Colossians 3:1. Therefore if you were raised with Christ, look for the things that are above where Christ is sitting at God’s right hand. (CEB)
Matthew 6:33. Desire first and foremost God’s kingdom and God’s righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. (CEB)
Dream. Draw. Desire
I suggest to you we are called to follow God’s example and be generous, extravagantly generous.
- Generous in our scope, our dreams and visions.
- Generous in our trust, our reliance on Christ.
- Generous in our heart work, our desire be the people God has created us to become.
Foxworthy: has 147 tomatoes plants and a farm of several thousand acres hunted 400 deer. “What do you do with all that produce? I Give it away because I can and shelter doesn’t get that kind of fresh food.”
Back story on giving: before there were churches and budgets, before there were offerings and tithes. There were people in relationship with God.
God gave us a world with everything w e needed to eat, live, reproduce, grow, mature and ultimately produce KK donuts.
There was no offering plate, no giving statements and no church budgets.
In this receive only relationship God gives meaning to our faith and trust by sharing the work with us. Our relationship with God is giving and receiving..
- Receiving with out giving is for babies and animals
- Giving without receiving is only mechanical and meaningless..
- God gives us life, we give God expression
- God gives us freedom, we give God faith and trust.
- We give God love and praise and God give us fellowship and purpose
- We give God gifts and God sees our participation and interdependence.
The people were unfaithful, self-focused and hidden /apart from God. The co sequences change where we have to share in the work and no just receive the fruit of gods labor. The labor is shared.
Our work time energy and that converted into funds (cocoa beans/coffee beans)
The work became shared. God’s garden. we work God garden. Not our garden, God’s.
Some where in the process when become our ministry, our money, our investment, our church, our building, our garden.
ATTITUDE ADJUST,ENT: At a fundamental place we need to reclaim the relationship that we are the workers in gods garden. God gives us the work to share in Gods garden, this world.
The world is where God has give us to work work, share and grow in fellowship.
Dreaming So when we think of the prophet Joel talking about dreaming of God’s garden.. How small should the garden be?
As small as we can manage or as large as God can manage through us and with us?
The Bucket List, with Morgan Freeman and Jack Nicholson
In the time we have what do we want to accomplish with God?
- More worship or less?
- (Longer sermons or shorter ones)
- Feed more or less people
- Clothe more children or fewer?
- Teach faith to a handful or to hundreds?
- Give $5, $50 or $5000, or $50,000
- Fewer small groups, studies & classes?
- More kids at VBS, GROW & camp?
- More quilts or fewer?
More work is more time, money and energy.
When we think of ourselves giving ,ore to God, rather than being afraid to talks about money, what if instead it becomes a conversation about what we are sharing with God and God sharing with us.
Jesus most extravagant parable of giving is seen with miracle feeding the five thousand with five loaves and two fish.
He begins with focus and Framing God’s meal, gods blessing, gods presence, gods feeding us to witness and fellowship, and when we do this there is more than enough, 12 baskets left over.
Turn to your neighbors and tell them ONE thing you would like for us to grow or expand at RSUMC this year?
Will that take more money or less?
Drawing on a deeper account: Gods.
Desire: mine fulfilled in Gods
Dream, Draw, Desire: relationship of Extravagant Generousity
Extravagant perspective: daring to dreams and looking at life from the perspective along side Jesus..
Perspective is different when I have a job and see the link between work and pay saving investing
We are spoiled by the 99 cent menu model.
Fast food gives you the options to but an item for 99 cents knowing you are more likely yo buy more of the item or other items to go with them.
But say you only by the one item. It is not enough to to satisfy hunger for 99 cents three meals a day.
Fellowship dinner/nourishment night hunger awareness meal… Angry folk that we didn’t have enough food.
Look at what is possible as o e who has a seat at the table with Jesus. What is too much to ask when we ask Jesus to help?
I want to do something that is going to fail if God doesn’t help. This is extravagant generosity.
Yes it takes money and sweat equity and service and time and more but if we are looking at doing God work, God joins us with extravagant… 12 baskets left over, not filet meinion but more than our fullness. That is extravagance…
Wasteful? Mary/Martha debate
Operational core value: our goal is extravagant witness of God
But we’re so broke, where is the extra? When there doesn’t seem to be enough..
Review: I said last week we would take questions but I got an ear full all week long.
What if I can’t give
What if I can’t give like I want to
What if I can’t give what God wants
What if I don’t have the money
Joel offers direction for us, as we consider our vision of the church. Vision comes about as God inspires people to prophesy, dream and have visions. What has God inspired you to envision for the coming year?
Colossians instructs us to set our hearts on things above. It is very difficult to focus our attention on God when we are distracted and overwhelmed by the cultural influences in our lives, but that is the call on our lives.
Matthew’s Gospel sets our personal and community priorities. Together in community, we help one another to seek God first in all things, to strive for righteousness, or right standing, with God.
These verses give us the starting place for understanding about supporting ministry relationship with God.