Today we begin a three-week stewardship emphasis. The word stewardship is often seen as a dirty word—a gimmick to get people to dig deeper and “give ’til it hurts.” Nothing could be further from the truth! Instead, stewardship is a precious word that sums up the Christian life. It encourages us to be who we truly are in Christ: Precious people who have been richly blessed by a Father who knows how to give good gifts to his children!
Christians face a daily struggle. We have two paths set before us. The New Man, created within us at baptism, wants to live for Christ and the life that is to come. But our sinful nature focuses us on this life. That struggle pulls us in two directions when it comes to how we set our priorities or use our time. The struggle is especially noticeable when we wrestle with how to use the financial resources God has given us.
The Lord speaks about worldly wealth and possessions in over 2,300+ passages of Scripture. In other words, God speaks to us about worldly wealth roughly three times more often than he does about faith! Why? So that God can get to the “heart of the matter.” Money and possessions are God’s gifts to us. Sadly, human hearts often lust after these gifts and forget about the Giver. What heartache comes from a love affair with money and possessions! What good can result for us, for the Church, and for the world as we put the Giver first—offering back to him the FIRSTFRUITS of all that he has entrusted to us. God is many places. Second place in our hearts dare never be one of them!
Christ’s willing sacrifice for us is our motivation and inspiration to give back to God. May he open the hearts of his people to offer him our first and our best!
Our worship the next three weeks will follow this path.
Week One: OPEN HEARTS (Firstfruits Giving)
Week Two: OPEN MINDS (Proportionate Giving)
Week Three: OPEN HANDS (Sacrificial Giving)