Money happy?

John Wesley said , “When I have any money, I get rid of it as quickly as possible, lest it find a way into my heart.”
He felt that the more possessions we have, the harder it will be to leave it or give it up. We have to leave it all behind anyway, so is it important to hold things of this world lightly?
1 Tim. 6:10 says, “For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.”
There is nothing wrong at all with money, or having it, I am not suggesting that it is bad or evil as this verse is often misquoted with saying. Loving it, not wanting to lose it, and this love of it is where the problems can arise.
Kept in check and a good perspective, money can be used for so much good, and can be a blessing to us and those around us. It can be life changing in so many good and amazing ways.
Nearly half of the parables Jesus told were about money or generosity. It is important enough for our Lord to talk that much about it to those around Him.
Someone once said, “Generosity is not measured by how much you give. It is measured by how much you have left.”
Does our depth of spirituality show itself by how we handle the money we have? Does money make such a difference to how we worship? Are we only happy if we have more than others? Can money really buy happiness?

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What church….

January is the month when some churches including my own look forward for the rest of the year and see if our vision has changed, needs changing, what has worked, what hasn’t and what the shorter and longer term visions are. When I look at my own church I see a good vision for both now and the future with ideas and community.
What do you see when you look at your church and the vision it has? We need to stop every now and again and make sure what we are doing fits in with the vision God has given you. Does God want you to change direction slightly, as nothing really stands still for very long. Do you see a vision that has a main point of spreading the gospel to all the borders of your land? Is it a church which looks outward, and not always inward at itself?
Do we belong to a church that is totally God – centred, and puts Him first, that the spiritual life of the people keep growing, and they are equipped and enabled to be released for the glory of the Lord. Is our church committed to the lost, to the lonely especially in their own church family. Do they love and care for each other as a family, bringing hope and purpose to those who belong?
Each Church is individual and different. Your church family may be small or large, but it needs to be asking questions of whether it is being the church of God and doing all the amazing work He has for you. Some of the questions are more personal and need to be asked between you and God. A family takes care of itself, so do we do that? These are also questions that I ask myself, especially whether I am fulfilling my purpose and how I belong to and relate to my church family.

Gifts and Talents

Being part of a church family is inspiring for me. I look at the wonderful talented people around me, and the things they can do, and I am constantly amazed. There are so many gifts, but so many jobs to be filled within the church. We all contribute to how our churches are run in many ways, and many of those within church are involved in lots of rotas, jobs and skills with little time to just sit and be.
Too many of us are trying to do things we are not called to do, and try things we are not shaped by God to be. If the ability from God is not there for a post that needs to be filled, it can cause more problems and can be counterproductive.
We must try to be the very best we can be when we work for the Lord. We must be able to give everything we have and excel. We need an understanding of how we have been made in God and His family. I have had a step back in this New Year and had a good think to see if what I am doing is what God wants, and it gives me a good chance to have this thinking time at the start of the year. It gives a chance to review the previous year and what I want to take with me into the brand new year.
Stephen Matthew from Life Church has a good acronym for what I feel about my place in my local church family
N – Natural abilities
I – Imparted spiritual gifts
C – Character and personality
H – Heart: the things we love to do and are passionate about
E – Experiences: everything life has taught you so far

Ask God where your niche is and the skills and gifts He has given you. It is so fulfilling to be used and equipped and know that where you are liberating.