“Each one should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” – 2 Corinthians 9:7
The Bible is clear that the best way to respond to God’s generosity is through some generous giving of our own.
This year, our church has been celebrating the fact that God has blessed us with 1,000 local members (residing in Allegheny County), who all could potentially become involved in our 100 ministries, toward the fulfillment of our 1 mission of making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. You will hear this mantra repeated a lot around here these days – “1,000 members supporting 100 ministries for 1 mission.” That is our vision of who we are called to be as a Christian congregation in the world today. May God transform this vision into reality through our efforts this year.
Where would our church be today without the fine example of our forbearers in the faith, whose generous response to God’s call has laid the foundation for our ministries today? Now it is our turn to lay the foundation for present and future ministry in this place. History and Scripture are both very clear – if you want to grow spiritually, then you must be generous in your giving. This is the best way to give our thanks. “Each of you must give,” says Paul, “as each of you has made up your mind.” God wants us to grow in trust. God wants us to learn to give. God wants us to risk growth in grace by giving back to God in proportion to God’s giving to us. In all areas of your life – your time, your talent, and your finances – if you are currently giving at the five percent level, can you increase it to seven percent? If you are giving at one percent, can you increase to two or three percent? Growth is the hope in the heart of God for you and for me! The question for each of us to ask is this: What is the next rung on the stewardship ladder for me? Giving is an act of trust for you and for me. As we grow in our giving to God, our faith deepens, and we open up new opportunities for spiritual advancement in the years ahead. Do you want to really give thanks this season, and move to a higher level in your spiritual life? Giving is an essential key which unlocks the door to spiritual growth for each one of us.
Let’s give and grow together!