Generosity of Time & Money
In his song “Do Something”, Matthew West begins by expressing his anger at God for the pain, poverty, and troubles in the world. When he calls out to God “why don’t you do something”, God responds “I did do something, I created you.” Think about it – the Creator of the universe created you and expects you to do something. But there is more, much more. The Creator of the universe came down from heaven, walked among us, and then died on the cross to save us from our sins and offer us the promise of eternal life. This has been called the greatest act of generosity in the history of humankind. So how do we respond? First, be grateful. The Thanksgiving holiday is coming up and it is a wonderful occasion but gratitude to God must be a year round proposition. Second, put God first in your life. Three, live a life that is radically and pervasively generous. As noted in previous posts, the generosity of which we speak is a broad concept. Generosity of spirit means being kind, gentle, forgiving, and humble. Generosity of time means service in the cause of helping needy people, those who are suffering from the pain, poverty, and troubles of the world. Everyone of us has something to offer in this mission, some God-given talent or trait which qualifies you to do something about it. Our goal at Vineville is every member in ministry. Please complete the Volunteer Interest Form you received in the mail from the church and get plugged in somewhere. Generosity of money reminds us that everything we have comes from God and is God’s. He lets us use it while we are here and expects us to take good care of it. The good news is this – God is OK with us keeping 90% of our income and has confidence we will be just fine. The commitment card you received in the mail from the church says this: “The Biblical expectation is a tithe, 10%. Our goal is to become a congregation that is 100% faithful to this expectation.” Our faith calls upon us to give at this level, not just because the church needs the money for its work but because we need to give, and give cheerfully, as a joyful response to what God does for us. As we move towards our goal as a church, we can all complete a commitment card. If you are not at the tithe, then use the exercise of completing the card as a prayerful opportunity to reflect on your blessings and try to move closer to the tithe. Wherever you are in your giving, be mindful of the Biblical directive of first fruits giving. As someone put it a long time ago, give God what is right not what is left. The point is, you cannot out-give God. And be mindful that in our generous giving we are supporting many missions and ministries through our 2018 budget, which is at $2,000,000 for the first time in our history. The Generosity Team has been quietly planning events for next year and you will be hearing about them later. We are excited about looking for more and better ways to be telling our story as a church and for telling the stories of our members whose lives have been transformed by “doing something” because of God’s love and God’s grace. We hope you will be one of those stories.