It’s a season of celebration and giving! Here are some of my highlight photo’s of December so far…
How much should I give?
“Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver” - this is the instruction the Apostle Paul gives to the Corinthian Christians concerning giving money to the church for God’s mission. (2 Cor 9v7).
So what is clear, and what is not so clear? Well, its clear that the expectation is that “each one should give”. Giving is for everyone, not just for those who are rich or those who have something left over. Its for you, for me, for everyone.
What’s not so clear here is “how much should I give?” Well, the answer seems simple: “Give as you have decided in your heart to give”. Do you interpret this as “give whatever you want” or “whatever you feel good about”? Surely this is totally inconsistent with any other spiritual discipline in the Scriptures? And then there is another big problem: Our hearts themsleves, about which Jeremiah reminds us that “The human heart is the most deceitful of all things, and desperately wicked. Who really knows how bad it is? (ch 17:9 NLT)
If your heart is wicked or sick (from hope deferred) or hardened, it is not going to lead to God honouring giving (or any other ) decisions. Our hearts need a lot of help to make good God-honouring decisions. So here are three ways that we can hep our hearts make God-honouring giving decisions, which I look at in my last weeks sermon called “The Heart of Giving” here:
- Guard your heart
- Guide your heart
- Give your heart
This giving instruction in verse 7 is followed by one of the most incredible promises in all of the New Testament:
“And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.” Or as the NLT says it: “Then you will always have everything you need and plenty left over to share with others.” (2 Cor 9v8)
I trust that this message about “The Heart of Giving” will really help you to bring order and faith to your finances, and clear confident direction to your giving. God’s purpose is that you are “blessed to be a blessing!”
In addition also see the links below for more:
- 5 Truths about the Tithe: In the message I also mention my personal convictions about tithing, and you can see more on this topic in my mini series on “5 truths about the Tithe” here on YouTube
- Hammersmith Congregation Annual Finance Report: Also, you can see our Hammersmith Finance Report by Alex Lugt last Sunday on video here, which includes a slideshow of some of the things we’ve been up to over the last year.
Here’s a 2.5 minute recap video from our AWESOME Europe student weekend recently. Students from Germany, France, Turkey, Ireland, Poland, Ukraine, and the UK descended on the New Forest in the South of England…
Watch this space for the 2015 details – and make sure your church has some students getting in on the action to
Tags: campus, church, Every Nation, london, music, website
Check out the new Every Nation International website:
Main site here
Check out there great features:
- “Find a church” - check the world map to see where the EN churches are (Obviously excluding restricted countries)
- Every Nation Music – you can even submit a demo from anywhere in the world for the Nashville pro’s to consider!
Every nation in our generation!
Tags: church, claim, Every Nation, God, Jesus, wolfgang eckleben
Jesus made claims that caused the religious teachers of the day to want to kill Him on charges of blasphemy, accusing him with:
“You, a mere man, claim to be God” – John 10v33
Who you believe someone to be and what you know of them will completely determine how you relate to them, and what you can receive from them. What you believe about Jesus will completely determine your faith (or lack of it) in Him. If all He is to you is “the carpenters son”, then he may be able to build you a house, but you will never receive from Him what He really came to give: Life, eternal and abundant!
Jesus is God. Do you believe it? Can you explain it to those who don’t believe? Listen to my JESUS IS GOD message here, which is part one of this 4 part series. This coming Sunday: “Jesus is… friend of sinners” – invite someone who needs to know that!
I took this photo in the Austrian Alps a couple of years ago at the top of a super steep black slope. I’m on my snowboard, and in the picture below me is my good friend Markus Marosh, who pastors our church in Innsbruck. Just after this photo was taken, we blasted down this black slope for an incredible run.
But it wasn’t always like that. Just a few years before this picture was taken, when Markus and I were skiing together, we would get to this point at the top of the black slope. We’d stop, and then I’d go around to the left onto a gentle blue slope which led onto a kiddies slope, and then rejoined the main slope at the bottom of the black run. Markus would I’d go around, and meet Markus below.
You see I’d never had proper ski instruction. I’d learnt to ski and then snowboard by basically teaching myself and observing others, but never had anyone actually teach me. So I sort of enjoyed myself, but when it came to the difficult bits I found a different way around, and I’d miss out on the real action.
Then one one day as we were about to part ways at the top of the black slope – me to the the blue and him on the black – Markus said to me “Come, follow me”. I said NO WAY! But he encouraged me and coaxed me to go over the edge and follow him down the black slope while coaching me down to improve my technique and give me confidence to face the mountain.
I took courage and went over the edge and tucked in right behind him and we zig zagged across while he instructed me.
It didn’t take much for me to learn the basics overcome my fear, and soon I was growing in confidence and enjoying the incredible ride down this exciting piste. I have never looked back and today I feel that I can shred any black off-piste slope I have the opportunity to ride!
Does this illustration relate to your faith walk? Do you feel like there are some basics you never mastered, and end up on the “blue slope” when by now you should be blasting down the black? If yes, then The Follow Course is for you.
More details and online sign-up online here.
Tags: church, course, discipleship, follow, Jesus, london
It’s designed to help you intentionally move forward along your journey of following Jesus as His disciple, and is presented in three parts called Come, Grow, and Lead. These are based on what we we see in Jesus’ great invitation to those who wanted to be His disciples: “Come, follow Me, and I will make you fishers of people!” – Matthew 4:19
- Part 1: COME – The Invitation to Intimacy: “Come to Me” (4 weeks)
- Part 2: GROW – The Invitation to Imitation: “I will make you” (7 weeks)
- Part 3: LEAD – The Invitation to Influence: “Fishers of people”(7 weeks)
Part One starts on Monday 10th
You can register for free here (required, and spaces are limited)
What to expect? A creatively presented journey of exploring life-changing truths to help you establish a confident secure relationship with God through faith in Christ. And food!