Thursday, June 12, 2008

“Jesus sat down opposite the place where the offerings were put and watched the crowd putting their money into the temple treasury. Many rich people threw in large amounts. But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins, worth only a fraction of a penny. Calling the disciples to him, Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others….” (Mark 12:41-43)

“All the believers were together and had everything in common. Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need….All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of his possessions was his own, but they shared everything they had. There were no needy persons among them…” (Acts 2:44-45, 4:32, 44)

“Out of the most severe trial, their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity. For I testify that they gave as much as they were able, and even beyond their ability. Entirely on their own, they urgently pleaded with us for the privilege of sharing in this service to the saints.” (2 Corinthians 8:2-4)

“Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.” (2 Corinthians 9:6-8)

Sacrificial giving. Sensitive giving. Joyful. Voluntary. Cheerful. Confident.

During this time of rising gas/lifestyle costs, lower offerings, reduced ministry expenses and impending missions/youth trips, I could be anxious (and sometimes have been). I could plead for increased giving – which would be helpful. I could teach a structured giving approach (like 10% tithing or similar) – which works and often leads to blessing.

Instead, I want to focus on our attitudes: our sensitivity to others’ needs, our joy, our willingness, our confident cheerfulness. God is as much honored by our attitudes as by our actions. One flows into the other.

So as you consider the church needs, focus on attitude, then allow God to lead you accordingly. I have confidence in Him – and you, as His people (this is a great church!) – during this time.

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