2008 Stewardship Season Bulletin Insert
stewardship bulletin insert will be posted online for your use; however,
we will not be selling a printed version. You are welcome to reproduce the
following text for your church's stewardship campaign, but please cite PCA
Christian Education and Publications as the source.
“Yours is the Kingdom, O Lord, and you are exalted as head above all. Both riches and honor come from you, and you rule over all… But who am I, and what is my people, that we should be able thus to offer willingly? For all things come from you, and of your own have we given you.” I Chronicles 29:11-14
Financial Advisor Ron Blue has written a book entitled Generous Living: Finding Contentment Through Giving. A major premise of the book (which by the way, I highly recommend reading) is, “That one ingredient—and the ingredient that makes true freedom possible—is generosity: the willingness to use your time, talents, and material wealth to benefit others and impact eternity...Hold all that you own with an open hand.” This was certainly a lesson learned and practiced by King David and his people.
In another chapter of Blue’s book, he gives three ways you can evaluate your use of money.
Money Is A Tool – it is not to be hoarded, not to be lusted after, not to be an end, but a means to serving and glorifying God. The apostle Paul writes in Ephesians 4:28, “Let the thief no longer steal, but rather let him labor, doing honest work with his own hands, so that he may have something to share with anyone in need.”
Money Is A Test- Blue gives an example of the Laodicean church which existed in the city known as a banking and financial center of great wealth. The church is described by Jesus in Revelation 3 as thinking they were rich and in need of nothing; but in essence they were “wretched, pitiable, poor, blind and naked.” Today people can see how well they do on the test by looking at their tax return. Do you take a greater deduction for interest on debt than on your charitable giving? C.S. Lewis said, “Prosperity knits a man to the world. He feels he is finding his place in it, while really it is finding its place in him.”
Money Is A Testimony – People do not have access to your personal finances, but many can see to some degree how you spend your money. In Acts 4:32-37 we have a testimony of the church in Jerusalem sharing their resources with all who had needs. There was one man in particular singled out by the name of Joseph whom the apostles called Barnabas, which means son of encouragement. Today, most Christians like to refer to that attribute about him, but it is worth revisiting the 37th verse. Barnabas “sold a field that belonged to him and brought the money and laid it at the apostle’s feet.” Might it not be that Barnabas’ generosity was the central example of his being known as an encourager? His encouragement was not just in word only but in deed. Another example is Dorcas in Acts 9:36-42. “She was full of good works and acts of charity.”
Here is the challenge for all believers today. “So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.” Galatians 6:10
Are we using our money the way God wants us to?
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