CSA Church

All we possess is a gift from God. Everything we have is freely given for our own good. This is basic to our faith and is often repeated throughout Scripture. Just as basic and repeated is another truth: we should return a portion of those gifts (our time, talent and treasure) to God in gratitude for the abundant generosity we have received.

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Stewardship Thoughts

May 2017

When Do You Say, “I Have Enough”?

It has been said that today’s necessities are yesterday’s luxuries. For example, not long ago, it seemed that only a few people had cell phones; now almost everyone has one. Cell phones have become necessities rather than just luxuries. 

When you purchase things, do you think in terms of what is a necessity and what is a luxury? An equally important question is, “How much of what you own is based on what your neighbors or friends have?” Jesus said, “So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well” (Matthew 6:31-33). Jesus is telling you that you should first seek a relationship with him, and he will provide for you because he knows what you need. God promises to “meet all your needs” (Philippians 4:19); however, there is no promise to provide for your wants or luxuries. 
   
It seems the desire for more things is like drinking salt water; the more salt water we drink the thirstier we become. When do we stop wanting more and say “enough is enough”? Only the love of Jesus can turn our covetous hearts to him and enable us to enjoy his true blessings. As Paul wrote, “I can do everything through him who gives me strength” (Philippians 4:13).

Prayer: Dear Father, giver of every good and perfect gift, help me to treasure your gifts to me and to see things of this world for what they are: temporal, breakable, unsatisfying. Amen.

Blessings on your stewardship journey!
Copyright Parish Publishing, LLC. All text and images used with permission. 

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Giving God the First Part of Your Income

“Freely you have received, freely give” (Matthew 10:8).

Through faith, we acknowledge God as the source and owner of all things. As God’s stewards, we should ask the question, “God, what do you want me to do with your money?” God’s Word clearly directs us to give the first portion of what we receive to him. In Proverbs 3:9 we read, “Honor the Lord with your wealth, with the firstfruits of all your [income].” The first part of all that we receive belongs to the Lord. The apostle Paul tells us that everyone has a personal responsibility to give regularly according to the blessings that he or she receives. “On the first day of every week, each one of you should set aside a sum of money in keeping with his income…” (1 Corinthians 16:2). The first portion we give should be to our local church. Other gifts and offerings can go to Christian causes, the needy, or special church projects.

Through your giving, you demonstrate your gratitude to God for who he is and what he has done for you through his Son Jesus. Giving is an act of faith and an act of worship. Giving puts your love for the Lord into action.

Prayer: Lord, I thank you for the most indescribable gift, the gift of your Son, Jesus. May your love and generosity empower me to honor you with my life and blessings. Through Christ I pray. Amen.

Blessings on your stewardship journey!
Copyright Parish Publishing, LLC. All text and images used with permission.

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The Consequences of Greed

On two separate occasions, Judas, one of the 12 disciples, showed his dark side of greed. The first occasion happened when Jesus was anointed by a woman at the home of Simon the Leper in Bethany (Matthew 26:6-13). Using very expensive perfume from an alabaster jar, the woman poured the perfume on Jesus’ head. While other disciples as well were indignant that Jesus would allow the woman to use such expensive perfume for his anointing, we know that it was greed that prompted Judas to object. Her perfume should have been sold, he argued, so the money could be distributed to the poor, knowing that as treasurer, he could have helped himself to some of it (John 13:29).

The other occasion that showed Judas’ greed was even more wretched. Luke 22:3-4 tells us that Satan enticed Judas which promoted him to go the chief priests. Greed opened the door for Satan to enter his heart, and Judas offered up his Lord for 30 pieces of silver. Judas paid the ultimate consequence for his greed. After he returned the 30 pieces of silver, he committed a gory suicide, and, because of his hardened heart, was eternally separated from God. May God grant us hearts that are focused on him and free from greed.

Prayer: Dear Lord, grant me wisdom, faith, and strength to resist the temptation of loving money and things of this world. Let me be so close to you that I live a life detached from the material world. Amen.

Blessings on your stewardship journey!

Copyright Parish Publishing, LLC. All text and images used with permission.

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Develop the Right Perspective

We live with one of two perspectives: a worldly or an eternal perspective. Living with a worldly perspective implies that we “store up for [ourselves] treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal” (Matthew 6:19). Our culture tells us that the more things we own the happier we will be. If we take notice of that perspective and live with a focus on the here and now, the things of this world become our treasure. With our attention on earthly treasures, our interest is in acquiring and hoarding treasures rather than giving them. In contrast, when we live with an eternal perspective, we store up our treasures in Heaven “where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matthew 6:20-21). 

John the apostle cautioned, “Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him” (1 John 2:15). By God’s grace, we can be freed from a worldly perspective which focuses on accumulating more and more treasures here on earth and that prohibits us from becoming God-pleasing stewards. 

Prayer: Dear Lord, use my life in your service as I store up treasures in heaven. Amen.


Blessings on your stewardship journey!
Copyright Parish Publishing, LLC. All text and images used with permission.

Go Back to Stewardship

 

CSA Church

5910 Goldsboro Road

Bethesda, MD 20817