2018-11-11 10:15:41

/ November 11, 2018 - 10:15 am / 29 min / Viewed 38 times

Philippians 4:14-20

Gifts of Sacrifice

Out of Your Supply
All that we have belongs to God. We are privileged to
return a portion of that through tithes and offerings as a part of
our worship. Our giving is beyond that which is face value – it is
a spiritual act. Paul is not afraid to say that the Philippians gift for
his work was actually “a fragrant offering, a sacrifice
acceptable and pleasing to God.”
Our prayer for our offering in worship service consistently
includes thanks for God’s provision, a request for joy in giving
(sacrifice is not always easy is it?), the wisdom to be good
stewards, and that our offerings will ultimately be used to God’s
glory and the advance of His Kingdom. Those last two items are
critical but praying that way can sometimes seem somewhat
ingenuine. It is understandably hard to connect how some
things in a church budget directly advance God’s work and
glorify Him. There are incidentals and essentials in any church
budget. Incidentals are items that may be great but are not
clearly labeled as kingdom work. Yet, we obviously need to
keep up with our facility, pay utility bills, insurance, signage, etc.,
etc. We need to maintain instruments, a media presence and
stuff like that – and there may be many neat things that would
be cool to do as a church. But if those things were taken away,
we would still be the church … and the church is on a mission.
This helps us to prioritize.
To fulfill our mission, we need to be sure that we provide
for the following three entities: (at the risk of sounding self serving)
Church Staff (1 Corinthians 9:9; Timothy 5:18). – Missions
(1 Corinthians 16:1-4) and Mercy. (Galatians 2:10 Romans 15:26).
These three things are specifically sanctioned in God’s Word.
Our deacons do an excellent job putting together a proposed
budged every year. They are tasked with the great responsibility
of good stewardship. As they prioritize the churches’ spending,
the general fund is the base from which they work. It is critical
for everyone to designate their tithes and offerings to this first.
This provides for the operations portion of the budget. The
operative word is operating … we cannot operate without a
well-funded general fund. Contributions to other funds is deeply
appreciated, but such generosity should be subservient to
giving to the general fund – and should certainly not supplant it.
Please make the general fund your priority and reserve your giving to other funds for over and above your regular tithe. We
have elected and ordained deacons to this office and we
should trust their discretion as to how the general fund is
distributed. Our missions offering is vital as well. Out missionaries
depend upon the generosity of local churches – the Missions
Committee is given the responsibility of wise distribution of this
fund. Our mercy offering is an ongoing fund that we keep on the-ready
as needs arise.
The Deacons have put together the 2019 budget – the
Elders have given approval to put it before you as a
congregation. Our budget meeting is tomorrow evening and
the officers of the church are seeking your approval. Final
approval by the Session will come following your input as
members. Members, please come to the meeting to hear the
budget explained, have any of your questions answered and to
cast your vote.
Finally, remember, God supplies your needs spiritually
and materially. Give Him thanks and give faithfully to the work
He is doing in and through your church.
I realize this blurb was much longer than usual. I did not
anticipate that this text would fall on the day before our budget
meeting. Providence. That and the fact that we have much to
do as a church in the coming year – including our commitment
to support our new Associate Pastor – compelled me to write an
extensive reminder to be faithful in giving.