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. 

Read the rest…

Minding Your Means

As we continue in our series, Live Big, this week we are talking about how to live our lives in such a way that we can be generous and save wisely and thus use the resources God has given us in a way that is consistent with His own plans for them. Doing this will unlock the abundance He desires for us to enjoy. And how is it that we must live? Within our means. But you already knew that. What we are talking about here will take us to the heart of that challenge so that we can understand what has to be in place first if we are to do it at all. Thanks for reading and sharing.

Minding Your Means

Have you ever met the Joneses? That’s not really a terribly common name around these parts, so you may not have. I grew up with some Jonases (not the brothers), but I haven’t known many Joneses over the years. But they must be doing pretty well because a lot of people live their lives trying to keep up with them. Or, at least, that’s what we’re told. We hear often about keeping up with the Joneses. The Joneses always seem to have just a little bit more than you do. You have a big screen TV. Theirs is bigger. You have a new house. Theirs is newer. They bought their boat just before you did. They showed off their new golf cart to the neighborhood a few weeks before yours arrived. Their kids do more activities than yours do and they’re better at them too. Of course, that’s because they can afford the extra private coaching sessions with the local former-pro. You try to do some exercise occasionally so you can maintain roughly the same shape as your current wardrobe. They run marathons four times a year. You aim to eat and feed your kids somewhere in the region of healthy at least a couple of meals during the week. All you ever hear about from them is how they are enjoying whatever the latest health food craze happens to be for dinner each night. And to top it all off, their kids eat all their vegetables without an argument. The Joneses are just hard to keep up with.

And yet…

Read the rest…

Living with Tomorrow in Mind

As we continue in our series, Live Big, we have talked about the big life Jesus wants for us and why sacrificial generosity is one of the major secrets to living it. This week we are talking about something that doesn’t get talked about much in church, but can also be a major tool in our quest for living the big life of Christ with respect to our finances. This week we are talking about saving. Here goes…

Living with Tomorrow in Mind

Do you know what the problem with suckers is? (Not people, the candy.) The whole time you suck on them, you have that stick poking out of your mouth. When God designed our mouths, He designed them really well to clear out excess saliva. You simply seal your lips, suck everything in your mouth to one place, and swallow it down. No problem. I suspect you weren’t expecting to hear about the process of swallowing in the sermon this morning. You’re welcome. 

Read the rest…

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. 

Read the rest…

Abundance

Remember that time you clicked on the wrong date when scheduling your post to go live. I do. This was supposed to go up on Monday. Rather than taking it down and reposting it, enjoy a sneak peak of this Sunday’s sermon. Given that there’s a chance we might be snowed out, this may wind up being your best chance to hear it. I was going to write up a review of Disney’s fantastic new animated featured, Encanto, this morning, but I’ll save that one for Monday instead. Have a great weekend.

This week we kick off a brand-new teaching series called, Live Big. The world calls us to a big life. It offers us many pathways to that life. But when we follow these paths, they keep taking us somewhere other than advertised. Still, though, there is this desire in us to live big. So, we keep searching. In this series, we are going to explore one important way we can live big. Before we get to that, though, we need to understand something that often gets overlooked: As much as we want to live big, Jesus wants it for us even more. Let’s start this conversation off here, then, by talking about the big life Jesus offers and how we can have it.

Abundance

Let me take you back this morning to a TV series that was truly a trendsetter. It was the first of its kind, and the first of a wave of shows like it that has yet to ebb today. In fact, we’ll make this a bit of a trivia question (but don’t worry—I don’t have any emojis for you to decipher in order to figure this one out). The show’s host ended each episode offering you “Champagne wishes and caviar dreams.” Any guesses? It was “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous” hosted by Robin Leach. Each week, the iconic host would take viewers inside the lives of the wealthiest and most well-known celebrities around the world. It was a glimpse inside a world the vast majority of viewers would never enter on their own. It was a look at what we were confidently told was the good life. And from the look of things through Leach’s eyes, the good life consisted of abundance. Now, an abundance of what exactly depended a bit on the particular celebrity in question, but the one thing they all had in common was an abundance of money. The more money you have, the more things you can have; and when you can have more things than everyone else around you, you are living an abundant life. You are living the kind of life that is going to be featured on some media descendant of “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous.” 

Read the rest…