The two newspapers I most often read online are Adelaide Now and The Sydney Morning Herald. This week I had to laugh.
Front Page on Adelaide Now was ‘[Adelaide] City most livable for three years running’ (3/3/12) while front page on the Herald was ‘Sydney second least livable city in Australia’ (3/3/12).
Should we really care about this?!! I mean, what makes a city ‘livable’ will vary from person to person in the same way that our individual preferences change over which ice cream we may each like to eat! If you are interested, Adelaide tops the list because it is the most affordable place to buy a house (because of course that is the most important measure), has a good standard of living (compared to what?) and is clean (obviously Sydney has not been cleaning their toilets as regularly!).
I wonder what assessment God would hand down if asked?!
Luke 16, the passage we looked at on Sunday, may help. A rich man who is more concerned with the luxury he lives every day pays no attention to a beggar who could really use his help.
But God notices and his assessment of the situation does not take into account the rich man’s property portfolio – he considers what the man has done to care for those in need.
Our rich man (who, I think, would see himself a man of faith – as he knows who Abraham is) has put wealth before service, put himself before others, put money before God. As Jesus teaches his disciples with the Pharisees listening in, he says ‘You can not serve both God and Money’ (Luke 16:13). As disciples we need to take note for fear of falling into the same trap that the Pharisees fell into.
Be less concerned with what the world is concerned with, and more concerned with what God wants to see. Be less concerned with earning money for ourselves, and more concerned with using our money for the sake of others.
I am thankful that there are some many (hopefully most) at 5pm Church who model this in the way we each give generously for the sake of the gospel. I also know that ministry will always cost – and if it is growing it is a cost that will always increase over time.
Trinity City has just sent its latest church plant (praise God). The cost here will be felt in multiple ways – the most obvious in the people who we no longer see each week. The often unspoken cost is that we have to pay for the church plant to get up and running (both for the sake of funding the new venture and covering the reduction in offertory which occurs as a result of people leaving to go with the plant).
Friends, it is a new year. 5pm Church did not send many to Trinity Inner South, but Trinity City did – and that is going to hit our finances hard.
Can I ask you to consider if you can give so that gospel ministry will be funded and will continue to grow. If you are already financially giving as much as you can, thank you. If you have got some room to give more, please do. If you don’t give, then now is a good time to start. Every bit helps. Details are below for automatic transfer.