This weekend (September 30th) we launch our three-week stewardship emphasis entitled, “Generous Giving.”
Our giving always starts with God … The Apostle Paul said, “What do you have that you did not receive? If then you received it, why do you boast as if you did not receive it (1 Corinthians 4:7)?”
This reminds me about a story that I read about a Sunday school teacher who gave a bunch of stickers to each of her students. The stickers read, “This belongs to Jesus.” They were to place the stickers on everything at home that they owned such as radios, bicycles, roller blades, etc. These stickers were to remind them that all of these things actually belonged to Jesus and to encourage them to use them in ways pleasing to Jesus.
As stewards, we acknowledge that who we are and what we have are gifts received from God. God’s Word tells us that nothing actually belongs to us. “The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof, the world and those who dwell therein…” (Psalm 24:1). The air we breathe, the water we drink, the land we live on are gifts we enjoy out of the overflow of God’s love. The love of God, the gift of God’s Son, Jesus, the forgiveness of sins, the comfort of the Holy Spirit, and life eternal are gifts to us from God. This understanding that all of life is a gift and that God owns everything prompts a shift in our understanding of stewardship. Through faith, we see stewardship as receiving joyfully, managing responsibly, and sharing generously all that God entrusts to us. What a privilege it is to receive, manage, and share what belongs to God.
What if we as adults were given that same sticker exercise as the Sunday school stu- dents? How many of us would put stickers on the money in our purses or wallets to show that God is the owner of our money? How many of us would put stickers on our calendars to show that our time belongs to Jesus?
As a retired pastor friend of mine was fond of saying during his ministry, “Will you think on these things?”