After three weeks of not preaching I'm going to be back in the pulpit this Sunday. For many of you this may be a disappointment ... you're probably saying, "we've heard outstanding messages from Trace Donahoo, David Balzer, and Quinn Hill and now we're lowering the bar to accommodate Burt. Oh well, it was fun while it lasted!"
For the next 7 weeks I'll be in a series called "Questions for Community." This will be a topical series and will deal with such questions (in no particular order) as "What is the Gospel?" ... "Is talking so much about us being sinners just an excuse to not do good works?" ... "Why is doctrine / theology so important?" ... "Why should I tithe?" ... "Why is preaching so important?" ... "If God is sovereign why do evangelism?"
This first Sunday in the series we'll deal with the question, "What do we mean when we say we're 'Christ-centered'?" In preparation for this please prayerfully read Numbers 21:4-9 and John 3:1-15 . Hopefully we'll see that being Christ-centered is much more than just saying, using, or attaching Jesus' name to whatever it is we may be doing. It involves a constant awareness of our own sinful condition and a constant gaze upon the holy, battered, bloody, mutilated Son of God.
This is also the season of preparing next year's budget. Please pray that God would give wisdom to those charged with that responsibility. Pray that God would give us wisdom as we seek to be good stewards of the resources God has given us. But also pray for your own heart ... that God would give you the grace and faith to tithe, to return to the Lord a portion of what He has given you. As is true in most any church, if all our members faithfully tithed we would have more resources than we know what to do with and would have to have some special meetings to figure out what to do with the excess. Let's trust the Lord for His sufficiency rather than trusting our own wealth and power.