To Give God Thanks
We recently went through our fall pledge drive, Partners in Ministry. The response was good. It is never a pleasant process. It is a necessary process to go through because of the sheer size of our operating budget. However, it may seem to some to reinforce the thought that "all the church wants is money!" However, consider this word from God.
"I am commanding you, but I want to test the sincerity of your love by comparing it with the earnestness of others. For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Chirst, that though He was rich, for our sakes He became poor, so that you through His poverty might become rich,"(2 Corinthians 8:8-9)
While it may seem that the church is "only after our money," it is so far from the truth. But it begs the question, "Just what is the church for?" It is a fair question. It is also one that we should answer honestly.
The Apostle Paul, in the verse above, doesn't hide the fact that he wanted the Corinthians to give. But he didn't want them to think of it as an obligation. The motivation for giving as God's children to His Church is one of response. The response of the receivers to the Giver of all good things! This is God the Father Himself!!! God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life. In Jesus, God gives us the riches of heaven! Jesus died on the cross for you and me. For us, Jesus gives up everything!
It is impossible to put a value on human life. It is even more impossible to put a value on ETERNAL life. We have been blessed beyond measure in Christ. We have God's grace! God's Riches At Christ's Expense
So what? It is because of what Jesus has done for us, and He has done so much that we are moved by the power of the Holy Spirit to respond. God gives us everything we need for this life and the next. We are called to give back to Him. The Lord allows us the opportunity to say thank you in many different ways. For the Corinthians, thank you took the form of pledges and weekly offerings.
We don't do this though, to meet the budget, even though it needs to be met. We don't give to pay salaries, even though our faithful workers have a right to earn a living. Rather, we give our offerings of time, talent, treasure and testimony because we want to share from the abundance that God has so richly poured out on His Church--You and me!
We give from the richest of treasures that the Lord has given each of us so that more pople can know the Gospel of Jesus Christ. This Gospel is the power of OUR salvation.. Its spread is the power of salvation to others. Others like your friends, family and neighbors. We are moved by God to respond to His goodness so that others might know it as well. We give because the Word has opened our hearts. WE give as the posture of thanksgiving and worship. How do we make Thanksgiving last all year? We live it. We live it in the way we give or ourselves for the sake of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. This is What Jesus Christ's Church does!
We pray "O give thanks unto the Lord for He is Good!" He is indeed good. My dear Partners in the Journey, may He grant us the gract to live out this thankfulness today and always!