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Tethered to God

By on November 12, 2017

Rev. Laura Brewster

1 Timothy 6:17-19

Series: Defying Gravity
Today: Tethered to God

One of the greatest gravity-defying events of all time was the first non-stop airplane flight from New York to Paris. Several elite pilots tried and failed. A relatively unknown U.S. Airmail pilot, Charles
Lindbergh, finally succeeded in 1927. He succeeded because he was focused and intentional. Success in any area of life takes effort and intentionality. This is true with regard to generosity too.

Set A Goal.

45% of Americans do not give a single dollar to charitable organizations. They are so tethered to our consumer culture, that they cannot break free to follow God’s leading with regard to generosity.

The first step toward breaking the hold of our consumer culture and tethering ourselves to God’s leading and teaching regarding money matters is setting a goal. Do you have a goal regarding what you intend to give to God and God’s work? Sometimes Christians forget that they are meant to be generous. So Paul asked Timothy to remind the Christians he mentored. Paul said, “Tell them to do good, to be rich in the good things they do, to be generous, and to share with others” (1 Timothy 6: 18 CEB).

In a related topic, Paul also taught about the attitude we should adopt regarding giving. He told the Corinthians: “Each of you must give as you have made up your mind, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” (2 Corinthians 9:7) How can giving inspire joy? Because when we give to God’s work, we know that we are partnering with God to make a difference. So, do you have a giving goal? And is it enough to make you feel joyful?

Make a Plan to Reach Your Goal

Once we have set some financial goals, we need to develop a budget to meet those goals. If you don’t like the word budget, call it a spending plan. As you draft your plan, consider this:

  • Is your giving goal your first priority? We must begin with the portion of our income that we plan to invest in the work of God’s kingdom. If we do not plan this first, we will simply be offering God leftovers.
  • Second, a good spending plan includes appropriate long-term savings goals for yourself and your family. This, of course, will mean something different depending on your age and circumstances.
  • Finally, after giving and saving, determine a level of spending that is pleasing to God in each of area of need and want.

Being good stewards of our income and making appropriate allocations in every area of our financial world does not happen by accident. A spending plan is the vehicle that can get us there.

A Final Step to Generosity: Live Simply

A good spending plan allows us to purchase “needs” and “wants.” But we would be wise to forego purchasing all of our “wants” and instead opt to live simply. Many of us buy more stuff than we need, and that excess stuff can become a burden. An intentional decision to live more simply allows us to buy only what we can afford, what actually enhances our life, and what is in alignment with our goals. Simplicity is not about denying yourself. Simplicity is about identifying what brings real joy in life and weeding out poor substitutes – like excess stuff – that fails to provide lasting satisfaction.

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Contemporary Worship 9:00am - Sunday Study Groups 10:10am - Traditional Worship 11:00am

7050 Village Center Drive, Austin, TX 78731 512.345.1743 info@NWHillsUMC.org