Monday, October 7, 2013

Are You Taking God Seriously?

Jesus disciples are a humorous group of men at times.  They seem to mess up on a regular basis and Jesus is pretty patient with them.  I love reading about them because they remind me of myself!

One time his disciples try to cast out a demon and are unable to do it.  So they ask Jesus why and this is his response.

Matthew 17:19-21 (The Message) ~ 

“Because you’re not yet taking God seriously,” said Jesus. “The simple truth is that if you had a mere kernel of faith, a poppy seed (most versions use mustard seed), say, you would tell this mountain, ‘Move!’ and it would move. There is nothing you wouldn’t be able to tackle.”

Are we taking God at his word?  Do we believe he will do what he says?  Do we trust him?

Most of us would say, "Yes!" and yet, our actions show otherwise.  I struggle with this on a regular basis and I'm sure you do too.

We had a very small crowd in church yesterday.  Our little church has been struggling financially for the past few years which is one of the reasons Dan works full-time.  And the offerings have been dwindling.  On average, we bring in $3,500 per month.  That figure alone pays just the mortgage and one or two bills.  As it is right now, even the small salary Dan gets has been paid by our district and that is only through December.  It is disheartening to see the lack of giving.

Dan spoke on stewardship yesterday and he had an inspiring message about faith, and the fact that if we truly believed everything we had belonged to God, we would have no problem with giving him back a portion.  He didn't just talk about money but our time and our talents and our spiritual gifts.  He spoke about stepping out in faith and as we, IN FAITH, give to God, then he will show up and meet our needs.

Then he had us all do an exercise.  We were to write down on a piece of paper what we would be giving IF we were being faithful in tithing and trusting the Lord.  Our treasurer added it all up and it came to $7,400 per month!  That was with quite a few people missing.

Can you imagine how much our little church could do in this community if we took God at His word?  For one thing, my husband would be able to be a full-time pastor again and truly be able to focus on reaching out to both the community and congregation.  Our church would not only be able to pay the bills, but also do ministry.  God would not continue to be handcuffed.

But that is exactly what we do when we refuse to take him at his word.  And that is exactly what we do when we refuse to step out in faith.  We limit God.  We stifle his ability to work in and through us.  We keep him, and everything in our lives, small.

Take God seriously.  If he says, "Step out in faith and I'll be there for you," believe him.  You can trust Him. 

Step out in faith and watch how he shows up!