Everything we have belongs to God, our time, talents, and treasure. We are to manage what we have been given to His glory. A steward does not own anything. Stewardship means we are to manage our gifts to serve the Lord.
Responding to God’s Love in Our Faith and Worship Life
What have we learned in our study of “The Story” this year? One recurring theme is how God gave His people all they needed, yet they were ungrateful and repeatedly turned away from Him to serve other gods. Yet God relented and gave them chance after chance. Jumping ahead in “The Story” we know because God loves us He gave His Son Jesus as a sacrifice to save us all. We may not always have all we want, but God sees to it that we have all that we need. Don’t we often think that we have earned the money and possessions we have? Is that true? Not only did God give His only Son unto death on the cross, but everything we have is a gift from Him. It is our responsibility to thank Him and use those gifts wisely. As a receiver of His gifts, we should be moved to give from the abundance of what He has first given us. Abundant receivers should be generous givers.
Let us all consider our priorities so we live our lives as children of God, walking with Him, bearing the name of Christ, in response to His love. As a response to God’s love, living our lives as dedicated and thankful children of God, please take the time to prayerfully consider your worship and communion attendance, and how they reflect your walk with Him. Then make a commitment to God regarding your worship life.
Responding to God’s Love in our Financial Commitment
As we return to God a portion of that which He has already given to us, He would not have us give what is “left-over.” Rather, through planned, dedicated offerings, God would have us return to Him, a set-aside, first fruit portion of our income, as a heart-felt response to His care for us, knowing that He walks with us throughout our lives. Then He would have us stand back and watch as He in turn responds to our obedience by blessing us even more. By establishing a percentage goal (the Biblical tithe is 10%), any increase or decrease in your income can be translated into a God-pleasing change in your regular dollar amount offering, without breaking your commitment. God-pleasing, Biblical offerings are always about percent, never about amount. This is why the widow’s mite received such high praise from our Lord. As we “strive for the tithe” as a congregation, we are asking those who have not yet grown to that level to prayerfully consider increasing their financial commitment by at least one (1%) percent of their income. Remember, it’s always about percent, not about amount, that’s why Paul states: “…a sum of money in keeping with his income.” (1 Corinthians 16:2).
Salem is distributing a Life of Faith Commitment Sheet. Please read it and prayerfully consider how you will be a steward of the abundant gifts God has given you.