In this sermon, Pastor Neil urges us to go forward in giving– tithing, using your skills, talents, and abilities for Kingdom purposes. Here are some excerpts:
Will you use what God has given you for His kingdom purposes?
Will you support the ministry of the church with your money, your time and energy, your skills and abilities, your talents and gifts and expertise?
Many of you already do. I want you to know how grateful I am and how grateful the elders are for the faithful giving and service of many of you. Your giving and serving are blessings to me, to the Session, and to our church as a whole. Because of your generosity in giving, we expect to end our fiscal year at the end of September with a sizable budget surplus. It is the best end-of-year position we have been in for a long time. Praise God from whom all blessings flow!
But perhaps some of you have been holding back, maybe in your giving, maybe in your willingness to serve in some ministry, or both. I want to encourage you to do what the Christians in Macedonia did, as described by Paul in 2 Corinthians 8:5: “They gave themselves first to the Lord and then to us in keeping with God’s will. Follow the Macedonians’ example by giving yourselves first to the Lord – because He is the Lord and the church belongs to him – and then giving yourselves to the ministry of the church family of which He has made us all a part here at Faith.
I love this church and I know you do, too. I want this church family to be all that God wants us to be, for the glory of His name, for the building up of His church, and for the blessing of this world, beginning right here in Kingstowne and surrounding communities.
If you’ve been holding back from supporting the church financially to the best of your ability ,or from investing your “talents” in the church’s ministry, please step forward and step out in faith and love and generosity, so that together we may more fully, more faithfully, more fruitfully, and more effectively serve God’s purposes for our church in our community in this time.
There is a remarkable prayer that David prays near the end of his life when he and his son Solomon are receiving offerings from the people of Israel for the temple that Solomon will build in Jerusalem. Seeing the enthusiasm and generosity of the people, David prays, in 1 Chronicles 29: “Who am I, and who are my people, that we should be able to give as generously as this? Everything comes from You, and we have given You only what comesfrom Your Hand…. O LORD our God, as for all this abundance that we have provided for building a temple for Your Holy Name, it comes from Your hand, and all of it belongs toYou…. I have seen with joy how willingly Your people who are here have given to You….
Keep this desire in the hearts of Your people forever, and keep their hearts loyal to You”(29:14, 16-18).
May David’s prayer be true of us here at Faith as well. This kind of generous giving, this kind of stewardship of all the “talents” God has given us, is the way to go forward as followers of Jesus. Lord, let it be so in us.