Sam and Melanie Hirt
2 Cor. 8:1-5,12-15; 9:6-8
Corinth was noted for everything sinful. After the Corinthians repented, the grace of God was bestowed on the churches of Macedonia as noted in 1 Corinthians 7:10: “For godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation.” They had many trials and poverty, but they endured them with joy and great generosity. They gave themselves to the will of God first and then to the needs of the church.
Paul stated that the churches gave according to their abilities and beyond. They were willing to give so that Paul could meet the needs of the saints.
God already owns the world and everything in it. He gives us the time and talents we have plus our bank accounts. It is our hearts He wants!
God expects us to be willing to give from what we have and not by what we don’t have. He does not want us to be burdened or others eased. He wants us to meet one another’s needs when in lack or abundance.
God gave directions even in the wilderness about gathering food He provided. When they obeyed, they had plenty. When they demonstrated greed, the surplus spoiled due to disobedience.
There are many avenues in the church for giving. Some examples are: teaching, child care, van driving, music (vocal and instrumental), organization in individual classes, visitation, counseling, care of our building, greeters, volunteers, outreach, missions, and, of course, money. We need to share the talents and blessings God has given us as the body of Christ.
The promises in giving that are taught to us are that if we sow sparingly, we will reap sparingly. But if we sow bountifully, we will reap bountifully. But it needs to come from a cheerful heart, not regretfully or from a feeling of necessity.
You can never outgive God — He is faithful!
Gentry Claire Moore
Dear Heavenly Father,
We thank You for our church and for the wonderful legacy of those who have gone before us. We also thank You for giving us the opportunity to continue Your work in the downtown Nashville community. We pray that You will use our efforts to influence this community for generations to come.
As You did for the woman who poured precious oil on the head of Jesus, show me how I can best demonstrate my love for You. Please give each of us the wisdom to do Your will at this time.
In Jesus’ name,
Dear Heavenly Father,
We praise You that You are Lord of Lords and King of Kings. Thank You for your mercies that are new every morning. Thank you that Your Word teaches us to give our lives to You because You have given us a Savior in Jesus Christ. Help us to follow the example of New Testament believers and give generously to further the work of Your kingdom and that Your grace might be manifested in our lives. May we honor and glorify You in all that we do.
In Jesus’ name,
Gracious God, we acknowledge that everything we have is a gift from You.
Lord, in that You have told us not to store up treasures here on earth, help us to heed the words You gave to the disciples: “Inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.”
Your Word helps us know that You want us to give, and we understand You want us to have a giving heart. Help us to have the heart of the Good Samaritan in hopes we will be showered with the blessings You have promised us.
Your great love for us prompts us to give generously as the Spirit leads, knowing that our giving is for the support of the needs around the world as well as locally.
“Because I have been given much, I, too, must give;
Because of Thy great bounty, Lord, each day I live,
I shall divide my gifts from Thee with every person that I see
Who has the need of help from me.”
Because love has been lavished so upon me, Lord,
A wealth I know that was not meant for me to hoard,
I shall give love to those in need, Shall show that love by word and deed:
Thus shall my thanks be thanks in deed.”
(The Baptist Hymnal, 1991)
Leigh and Danielle Mansfield
We are so grateful for the many blessings You have given us. We pray that we remain focused on You and thankful, both when times are hard and when times are easy. May we give generously to Your kingdom just as You give generous grace to us. May we give bountifully Lord, so that we may sow bountifully for Your kingdom, and we pray that we would continue to be cheerful givers as the blessings granted to us are from You, Lord.
Lord, help me to see all I have belongs to You. Help me to know that my wealth, my intelligence, my abilities, my very life are all from You. My possessions are not mine at all, but are Your possessions entrusted to me. Help me invest them in ways that reveal Your glory, so that others may come to know You.
Lord, help me to be generous in all I do. Help me to be obedient—as I demonstrate my love to You—through sacrificial giving of my time, my talents, my tithing, and my offerings.