Did you know Christians experience true joy when they keep everything the Lord has entrusted to their care in a proper balance? This does not mean however, that life on this earth will never have its difficulties and challenges, but the Christian is better able to handle the issues of life when he is walking in a right fellowship with the Lord.
Thus, it is important to recognize that how we handle our finances is secondary to our personal relationship with Christ as not only our Savior, but as our Lord (2nd Corinthians 8:5). While the managing of our finances and the use of our talents have nothing to do with gaining favor with our Lord, they do reveal whether He is truly Lord over our lives.
For successful Christian living, one that truly glorifies the Lord in all that we do, it's imperative that we recognize our true citizenship is in Heaven, and we are only on earth for a brief time for the express purpose of glorifying the Lord with who we are and what we have. Certainly this concept runs contrary to the world's view, which is why advertisements and creative marketing are geared to making us dissatisfied with our current stuff so we will buy more stuff that will supposedly bring us pleasure when in reality it is for someone else’s monetary gain.
Randy Alcorn, in his book, “The Treasure Principle” provides a great illustration, “the dot and the line” to help us grasp who we really are as revealed in Hebrews 11:13-16 and 1st Peter 2:11-12.
We are “aliens” on earth (dot) because Heaven (line) is our home.
Though the Lord knew you even before you were in your mother’s womb, you did not exist in history prior to your conception. Yet in just a few quick moments your existence on earth came about and after 70-80 years, in the twinkling of an eye, you will be transformed into eternal life. Forever is for everyone, yet there is a BIG DIFFERENCE in eternity between Heaven and Hell.
Those who do not know the Lord and have no citizenship in heaven, live "in the dot for the dot" and all they do (and have) remains "in the dot". Conversely, Christians live "in the dot for the line" which means they live with an eternal perspective. Their works and giving (in the dot for the line) have an eternal significance.
When Christians handle their finances with right motives and attitudes, the Lord provides both current and future blessings, not only for believers living in the “dot” but also for those who come behind us, as well as for when we get to (“line”) heaven (Matthew 6:19-21).
In addition to making you aware that our weekly offerings for the final 12 weeks of 2012 will need to average $9,515 in order for us to finish with sufficient cash flow to maintain our witness as the body of Christ in the community, I have included a summary report of Wellington’s income and expenses that assumed TCA would be at Wellington to the end of the year, along with projections for finishing the year without that outside resource.
As you will see from the budget below, some of the cash reserve has eroded over the past two years. Now with the lack of continued revenue from TCA, it is critical not only for finance to trim portions of the budget where we need to 'wait upon the Lord' to move forward with some ministries, but it is also necessary for the whole body to pray and seek the Lord's will, trusting that He will provide the additional $23,039 through His people for the benefit of His work through basic ministry at Wellington in 2012.
In the next letter, I'll discuss the issue of "ownership", another critical concept we must understand if we are to gain a correct perspective on how the Lord wants us to handle our financial resources. If you want to study ahead consider these passages; Psalms 24:1, Psalms 50:10-12, along with the 3rd and 4th chapters of Daniel.
After reading those scriptures, ask yourself these questions: 1. Who / what is responsible for your financial position? 2. If God owns everything, then why did He instruct His people to tithe and later to cheerfully give?
Prayer: “Lord help each of us to recognize our citizenship is in heaven and that you are Lord of everything. Help us to live on this earth with eternity in view and not from a myopic, limited, earthly perspective”.
Sincerely in Christ
Elder who oversees finance
Members of the finance committee: Juan Castro, Mike Guiler, Roy Hines, David Stewart