“Give! Give! Give!” From religious TV shows to church pulpits to mass mailings – from door-to-door appeals to EMV’s (Every Member Visits): for most Christians, the words “Give! Give! Give!” (til it hurts … til it feels good … til you reach your fair share … til you tithe …) is somehow the end all – the summary of Christian Stewardship. Yet from the Scriptures, we find an invitation to RECEIVE! – not just to GIVE!! “Now wait just a cotton-pick-in’ minute,” you might be thinking. “Stewardship is receiving??”
Christian Stewardship is first and foremost receiving God’s good blessings and gifts with open hearts and thanksgiving! God’s invitation to receive with thanksgiving is paramount to any encouragement to give. Our October Emphasis: “Being Disciples … Making Disciples by a Life of Stewardship” is a call for us to open our lives in faith to receive God’s generous blessings – in particular, to receive all of God’s good grace and mercy! Hear the invitation through the Apostle Paul:
“And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.” (2 Corinthians 9:8)
God, by His grace in Christ Jesus, has cleansed us from our sins! God the Holy Spirit has called us by the Gospel, empowered and equipped us (blessed us!!) and set our lives on the paths of righteousness. Indeed, God wants to give us something: His great love in spiritual blessings, material blessings, emotional blessings, mental blessings, physical blessings! – all of these gifts by God’s loving hand to each of us. Christian Stewardship is the receiving of God’s good gifts with thanksgiving! Christian Stewardship is a clarion call to become Recipients – not a call to be achievers! The effect of these gifts of God is described by the Apostle Paul in 2 Corinthians, chapter 5:
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, and the new has come! All this from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ …”
Just think: we are A NEW CREATION! God’s righteousness is a gift which creates in us the ability to be thankful receivers of God’s good gifts! Now those who are thankful recipients in faith have a ministry which has as its purpose the enabling of others to experience the many, good blessings of God! The thankful giving of our time and experiences, talents and gifts, treasures and dollars becomes important as it allows other people to experience “receiving blessings from God” – a receiving which elicits thanksgiving to God from all!! The Christian Steward knows who he/she is: a recipient of God’s grace. We are chosen to bring the Good News of Jesus to all people by using all that God has given us: His gifts of time, talents and dollars!!
This Sunday, October 26, will be Stewardship Commitment Sunday at Resurrection. Please give prayer consideration to the many blessing God has bestowed on you, that we might BE DISCIPLES … MAKING DISCIPLES BY A LIFE OF STEWARDSHIP! – truly a blessing to others!