Friday, January 18, 2008

Stewardship Update - Part 2

“Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, so that there may be food in My house, and test Me now in this…if I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you a blessing until it overflows.”

Wow! What a promise! It is as if God is saying, “I dare you! In fact, I double dog dare you! Be obedient and faithful in giving and see if I will not bless you. After all, you can’t out give Me!” National statistics tell us that the majority of church attendees do not give anything to the local church and many of those who do give, do so sporadically rather than regularly. So often we practice what I call “leftover giving.” This is when we pay our bills and set aside what we desire for our own purposes and entertainment first and then give a small portion of whatever is “left over” to the Lord through the local church.

In Malachi 3:10 it is as if God is throwing down the financial gauntlet. He challenges the Israelites in Malachi’s day to give obediently and faithfully and to see if He won’t bless them. I believe the same challenge and promise applies to us today. Many Christians feel they can’t afford to give to the Lord but God says, “Try Me!” He wants us to give obediently, liberally and cheerfully as a first priority, not as a “left over” thought. He promises that He will bless us abundantly if we will. Does this mean that the result will be that we will receive great financial wealth? Not necessarily. But I do believe that Scripture teaches that when we make giving to the Lord through the local church a priority, God will be sure that all of our needs are met. He will bless us. But let me remind you that some of God’s greatest blessings are spiritual, not financial.

As a result of this promise, for one Sunday only, we are challenging everyone who is part of the Grace Church family, members and regular attendees alike, to do just that – to test God through obedient giving and see how He blesses you as a result. This special Sunday will take place on February 24th and we are calling this day, “Super-Size Sunday.” On this one Sunday, we are encouraging our entire church family to “super-size” their giving by cheerfully giving their best to the Lord through the local church that week. Imagine what would happen if everyone participated. I’m not simply talking about the size of the offering. Imagine what would happen as God fulfills His promise.

As you can see from this correspondence, we are not putting this challenge together because we are behind in our finances and need to see our giving increase. Giving is good and our financial condition as a church is strong. So then why are we issuing this challenge? It’s because we want everyone who is part of the Grace Church family to be authentic worshippers. We want God’s best for all of us and we realize that God’s best only comes when we are obedient. Sometimes it’s easier to take steps of faith when we all take them together. That is the purpose behind February 24th. That’s why we have put this “Super Size Sunday” together. That’s why we are asking everyone to fervently pray about your part and to earnestly pray that our church will never be the same again as a result.

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