I didn't make it to church today as I have some kind of stomach virus. The rumblings started last night and these illnesses wipe me out. I had a low grade fever this morning- yes, I took my temperature. My family went. I knew it would be a good service as Pastor gives us a bit of a preview on Wednesday nights.
The sermon title, "The Key to Everything" was our hint on Wednesday. I assumed the answer would be Jesus. Pastor's theme was giving. I think that is interesting as that has been my thoughts about my writing if you remember a few posts back. Writing has to give back. After I wrote that post I received a message from an old high school friend. My writing gave him some quality time with his daughter. It opened some doors for me to pour into a young person's life.
I also had a discussion on Facebook with a seminary student. I have been thinking even before today about this topic with the Bible verses Malachi 3:10 that gives a promise from God, if we tithe, He will open the Heavens. My God owns the cattle on a thousand hills-Psalm 50:10 He will supply all my needs according to His riches in glory-Philippians 4:19. It is better to give than receive-Acts 20:35 and the one we should all live by- God loves a cheerful giver 2 Corinthians 9:7.
From the sermon notes today, Pastor did not limit giving to just money. We need to be forgiving. Giving of our time, our love, our selves. Jesus gave the ultimate, His life. Are we not to follow His example?
If the Church universal lived up to the giving factor, many social ills could be better managed. That was the argument that the Church does not live this way I had with the seminary student. He felt the Church fell short. I have heard statistics that any church uses their dollars more for the purpose than the government or United Way. Dollar for dollar, in a church, less is spent on administrative costs than on the cause. In a free will offering without forewarning, my church gave $6,000 for Katrina. We support over 60 missionaries abroad with a wide range of services and 26 local missions, giving over $112,000 a year. I'm not bragging, I hope to be encouraging. A church can give, even in this economy.
Pastor Ken says, "You can't take it with you, but you can send it on ahead, so reach deep into your pockets for that moldy money."
I don't often have moldy money, but the principles of giving ten percent, saving ten percent and living on eighty hold more than their weight. Giving is the best.