Jonathan's Perspective  

Oct 16

'Urgently Pleading'

What is your attitude toward giving to your children or grandchildren?  How do you feel when you support your alma mater? What about supporting the Scouts, Salvation Army, or a children’s home?  It is interesting to think about how we have different attitudes and feelings that accompany our giving to different organizations or people. Truth is, we give with various motivations with different feelings tied to each gift. 

What feelings and motivations come to mind when you think of giving to your church?  Paul writes about the Macedonian church that they urgently pleaded with us for the privilege of sharing in this service to the Lord’s people.” (2 Cor 8:4) Now that is a wonderful vision of heartfelt generosity!  Once I had a member of the church hand me a $100 bill as he was leaving church.  He said with urgency, “Use this to help someone in need or in whatever way you think is most helpful.”  What a wonderful example of heartfelt generosity!

There are so many wonderful ways that our church is touching lives. We teach our children that God loves them and will care for them in any situation they find themselves . We get them started on the path of joyous life in Christ.  We mentor our youth as we invite them to make a personal commitment to follow Jesus. We help them navigate the tumultuous storms in their lives and we teach them to serve.  Our young adults continue to be grounded in Scriptures and wrestle with how they can live it out at home and in the work place.  We worship the Lord together and invite others to do the same. We have plenty of reason to urgently share in the support of ministry here at Munholland.

Another man came to Christmas Eve service with a huge grin on his face. Before he entered worship, he handed my Senior Pastor a large check and said, “I’ve had a great year for my business and I want to give thanks to God.”  There are so many more stories I could tell you about people who gave with excitement about how God had blessed them and what God was doing in the church.  Before I set my tithe for the coming year, I count my blessings.  How about you?

Finally, scripture encourages us to give cheerfully whatever amount we have decided in our hearts. I like that we are to decide what we are going to give. Giving is an intentional act.  My wife and I sit down each year and consider how much God is blessing us financially in the year to come through our work.  Then we decide what we will give.  We have given a tenth of our income to God’s work for so many years that it is easy for us now.  No one starts out giving 10% of their income, but we should all intentionally move toward a tithe over a number of years.  What if you gave 2% now; could you intentionally give 1% more the next year, and 1% more the year after?  Intentionally deciding in our hearts is a great way to increase both our thanksgiving and our faith in God’s provision.  Once I decide what I will give, I make it easy on myself-- I set up an automatic bank draft that goes directly to Munholland.

I want to be counted among the Macedonians who “urgently pleaded for the privilege of sharing”. Together, let’s count our blessings, consider the importance of Munholland’s ministry to all ages, and give cheerfully to the work of the Kingdom.

Blessings,

Jonathan

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