Money, Money, Money – Must be Funny!

Do you ever get up uptight or defensive when there is a conversation about giving and generosity? 
In his second letter to the Corinthian church, Paul reminds them they had promised to collect money for believers in other places. He is asking them to make good on their promise and to do so as cheerful givers (2 Cor 9:7 NIV). Obviously there was the possibility they were not so happy to be reminded.
By encouraging us to be cheerful givers, Paul implies our giving will always be accompanied by some sort of attitude and emotion. We can give cheerfully or reluctantly; we can give in freedom or under compulsion,;we can give with joy or with mourning.

"We value growing by encouraging each other"
“Cheerful giving is important, because it reflects something of God’s heart.”

Being cheerful givers is important, because it reflects something of God’s heart. It was he who gave his only Son willingly and with ultimate delight so that we might share in eternal life and enjoy life in all its abundance. God wants us to be like him in his giving so that we might share with him in and enjoy his life.
Giving, in this sense, is not limited to money. It can be our time and our resources. It may be as simple as a smile or giving someone your full attention when they want to talk to you.
How are you going? What is your current attitude to giving? Are you giving cheerfully, or is there some reluctance or grumbling sneaking into it? Are you trusting God for salvation, but struggling to trust him with your time and finances?
For most, if not all of us, cheerful giving does not come naturally. Since sin entered the world, we all have a disposition towards selfishness and fear. It is easy to become protectors of what God has given us rather than . . .
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Violins and Remembering who we are

The story goes that the German violinist Fritz Kreisler had an hour to spare before his boat sailed for London where he was scheduled for a concert performance . . .
The proprietor of the music shop Kreisler had wandered into asked if he could look at the violin tucked under his arm. After one glimpse the proprietor quickly vanished returning with two policemen who promptly arrested Kreisler.MP900382756[1]
“What for?” Kreisler asked. “Because, you have Fritz Kreisler’s violin,” came the reply.
“But I’m Fritz Kreisler,” he protested. But they didn’t believe him. Aware his boat was about to sail Kreisler asked for the violin and began to play a piece he was well known for. It didn’t take long before the store proprietor and the policemen were convinced and let catch his boat.
Kreisler’s story is a great illustration of the old adage, “Actions speak louder than words”. It is not what you say but what you do that really counts. It reminds me of Jesus’ comment that, “everyone will know you are my disciples, if you love one another” (John 13:35).
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The Challenge of Grace

At Hobart Baptist Church we are just about to the end of series titled ‘Challenging Church.’  Over the past few months we’ve focussed on some of the ways the church is being challenged in our society.

Candles and Cross
Jesus called his disciples to be the
“light of the world”

Not only are the rapid changes bringing disorientation but there are many that are loudly proposing that the church is irrelevant and has no place in today’s world. This calls for increasing courage and reliance on the Holy Spirit to enable us to stand and face these challenges.
But in addition to these challenges, the church itself is in turn called to be a challenge to the world. Jesus called his disciples to be the “light of the world” – a people living an alternative to the world, grounded in faith and repentance where we acknowledge . . .
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