Week 42: All
Luke chapter 21 verses 1-4 And Jesus looked up and he saw the rich putting their gifts into the offering box,2 and he saw a poor widow put in two small copper coins. And he said, “Truly, I tell you, this poor widow has put in more than all of them. 4 For they all contributed out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on.”
And Mathew chapter 6 verses 19-21 19 “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, 20 but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys or where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
As you may know, our church, The Church of Eleven22, has begun a two-year discipleship journey called the ONE Initiative. It is rooted in the “Shema.” The Shema is found in Deuteronomy 6, “Hear, O Israel: (the Hebrew word translated Hear is Shema) So, Shema O Isreal, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. 5 You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.”
We are all asking ourselves, “what is the ONE thing that drives everything in our lives?” Is it our performance, our family, our comforts, our approval? Or is the ONE thing that drives everything, the ONE true God?
For those that want to say that God is that ONE thing, then the next question according to the Shema is, “What does it look like in my life to love the Lord my God with all?”
The answer to that last question will be unique to our own lives. Only the Holy Spirit can answer that question in the hearts and lives of each individual disciple of Jesus.
On November 2nd or 3rd, we will have an opportunity to declare and demonstrate at least a part of what it means to love God with ALL. On those two nights, we will host two identical worship experiences at our San Pablo campus. A big part of the ONE Initiative is that we believe God is calling our church to do whatever it takes to reach ONE more generation.
All of our current worship center space at San Pablo will soon be converted into space for our Students and Kids. That means that the adults will be moving over to what was the Hobby Lobby. So on Nov 2nd and 3rd, we will gather as leaders, as influencers, and as early adopters of Eleven22 to have our very first worship experience in that new space.
We will declare the goodness of God. We will lift our prayers to God as He leads us through this ONE Initiative. And we will bring our financial commitments to God as leaders a couple of weeks before the rest of our church family makes their commitments.
The reason we read the passage from Luke 21 and the passage from Matthew 6 earlier is to make sure that we know what we are doing when we bring to God a portion of the resources that He has so generously lavished upon us.
In Luke chapter 21, Jesus is in the temple and He is witnessing people bringing in their tithes and offerings. And in God’s economy, Jesus says that the person that gave the least in amount gave the most in offering.
The Widow loved God with all. It was not the amount of money that mattered but the amount of faith. The widow trusted that her heavenly Father would take care of her as long as she trusted Him as the ONE thing that was more important than everything.
The other’s that day, though they gave more in amount, actually gave less according to Jesus. They gave their leftovers. They were in essence trusting in themselves and not the Provider of all things.
In Matthew chapter 6, Jesus gives us some more insight into the incredible connection between money and the human heart. All throughout the Sermon on the Mount (which is where Matthew 6 is found), Jesus is talking about trusting God instead of trusting in ourselves. Here, He is essentially is asking us where our trust is.
Are we trusting God with our future or are we trusting our own ability to provide for ourselves? Does the way that we invest our financial resources reveal that we believe that the next few decades that we have left on Earth, are more important than the eternity that we will spend in heaven?
Jesus says that our hearts follow our money. The reason that we should give back to God our first and best is because God first loved us by giving His best in Jesus Christ. God doesn’t need our money but He desires our heart.
So, if you are an owner of the Mission, Vision and Values of Eleven22, and you consider Eleven22 your church, your home church, would you join me on either November 2nd or 3rd and declare that we are ready to love the Lord our God with all our hearts and our souls and our might. And may God use this two-year journey to deepen our relationship with Him.