Saturday, December 11, 2010

Advancing the Kingdom!

It’s that time of year again; the time when we enter a season of celebration and refection (Thanksgiving and Christmas). During these holidays we often get bombarded with thing that vie for our time, attention, and even money.

Organizations want us to volunteer to serve or collect items for the needy, newspaper ads show us sales that we need to take advantage of, and the amount of things that we can invest in seems limitless. So, when choosing how to best utilize your resources this holiday season, let the truths of the Bible be your guide.

In 2 Corinthians 9:7-12 we read these words…

Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. As it is written: “They have freely scattered their gifts to the poor; their righteousness endures forever.” Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness. You will be enriched in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God. This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of the Lord’s people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God.

Now, what does this all mean?

First, that the generous giver will reap generously

Does that mean that if you give a lot of money, you will get a lot of money. By no means! what it does mean is that the extent to which you invest your resources into God’s kingdom is the same extent to which fruit will spring up.

Secondly, this verse is suggesting that giving should never be out of compulsion or reluctance

Instead, we should give freely, cheerfully, and willingly. That doesn’t mean that we should not encourage others to give! It just means that our encouragement is not the basis for people to give. People should out of their understanding of God’s grace in their lives.

Thirdly, giving is tied to faith.
You give because you believe that God is able to bless you abundantly and in fact, has blessed you abundantly. Notice, it doesn’t say you are blessed because you have a certain amount of money. That fact that you have money at all makes you blessed. God is not only able to bless you abundantly, but he is able to increase the amount you have so that you can give even more! How about that for God’s power?

Lastly, giving produces thanksgiving

For several days now, I've been talking about growing in gratitude... one of the best ways to live out and encourage thankfulness is to give! As you give to the needs of the saints, you are creating an atmosphere of gratitude and appreciation that blesses God and serves as a witness to others.

As 2010 comes to a close, I would ask that you consider making a gift to support an incredible ministry... NorthStar Church in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho!

Donations can be sent to:

Northstar Baptist Church
1604 W Lee Court
Coeur d'Alene, Idaho 83814

Check out Pastor Bennett Sanderson's Blog, "Life in the Big Potato

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