The Layman's Roundup
A layperson's summary of our Church's Sunday Sermon
Resurrection Lord's Day:
Evidence that Demands a Response
9 April 2023
One of the most difficult things for us mortals, living in a finite realm and dealing with finite things, is to give away our valuable resources freely. It goes against the grain of our being. We protect and guard these things jealously.
Perhaps a good test of faith is to see how we react when asked to give time and money to our Christian brethren. 2 Corinthians 8 highlights the importance of giving generously, with open hearts and out of our love for one another. It reminds us of the grace of God that has been bestowed upon the churches of Macedonia. In times of great affliction, they demonstrated an incredible spirit of generosity, giving according to their means and even beyond.
Coincidentally (or rather, providentially), our regular Bible reading also brought us to an example of how the faithful of God gave. Exodus 36 tells us that “The people bring much more than enough for doing the work that the LORD has commanded us to do.” The people gave so much that Moses had to tell them to stop, and their material was sufficient to do all the work and more.
It is this willingness to give, not so much the amount or what is being given, that the Lord wants to see from us. Our giving should not be coerced but done in love. It is not a command, but a testament to the genuine love that we hold for one another. When we give willingly, it is a powerful demonstration of the love that we have in our hearts.
Let us also strive to emulate Christ's giving. We have experienced the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, who, though rich, became poor for our sake. Through his sacrifice, we have gained spiritual riches that are far more valuable than any material wealth. As recipients of such undeserved grace, how can we close our hearts and wallets to our fellow brothers and sisters in need?
Our giving should be marked by an eager willingness. It is essential that our good intentions result in action, and that we complete our acts of giving with a sense of urgency. We should never feel pressured to give beyond our means but rather give according to what we have.
Remember the biblical purpose of wealth: to share with the needy, help the weak, and do good. Our giving should not feel like an unequal burden, but rather be based on our equality before God. It is right to return spiritual blessings with material blessings, and clutching our riches is a futile waste of energy.
As we reflect on these Christ-centered principles, let us consider the ways in which we can embody the spirit of gospel-fueled giving in our lives. Paul's teaching on giving should inspire us to open our hearts wide, to share what we have, and to support one another in love.
Let us be guided by these words of Scripture, and let us be known as a community that gives generously out of love for one another. Together, we can make a difference in the lives of those around us, demonstrating the power of Christ's love in action.
Who really owns us? Who has our heart? Where is our treasure? Because there our heart is also. The best example of a willing spirit can be found in none other than the closing hymn from last Sunday.
If we can tell the Lord that He can:
* Take our lives;
* Take our hands;
* Take our feet;
* Take our voice;
* Take our lips;
* Take our silver and gold;
* Take our intellect;
* Take our will;
* Take our heart;
* Take our love;
If He can take our selves, then we can truly be… ever, only, all for Thee.