Tag: finances

Open Handed: Part Three // Giving Generously

Today we wrapped up our Open Handed series by talking about giving generously. Giving unleashes a joy that sets us free and brings breakthrough for others. There are four main reasons we give: We give for love; we give for joy; we give for sacrifice; and we give because we are storing up treasures in heaven. Check out some of our takeaways from today’s message:

  • If we can’t trust Him with our resources, it will be hard to trust Him with the other areas of our lives
  • Everything is wrapped up in loving God and loving others
  • Sacrifice is not sacrifice when love is central
  • We give because we love Jesus and we love others
  • When you give abundantly God is always able to refill the bucket
  • The joy of seeing the grace of God abound in someone’s life is worth more than the money we sacrifice
  • The joy of giving causes the rejoicing of Heaven
  • It’s not how little can I give, it’s how much joy can I have
  • When we give, we give obediently and consistently
  • The joy of giving sets us free
  • One of the keys to financial freedom is giving
  • Love always ministers to others and sets people free
  • We give because we are storing up treasures in heaven, not earth. In heaven you’ll never say, “I wish I had given less.”

Open Handed Part Two // Work Diligently

Today we continued our Open Handed series with a message on working diligently. God intended for work to be done in partnership with Him. Work shouldn’t be something that we dread, it should be a place of joy because it is a place of partnership with God.

CHECK OUT SOME OF OUR TAKEAWAYS FROM TODAY’S MESSAGE:

  • When you focus on the provision instead of the mission, you’ll always miss the will of God.
  • When the mission is central, the finances will follow.
  • Work is a place of partnership with God that contributes to God’s purposes in the earth.
  • If you don’t think your work matters, then you probably think you’re wasting your life.
  • When we work diligently, by the grace of God we find our provision, our witness and our contribution.
  • God is committed to meeting your needs.
  • When you learn how to work diligently, you set yourself up for whatever God has for you.
  • When we work diligently, we are putting God’s hand into the mix.
  • As believers, we are called to redeem work.

RESOURCES:

Today we also passed resources to help you get involved in the work force in Waco and in our church. Check it out:

Living Open Handed: Financial Resources

Throughout the month we are diving into a series called Open Handed. As a church, we want to learn more about what it looks like to live simply, work diligently and give generously.

Check out some resources available in our bookstore and online to help you go deeper into this topic:

Realign: Finding God’s Purpose for your Money by Josh Lawson

Did you know God has a plan and a purpose for your money and resources? Throughout this book, Lawson unpacks how we can discover God’s purpose for our finances, and how we can live the adventure God has for us while living within our means. This book is available online and in our bookstore.


Money, Possessions and Eternity by Randy Alcorn

In this book, Alcorn dives into the idea that our resources serve as God’s provision for our good, the good of others and His glory. He also unpacks multiple Scriptures to provide a better understanding of what the Bible says about money and gives us practical tips on how to steward our finances well. This book is available in our bookstore and online.


Living on the Edge by Chip Ingram

Throughout his book, Ingram takes us back to the core values God intended us to live by. From prayer to finances and beyond, Ingram encourages us to look to the Scriptures as our model for living. Each chapter ends in questions and resources to help you dive deeper into each topic. This book is available online.


 

The Treasure Principle by Randy Alcorn

In this book, Alcorn talks about the reality of joyful giving. When Jesus told His followers to store up treasures in Heaven rather than on earth, He intended for us to find joy in the process. Alcorn’s book is centered around the idea that giving brings God glory, while bringing us great delight. This book is available online.

 

 


 

Fields of Gold by Andy Stanley

In this book, Stanley goes into the idea of reaping whatever we sow into. We have the opportunity to partner with God by using our resources to sow into the things that will bring the Kingdom to earth. Stanley unpacks how we can overcome fear and give with great joy, security and confidence. This book is available online.


Resources for Becoming Debt Free:

Check out these two downloadable handouts with resources and practicals for getting out of debt.

Turning a Mountain into a Mole Hill

In August 2012, my family and I took my oldest son, Michael, off to his first year of college. Michael, my wife Tonja and I had worked hard throughout his senior year and the following summer to cover all his freshman year expenses. Though we pursued many avenues to raise the money, the school year came and we unloaded Michael’s stuff, moved him into his dorm room, attended a parent orientation meeting and left him with enough money to cover the fall semester only. We had no idea where the money to cover the spring semester would come from.

Though spring classes were four and a half months away, I felt uneasy knowing we needed to come up with more than $5,000 in that time period. I tried not to worry, but kept feeling January would get here in no time. I prayed every day asking God for the needed resources. I regularly asked God if I should do something such as find some extra work or put together some kind of fundraiser.

Most days I would sense God saying I should trust him to provide the money. One day Tonja and I prayed together and felt we should send a letter to close family members asking them to help.  Another day I felt God say, “Know that I am present with you.” We even felt the Lord encourage us to talk with a friend of ours who worked at the university where Michael attends.  One day’s word was, “Be thankful.”

Between August and December of 2012 the following happened: several family members committed to helping Michael with school, a couple of anonymous gifts were put in Michael’s campus tuition account, the friend I talked to advocated for us and the school awarded Michael some addition grant money, the financial aid office suggested Michael drop one class and take it in summer school which then  netted Michael a small refund which he could use to buy his books and a third  anonymous gift showed up in Michael’s account.

In August, the $5,000 plus we needed for tuition looked like a mountain, but after each step of faith we took, the overwhelming obstacle became a mole hill. Whatever challenge you face, don’t try to take on the whole challenge at once. Just ask God day by day what to do and follow His direction.

By Vincent Carpenter

Administrative and Teaching Pastor at Antioch Community Church