Sunday Ruminations (5-23-10)

23 05 2010

Spring has finally arrived in Wyoming (knock on wood).  Weather is getting increasingly better and God CONTINUES to be good.  Here are my ruminations on the day.

—  Had The Tour today and got to connect with a bunch of newcomers to Element.  I always seem to leave The Tour with some great conversations with people.

—  Today I got to talk to a new Elementer who shared something cool.  He said “I love this church.  My wife told me ‘You never wanted to go to church’ But I love coming here.”  I LOVE hearing that.  That is who we are in this for.  So glad that he found a place he and his wife could attend together AND enjoy.

—  Talked with another young man (military) who got stationed here and couldn’t find a church until Element.  Now both he and his roomate are attending and LOVING church.  They were gonna get plugged into a Life Group and volunteering.

—  We are consistently seeing over 200 kids in e:kidz on a weekly basis.  That is not only INSANE, but absolutely AWESOME!

—  The work that e:kidz does, I wouldn’t want my kids in ANY other ministry.  Pastor Derek and our amazing volunteers are rockin’ it in there.  Seeing kids know AND follow Jesus is awesome.

—  LOVED the worship set today.  Adam and Jeremiah did a GREAT job setting up the word with the worship.

— Busted out some old school (funny we call it that) “I Will Give You All My Worship”.  Stuff becomes old school these days too fast.  They stinkin’ JAMMED on that song.

—  Also did one of the great old Hymns “Jesus Paid It All”.  Such a great song of surrender.

— THEN, Adam did a solo song to set up my message called “Wedding Dress”.  It was blunt and uncomfortable.  Made ya think though, and it fit my message perfectly.

—  We continued the series on worship called “Open” today.  One more week left.  Here are some excerpts from today: (It was a FULL message today.  I unloaded a TON on us. I even slashed a TON before this morning.  We need to do a whole series on money again.  SUCH a huge subject)

  • I asked the question today “What does my wallet say about my worship?”  Took on the issue of money.  I wrestled a TON with this weeks message.  It was heavy, bold and challenging.
  • Preached from 2 Corinthians 8:1-15 as my text
  • What does money have to do with worship?  EVERYTHING!  Money is a GOSPEL issue with financial implications.
  • A better praise song is giving a portion back to God.  The best worship is giving generously with what God has generously given us.
  • If God is not in control of your wallet He’s not in control of your heart.  And if He’s not in control of your heart, I don’t care how much you like to sing, serve or study, you are NOT a true worshiper.
  • True worship is when I’m able to release to God what I rely on for my security.
  • My wallet points to grace or it points to greed.
  • EVERYTHING we have is from the grace of God NOT just our salvation.  All that we have and all we can give was first given to us by God’s grace.
  • If we’d stop looking at what we don’t have compared to everyone else, start looking at all we DO have given to us BY God, maybe we’d be more comfortable giving God a portion of what’s ALREADY HIS!
  • My wallet wants to give more or to have more.
  • Generosity is not determined by how much you give but by how much it costs you.
  • Generosity is about being free.  Not the freedom FROM giving but the freedom TO give.
  • Free will giving should be based on the will of God, and God’s will ALWAYS wants to give generously.
  • Some people can’t afford to tithe because they drove their tithe to church today.  They are wearing their tithe.  They will leave church, go to Chili’s and eat their tithe.  They’ll go home and watch TV on their tithe.
  • The reality is Most we CAN afford to tithe.  We CAN afford to give.  We’d just rather mis-use God’s money to please ourselves.
  • We are not under law but under grace, and grace ALWAYS goes beyond the law.  Grace is not the freedom to live below the law, but the ability to live BEYOND the law.  Any other view of grace and we don’t understand the New Covenant.
  • People in the church want to use the New Covenant to abdicate themselves from their spiritual responsibility, when the reality is the New Covenant empowers us to actually live out our spiritual responsibility, INCLUDING what we do with our money.  That is something the Old Covenant could NEVER do.
  • We will give financially to that which we worship…Actually we will give SACRIFICIALLY to that which we worship.  Typically, we will give till it hurts to that which we love most.
  • My wallet wants to do better or feel better.
  • My wallet is eager TO give or meager IN giving.
  • Paul said “I’m going to test how genuine your love is by how you give?”  For many of us, if our love were tested that way, we’d be condemned by our own bank statement.
  • Ok, I REALLY did say a bunch today didn’t I?  lol  I’ll stop there.  You can listen online Tuesday.  http://www.elementweb.net
  • My prayer was “Whether you agree or disagree with everything I have to say, by the end of the day may you know what you need to do to worship God with your wallet!”  I hope God showed you some things.

—   Why is it we can preach on just about ANY sin, subject or topic, but the moment you preach on money peoples barriers go up?  Money is one of the most difficult subjects to preach on.

—  K, I know this has NOTHING to do with Ruminations, but I can’t WAIT for the Lost finale tonight.  I’m worried I’m going to be disappointed.  I hope it’s a good ending to a GREAT show.

—  This coming Sunday, May 30th, we are closing out our series on worship.  AND we are unveiling something REALLY cool that the Fusion Students have done to serve someone in our community.  SUPER proud of them.

— Gonna be another super challenging message this week.  I hope it will change the way we view our worship.  Worship is SO MUCH more than what we’ve made it.

—  Alright, that’s it.  Loved worshiping with you today!  Can’t believe God lets me be a part of this.

—  Hope to see you all next Sunday.  I know it’s Memorial Day, but you should stay here and come to church anyway.

Following Christ,

Jeff

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