North Anderson Baptist Church
Where is Your Heart?
Locations & Times
Expand
  • North Anderson Baptist Church
    2308 N Main St, Anderson, SC 29621, United States
    Sunday 10:30 AM
The last two months we have spoken on the subject of Pushing Back the Darkness and touched on the areas of Discipleship Making and Missions and Evangelism so far. This month we will relate Biblical Stewardship to our theme Pushing Back The Darkness. Throughout this month we will talk about tithing and grace giving, as well as proportional giving. Biblical stewardship is directly from the Father Himself. God speaks of stewardship relating to your time with Him, serving Him and what you financially give back to Him in an act of worship and to support the work of the Kingdom of God. Have you been obedient and faithful in your giving as an act of worship and in seeking to advance the Kingdom of God?

It has been said, “The way we handle our money is perhaps the truest indicator of the spiritual condition of our heart!” Where is your heart? Where are you storing your treasures?

To help answer these questions we will talk about three basic words: priorities, choices and obedience
1. Priorities
Jesus, while speaking during the Sermon on the Mount, after verses 19-21 goes on to say, that all people have a problem; the problem is that people just worry about how the next day will go, where they will get food and clothing and is there enough money to carry them through the troubles and trials of everyday life. Who of us at sometime has not worried about our life and how to take care of the needs we have? Jesus answers this problem that people have with two stories. The first is about the birds of the air and how God feeds them and are taken care of but then declares they are not more important to God than we are. In the second story He tells us that the flowers of the field are clothed in fine array, they look beautiful, but He says they can’t make themselves that way it is the Father who takes care of them. Jesus goes on to say, and yet, they have little value but God treasures them and takes time to clothe them. Jesus asks then, “Will He not much more clothe you?” He is basically saying, “Why worry about the things in life, I got your back!” “Don’t just have faith in Me, I know what you need and I will take care of everything?” Jesus says He knows our need and He will be there for us, trust in Him.

But pay attention to what else Jesus says. Jesus sets a condition in the following verse; to be able to really trust in the Lord, so we might believe what He says, He will do. Verse 33 says, “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” When we seek God and His kingdom and desire His righteousness and go after it with all our heart, then all the things we want will be ours and there will be even more given to us that will be a blessing. If we put these things as priorities in our lives then we can trust the Lord to take care of us.

Let’s dwell for a moment on this passage. What is this “seeking” the Lord all about? Notice, Jesus says that we are to first, seek His kingdom and His righteousness. First is so clear, it doesn’t mean second or third but do it first! It is a priority! What are we to do first? Two things together, “seek His kingdom and His righteousness.” According to Vine’s Expository Dictionary of Biblical Words, the Greek for “seek” means “to strive after or coveting earnestly or run after or desire,” and do that diligently, with all that you are. When you put it in the context of seeking His kingdom and His righteousness, then we as His children, are to go after or desire with everything we are, His kingdom, (that which Jesus built, aka, the church, fellowship of God or the family of God gathering together to worship and serve Him). And basically at the same time, we are to strive after His righteousness and His holiness. Righteousness, on the other hand, “is an attribute of God” which “is the character or quality of being right or just.” Some scholars say that it is essentially the same as “His faithfulness, or truthfulness, that which is consistent with His own nature or promises.” When we seek these two things in our life, we are giving our life completely over to God. His promises are to be believed and trusting in His Word will rid you of the worry in your life about “stuff.” One guarantee is that if you do what Jesus says to do and make it a priority of your life, you will be “pushing back the darkness” in your life.
2. Choices
Having your life grounded in the Lord’s promises and your priorities reflecting God’s desires, then you can choose to do as Jesus says in verses 16-21, and not store up on earth “treasures,” money or things of this world for your pleasure, but store them in heaven instead. How can you do that? Make a choice to live your life in complete obedience to God. Part of the formula of being obedient to His commands is deciding to giving from the money you make, a tithe from your income. (The tithe is a giving of a minimum of 10% of all that you make financially.) You could actually go beyond a tithe by giving “in excess” of what your tithe is.

When you are “laying up treasures on earth” you are choosing to give to yourself and your desires rather than to the Lord. This is a symptom of loving money more than loving God which creates all kinds of problems. Tony Evans has said about the subject of loving money, “Many a man or woman will say, ‘I don’t love money.’ Okay, say you don’t love it, but you date it, fantasize about it, romance it and lose sleep over it. I don’t know, sounds a lot like love to me.”
Jesus explains later in this chapter that you can worry yourself to death, thinking there will not be enough for you to make it if you “give away” to the Lord that money you have earned and for which you take care of your family. But, the real irony of that choice is, people refrain from giving to the Lord not so much because they are afraid they won’t have enough to take care of them and their needs, but they are selfish and choose to want to do with “their” money what they think they want, more than giving a part of it to God for what He desires. God clearly states in Deuteronomy 16:17 that, “Each of you must bring a gift in proportion to the way the Lord your God has blessed you.” How can we stand before the Lord and say, “I didn’t have enough to give what you asked?” Has God blessed you? God knows our heart, what we have and all of our needs. It is a dangerous thing to stand in front of God and lie!
3. Obedience
Biblical stewardship begins in the heart of God. All is His and we have been given the privilege, from God, to have anything at all, whether possessions, money or other things we value. Yes, we might earn it by working or sometimes it is given to us without earning it, but regardless of how we get it, it is all still God’s, we are but stewards of what He has given us. Are we so selfish that we are building up treasure piles here on earth and spending the money God gives us all on our own desires without consideration for what God wants? At times, are we going overboard spending the money that is rightfully God’s or are we truly doing what Jesus says by storing up for ourselves treasures in heaven? How do you store up treasures in heaven? First, by being obedient to what God says to do with the money He gives you and then give back to God what He desires, having prayed and listened to His heart - for you. He will never contradict what His Word tells us to do. We should be faithful and obedient to follow His Word by giving back to God our resources, which we have because of His goodness, and supporting that which God calls for us to do for His kingdom. Malachi writes in chapter 3 that we rob God by not tithing into His storehouse. Many great teachers, scholars and preachers believe that the storehouse Malachi speaks of is the local church. Dr. Frank Page said this week, “That for me, the storehouse is his local church.”

Where is your heart? Your heart will be where you put your treasure; if you are obedient to God and store up your treasure in heaven, then the evidence is sure, your heart is in heaven. What should your priority be? We should be obedient to give to God first, a portion of which God has given to you, at least a tithe or more. What if it is not possible to give a full tithe? Do what Malachi says the Lord declares, “Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test Me in this,” says the Lord Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room for it.” (Malachi 3:10) Testing God on tithing of your income is a challenge from the Lord Himself. In our context this morning, being a Biblical Steward is doing what God says to do with the money He gives to you, tithe. Believing and being obedient is doing!

I believe this will come to be a reality in your life if you will do what Jesus tells all of us to do in verse 33, “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”
One of my goals for this month is that each of us will realize that we can give more to His Kingdom. If we have not yet tested God through tithing our income, begin to tithe starting next week and if you already tithe, then begin to trust Him as you give more than the tithe, give over and above your tithe. By the way, that is what you call an offering.

My prayer is that each family unit will raise their giving level, to the Lord Jesus, up until you are at a tithing level. If you are presently tithing, then my prayer is that you will begin to give more in offerings over and above your 10% giving.

How can all of this push back the darkness? When Satan doesn’t have control over your money and you are released to trust the Lord God with all of your finances, since they are His anyway, God’s gift to you will bring joy and the abundance of satisfaction that you have been faithful and obedient to the One who has provided all you have for you and your family. With more financial ability, the church of Jesus Christ can reach more people who are bound by the darkness and they will then know the light of the life of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Remember - Get your priorities right by seeking after God’s Kingdom and His righteousness and find out how great God’s faithfulness is to you in all things and even more than you would imagine.
Make the choice to store in heaven your treasures, then know that your heart is in the hand of God!
When you show obedience to invest in the Kingdom of God through sacrificial, faithful financial giving, the darkness in a multitude of lives will be pushed back by the Truth and the Light of the Lord Jesus Christ.
How can you make a difference? The real and only way is for you to first know the Lord Jesus Christ as your personal Savior and Lord. That takes surrender of life and all you are, to Christ. You must be saved to truly make a significant difference in the lives of this world for Christ. If you are saved then set your priorities to seek the kIngdom of God and His righteousness, then be obedient to the command of Christ and be faithful to give so that souls can be won for the Lord. Giving of your life and all your possessions, is the desire of God, who owns it all anyway.

If you are you not saved, then know this Jesus who died on the cross, who was buried and then arose from the dead to walk again alive. He wants you to surrender your heart and life to Him and allow Him to be the King and Lord over you. Today allow Him to conquer your heart and be the Boss.

Invitation

Dear friend if you are reading this by way of the internet please know that you are loved and cared for. If you have no relationship with God the Father through Jesus Christ His Son, then I invite you to trust Him by faith and receive Him as your personal Savior. Jesus Christ died on the cross for the sin of everyone in the world that they may have eternal life. All of us have sinned and all are guilty before Almighty God who made us to have fellowship with Him. But sin broke that ability to have a relationship and Jesus has restored the possibility to know God personally through His sacrifice. Please know that if you will seek God and turn from your sin and pray He will respond with His love and give to you a personal relationship through your belief in His Son and the sacrifice He made just for you. He will call for a change in your life too. He wants you to follow Him, not the world, not your own desires, but to follow Jesus. That brings a life change when you turn from sin and self and by faith believe in Jesus Christ as your Savior and Lord. There is no Savior without Him being Lord of your life. Your willingness to change by following Him daily in your life will be the proof of your faith. When life throws its curves your way and you have found yourself broken by others or by the world let us introduce you to the only One who can help you…Jesus! You can write or call the office and we will follow up by contacting you. Office phone number is 864-225-2575 and the website address is www.northandersonbaptist.com and the physical address is 2308 N. Main St., Anderson, SC 29621. Dear friend if you are a believer and you have been touched by the Lord and you would like to talk to someone at the church just contact us in one of the ways you see above. If you are a believer and would like to talk about the church and your interest in being a part, please call and we can set up an appointment for you and get to know you. It would be a great pleasure to share our Lord’s love with you. This is a loving church and you are important to us, so please let us know what we can do for you in the Lord.Pastor Bill Rigsby

http://www.northandersonbaptist.com