Tomorrow Begins Today! by Pastor David
“On the first day of the week, each one of you should set aside a sum of money in keeping with your income, saving it up, so that when I come no collections will have to be made.”
1 Corinthians 16:2
2023 is right around the corner, and with it comes opportunities and challenges to invest our time, talents, treasures, and testimonies in the Kingdom of God. All followers of Jesus are called to commit to this sacred enterprise of partnership and investment. King David modeled that well for his nation and people:
“In my devotion to the temple of God, I now give my personal
treasures of gold and silver for the temple of my God.”
1 Chronicles 29:3
At FUMC, one of our five chosen core values is Extravagant Generosity! Perhaps more than any other character attribute, the practice of Extravagant Generosity showcases the heart of the Father who is all about giving His highest and best for us. To be generous is to be selfless. To be generous is to be moved and motivated to enjoy adding value to other people’s lives.
Generosity, in a Christian stewardship context, is all about the desire (and deep satisfaction) that comes from investing our lives in the things of God. Deploying our resources for the Lord’s purposes is the will of the Father. Doing those things with a great sense of excited joy, partnership, and fulfilling adventure is much more about the size of the heart than the size of the gift. This is the “responsibility” that every Christ follower has.
“We also assume the responsibility for bringing to the house of the Lord each year the FIRSTFRUITS of our crops and of every tree.”
As we approach the coming year, Cara and I will continue what we have practiced our entire marriage. We live out our discipleship by being committed to a FIRST FRUITS lifestyle. That means we give the first and best of our resources to God. We believe that our full tithe belongs in our local church, just as the Bible says,
“Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse (the treasury room of the sanctuary), that there may be food in my house”
Please pray and pledge for 2023 what you believe God is calling you to share in our financial ministry partnership. We will pray over all our received pledges on Commitment Sunday, December 11th, as we dedicate our lives and giving to the Lord. Cara and I will be committing our lives to a full tithe of our gross income to the church operating budget. But in reality, we see our giving as to Jesus and his kingdom. Making the Lordship of Jesus Christ central in our lives and faith, means taking seriously God’s call to…
“Bring the best of the first fruits of your soil to the house of the Lord your God.”
Bringing our FIRST and our BEST to God in every area of life is what stewardship and Christian maturity is all about. When everyone gives, it ensures that our operating budget will be strong and uncompromised by designated giving or by challenging times of recession. May God challenge us and stretch us all in our faith and discipleship as together we seek to become faithful disciples of Jesus Christ!
Excelling in this grace TOGETHER!
- Pastor David