Now concerning what you wrote about the money to be raised to help God’s people in Judea. You must do what I told the churches in Galatia to do. Every Sunday each of you must put aside some money, in proportion to what you have earned, and save it up, so that there will be no need to collect money when I come. After I come, I shall give letters of introduction to those you have approved, and send them to take your gift to Jerusalem. (verses 1-3)
Read 1 Corinthians 16:1-9
Every Sunday the offering plate comes past you again in church. To whom, or to what, are you giving? I’m not looking for an answer like ‘To God, of course’. Where do you believe your money is going?
Christians are called to be generous. If your gift is going to help your congregation meet its budget, you may not be passionately moved to give generously. Budgets are hard to get really enthused about – unless you’re a congregation treasurer!
We don’t give to budgets; we give so that people may be better equipped to do God’s work. Or we give to meet the needs of people who are hurting in some way. Or we give so that our pastor may continue to equip us for our ministries. Or so that new pastors, lay workers and teachers may be trained. Or so that some lonely person listening to a radio may hear the gospel.
We are called to be generous. We are called to help people.
Father, open my eyes, ears and heart so that I may be aware of needs around me, and open my wallet so that I may help meet them. Amen.
by Bob Turnbull, in ‘New Strength for each Day’ (LCA, Openbook, 1998)
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