Great Plains Daily Devotional for 9/7/2021

Today please be in prayer for

Kansas City: Mason Memorial UMC
Kansas City District
Kansas City: Ushindi UM Fellowship
Kansas City District
Kansas City: Wesley UMC
Kansas City District
Kansas City: Wyandotte UMC
Kansas City District

Today's Lectionary Text

2 Corinthians 8:7

But since you excel in everything—in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in complete earnestness and in the love we have kindled in you—see that you also excel in this grace of giving.

Today's Devotional

As people of faith, and particularly pastors, we often don’t like to talk about financial giving. We tend to shy away from it based on anecdotes that “churches are all about the money.” Yet, we also understand that Jesus regularly talked about money and how it’s use reflected important principles about our faith. And we understand from a practical standpoint that even churches have bills to pay, so giving is a critical part of a church family continuing to do the work of God in a community. Because it furthers the work of the kingdom, such giving is money well spent.

As a general principle, I think we understand that giving is a good thing. Being good stewards of our finances, including giving generously, is part of who we are as followers of Christ. Christ modeled this by giving up the trappings of deity and coming to live among us, serving us. Then he went beyond that and gave his life for us … sacrificial giving for our benefit. Sacrificial giving, by definition, isn’t easy. Yet, it’s the example Christ set.

As we see needs around us, including the needs of our local body, let’s consider Paul’s words encouraging us to “excel in this grace of giving.” Paul indicated in this portion of Scripture that we needn’t give to the point we are “hard pressed,” meaning being unable to meet our own needs. But as we have a surplus above our needs (not wants), giving is important as we do the work of God through our local faith families.

So, I encourage you with Paul’s words, “… excel in this grace of giving.” I’ve found following Christ’s example leads me to greater feelings of fulfillment, meaning and accomplishment. That includes the practice of regular and generous giving.
--A.G. Turner, pastor
Holton First UMC
 
 

Prayer for Reflection

God, thank you for faithfully providing for me. Thank you, Holy Spirit, for continuing to grow my faith and practice of following Jesus and doing that which is good. Help me to experience the blessing of giving that your work may continue here on Earth. Open my heart to experiencing joy as I give toward the needs of others and the work of your kingdom. Help me to ‘excel in the grace of giving’ so others may experience the love and grace you give, through Christ our Lord. Amen.

 

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