Often, prior to worshiping through financial giving I say something like, “Our offering is an opportunity to continue in worship by giving back a small portion of what God has given us.” The aspect of this phrase that is not always helpful is its connotation that we are either given or take ownership of anything in this world, financial or otherwise. The truth is that if want to live a life of worship toward God, when it comes to our finances, our abilities, our passions, and our pleasures we must ask God to help us transfer ownership of those things to Him. I will not whole-heartedly follow Christ unless this happens.
In Luke 16:13 Jesus says, “No servant can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other.” This is true. If you value money over Christ, it is your god, not Him. If you prefer your own ideas of pleasure to the joy of being found in Him, those passions are what you worship, not the Creator. If you trust the words of men while ignoring the Word of God, it is someone other than the King you follow.
I am guilty of choosing each of these idols over the beauty of Jesus. I know you are too. That is one of the many reasons I praise God for the truth of Ephesians 2:1-5 which says,
“And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved.”
This Sunday, we will gather to proclaim our dependence on God, His ownership over our lives and all we are entrusted with, and celebrate His grace in redeeming us from our idolatrous disobedience. It will be a great Sunday together. We all know people who need to hear the good news of Jesus Christ. Invite one such friend this Sunday. It will be a great morning!
For the sake of His name,