The CHILDREN OF BELARUS will be with us for the month of July! Already families are preparing for the arrival of the children. The medical and dental appointments are being made and the interpreter is getting ready for this important time. Hosting these beautiful children takes organization, prayer, and finances. The Pettitt and Thorpe families will be hosting Anna, the interpreter, this year and will be offering a lunch immediately after our 11:00 AM Morning Worship service on Sunday, April 23rd. This lunch will include a luscious salad, main course, and some amazing desserts. Suggested donation: $5.00 (children under 5 free). Please let us know if you plan on attending! Signup at gracechurchnc.com
“His disciples came by night and stole Him away.” What? Those eleven men were off somewhere cowering in fear, John 20:19. They were so scared that when He was arrested, they fled in fear. They were so afraid that only one of their number was brave enough to go to the crucifixion. They were so afraid that they allowed the women to go to the tomb to finish preparing the body. These men would never have stolen that body. They were just too afraid! Besides that, all of them but John, and he was boiled in oil, died for their faith. They were persecuted to death because they preached the resurrection from the dead! If it were not true would they have died for it? If don’t think so!
John 20:19 Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you.
Source: Pastor Alan Carr
That’s easy. They give from the heart, to vision. Let’s start off with the “from” part. All giving is a matter of the heart. I can’t think of anything more counter-cultural than parting with resources. If someone gives, they do it because something deep and internal has been affected.
A lot of teaching on stewardship is guilt-based, even fear-based. I don’t like it, and I don’t think it’s biblical. Yes, the Bible teaches that there are blessings with giving. Yes, the Bible teaches that any act of obedience or disobedience has consequence. But that’s not what God wants to motivate us.
I was recently reading through Exodus and was amazed (again) to read how Moses had to tell the people to stop giving because they had more than they needed to construct all that God had commanded in terms of the Tabernacle. Any of you pastors ever have to preach that message? But their hearts were so taken that they couldn’t stop giving to the God who had liberated them from every bondage.
This is why Paul, in the New Testament, instructed people to give from their hearts. He knew it was the most powerful area to scour for motivation and obligation for the needs of the kingdom of God.
But people don’t just give “from,” but “to.” And what they give “to” is vision. Vision is the destination. The goal. The Promised Land.
For Meck, it’s 20,000 active attenders with ministry in 20 countries. That’s 20,000 changed lives. That’s partnering with 20 incredibly-needy partners who are doing God’s work in ways we never could. That’s making a difference with our one and only life in ways few could ever imagine.
We teach people that giving is an act of worship. And, of course, it is. But it is more than money. It is the giving of our hearts, and then the commitment of our wills to the cause. And God smiles on the giver. And God honors the giver. And God gives to the giver. No wonder people give.