Kingdom Privileges - Introduction
Kingdom Privileges (April 24th - May 8th)
This week we begin a short 3 part series called Kingdom Privileges. We’ll follow the programme below:
April 24th – Investing in the Kingdom – Luke 19:11-27
May 1st – Surrendered Giving in the Kingdom – Mark 12:41-44
May 8th – The Generosity of the King’s subjects – 2Corinthians 8:1-15
The series links back to our motto verse for 2016 from Matthew chapter 6 “Seek first the Kingdom of God and his righteousness”.
What? Another series on giving?
We might be tempted to roll our eyes at another series on giving. After-all most of us do already give, and often sacrificially, to the mission and ministry of the Gospel. But before our eyes roll it’s perhaps worth remembering that Jesus spent more time teaching about money and how it is used and invested, and its place and part in full living, than he did almost any other single aspect of life.
It seems that some things don’t change across time and culture. The connection between what we treasure and where our heart is focussed is a long standing one. As is the power of what we most treasure to shape our values and priorities and ways of living day-to-day.
Maybe this was why Jesus devoted so much time to the matter?
As we all know, the reality is that the issues surrounding wealth and material possessions are not really ever settled once and for all in our hearts and minds. Rather we have to somehow negotiate a good relationship with them in ever changing seasons of life and faith, responding faithfully and wisely to the different challenges and opportunities, pitfalls and blessings that mark our day-to-day material and economic lives.
And so this is why we’re revisiting the topic. Not as a fund-raiser for church. Not as a thinly veiled attempt to get more money in from the collection plate. But because it is Gods intention and desire for his people that they live free and unshackled lives of faithful and loving dependence on him. Lives that have are centred on the whole-hearted seeking of Gods kingdom as a response to his gracious invitation to live under his benevolent and gracious rule and reign.
We hope and pray that this series plays a part in encouraging us towards an ever deeper life of missional discipleship.
Finally, it’s important to say how blessed our church is by the sacrificial giving of so many. But more importantly than being a blessing to this church, this giving is a blessing to the kingdom of God. All those who have responsibility for resources that are given to the church have a renewed focus on ensuring faithful stewardship of every penny that is given, to ensure that the whole resource of this church is poured into the work of making Jesus Christ known in the world and the bringing to bear of the kingdom of God which he embodied and spoke about.
Simon Butler – March 2016.