My guess is as soon as you read the word “stewardship” your eyes glaze over and you move on to something else to read. Do me a huge favor, READ ON!

Typically, we talk about “stewardship” once a year and even then we do so in code. For instance, when we use the word "stewardship," we all understand that we are referring to our financial contribution even if the word itself has to do with managing what belongs to someone else. Words like "commitment card," "pledge," "gift," and "tithe" are used. But we all understand that what we're really discussing is the church's financial operations, fund-raising, and other necessities.

The Acts church took a different stance on everything. It wasn't an annual discussion. Additionally, it wasn't coded. They shared and lived together in community.

The churches of scripture were not concerned with dollar amounts, percentages, or budgets. No one claimed exclusive ownership of any belongings, according to Luke, who also explains that "all they possessed was held in common...and everything was dispersed to each as each had need." Everyone gave their utmost. That's how easy it was, or complicated as it turned out. (Acts 4:32-37)

The duration of the communal experiment is a subject of some discussion. It is undoubtedly impractical for how we live in the world now. However, it appears to me that the underlying premise has something to convey. Giving doesn't depend on tax deductions, percentages, or my financial situation. Not even "how much can I afford?" or "how much does the church need?" Rather, the questions we Disciples of Jesus ask ourselves and pray about are “How much do I desire to be a follower of Jesus?”, "How much do I need to give for my spiritual well-being?” “What does it mean to live generously today?”

We are called to give as a way of life, not as a means to an end. It is a trait of the church and a distinguishing feature of followers of Jesus. We contribute from our plenty so that those in need may have their needs satisfied. We give to show that the Gospel we preach is reflected in our lives. And that happens every day, not just once a year.

Prayer: Most generous God, may I live a life of giving that brings credit and glory to you in thanks for all that I have received. Amen. 

-Pastor Ray



Last Published: October 11, 2022 11:22 AM
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