April 29, 2022 — Guest Day

“I’m not much of a club sort of person,” Stan commented one morning. “I don’t see that there’s anything wrong with it, it’s just not for me.”

“Why do you say that?” I asked.

“One of the guys in the neighborhood invited me and my wife to attend a guest day at his golf club last Saturday to see if we wanted to join. He’s in charge of membership and it seems that the club wants or needs some new members.”

“Did you go?”

“Yeah,” Stan replied, “we did. More to be a neighbor than anything else, but it was nice. We had a tour of the golf course and the clubhouse, along with a nice lunch, and a free round of golf whenever we want.”

“Did you join the club?” I asked.

“No, but there were several people there as guests who did join,” he replied. “I talked to my neighbor about that later and he was real pleased with how it all went. However, he said something that both really bothered me and enlightened me.”

“What was that?”

“When he was telling me about how many new members there might be and how that was going to help the financial condition of the club, he said something like, ‘Isn’t that why you’re always inviting me to church?’”

“Meaning that he thinks you only invite him to church so he might help with the financial condition of the church?”

“That’s it,” Stan replied. “And that really made it clear to me that I need to be much more intentional about why I invite people to church and that it has nothing to do with money.”

“It’s about their salvation? Right?”

“Exactly,” Stan replied. “It’s all about salvation and the new lives that are to come from working out that salvation. If a church ever gets to the point of thinking inviting people to church is about anything else, whether it has to do with finances or anything other than the person’s salvation and growth as a Christian, it seems to me that the church is going very quickly in the wrong direction.”

“You really think,” I asked, “there’s the possibility that some churches might seek to get more people involved with the church just for financial reasons?”

“I’ve seen it,” Stan replied, “and I’ve heard about it, so, yes, I definitely think that’s a possibility.  Just think about all the other parts of our lives where money and the love of money get in the way of what God wants and has for us.”

“For none to perish but for all to come to repentance,” I said. “Is that it?”

“You’ve got it, my friend,” Stan replied. “And, of course, that’s a whole lot more valuable than money or anything else we might come up with!”


Bible verses to consider:

For the love of money is a root of all sorts of evil, and some by longing for it have wandered away from the faith, and pierced themselves with many a pang. 1 Timothy 6:10.

An overseer, then, must be above reproach, . . . free from the love of money. 1 Timothy 3:2-3.

The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance. 2 Peter 3:9.

Prayer:  Thank you, Father, for your provision of salvation through the finished work of the cross. Thank you for those who brought me to the truth of your free and gracious provision so I could accept it. Thank you, too, for your warnings about how money and the love of money can get in the way of what you want for individuals and for church bodies. I pray for the leaders of each church body so they will have the right perspective — your perspective — on the role of money in the church. I pray they will see and know that you will provide all that is needed for your purposes to be accomplished and that their focus is to be only on the salvation and Christian growth of those you bring to them. Thank you I can and do bring these prayers before you in the name of Jesus. Amen.

Think on this: What do you see as the role of money in the church? Have you ever seen what you thought was an inappropriate emphasis on money in the church? If so, what was that all about and what happened? Do you believe God will provide all that is needed to accomplish His purposes — with individuals and in churches? Why or why not?

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