The Onramp to Big Living

This week we come to the end of our series, Live Big. We have been talking specifically about how to live with the abundance God has planned for us in Christ through the lens of our finances. This week we broaden things out to see how we can take those same principles and experience that abundance in our whole lives. Let’s talk this morning about the onramp to big living.

The Onramp to Big Living

We’ve talked about advertisements several times over the course of this series. Not any ads in particular, but the trend of advertising generally. The reason for this is that observing a culture’s advertisements can actually tell you a lot about what that culture values and believes. Advertisers work really hard and are paid big bucks to find ways to convince you to want whatever some company has hired them to sell. In order to do this, they always have to have their finger on the pulse of the people to whom they are trying to sell. They frame certain products in certain ways because they have a pretty good sense that is going to be what will convince you to want it. Cultural slogans tell us a certain amount, but advertisements tell us more. With this in mind, check out a commercial I saw recently from the company, Boost Mobile. 

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The Secret to Abundant Living

This past Sunday we picked back up our series, Live Big. In this journey we are talking about how we can live with the abundance God has for us in Christ. And the particular lens we are using to understand that is our finances. The first thing we need to understand if we are going to live big with respect to our finances is how God thinks about them. This and the implications of His thinking are what this message is all about. Thanks for reading and sharing.

The Secret to Abundant Living

Preachers–especially Baptist preachers–have a stereotype when it comes to their preaching. Most notably, when they preach, they only ever talk about two things: Hell and money. Well, today I’m going to play to a stereotype, and we’re not talking about anyone’s eternal destination. Cards on the table out of the gate here: We’re going to talk about money. Specifically, we are going to talk about giving. I’m not really sorry about it either. I mean, it had to happen at some point, right? The Scriptures talk about giving, so we were bound to come across the topic eventually. We’ve talked about it before—although it’s been a little while. We might as well do it today. After all, I told you two weeks ago when we were virtual that we were going to start talking about our finances as part of our new teaching series, Live Big. And if you’re going to talk about giving at all in a sermon series, you might as well put it right at the beginning to get the uncomfortable stuff out of the way right out of the gate. 

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Digging in Deeper: Mark 12:43-44

“Summoning his disciples, he said to them ‘Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. For they all gave out of their surplus, but she out of her poverty has put in everything she had – all she had to live on.'” (CSB – Read the chapter)

Have you ever received a gift that was truly a generous one? There’s just something about that experience that feels good. You feel honored. You may be a little ashamed or embarrassed by the generosity, but your gratitude is enormous. You immediately rate the character of the giver as high. On the other hand, have you ever received a gift you knew was not in the least bit generous? The feelings then are almost the exact opposite. You may take whatever it is, but you’re really not very grateful for it at all. The other person just did it because he had to or somehow felt obligated to do it. That’s not a gift you’re ever going to be very happy receiving. Well, as much as you feel that way, God does even more. This odd little closing episode from Mark 12 gives us a really powerful picture of this truth. Let’s take a look.

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Invest in Tomorrow

All this month we have been talking about what it looks like to have a fresh start that means something more than it usually does. We’ve been talking about how to make our fresh starts something more than accomplishing the same old things with the same old efforts. The secret here when it comes to our relationship with Jesus is the spiritual disciplines. Each week in this journey we have talked about a different practice that will create space in our lives for the Holy Spirit to do His good work in us. This last part will be no exception. All of these efforts have been aimed in the direction of our living more fully the abundant life Jesus came to bring us. How do we live this abundant life? This last discipline is the key. Read on to find out what it is.

Invest in Tomorrow

One of my favorite cartoons growing up was Duck Tails. It was just one of those genre-defining shows that was beloved by a whole generation of kids. And that’s not just me speaking as a fan. The show was nominated for a Daytime Emmy award four different times including Best Children’s Animated Program twice. It was popular enough that it got a modern remake a few years ago. Of course, this wasn’t anywhere as good as the original—but not many things ever are.

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Morning Musing: Malachi 3:10

“‘Bring the full tenth into the storehouse so that there may be food in my house. Test me in this way,’ says the Lord of Armies. ‘See if I will not open the floodgates of heaven and pour out a blessing for you without measure.'” (CSB – Read the chapter)

One of the things we see people being instructed not to do several times in various places in the Scriptures is to test God. We are not to hinge our devotion or obedience to Him on his doing something we want Him to do. He is not at our beck and call. He is God and we are not. In light of this, seeing Him actually command the people to test Him on something here should cause us to sit up and take notice. Well, sit up, and let’s take notice.

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