bits from bob....
Do You Come Empty?
by Robert J. Young
©, 2003, Robert J. Young
[permission is given to reprint with credit noted]
Have you noticed the increasing excitement, enthusiasm, and encouragement of our assemblies as our spiritual family gathers for worship? Missions efforts, missions reports, enthusiastic singing, connecting with God and with one another, increasing evangelism opportunities, challenges to care....these are the "stuff" of life with God.
Surely you also know that none of this happens without resources. All conceivable honor is due our Creator, Preserver, Benefactor, and Redeemer. However much we may offer, we cannot give him more than his due. He deserves our best, he demands our all--willingly given. Three things happen to me as I read our contribution updates in the bulletin.
- I am encouraged. The increased generosity of this church family is commendable. As a faith community, the people of God, we are serious about taking God at his word. Thank you for your part, however large or small. Thank you for your generous support of special benevolent appeals and missions opportunities.
- I am challenged. Under the Old Testament, the rule was, "None shall appear before me empty." Whether we give much or little, none should come before God empty. We must know what is required of us and answer. "Ascribe unto the Lord the glory due his name; bring an offering, and come into his courts" (Ps. 96:8).
- I am motivated. An elder was once asked why the preacher had preached two sermons in a row on baptism. The elder quickly answered what he considered a ridiculous question, "To get people to know what they are supposed to do!" Every teacher and preacher, every Christian, should find motivation in helping people know what they are supposed to do.
Our giving is a reflection, revelation of what you think of God. Each week you and I react to all God has given. I hope we are saying with all our might and resources, "Thanks be to God for his unspeakable gift." If Jesus Christ died for you, no sacrifice you make for him could be too great!
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Last updated November 5, 2003.