“A generous person will prosper; whoever refreshes others will be refreshed.”
Proverbs 11:25 NIV
I admit it has taken me years to appreciate what this means. I understood the content; we are blessed in our giving, but my belief in this assertion’s validity was lacking. There is no explanation for this. Our parents regularly tithed at least 10% to the church growing up, and we never wanted anything. We weren’t wealthy, but we had a small comfortable home and always had plenty of food on the table. God never failed to provide. But even with this proof, I had doubts, which perhaps said something about my lack of faith and my selfishness.
Since those years of doubt, I have witnessed God in action and can attest to his abundance when we take the first step. As Treasurer for the church for several years, I would look at the projected budget for the next year, shaking my head sadly in looking at the deficit. How could a small congregation possibly overcome that amount? But God did what God does has yet to fail his faithful servants. For example, in working with L Street Mission in helping Brockton’s homeless, an operation based purely on service and ministry with no budget, God has never failed to provide donations to feed, clothe, and provide tents and tarps for the marginalized. In our personal lives, even in lean times, God has consistently delivered.
When we present our gifts each Sunday, we ask God’s blessings on their use. These gifts are more than our gifts given to the church, but a return of God’s gifts given back to him. Their purpose is not solely to fund the church’s needs but to fund missional activities locally and abroad. In refreshing ourselves in giving, we refresh others with basic human necessities and the hope found in the Good News of Jesus Christ.
Precious and loving God, we thank you for your abundant gifts. Please help us to have open and generous hearts in response. May our offerings be acceptable to you. We seek your guidance in what it means to be a missional church. Help us use them to share the love and hope in you. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.