Matthew 6:1 – Be careful not to do your "acts of righteousness" before men, to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven. (NIV)
Like most churches, it's stewardship season in our congregation. For six weeks, we are all supposed to focus upon what we give to God through the local church. Each Sunday, church members give testimonies about why they support the congregation and how they feel drawn closer to God by the worship, fellowship, and faithfulness at our church.
The same sorts of stories are being told all over the land. Churches are gathering centres of like-minded people who pool their resources together in order to become effective vehicles of Christ's ministry and mission at home and abroad. Stewardship is a key element to the impact that any church makes on the surrounding community. Without the money that people give, without the resources that people offer, Christ's work could not be done.
At our church, people are given an annual invitation to renew a personal financial pledge to the congregation. Even in tough economic times, Christians are still willing to make money commitments to sustain the work that Christ has asked us to accomplish. It's very humbling and uplifting to see the pledges coming in from all different sorts of folk. The people who pledge are making an investment in the future of the church and making a difference in the world. They look for no reward or public recognition; they give for all of the right reasons: to glorify God and to support Christ's mission.
The challenge for all of us who are reading this today is this: have we prayed about our financial commitment to God's work this year? Are we willing to invest our money and resources in the future work of our church, so that Christ may continue to be worshipped and honoured, and His ministry supported through our faithful giving and generous love?
Prayer: Lord Jesus, You call us to be disciples of Your way, messengers of Your truth, and stewards of Your life. Open our eyes to Your work in Your Church; open our minds to Your mission in our communities; and open our pockets to Your purposes for our congregations. In Your holy name, we humbly pray. Amen.