As we concluded our series “Enough: Discovering Joy through Simplicity and Generosity” last Sunday, we talked about how we were created in the image and likeness of our gracious, loving, generous God – created to be gracious, loving, and generous ourselves. That is our destiny in Him.
We may not always feel generous, in large part because our generous nature has been tainted by the choice Adam and Eve made to take care of themselves rather than trusting God to take care of them. After a conversation with a wily snake, they became afraid He wasn’t giving them the best they might have, so they reached out to take the one fruit they had been forbidden to eat. They forgot who God was and is, and that made them forget who they had been created to be. The image of God within them was distorted. It is distorted in us, as inheritors of their spiritual DNA. We are afraid to trust that God will take care of us because we have also forgotten who he is and who we are to be, as those who carry his image.
We were made to give, and we will never fulfill our spiritual destiny until we begin to exercise that potential.
One of the most important ways we do that is to give back to God as an act of worship and thanksgiving for all God has given to us. We come to God with hearts overflowing as we remember who he is and what he has already done for us, gratefully offering back a portion of that abundance. It’s an act of love, like a bridegroom bringing to his bride the most beautiful diamond he can manage to purchase, not to impress but as a sign of his love. The biblical guideline for that gift is 10% of all that we have been given. It is not a rule we must follow but an invitation into the life God intends for us to live. Part of living joyously is learning to open our hearts and hands to bless the lives of others through the church.
At the end of Sunday’s message those in attendance who call this church home had an opportunity to return estimate of giving cards indicating their anticipated level of financial support for the church in 2014. Thank you to all who responded.
If YOU call this church home, and have not yet had a chance to respond, I hope you will take a moment now to think and pray about what God is calling you to give this year. This amount can be written on one of the cards (there are extras in the sanctuary) and returned to the church office in person or by mail or placed into the offering plate Thursday (at our thanksgiving service!) or Sunday. You may also choose to email our financial secretary at firstname.lastname@example.org with an indication of your level of giving and whether it will be given weekly, monthly, or annually. This will help our finance team as they plan the budget to fund all the wonderful ministries God has called us to offer.
My prayer is that your Thanksgiving will be a blessing for you and yours, as you remember together the blessings that have already come your way, and give thanks for each.
If you are in the area join us for a brief service on Thanksgiving morning at 9:00. Our new youth band will lead us in song. We’ll have a brief message and time to reflect and give thanks in prayer for all we have been given to this very day. Come as you are after you put the turkey in the oven.
I’ll see you at the place of thanksgiving and blessing.