Do we worship idols? The answer may surprise you.
Starting Sunday, Oct. 8, our church will hear about God’s generosity and our response as we experience our stewardship study, first: putting GOD first in living and giving, developed by author and pastor Mike Slaughter of Ginghamsburg Church. There will be opportunities in worship, in small groups, in youth and children’s classes, and in devotions that can be used at church or at home.
We are made in God’s image and are meant to be creators of life and hope, not the consumers of our culture’s shiny gods. We have the ability to change the world and create a legacy that will live forever in the lives of generations to follow. That legacy starts when each of us takes the hard steps of financial discipline and fulfilling the call to generosity that God has placed in all of us.
The goal of this stewardship study is not to make you feel guilty, nor is it to say that you have to be exactly like this or that person. The goal is for all of us to ask questions of ourselves and be open to the possibility that God will lead us in new directions in our lives.
During the four-week study, we’ll be challenged in a number of different ways. We’ll be asked to look for the idols in our own lives (Hint: Most of them aren’t animals made of gold) and name the ways these idols enslave us, holding us back from living in the true freedom that God desires for us.
We’ll be challenged to consider the place that money, work, and debt have in our own lives. What are our common understandings of these, and might the witness of Scripture lead us to some different understandings?
We’ll be challenged to ask ourselves what it means for us to be faithful, to save, and to give. How do we balance all the competing interests in our lives? What priorities does God want us to have?
Finally, we’ll be challenged to give with our hearts, not out of obligation or a sense of duty and not just when we think the recipient deserves our gift. Instead, we’ll be challenged to give the way God gives—freely, fully, with no favorites or expectations of repayment.
It is our prayer that, at the end of these four weeks, we will have begun to grow into the individuals and the church that God knows we can be. Please join us in first: putting GOD first in living and giving.
What is Generosity?
By Bob Baucum, Finance Committee Chair
Giving from the heart is the source of generosity. In the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, we have seen an outpouring of support and witnessed countless acts of selfless service from people across this country and around the world. The strength and character of the human spirit is awesome.
Generosity is the thing you do without thinking first–you help someone who could use a hand or assistance. Generosity is a reflection and recognition of the many blessings we have received. We all have a lot to be thankful for in our lives.
My father-in-law possessed a tremendous capacity to show generosity. Although years of working on the family farm around heavy-machinery would result in near deafness and rob our family of countless conversations, his constant love and care for his family was never questioned.
Later this same love would be extended to me, when to prepare for the CPA exam, my father-in-law sold a projector to pay for a CPA prep-course. This act of generosity changed my life and in turn changed what I could do for my family. Last month, I retired after thirty-five years as a CPA.
I have the same challenge when it comes to God. What is an appropriate gift when your life has been changed for the better? I have received many blessings in my life, which I know are from God. I encourage you to ask God what is an appropriate gift for your blessings.