There aren’t many Sundays where we do a little family business. Where we talk about the things we’ve done, what we’d like to do, and what could happen when we stop living like the world in regard to our stuff. This was one of those Sundays. Specifically, we got to talk about our Easter offering. Whatever we take in Easter Sunday and the workweek following will be given away to help us with two local endeavors.
This is an act of faith for us. We want to be good stewards, and as a church could always use an offering on Easter. At the same time, the gospel isn’t about us; and there is work to be done that we aren’t doing. Blessing a school and the families at that school with a playground and helping a local pastor bring light to his neighborhood won’t save souls. What it does is allow for us to meet real needs in real ways. The Chapel has a beautiful global footprint. We have teams all over the world and support some great work amongst unreached people in China and beyond. However, we struggle with having a local impact. What we want is to be entrenched in our community in such a way that, if removed, the city misses us.
Our ultimate aim: the glory of God in this earth.
So what does a church look like with more than enough? Where the people are supporting the work of God freely and gladly? Four things:
- It is completely satisfied with the person and work of Jesus Christ–When God is already pleased with you who else do you have to please (Gal. 1:10)? When Jesus claimed “it is finished” and we place our faith in him, we have no other work that needs to be done. We gain a satisfaction that no man, woman, car, truck, or house can manufacture.
- It lives life out of the overflow of life in the Holy Spirit–Jesus gives life, and we have union with him through the Spirit–his Spirit (Rom. 8:11). There is an abundance of life that exists in the Spirit; and it exists for all who believe. (Note: abundant ≠ happy).
- It views all things as God’s–This is where we muck up the idea of stewardship. Sometimes we use stewardship to mean “control,” but we simply say “we want to be good stewards” to hide that. But when everything is God’s–and it is (Ps 24:1)–then we don’t have to control it. We release it.
- It commits itself to the work of Jesus together—We aren’t to live this life alone. We work out our salvation together. And when a church–together–commits itself to the work of Christ, amazing things happen. That is one of my prayers for our church, that we cast aside silly things and pursue the most important: Jesus.
This week many in our church are finishing up week nine of Financial Peace University. Much more important than graduating form a class, God is transforming our church by giving us a bigger picture of his Son in this world and what we could do if we stopped living like the world. I look forward to this coming Sunday when we celebrate these things together.