on them. I mean, how dare the bank say I can't own something I didn't pay for!
The reality is we love our stuff. More than Jesus sometimes I'm afraid. And I'm not saying that for shock effect. Even in our own church there are many families who have given absolutely nothing to God. Not a single cent. Are you telling me in Fishers, a town in one of the richest counties in the world, we can't afford to give anything to God? Yeah right. I think Jesus said it best:
Mark 10:23 ~ Jesus looked around and said to His disciples, “How hard it is for the rich to enter the Kingdom of God!” (NLT)
It's hard because the rich have more to give up (or so it seems, because they have so much that they think is theirs anyway).
I don't want money to stop me from getting to heaven. I don't want something I own being a hindrance to my spiritual growth, to my relationship with Jesus. Do you?