The word "army" is defined as "a group of people trained and armed for war".
The Rock's ARMY is a group of people trained and armed to fight for the souls of unbelievers. Every soldier in the ARMY uses their cash, time, and talent, as good stewards and allows God to be Lord over their possessions.
Money is the most talked about thing in the Bible and the reason is simple; money ties up most of our lives. We spend more time and effort trying to earn it, save it and spend it. It represents prestige, security and success. Without it comes poverty, uncertainty and sometimes shame. Money isn't bad or good, it is just a means but because it can be used for just about everything it means a lot. Someone asked Jesus how to get into heaven and He said to give up all his money and follow him but sadly the guy couldn't do it. Sadly I can relate to that guy.
Pastor Miles gave us an invigorating message about how all things belong to God and not us including the money we earn and that is why tithing is so important.
In Luke 20:19-25 we find the religious leaders (the Pharisees) of the time again trying to get Jesus to say something that they can use against Him. First, they sent in spies to act nice and holy but to betray Jesus.
Pastor Miles pointed out that we all have people that talk behind our backs or do things to diminish us and that Jesus had the same problem. In fact Jesus had a disciple who betrayed Him and Jesus knew it was going to happen the entire time. Ironically Judas (the betrayer disciple) was in charge of the money for Jesus and the disciples which brings us back to the story in Luke 20.
In Luke 20:22 the Pharisees ask Him, Is it lawful for us to pay taxes to Caesar or not?
As Pastor Miles explained, there is more to this question than might seem at first glance. The Pharisees were trying to catch Jesus in a trap.
The Jews were against paying tribute to Caesar as it is a form of worship. The Romans enforced their taxes (like all governments do). So a "Yes" answer to the question would make the Pharisees say that Jesus is encouraging worship to the Roman Ruler while a "No" answer would pit Jesus against the Romans; either way a good situation for the Pharisees who were trying to kill Him.
But in Luke 20:25 Jesus answered, Render therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar's and to God the things that are God's. This answer stunned the Pharisees as we see in Luke 20:26.
1. I honor God with my money by faith giving because He entrusted me to build His Kingdom with it
Rock Financial Life professor Dave Wessels quotes the Bible saying that where we spend our money is where our heart is. If one spends money on giving to the poor or helping the church, it is obvious where that persons heart is. If one uses their cash to support a drug habit it is equally obvious. When we spend our God's money in the right way, we are blessed.
2. I honor God with my money by faith giving because it secures His blessings for me and others.
Real important to point out that blessings aren't always cash. Because you give $100.00 doesn't mean your going to get $500.00 back in cash as some other churches teach. Blessing come in infinite forms and usually are worth so much more than what we can give. Remember that God can give us infinitely from uncountable recourses. We are fairly limited on what we can give back.
3. I honor God with my money by faith giving because it makes me happy to fulfill my commitment to obey what His Word says.
2 Corinthians 9:7 tells us to be cheerful givers. We should want to help our fellow man. For example when the ministry goes to Mexico to build homes for people and the church gets 200 volunteers but no supplies that doesn't help anyone. It takes money to get those supplies and if God has given us the resources to help, shouldn't we?
4. I honor God with my money by faith giving because I want to be a role model for others to give.
People will do what you do not what say. Anyone who has children can tell you that and didn't God set the ultimate example by sacrificing His own Son? Again we can't out give God.
5. I honor God with my money by faith giving because it reminds me who is ultimately in charge.
Again it is all God's money. He gave it to us, He gave us the talents and means to earn it and by tithing it shows Him that we remember that.
6. I honor God with my money by faith giving because God gave his son.
Giving reminds me who I want to be like We love Him because He first loved us. 1 John 4:19
7. I honor God with my money by faith giving because I've given my heart to God.
God has commanded us to tithe to test our faith in him because money can overpower us but we are suppose to put our faith in Him. Our heart belongs to God; not the dollar, peso, mark or anything else.
Last week many of us in the Rock Army had the chance to finish a six week, eye opening class on handling money and possessions from a biblical perspective lead by Dave Wessels and new classes start regularly. This class will show you where your heart is (you may not realize where it is) and give you some very practical and extremely helpful advise on getting a grip on your finances. Check the Rock U calendar for upcoming classes.