The Weekly Epistle 8/23/23

Hi Church Family,
A little boy was in church for the first time. He watched as the ushers passed around the offering plates. As the plates came to his aisle, the boy said loudly, “Don’t pay for me daddy. I’m under five.” 

We all know that Sunday worship is not about admission to some show. But why do we give? We might answer, “Because the church needs money”- sure that’s true, but the reason is bigger than that. Because of some expansion project? Hopefully our vision is greater than that. Because we are commanded to do so. Hard to argue with that one. More than that. We often struggle with the why behind the giving. 

In First Chronicles chapter 29, David praises the Lord for the generosity of the people for materials towards the building of the temple. The people did the giving. It was their choice! Several times in this praise to God we see the word, “Willingly” tied to their giving. Why did they give and give so willingly? 

What David does here is to pull back the curtain to what was really going on. Don’t miss the main thing. The best explanation to account for the generosity of the people here in First Chronicles is that God was in and behind their giving. It’s all about God. God was in it and behind it. 

“But who am I, and who are my people, that we should be able to give as generously as this? Everything comes from you, and we have given you only what comes from your hand” (29:14). The end of verse 16 says, “It comes from your hand, and all of it belongs to you.” 

Why give generously? It is the logic of stewardship. He owns it all. We receive it from His hand as a loan. We lay it aside for Him. We give back to Him. 

God was in it and behind it all. As your pastor, this is what I want for you in giving to this church or any project in this church- that it is a work of God in your heart so that it is all about Him. The God who owns it all, loans it all, for the purpose of revealing to all who He is. 

Church, time and time again I have witnessed your generosity. Just recently nearly $11,000 ($10, 945) was given to purchase audio Bibles for the people of Dominican Republic who are unable to read. Praise God for your willingness. 
As a church, we are coming to the end of our fiscal year. We can praise God for the monies we have received this past year. God’s hand is in it. 

As we begin a new fiscal year (September 1), we must keep in mind that the God who owns it all, loans it all, for the purpose of revealing to all who He is. The hope is that through our giving more people come to faith in Jesus Christ, are baptized, and discipled to become followers of Jesus who disciple others. 

For that, we can give not reluctantly or under compulsion, but rather cheerfully. May many lives be impacted through our giving this coming year, all for His glory and praise! Pastor Brian