12th November 2013

The Best Thing 

“For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures,”
1
Corinthians 15:3-4 (NIV) 

Over the years there have been many songs about money.
Abba’s Money, Money, Money, included the lines: ‘Always sunny, In the rich man’s world, All the things I could do, If I had a little money’.
In the song Money from Cabaret came, ‘A mark, a yen, a buck, or a pound is all that makes the world go around’,
And the Beatles famously sang in Money (That’s What I Want), ‘The best things in life are free, But you can keep them for the birds and bees, Now give me money (that’s what I want)’. 

You have probably heard the accusation that Churches only want money and don’t care about people. It is certainly true that some churches and ministries have been guilty of financial abuse, placing an undue emphasis on acquiring more and more money. It’s also true that churches need money to survive and that it is the responsibility of members as good financial stewards to supply those needs as they are able and as they have been blessed (2 Corinthians 9:7). But it concerns me when money becomes the centre of our preaching. The gospel isn’t ‘Money, money, money’ or ‘money makes the world go round’, nor should the Christian church give the impression that ‘money is what we want’.

The Beatles were right when they wrote ‘The best things in life are free’ because the best thing we could ever have is God’s grace, freely given to us through Jesus Christ.  This ‘best thing’ should be the centre of our preaching, as Paul said, “For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified” (1 Corinthians 2:2).

The Christian Church must concentrate on preaching the things ‘of first importance’ (1 Corinthians 15:3-4).  When it does that, people will come to faith, and will cheerfully give to support the work of the Church in spreading the Gospel around the world so that others can have the same experience.

As Bonhoeffer astutely observed, “Grace is free, but it is not cheap.”  It comes to us at great cost to God:  the suffering and death of God’s Son!  When we realize this we are rich indeed.

Prayer
Father, thank you for the free gift of grace through which we receive forgiveness and reconciliation with you. Help me to treasure this above all else.
Amen

Study by Barry Robinson

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barryrobinsonAbout the Author:
Barry Robinson is an Elder in and pastoral worker in the Greater London area, particularly the Camberwell and North London congregations of the Worldwide Church of God UK.

Local Congregation:
Worldwide Church of God Camberwell
The Salvation Army Hall
105 Lomond Grove
Camberwell
LONDON
SE5 7HN

Meeting time:
Saturday 10:30 am

Local Congregational Contact:
Barry Robinson
Email:  barry_robinson@wcg.org.uk

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