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Treasure Your Heart



Money, money, money...


It's the subject every preacher and congregation want to avoid-even though after the Kingdom of God, this was the topic most talked about by Jesus, more than any other, including heaven, hell, or sin.


Money is the topic of at least a third of his parables. Money is covered extensively

throughout the Old and New Testaments.


Why don’t we want to talk about it? It makes us squirm. It shines a light on our hearts, on what we really believe.


Personally, I think a good spiritual practice is to tithe. I have come to this conclusion

by trial and error. I tried not tithing, thinking God wanted me to take care of myself first. While God wants us to care for ourselves, I discovered that caring for myself first became caring for myself only. I soon shoved God to the side, as I did not have a vested interest in his affairs but my own.


My life went to hell. Everything started to come undone, and I was finding I had less money, not more, and it all started when I began holding back the money I should have been giving to God.


I realised that my troubles started about the same time as when I stopped giving to God. I then started giving to God, first, before anything else, a tenth of what I received every week, and suddenly, I had more money than I needed for myself. This continues to this day. I give a

tenth every week to my churches first before I know how much I have to spend for everything else.


As the Methodist Church is increasing my stipend this month, I will be increasing my tithe to the church by a few more pounds each week. If God really comes first in my life, I want my finances to reflect that as much as any other part of my life.


By 1760, Methodists were making money. Their methodical or disciplined way of life, modelled by John Wesley, gave many a better life. In response, John Wesley wrote a number of sermons; the first was “ The Use of Money,” followed by “On the Danger of Riches", and “On the Danger of Increasing Riches.”


Wesley’s three simple money rules outlined in “The Use of Money” were: gain all you can, save all you can, and give all you can. He further explained that you gain all you can by working diligently without hurting yourself or your neighbour, that saving all you can is having a practical, simple lifestyle, and thus by gaining and saving that you give all you can, shaping your life more to be like the extravagant generosity of God.


The purpose of the spiritual discipline of generosity is to follow a roadmap that leads us to something that really matters because of who we love.


Giving of our treasure, our money, is a spiritual practice, a discipline. Just like prayer, attending worship, or studying scripture, it is a practice that helps us grow in our faith, grow closer to God in our hearts. It helps us to focus on what is really important in this world and not our selfish desires. If you want to know what you mostly deeply value and love, where your heart is, follow the money.


I want to encourage people to take up the practice of financial generosity and tithing, try it for a time and see if what I said makes sense. I’m not asking you to give to the church necessarily - but give it to God as you see God working around you, where God is actively helping people.


Maybe try not giving a tenth right away, but just a little more than you have before. If you continue to see how it is helping you grow in your faith and trust God more, then you might want to try giving a little more. When we get our wealth and possessions in line with loving God and loving others, we are on the road to somewhere that matters.


Give it a go; take a risk on God’s love for you and your love for God.


Treasure what God does, your heart.


Happy New Methodist Year!


Grace and peace,


Rev’d Kevin Highfield


“ The world of the generous gets larger and larger; the world of the stingy gets smaller and smaller. The one who blesses others is abundantly blessed; those who help others are helped” – Proverbs 11:24-25 (The Message)

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