September 29, 2019
Sometimes the Bible says it best. Here are 7 texts from Proverbs about generosity - one for each day of the week.
Proverbs 3:9-10: Honor the Lord with your substance and with the first fruits of all your produce; then your barns will be filled with plenty, and your vats will be bursting with wine.
Proverbs 11: 24-26: Some give freely, yet grow all the richer; others withhold what is due, and only suffer want. A generous person will be enriched, and one who gives water will get water. The people curse those who hold back grain, but a blessing is on the head of those who sell it.
Proverbs 13:7: Some pretend to be rich, yet have nothing; others pretend to be poor, yet have great wealth.
Proverbs 14:20-21: The poor are disliked even by their neighbors, but the rich have many friends. Those who despise their neighbors are sinners, but happy are those who are kind to the poor.
Proverbs 19:17: Whoever is kind to the poor lends to the Lord, and will be repaid in full.
Proverbs 22:9: Those who are generous are blessed, for they share their bread with the poor.
Proverbs 25:21: If your enemies are hungry, give them bread to eat; and if they are thirsty, give them water to drink; for you will heap coals of fire on their heads, and the Lord will reward you.
This week we continue our sermon series on “Growing our Faith through Generosity”. We will be challenged to think about how our generosity impacts our mood and attitude toward others and our discipleship journey. I hope you will join me this week in worship or online as I share a sermon titled “Why Generous Givers are Cheerful”.
Grace & Peace,
September 22, 2019
It happened one time after a pastor had made an appeal in church for a great and worthy cause, that a certain woman, a member of the church, came to him and handed him a check for $50, asking at the same time if her gift was satisfactory.
The pastor immediately replied, “If it represents you.”
There was a moment of soul-searching thought and she asked to have the check returned to her. She left with it and a day or two later she returned handing the pastor a check for $5,000 and again asked the same question, “Is my gift satisfactory?”
The pastor gave the same answer as before, “If it represents you.”
As before, a truth seemed to be driving deeply. After a few moments of hesitation she took back the check and left. Later in the week she came again with a check. This time it was for $50,000. As she placed it in the pastor’s hand, she said, “After earnest, prayerful thought, I have come to the conclusion that this gift does represent me and I am happy to give it.”
This week we begin a three-week sermon series on “Growing our Faith through Generosity”. We will be challenged to think about how our generosity reflects our faith in Jesus and how our faith in Jesus is shaped by our level of generosity with God’s blessings. I hope you will join me this week in worship or online as we begin with a sermon titled “Toward and Beyond Generosity”.
Grace & Peace,
September 8, 2019
Disciples who pay full price to follow Jesus have a worth that is not tied to wealth, race, age or power. They are forever salty.
Alan Keyes, a black political conservative who has a strong Christian identity, makes the point that your "relationship with God doesn't depend on external circumstances -- not on how rich or educated you are, not on how much power you have in the world. None of that stuff can affect what's most important: your ultimate salvation."
Or, to put it another way, he says: "If the world says to you, "You're worth what you fetch in the marketplace," the Christian has an internal sense that says, "Excuse me, but my worth was determined by God and revalidated by Jesus Christ on the cross before you got here. So forget you." True disciples value their worth, they maintain their saltiness.
This week’s sermon will explore the cost of our discipleship, and will challenge us to ask the question "What's in our Shaker?" The quality of the salt in our shaker says a lot about our value as disciples. Is our salt good? What value is our discipleship if it loses its saltiness. I hope you will join us in worship or online as we explore what it means to be salt of the world.
Grace & Peace,