We had a congregational meeting last Sunday, and there was a difficult discussion. Over the course of many years, people have designated part of their contribution to benevolence; instead of giving this money away, it has been used as a cushion to help pay the daily expenses of running the church. Worse than that, it became a crutch to allow ourselves deny the ugly truth that we’re not giving enough to sustain God’s church. We need to repent and rectify this situation.
Fortunately we do now recognize this sin, and the council has a plan to wipe out our debt and give us a clean slate( a positive step). This leaves us with the problem — how do we go forward without falling back into the same pattern? We’d all like to pin the blame and the responsibility to fix the issue on somebody else. If only EVERYONE would give more. If only SOMEBODY would plan more fundraisers– etc., etc..
Then Beth Ann made a very good point. FIRST we need to PRAY. I have been at St. Paul’s for over thirteen years now, and I have never heard anyone say this in the midst of a meeting before. This is a change. I only wish we had taken it further and PRAYED right then and there. It might have changed the whole tone of the meeting. This morning God has put another conviction about this on my heart — we each need to pray, not for God to provide a miracle, or to make everyone else do the right thing; we need to pray that God would show each one of us what we can do to nourish and sustain God’s church right here where we are. I need to search my heart to see what God would have me do. I need to become a better steward, not just of my money, but of my spiritual gifts and my time. I need to be like the little boy who trusted Christ with his few loaves and fishes.
Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth. 1 Timothy 2:15
I can’t change anyone else, but I can change myself. I don’t want to stand before God, ashamed because I gave Him only the leftovers of my life. I want to hear the words,
Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness! Matthew 25:23
I’m convinced we’re changing and moving in the right direction. This is a sign that God is at work. My prayer is that He will continue to change us by first changing me. Pray with me, friends and readers … I’ll keep you posted!