It Clarifies My Relationship to God (1 of 4) by Ed Rowell

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It Clarifies My Relationship to God (1 of 4)
Series: The Difference a Dime Makes
Ed Rowell
Malachi 3:8-10
May 2, 2004

For several months, I was having trouble with a torn muscle in the calf of my left leg, so I finally went to see a physical therapist from our church, Roger Hill. Once as I was laying on the table, biting a bullet to keep from screaming, while tears streamed down my face as Roger did his thing, he said, "You know, I used to be afraid of hurting people." (I'm here to testify that he's gotten over that fear!)

He said, "If you don't go deep enough in the muscle to cause pain, you don't go deep enough to bring about any real healing."

I said, "Roger, we have a lot in common." This morning, I'm beginning a new teaching series that may well bring pain to many of us. But like Roger, my goal in going deep is to bring real healing in an area that we too often ignore--the subject of giving.

There is some conventional wisdom among pastors about preaching on money that I've heard throughout my ministry:
1) People get upset when you preach on stewardship.
I say people who love God really want to know what God has to say about every subject.
• There are 2350 verses in the scriptures relating to the subject of money.
• 15 percent of Jesus' teaching was on the subject of money and possessions.
• The Bible says more about our money that it does faith and prayer combined. It says more about our money that it does heaven and hell.
From what I know about you, I believe we want to better understand and obey Him on this topic, because it will lead to a deeper relationship with Christ than we've known before.

2) Never teach on stewardship when the budget is down. People will think you are just begging for money.
Too many churches adopt a "don't ask, don't tell" policy regarding giving and budgeting. To that I say, we are a family. Healthy families don't hide anything under the table or put off hard conversations.

As a family have some exciti ...


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