12.27.2017 | by Patrick Voelker, Executive Administrator
Many people have a very difficult time with the topic of Give Financially. To some extent we’ve been trained to consider it as something private and personal, not to be talked about. It’s kind of like the unwritten rule that you don’t ask someone how much they make, or what did your house cost? But, ironically, we also place a high value on giving and generosity.
The idea that when we discuss our faith, following Jesus, and living our lives as Jesus would have us, we many times view that as private and personal as well. It is not for public knowledge or discussion. Yet, Jesus did not treat faith and following Him as private. His discussions with individuals were many times conducted in public, with many people around and listening. Jesus saw someone’s decisions and actions as key to their faith and if they were ready to follow Him.
So, what does this have to do with “and it all comes together”? Our topic for this blog post. Well, we have been talking for weeks about our faith journey as individuals and as a church. Our process is:
- Discover Jesus – Finding Jesus and learning how to follow Him on Sunday’s and Wednesday’s.
- Connect to Others – Gathering in small groups for discipleship; accountability; service; outreach; caring; equipping
- Serve the Community – serve at River of Life on Sunday’s and Wednesday’s and serve in our local communities
- Give Financially – giving generously
All these steps tie to the other. If we are desire to Discover Jesus but are unwilling to connect to others then we are missing Jesus call to engage with others as we follow Him. Likewise, we might like getting together with people in a small group but struggle with being together as believers on Sunday morning or Wednesday nights as we seek to Discover Jesus. All of these are connected, they are not an either/or; but a both/and.
This is how it all comes together. Discovering Jesus is finding Him and following Him as your Savior, as the Son of God. We then connect to others in community, in small groups, and we step more deeply into serving both the church and our communities, and giving generously becomes a reflection of our journey of faith and how we are following Jesus.
As we end one year and begin a new one, it is a great time to evaluate where you are in your faith. Do you believe in Jesus? If not, then 2018 should be the year you tackle just who Jesus is and what He means to you. Have you proclaimed Jesus as your Savior, but you haven’t been baptized? 2018 could be the year for you to take the plunge.
Or, perhaps you have been following Jesus for a long time, but you’re not in a small group, or you’re not serving, or perhaps you haven’t let go of your money and things and giving them all to Jesus. You know the bible backwards and forwards but when was the last time you talked to someone about their faith, about Jesus?
I know these are tough questions. They certainly make me squirm. But living a full life, a joy filled life, a life worth living, is one that is all about following Jesus. It is all worth it to give Jesus our best, to give Him our all, to serve, to share, to be a community of Jesus followers that not only shake up our neighborhoods and surrounding communities, but also shakes up our world.
2018 is here, how are you following Jesus? Let’s all journey together as we help people find and follow Jesus!