Last week we thought about how we could become ‘the dream team’ and the dream is that we become people who are living for God’s Kingdom in our community.

It is my prayer that you will say ‘I’m in’!

 

Imagine the Future

I found this picture helped me see what our future looks like.

We are gathered around Jesus. He has inaugurated the Kingdom of God through his death and resurrection and will bring it into completion when he returns. In the mean-time he has called us to live in anticipation of what is to come and invite people to come under his rule.

We will be part of the community. Jesus came among us (John 1:14) and the first 30 years of his life were spent amongst ordinary people. When he began his ministry he spent time in communities and now he has sent us out to continue his work.

Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” ‘

John 20:21

We do this as we get among people and join in with what God is already doing in our community and telling them the Jesus story, as opportunities arise.

Invest in God’s Kingdom

This will require time, effort and money. Jesus told a story to encourage us to make sure that we are ready for the cost of being disciples:

‘Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Will he not first sit down and estimate the cost to see if he has enough money to complete it? 29 For if he lays the foundation and is not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule him, 30 saying, ‘This fellow began to build and was not able to finish.’

Luke 14:28–30

It was John Wesley who said, ‘The last part of a man to be converted is his wallet.’ There is no doubt that giving is an essential part of making the dream to be a church living for God’s Kingdom in our community a reality. The following passage gives us helpful guidelines for giving.

Now about the collection for God’s people: Do what I told the Galatian churches to do. 2 On the first day of every week, each one of you should set aside a sum of money in keeping with his income, saving it up, so that when I come no collections will have to be made. 1 Corinthians 16:1-3 (NIV – Anglicised)

Giving is a regular act of worship.

The money for this collection was to be set aside on ‘the first day of every week’, what we know as Sunday, when God’s people gathered for worship.

It is to be in proportion to our income.

Paul instructs the Christians in Corinth to ‘set aside a sum of money in keeping with [their] income.’ In Old Testament times people gave a tenth of their income to God. This was practised by Abraham and Jacob (see Gen 14:20; 28:20-22) and was commanded in the law (Leviticus 27:30-33; Num. 18:21-32; Mal. 3:7-10). Of course this is now ‘the day of grace’ however tithing is a useful guideline and if anything we should give above that – generously (2 Cor 9:6) and cheerfully (2 Cor 9:8-9).

I believe that God is going to take us on a great adventure in the months and years ahead of us as we fulfil this dream to be ‘living for God’s Kingdom in our community’ It will cost time, effort and money but I hope you’ll say ‘I’m in!’

 

Think it Through

  1. Does Jesus’ incarnation provide us with a model for living for God’s Kingdom in our community (see John 1:14)?
  2. Why do you think Jesus spent 30 years living an ordinary life in Nazareth before beginning his ministry? What does this teach us about the way that we relate to our community?
  3. What has Jesus sent us out do (John 20:21)?
  4. Why should we give financial support to God’s work?
  5. What are principles about giving are we given in 1 Corinthians 16:1-3?
  6. In what ways can giving be a blessing to others and ourselves?

 

Pray it in

Imagine our future as a church ‘living for God’s Kingdom in our Community’ and pray that God will bring it into reality.  Feel free to be creative in the way you do this!

Pray that God will supply our needs as we move forward in the vision.