We picked back up on the Tunnel Vision series this week at Wednesday Night Worship. We began the night with a worship set that included "The King is Coming" (Newsboys), "Enough" (Chris Tomlin), "Blessed Be Your Name" (Matt Redman), and "Good" (Chris Sligh). Before the message I showed the video "Me Linebacker" with Derwin Gray which was good for laughs and an intro into the message.
I began by talking a bit like I did week 1 of this series about how we are all selfish people at the core of our sinful nature. We need to turn our selfishness into selflessness, which is caring more about the needs of others than our own. In addition to selflessness we talked about what it means to be a good steward (manager) of what we have been entrusted. The main characteristic of a Christian is generosity. A selfish Christian is an oxymoron. When we give our life to Jesus Christ, we follow Him in total abandonment and begin to put others before ourself. Why would we have this way of thinking?
A) Everything is His
-Psalm 50:8-12; Psalm 24:1-2
-God created everything. It is all His and is on loan to us.
-At this moment I asked everyone to close their eyes and take a few moments to think about all that they have been blessed with: family, friends, health, possessions, etc.
B) If it is all His, then what is our responsibility?
-I laid out three points that I think we should do for God. We should do things though not our of duty, but because of our love and devotion to God. If He has blessed us and loves us beyond measure, then we should serve Him in these ways.
1) Give Back To Him
-We are to give Him our first fruits, or in other words our best. We are not to give God our leftovers. This applies not only to our finances, but also our time as time is such a precious commodity.
-I didn't go into the aspect of tithing in this message (I actually had prepared some but didn't feel led to go into it). Here is my brief view on tithing: It began with Abraham (Genesis 14:20) so it is not simply something under Levitical/Mosaic law which Jesus came to fulfill and not abolish. With this being said I believe that 10% is actually a good starting point since we live under grace and not under the law. We should not be limited to a percentage, but give above and beyond, and give out of poverty not wealth. I could elaborate much more but now is not the time.
2) Only Desire Enough
-This is a tough one because if we are all honest, we actually desire more than we need.
-I was honest here with the students and shared that I am not 100% there on this one. I want to desire only enough (no poverty and no wealth), but I am as most people are- wanting more than I need. I want God to give me the desire to only want enough. I shared with Belinda afterward that at this moment of transparency I honestly felt like everyone was giving me evil looks for feeling this way and being honest about it. I think though if we are all honest we fit this as well.
-Shaun Groves shared this with us back in July (which I still plan to post about soon). He challenged us to take our share and pass on the rest. To take only what we need and pass the extra on to those in need. He even has a song called "Enough" which you should check out that is taken from Proverbs 30:7-9.
3) Manage Well/Use Everything For His Glory
-We have been given by God what He entrusts us to manage well and use for His glory. This means everything: our money, talents, spiritual gifts, possessions, etc.
-1 Corinthians 10:31; Colossians 3:17
-Everything we do we are to do with the effort and attitude to please God. We are to use all or possessions for the glory of God.
C) Everyone Has Something To Offer
-Often people will think that they have nothing to offer to serve God by serving others. If we are a Christian, saved by Jesus Christ, then we have the Holy Spirit living in us equipping us to serve Him. This means we are capable of much more than we can imagine or think.
-1 Peter 4:10
-We have Spiritual Gifts (not talents) that we have been given to serve God and are to be a good steward of.
I closed the message by asking the students to spend a few moments in prayer considering whether they have been living selfish or selflessly. I challenged them to ask God to show them how they can be selfless and be a good steward and to make a commitment to give back to the One who has given us everything.
What is really neat about this night is that we have been in the process of starting the Sack Pack Program at EK Baker Elementary School. I shared this with the students back in August. This was the first Wednesday night we were able to prepare these for students in need. It went hand in hand not only with this Tunnel Vision series but the message for the night, something that only God could orchestrate so well. Another neat thing is that we are preparing these sacks for 26 students each week. We prepared one earlier in the day to see how it would look so we needed to prepare 25 more. We handed out the bags and we had 25 students exactly last night. Each student was able to be a part of serving others this way. It was really a great way to end the night as we prayed over the sacks and prayed that the families receiving them would be impacted.