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Abundant Blessings

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 NIV

In October, as many churches begin preparing their budgets, they look at what was spent last year, what they want to do next year, and income sources and giving levels. As both the church treasurer for many years and now as a pastor, I can tell you it's not a very exciting task. Following this planning activity, the pastor usually dedicates at least one Sunday to talk about stewardship, aptly named Stewardship Sunday.

I freely admit, for many years, I dreaded Stewardship Sunday; the reason for this was that I had the wrong attitude. I had been thinking about needs and asking (pleading) instead of recognizing the joy in giving. Our giving is more than meeting the needs of a budget; it is joyful returning a portion of the abundant blessings we receive to God to be used in continuing the excellent work we've been given to change lives. Bringing Christ's good news to the world and caring for our neighbors is our purpose and a reason for celebration. God abundantly blesses us so we can abundantly bless others!

Our giving is not limited to financial gifts, but it is the offering of all our God-given talents and gifts. Whatever those gifts are, use them to glorify God. If God has gifted you with a voice, sing to his glory. If He's given you the gift of administration, use it in leadership. If it is teaching, teach; if it is in prayer, pray. Whatever your unique talents, God has given you for a reason, and on Stewardship Sunday, we dedicate (re-dedicate) them to him.

In this celebration of giving, we are inspired by scripture to be generous but also to give willingly and joyfully.

Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. (9:6-7)

God, thank you for your abundant gifts. May we return our gifts to you generously, willingly, and joyfully. Bless our gift so they may abound, making new disciples and transforming the world. Amen.


Pastor Tim

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