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Worship through Giving

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by Dick Lincoln

Each Sunday in December, I've opened the sermon with some brief tips about 4 spiritual disciplines we as a church will be focusing on in 2015. 

Missed any of them? Check them out here:

If giving is not a spiritual discipline you currently practice, I encourage you to start in 2015.  To get started, or to refresh your attitude toward giving, here are some tips...

1. Get the point.

The point of giving to God is not to learn generosity or to support the church (though both of those are by-products).  The point of giving is sacrificial worship.  Until you understand that, giving will be a tug-of-war with God instead of the joyful act of worship it's meant to be.

2. Affordability is the least consideration--not the first.

Don't let your first question be, "Can I afford to give?"  Giving sacrificially should cost you something, and you may have to say "no" to wants in order to give.  Do some people genuinely have an issue with choosing between needs and giving?  Sure.  Affordability is a consideration--but don't let it be your first.

3. Accept God's standard of the tithe (10%).

God's grace is available when we don't live up to the standard, but the standard doesn't change for anyone.  Make tithing (giving 10%) your goal.  If you can't meet it now, make a plan for working up to it rather than making excuses for giving less.

4. Find a rhythm for giving and stick to it.

Decide when you're going to give--weekly, monthly, every time you receive a pay check--and stick with it.  When giving is a decision you have to make in the moment, you're less likely to follow through in obedience.  Choose obedience ahead of time and trust God to help you follow through with your commitment.

5. Sacrifice matters. A lot.

Giving is just one way God calls us to live a sacrificial life.  Romans 12:1 instructs us to "present our bodies a living and holy sacrifice" as an act of worship.  The Christian life is a life of sacrifice, as exampled by our Lord Jesus.  Let your giving be just one of the ways that you sacrifice your will for God's way, and let it be an act of worship.


Ready to practice the spiritual discipline of giving? Submit a pledge for 2015 as a way of saying to God, "I'm committed to giving to you."

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Sharing Your Faith in 2015

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When we launched The Power of One in 2013, we challenged our church to invite 10,000 people to Shandon. The challenge for 2014 was to bring 1,000 people to Shandon. As The Power of One continues in 2015, our challenge becomes even more personal--share your faith with someone in 2015. 

Talking about Jesus is easier for some and more difficult for others. Here are a few tips to get you started. Begin now to pray for what God has in store for The Power of One, for our church, and for you in 2015, and make sure you're here on January 11 as I bring more details about The Power of One for the coming year. 

1. Pay attention to people around you.

We're surrounded by people who don't know Jesus each and every day. Some are even in our own families. Though many in the South may consider themselves Christians, look for Christ-orientation in their lives. Do they have a God-centered or a world-centered view of life?

2. Pray for opportunities with the lost.

Begin now to pray for opportunities to share your faith in 2015. You may already have a specific person in mind, or maybe you need to pray for opportunities to begin a new relationship with someone who doesn't know Christ. 

3. Learn to share your faith in 2015.

We will be offering evangelism training on Wednesday nights in the spring and next fall, church-wide Sunday School lessons devoted to helping you learn to share your faith, and I will be providing tips and helps during the worship services throughout the year. Don't let "I don't know how" be your excuse.

4. Learn to refer.

You may know someone who needs to hear the Gospel, but that doesn't mean you're the best person to share Christ with them. People often refer friends to come talk to me, and I refer lost people to others I know. Someone you know may be in a better position to share Christ, so become a bridge that connects the lost to the Gospel.

I'm really looking forward to what God's going to do with our willingness and obedience to take the good news of Jesus to lost and dying world.

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