What are we to support with our giving 2021 08 22

What are we to support with our giving 2021 08 22

hmm espou prayer together our father in heaven lord thank you so much for your tender care for us as your children lord we thank you most of all this morning for the lord jesus christ and our singing we have worked to lift high the name of jesus christ thanking you for the salvation that you have given to us through him father we thank you that you have chosen us to salvation we thank you that our sins have been paid for in the blood of jesus christ we thank you that the lord jesus christ defeated sin and death and that he is now seated at the right hand of the father we thank you for the promise of the resurrection we thank you for the promise of your return we thank you for the promise that one day you will make all things new that you will reign over this whole world we know that you’re sovereign even now but lord we long that those who deny you would come to bow before you as lord and savior we longed that the nations would recognize that there is a god in heaven father i think we’re all confused irritated with so much of what we see going on in the world they have denied your existence they have professed themselves to be wise and they have become fools father i pray that we your people would represent the name of the lord jesus christ we would represent the belief in the eternal god that we would represent you well i pray that with gentleness we would deal with those of differing opinions there are so many opinions there’s so much working to cause division and yet i pray that we would be steadfast in a gentleness and in a long suffering and in a kindness that accompanies our faith father this morning as we open your word together build conviction in the heart of your people i pray that you would bring encouragement to the church body this morning that in i believe in this way the church has been very obedient has been very faithful i pray that we would take courage and encouragement from the word of god this morning lord if there’s one here this morning that does not know the lord jesus christ as savior and lord i know that we won’t have particularly a gospel message focusing on the cross focusing on the empty grave necessarily but father we’re going to talk about the money it takes to ensure that there is a clear gospel witness in the world you have given this charge this responsibility to believers that we pay it forward for those who do not yet know and i pray that you build within our hearts a conviction that our money needs to follow where our mouth goes and if we say that there’s nothing more important than for people to know jesus christ and for places to have faithful gospel witness through strong bible preaching churches and god may our money follow our mouth and may the lost who may be with us this morning those who do not yet know jesus christ may they see that we take seriously the charge to make jesus known because there’s nothing more important than knowing him may your spirit move in the midst of our message in jesus name i pray amen please be seated three weeks ago i preached a message on the difference between old testament tithing and new testament giving we learned that while there is a specific amount was not prescribed in the new testament a heart attitude of generosity and cheerfulness is indeed important in a new testament way of giving we further observe that our giving should follow a regular pattern it should involve everyone in participation and in some way should be proportionate to one’s one’s finances today i want to answer a different question what are we to support with our giving what happens with the resources that you give so faithfully to this church what should we be utilizing the money that we might reserve for ourself to do our own ministry initiatives with and i want to lay some of these things out for you this morning already i’ve mentioned that there’s two distinct aspects of giving that’s the money that is given to my local church and then there’s money given at my own discretion we’ll spend the bulk of our time this morning discussing what happens with the resources giving to the local church and then we’ll wrap up with some thoughts about our individual giving as we feel led by the spirit of god to do so but before i do that i want to answer why this is important one of the responsibilities that we as a church by our bylaws we’ve handed off to the church body is approving our annual budget understand this together we will give account for how god’s resources are used as a church someone say amen together we will give account for how god’s resources are used as a congregation that’s not a decision yes our trustees approve a budget that the elders put forward but ultimately you can vote that thing down and say nope i don’t think that’s a wise way for our church to use its money and resources so if in fact we are to intelligently say yes we approve a budget or no we don’t approve a budget it might be good for us to take at least one sunday and understand what does the bible say we ought to be doing with the resources given to the church we’ll begin here i believe the first responsibility that the church has is caring for the needy and especially christians now this principle is not necessarily related to corporate giving but it’s a principle that i think governs both our private giving as individuals and our corporate giving as a church here’s what galatians 6 10 says so then as we have opportunity let us do good to everyone and especially to those who are of the household of faith as we think about our giving there is a priority that we as christians have toward other christians just think about this we’ve been talking about afghanistan and the suffering there let’s imagine that there’s a muslim family that knows of another muslim family that’s suffering who’s going to help that family well if you’re a muslim you want to help your muslim brother correct well doesn’t that apply to us that we’re the only other people in the world that are looking out really for our own amen so when we find that there’s a christian brother in need we ought to be moved with compassion toward that christian brother because they’re family i was just working on a lesson this week for family fusion that we’ll be starting up in a couple of weeks and trying to help young people understand why we contribute to the necessity of the saints and we’re quick to show hospitality why is that how many of us drive by people that we see on the side of the road raise your hand if you’ve ever driven by somebody that you saw in need and you didn’t stop to help come y’all liars oh you put your hands up you all done it right probably driven by me on the side of the road how many of you saw a family member on the side of the road and you kept on driving oh come babe okay you didn’t see it but i saw there’s one unique individual here that drove my family my point being when there’s a family member in need it doesn’t matter if it’s raining if we’re going to be late if we’re going to be blah blah blah blah blah we will stop for family as brothers and sisters in christ we have a special responsibility to care for family in need and this is talking specifically about financial need it’s not limited to that surely the church ought to have some resources to help everyone but in particular someone that’s of the household of faith this passage acts chapter 4 verse 35 and this is why i wanted to start with this the church was born in acts chapter 2. and there’s another example of this in acts chapter 2. we’ll see that in a minute in acts chapter 2 it’s the individual who’s selling their property cashing in for money and giving that money personally in acts chapter four they’ve recognized the church is getting too big the administrative responsibility of all is becoming too much and now they’re selling their property they’re bringing the money to the apostles and the apostles are then distributing those needs as they have them look at what it says there was not a needy person among them for as many as were owners of lands or houses sold them and brought the proceeds of that was sold and laid it at the apostles feet and it was disrupted distributed to each as any had need so you saw in chapter two the individual did this in chapter four now they’re bringing some of those resources to the church and the apostles are able to distribute that as they have a fuller knowledge of those that may be in need this is why i start with this we would say that the act the church is born in acts chapter two one of the very first characteristics that you learn about the church is that the church cared for its own even before it talked about caring for pastors even before it talked about world evangelism and the finances involved in that it talked about caring for its own in a local place and that’s why i put it as number one on our list they were funds that were available to help people that were needy within the congregation you know the second the lowest second thessalonians 3 10 says for even when we were with you we would give you this command if anyone is not willing to work let him not eat so while there were funds available to those who were in need this isn’t the church funding laziness these are people that the church took responsibility they extended this this this this uh generosity to those who through no fault of their own or because of their profession of faith in christ were without their basic needs there was a group of people in that same church acts chapter six verse one now in these days when the numbers of decide when the when the disciples were increasing in number a complaint by the hellenistic by the hellness arose against the hebrews because their widows were being neglected in the daily distribution daily distribution indicates that they had developed a full-fledged ministry of feeding the widows within that congregation now there were jewish widows and there were greek uh greek background widows and the greek background widows were being neglected and the jewish women widows were not being neglected my point being that they collected funds from the larger church body to care for a needy group of people within that church again first timothy chapter five verses four through five and eight it’s not that we help every widow across the board or that this is strictly limited to widows look what else it says about these widows if a widow has children or grandchildren let them first learn to show godliness to their own household and to make some return to their parents for this is pleasing in the sight of god she who is truly a widow left all alone has set her hope on god and continues in supplications and prayers night and day the point being here the widows were first to see is there family in the area that can care for my needs this isn’t just a oh i’m a widow the church now has to care for me no that widow should first if she has kids at home or adult children who can care for her take her in they had the first in primary responsibility but if that wasn’t the case and she was truly left all alone goes on further to say that the church would care for her but look what it says after the dot-dot-dot but if anyone does not provide for his relatives and especially for members of his household he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever so listen the fact that the church may have resources available to help church family in need the first and primary person to look for help is that person’s own family the church can become part of that help but it should not fall entirely to the church especially if there’s family in the area that has the ability to do so you follow me so far church funds again were reserved to help those who through no fault of their own found themselves without any means of being helped i don’t think and this was the cultural situation in that day our cultural situation is a lot different often we have insurance policies and things like that and when a widow is left often she’s left with tremendous wealth but sometimes that’s the case sometimes that’s not the case but i think the principle applies anywhere where you might have people who are our brothers and sisters in christ and find themselves in great need it could apply to a refugee situation a single parent situation folks on a fixed income handicapped people veterans orphans any one of these people for a various number of reasons might find themselves to be in need if they are brothers and sisters in christ or even if not we have a responsibility to step in and help in those places where they may have deed we see another example this one in acts 11. this offering was spoken of frequently throughout the new testament epistles in romans in galatia the churches of macedonia both of the letters to the church at corinth both talk about this particular event let’s read it together acts 11 28-30 and one of them named agabus stood up and foretold by the spirit that there would be a great famine over all the world so the disciples determined everyone according to his ability to send relief to the brothers living in judea and they did so sending it to the elders by the hand of barnabas and saul we saw in second corinthians chapter eight verse four talking about that offering that was mentioned in acts chapter 11. paul said this that the people of macedonia begged earnestly for the favor of taking part in the relief of the saints then again in romans 15 paul said of the roman church at present however i am going to jerusalem bringing aid to the saints from macedonia and ikea have been pleased to make some contribution for the poor among the saints in jerusalem so here again you see that this is not only caring for people in our own church but it’s also recognizing that there might be people in need in other places that we could gather our resources and send it to them i want to imagine that if our elders could find a useful way of connecting with believers in afghanistan we would be in favor of sending some of our church’s resources to help them amen and we can see here that christians throughout history recorded in scripture have done this in caring for one another we see a second way in which our resources are to be used this is caring for pastors or elders bible commentator of the past warren wiersbe said this it’s a basic principle in scripture that those who serve the lord and his people should have the support of god’s people galatians 6 6 says like this let the one who has taught the word share all good things with the one who teaches that’s what it says pastors have all the same needs that y’all do health care retirement groceries clothing insurance automobiles i’m in the midst of sending my kids to college and i don’t want them to be swamped in debt so i’m working to help them as much as i can while a pastor is not to be greedy of gain as first peter 5 2 tells us his undivided attention can be turned toward the flock when his living concerns are well cared for i think on behalf of those of us that are on the payroll i would like to extend thank you for your faithfulness in providing for our families amen first timothy 5 17-18 says let the elders who rule well be considered worthy of double honor especially those who labor in preaching and teaching for the scripture says you shall not muzzle and ox when it treads out the grain and the laborer deserves his wages financial compensation seems and i would say this on the basis of this verse seems to follow the role of elders whose primary roles are in preaching and teaching the words especially those in our text indicates that some elders do not serve primarily as preachers and teachers but rather more in shepherding roles you follow me on this we aspire and some years about about two or three years ago we changed to a leadership style called plurality of eldership where we have other guys in the church who they earn their income outside the church but because of their years in christ because of their their bible knowledge their character they they meet the qualifications and we are inviting those men to come and serve alongside us they don’t receive pay from the church why because their primary responsibility is not the laborious work of preparing to preach and teach and preaching and teaching this passage indicates some men have a primacy in the preaching and teaching and someone have a more active role among the flock so as we grow our eldership we don’t necessarily need to understand that boy how are we going to afford to keep all these guys on the books i’ll just be frank with you brother frank brother bob even pastor joe are not on our books i am full-time i preach about 80 percent of the time from this pulpit my father who once held this position is part time for our church he’s probably secondary he preaches a fair amount of those times and then we have a full-time intern pastor aaron some elders were gathered last monday and we were talking to pastor paul mcintosh you know he’s a church planter out of our church in australia he was talking about how some of the things that they had hoped to accomplish god had closed some doors and they’re going to have to pursue some different directions obviously as a person supported out of our church one of the questions is how long will we be supporting you it was interesting one of the things that he said they’re working mostly with unsaved and baby christians it might be a while before those people get to the point where they recognize the value that a local gospel preaching church is to that area and they begin paying it forward and taking care of their own he said this one of the marks that a church is maturing is when the church is adequately caring for its own pastors i think that’s a good rubric wouldn’t that be a good way to look at the work that pastor paul is doing in australia that when that church is up to a place where they’re number one caring for the needs in their congregation and number two caring adequately for their pastor that would be a good sign the church health is growing and furthermore there’s a third thing there’s a third mark that a church is growing in maturity and once they’ve cared for the needy within their own flock and they’re taking care of the preachers and the teachers and the elders within their own flock they begin caring for gospel expansion workers and i’ve put gospel expansion workers on purpose we’ve got people like um chris parker she is a scholar do you know how hard it is to come up here and say stuff that that young lady can can read and interpret on the fly out of the greek new testament maybe you’re not impressed by that but that’s impressive she’s a bible translator she has to understand hebrew and greek not at a basic level at a very advanced level and our missions dollars are helping people like her get the bible and the language of people who’ve never had the word of god in their own language isn’t that a remarkable thing so is she planting churches is she sharing the gospel no she spends a lot of time behind a computer and she’s wicked wicked smart and praise god for her i’ve actually called her a couple times and said hey i got a question verb i’m looking at here it would appear that missionaries are among the most financially vulnerable ministers while a church will naturally care for their own pastors in particular it appears that itinerant gospel workers can be easily neglected the emphasis placed on this in the new testament bears this out basically i’ve shared two verses with you right if i was going to build a theology that you ought to support your pastor it pretty much hangs on the two verses that we’ve looked at it really does but when you talk about the work outside of a church’s own spot and to taking the gospel into new places there’s lots of stuff about this many of this is from the apostle paul he had a unique relationship with the church at corinth he had spent lots of time there one of the verses we’re going to look at is that paul had robbed other churches accepting support from them in order to serve them in order to serve the church of corinth it seems that paul recognized that they didn’t have a problem caring for their own pastors it was a problem they had in caring for the guy who was going to go out on behalf of the church however he had spent a considerable amount of time with that church and while he was working among them he had to be a tent maker he had to go out and he had to earn his own keep why because the people there lacked the maturity to see that paul was worth his weight how many of you would show up of a bible study if paul from the new testament was going to be teaching that yeah i think i would show up at that bible study and yet they didn’t let they did not value his experience his expertise his calling as an apostle enough to help foot the bill for him let’s look at some of the things that paul said this regarding these workers who go out on our behalf if we’ve sown spiritual things among you is it too much if we reap material things from you if others share this rightful claim on you probably speaking about pastors the pastors of the corinthian church why don’t we even more first corinthians 9 11 through 12 is it only barnabas and i who have no right to refrain from working for a living who serves as a soldier at his own expense how many of you would go to work if you didn’t get paid no one we’re not going if you’re not paying who serves as a soldier at his own expense who plants a vineyard without eating any of its fruit or who tends a flock without getting some of the milk do you not know that those who are employed in the temple service get their food from the temple and those who serve at the altar share in sacrificial offerings in the same way the lord commanded that those who proclaim the gospel should get their living by the gospel luke chapter 10 verse 7 jesus words there became a proof text that the apostle paul is here using the gospel workers should be cared for by the generosity of those they serve and here it is second corinthians 11 8 as paul is trying to make a case that guys come on help me out here he says this i robbed other churches by accepting support from them in order to serve you and it’d be one thing if they didn’t have any resources but they’re not a young church they’re not a church plant they they’re supporting their pastors they’re helping people out it’s like seriously paul timothy barnabas apollos epaphroditus titus john mark these courageous gospel work workers went to the far reaches of the world to take the gospel they had home churches but their resource their support required cooperative help from many churches we looked at this in our opening together at the start of worship service this morning beloved it is a faithful thing you do in all your efforts for these brothers strangers as they are who testify to your love before the church you will do well to send them on their journey in a manner worthy of god for they have gone out for the sake of the name that’s the name of jesus christ accepting nothing from the gentiles say this with me christians fund christianity say it with me christians fund christianity say it with me again christians fund christianity they wouldn’t want to be paid for from the gentiles to go and do christ’s work here’s how john ends up this statement therefore we ought to support people like these that we may be fellow workers for the truth understand that in supporting financially they became fellow workers for the truth they weren’t the one on the front line going out into the strange places and learning the languages and learning a new culture and learning how to connect with people in a foreign place but as their dollars went to support those whose work that was they were fellow workers for the truth this is not a new concept to our church i can i probably don’t have enough fingers and toes to count the numbers of times that i have heard pastor watkins the gray say these very things from our pulpit here’s the passage that he often in fact i was looking for this proof text and he was out tinkering in the hallway i said hey dad where’s that he knew it he’s like philippians chapter four i think it’s for 15 or 17. it’s like oh thanks came back in you philippians yourselves know that in the beginning of the gospel when i left macedonia no church entered into what’s that next word partnership with me in giving and receiving except you only even in thessalonica there again a young church not able yet to fully support its own but the church at philippi was sending resources to paul so that he could focus his full and undivided attention on the church at thessalonica and he says you sent to me you sent me help for my needs once and again not that i seek a gift but i seek notice this part the fruit that increases to your credit i have received full payment and more i am well supplied having received from epaphroditus the gifts you sent a fragrant offering a sacrifice acceptable and pleasing to god there’s another similar passage in first corinthians 16 verses 6 10 and 11 perhaps i will stay with you or even send spend the winter here’s paul it’s coming back i can hear him preparing them as they’ve been short on help when he comes he’s like look why don’t y’all try to put some resources because i’m going to try to spend the winter with you when i come so that you may help me on my journey to get to you wherever i go when timothy comes see that you put him at ease among you timothy that faithful gospel preacher now taking on that role as a missionary to the church of corinth he says he’s going to be coming through town when he gets there you take care of him for he is doing the work the lord as i am so no let no one despise him help him on his way in peace that he may return to me for i am expecting him with the brothers all of this you’re sitting here this morning you’re saying i wonder how beacon is doing in regards to how our spending is as a church i’ve taken our general budget and our missions budget and i’ve glued them together to create one lump sum you won’t see the lump sum here we didn’t think it lies with this being a live broadcast to include that but i’ve broken up by percentages trust me i’m really good at math right mr brain let’s take a look at this out of our combined budget we give 1.3 percent of our budget to samaritan needs you say pastor that is abysmal understand this if we say we’re going to put 20 000 aside that raises what our monthly needs are right if we say over the course of a year we’re gonna put twenty thousand dollars away what happens if we don’t have great needs well we’ve just amassed twenty thousand dollars that we didn’t need and we choked ourselves so here’s what our trustees over the last decade have decided to do our church has an emergency reserve fund with significant financial resources available we have a small portion of money that we have in our regular budget and if great need should ever come upon anyone in our church there are significant resources that we can immediately put our hands on to help anyone in need so the 1.3 by our budget that’s what we set aside though there are tremendous resources available for someone else in these does that make sense so don’t be discouraged yet because you were you’re like what that’s crazy oh boy one of the things that the church had responsible so we see biblically we have a responsibility to samaritan need that’s how much goes to samaritan 55.5 goes to salaries benefits for the pastors and staff 26.8 goes to world missions so far everything that we have spoken about everything that’s represented on here totaling just short okay what’s 100 minus 16 84. thank you 84 of our budget is given to biblically mandated things which leaves 16 of our budget 16 of our budget 11.6 for facilities administration and insurance and utilities it costs us 11 cents per dollar to meet here on a sunday morning that’s pretty good i think i don’t think we could rent as decent a place for that amount of money and then lastly 4.5 percent for all other ministry things that we do buying sunday school materials snacks for the nursery you guys remember dave fillmore anybody remember dave filmore he used to have a fit he says you would not believe how much this church spends on goldfish well anyway nonetheless because the youth group has found where the cache is since they play sardines the kid’s like hey while we’re hiding here and go grab some goldfish cups of goldfish all over this building nonetheless i think that that’s fairly good representative sixteen percent of that is not biblically mandated and i think we’re pretty careful i wanna commend and i won’t call their name but just recently there was a bill that came in for repairing the the elevator and we called one of our trustees who’s over those kinds of matters they made one phone call and saved us four hundred dollars somebody say hardy amen some of you that represents a whole month’s worth of giving you’re like thank you it didn’t just go out the door we made a phone call another individual called and changed our energy supplier and just saved us two thousand dollars coming into the new year praise god for that amen those guys are working hard to see that our money is being spent wisely i want to turn briefly and i’m going to go quick you might want to jot some of these references down but here’s something that i think is very important again i want to be very clear i don’t believe the bible mandates the amount of money any person ought to give to the church you give as the spirit of god leads you i think every person should be involved from the person who just got a brand new job mowing lawns are working at mcdonald’s to the person who’s the ceo of the corporation every person ought to be involved if you’re making income you want to be giving something because christians fund say it again christians fund christianity so everyone ought to be involved it ought to be proportionate not this here or there well the pastor did a good job today i’ll put a little more in this way oh the pastor didn’t do such a good job today i ain’t giving him nothing that’s tipping okay that’s tip that’s what you do with a waitress my food was cold man they were mean right so everyone participates it’s proportionate it’s there’s a pattern to it not just i’m gonna give it here and then i know seven weeks later here and then 13 weeks later here it’s hard to build a budget if everybody gave that way in that i would also encourage that there’s some money that you ought to set aside for yourself that you don’t spend on anything you keep it in your pocket to take advantage of opportunities that god puts before you there are ways and there are things that you are passionate about if you have read the treasure principle they talk about things that the author of the treasure principal randy alcorn has a passion for the unborn and he has put tremendous financial resources toward attacking the unborn he’s doing something for his church but with that extra over and above he comes out and he says i want to save some other money for things that i’m excited about i’ve minimized my my my living expenses and i’ve got that settled and i’m taking care of this piece i also want some to follow the things that i’m passionate about uh we heard a testimony some weeks ago by francis chan uh he sold the rights to i believe it was uh one of the series is a crazy love i think that he had written he sold the rights of it and put it in a trust so that he could spend that money on charitable things and his passion was building hospitals and schools in africa that’s pretty cool there’s going to be times when you see a need you see a friend who’s really struggling to get by and they need help buying a washing machine or they need help fixing their car or they need help with this or that and you’re going to want to be able to go in your own pocket and say i can take care of this need there’s going to be other ministry opportunities things that you’re passionate about and you’re going to want to spend your money to do the thing that god has moved your heart for so let’s just look quickly at some of these verses and the emphasis in all of these verses is hold on a second i think we’ve lost connection here there we go i want you to see the personal nature that this is not corporate stuff but individual stuff so galatians 6 10 we’ve already seen this one let us do good to everyone especially to those who are of the household of faith it’s written to the individual in acts 2 like i said in acts 4 it was a corporate giving situation but in acts 2 it’s a private giving situation they were selling their possessions and their belongings and distributing the proceeds to all as any had need it’s personal endeavor james 2 15-16 if a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food in one of you one of you says to them go in peace be warmed and filled without giving them the things needed for the body what good is that again not written to the church written to the individual first timothy 6 17-19 as for the rich in this present age they are to do good to be rich in good works to be generous and ready to share if god’s blessed you with more than you need which is how many of us raise your hands if you have more than a day’s food in your fridge okay raise your hand if you have more than one coat we’re gonna look at that in a moment yeah we all have if you have more than you need with that excess you need to determine how can i bless others with this stuff titus 3 14 and let our people this is so cool let our people learn to devote themselves to what so as to help cases of what and not be unfruitful it is not technically speaking the church is like the admitted like the pastor’s job to go and find her needs god has made you an emissary an emissary of urgent need and as you see urgent need you ought to move with your pocketbook to go do something for them how do we do that set some money aside my wife and i a couple years ago when i kind of came into some of these views on on giving i said we need to start keeping some of this money aside for ourselves to do some of the things that we’re passionate about matthew 5 42 give to the one who begs from you do not refuse the one who would borrow from you james 1 27 religion that is pure and undefiled before god the father is this visit orphans and widows in their affliction it’s written to the individual ephesians 4 28 let the thief check this out steal no longer but rather let him labor why so that he may have something to share with the church pulled a quick one on you that’s not what it says that he may have something to share with anyone in need luke 3 11. he answered them whoever has two tunics is to share with him who has none whoever has food is to do likewise romans 16 2 that you may welcome this is speaking about phoebe says that wish they were to welcome her in the lord in a way worthy of the saints and help her in whatever she may need from you for she has been a patron of many and of myself as well phoebe did that utilizing her home and her resources to care for paul personally out of her own pocket she was passionate about that i think this guy has a future [Laughter] i think paul’s a good investment thank you phoebe i’m glad you took care of him titus 3 14 let our people oh i already did that one got in there twice yeah so let me read something and then i’m done in record time god’s plan for strong communities is strong churches strong churches require time energy and resources investing in your church is investing in something eternal the church is the pillar and ground of the truth every community needs strong gospel preaching bible believing churches someone say amen generous giving in my opinion should always begin with one’s local church why because all that other stuff flows out of the strong church right if we don’t have this then there aren’t people being trained to be sent out and it’s not just beacon but it’s calvary it’s kingdom outpost it’s grace covenant it’s trinity assembly we all have responsibility to care for a local place while we have eyes and as god blesses us to have care for global places but if this isn’t strong here then we can’t be strong out there generous giving in my opinion should always begin with one’s local church the place where you are led and fed however it is important that we are each in a place to move on those ministry opportunities that god places in front of us this is where you are free to give as the holy spirit leads you in causes that you are passionate about and that’s what this last verse was about i would take this verse to heart i pray i think our finances bear out that most most everyone is involved most are involved in a pattern of giving and most are giving proportionate but i would encourage us as a church to also set aside some personal resources to move in ways as god would have us let our people learn to devote themselves to good works so as to help cases of urgent need and not be unfruitful let’s pray our father we thank you for the time we’ve shared together in your word help us this week to look for opportunities well first of all help us to set some money aside to keep that twenty 20 bill folded in our wallet with the intent that that one doesn’t get used for ice cream or lunch or gas but that that money is ready in a moment to help someone in need and so represent the lord jesus christ in the most beautiful of ways so help us to prepare and then father help us to see ourselves as gospel workers independent of our church just people on move looking for needs and ready and willing to help those in need i pray this not just for those who already have their career path and their finances already set but i pray in particular for our young people who are gathered here today those who are just starting out to earn some money i pray that they would recognize that if they profess the name of jesus christ all of us older folks are going to eventually pass on and we need our younger people to take up the banner of funding christianity that it might always move forward father may they also see the further responsibility of being ready and willing to distribute to those who are in urgent need as your scripture calls us to do so give us eyes that we might see as we make plans and be prepared to help give us eyes to see and to move with compassion toward those in need in jesus name we pray amen let’s stand together
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What are we to support with our giving 2021 08 22

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