"Honor the Lord with your wealth, with the first fruits of all your crops; then your barns will be filled to overflowing, and your vats will brim
over with new wine.” Proverbs 3:9 & 10
This is the time of year we are all asked to consider our giving to the church. We call it a Stewardship Campaign. Stewardship is a way of living that involves one’s daily activities, values and goals for life, and the use of all possessions. A steward is God’s responsible representative and manager of all creation. We, as God’s stewards, are free to make decisions but accountable to God for those decisions and the actions we take. We are also given the authority over the things we own but we must remember we only have secondary ownership as God is the ultimate owner of all things. The Christian worldview is one that recognizes that all things were created by Christ, are for Christ and are held together by Christ.
It is this worldview that shapes our understanding of ownership, life-style, how we earn and spend money and how we share those things we have been put in charge of. The New Testament clearly teaches us that we are to use our possessions to care for our family, help the needy and to support the work of the church. You only need to watch commercials to see what the world values and puts as a top priority. One cannot be a good Christian steward and live by non-Christian views and values.
We have a giving God who expects us to be a giving people. The Christian steward is a joyous giver. Just as God is a giving Being and Christ a self-giving Savior, so we, as His followers, give to express our new nature and life in Christ. We do so by providing the means for fulfilling Christian purposes. We are to give both of self and of possessions. How much of those possessions is a question we all face. In the Old Testament, which is just as viable today as it was back then, we are taught to bring ten percent, or a tithe, to the Lord. Beyond that there were the giving of alms, first fruits, sacrifices and freewill offerings. I believe those laws are binding on us today. Remember Jesus came to fulfill the law not to abolish it. By living a life that is centered in Christ our giving reaches new heights. Paul gave us a guiding principle for giving; it is measured by how one has been blessed and prospered. The Old Testament of tithing is the minimum guideline. The New Testament calls for giving that is regular, generous, worshipful, and growing as we grow in Christian love and grace.
You have received or about to receive your pledge card. Please take the time to reflect on the blessings you have and ask yourself if your offering, your pledge, truly reflects how grateful you are to God for all He has provided. Take a moment to pray and ask God to guide your giving.
Have a blessed and bountiful,