Yours? Mine? It’s All His!
Give Thanks to the Lord, for he is good; His love endures forever.
Dear members and friends of Our Savior, Jesus,
During this month of “Thanks-Giving” I share with you these words from Rev. Heath Curtis, coordinator, LCMS Stewardship Ministry:
Christian stewardship begins with the understanding that all we have is God’s and that “we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world” (1 Tim. 6:7 ESV). Since all we have is God’s, we should use it for His purposes. God’s purpose for us in our lives is expressed in the various vocations, or callings, that we have.
Our vocation as Christians, and as members of a particular Christian congregation where we receive the Word of God and His Sacraments, makes a claim on us: on our presence on Sunday morning and on our support for the work of the Gospel. Likewise, our callings in the home make a claim on us. In society at large our vocations are varied, but they all boil down to being a good neighbor no matter where we are. In each place, we are to love our neighbor as we love ourselves. That means being a faithful friend and worker, a kind and generous neighbor and so on.
In one sense, all there is to say about stewardship is this: Live a godly, generous life in your vocations in church, home and society. Love God and serve your neighbor. That’s the whole Law. But we are still left with the details. What does loving my neighbor and being faithful to God look like in my life? What does a generous life of stewardship look like?
For believers in Christ, the Law serves as a guide to how to live a life of thanksgiving for the wonderful gift of eternal life in Christ Jesus.
God’s Law on supporting the Church calls us to support it faithfully from our first-fruits, to do it voluntarily and cheerfully, and to do it proportionally. Does that convict you? Does this Law show your sin? I know it convicts me. I have certainly not been as cheerful or faithful a giver as I should be. That is the bad news of our sinfulness against God’s Law. But the Good News of the Gospel of Jesus Christ is that we are forgiven by Christ’s work on the cross. God loves us and has made us His children in Baptism. He feeds us with His very body and blood for the forgiveness of our sins. We are His and no one can snatch us out of His hands. And that’s the motivation for cheerful, generous giving to the Lord’s work.
Christ sustains His Church and cares for the world through our Thanks-Giving to His Kingdom. With all God has entrusted to His people, the Gospel goes out as we serve our Lord and love our neighbor. Thanks be to God for all His good gifts to us!
In Christ, our Savior,
Pastor Randy Schultz
Guidelines for Meditating on The Word
Choose an appropriate time and place to meditate in which there will be complete quiet
Pray to the Holy Spirit that He would enable you to understand what you read from the Bible
Read through the given passage of Scripture 3 times in one setting
Spend at least 10 minutes pondering what you read
Answer the following questions about the passage:
Write down your thoughts so that you do not forget them and can ponder them at a later time
Pray to God about the content of the passage
Each day of the week, meditate on a phrase or sentence from the given passage.
If possible memorize it.
- What do I learn about Jesus?
- What does God want me to believe or do?
Readings for NovemberOct. 26-Nov. 1, Matthew 11:12-19-17
Nov. 2-8, Matthew 5:1-12
Nov. 9-15, Matthew 25:1-13
Nov. 16-22, Matthew 25:14-30
Nov. 24-30 Luke 23:27-43
Dec. 1-7 Luke 21:25-35
Dec. 8-14 Luke 3:1-14 (15-20)
Dec. 15-21 Luke 7:18-28 (29-35)
Dec. 22-28 Luke 1:39-45
If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose. (Philippians 2:1-2)
These words recorded by St. Paul summarize and empower the theme of our spiritual growth and faith renewal effort now known as Connect to Christ: experience MORE.
At our Leadership Retreat, each director prayerfully shared his/her goal(s) for this campaign. Two themes were repeated and amplified around the table: “more” of the good things (i.e. God things) going on at Our Savior Lutheran; and “unity” of people and purpose.
Truly, we are blessed by knowing Christ and being united (connected) to Him. St. Paul names some of these blessings in the Scripture above: encouragement, comfort, fellowship, tenderness, compassion. Connected to
Christ, we experience these blessings and MORE. Look around our website and check out what MORE Christ has to give.
Spiritual renewal is the work of the Holy Spirit who connects us to Christ and thereby restores the joy of salvation (Psalm 51:12).
Because we are “united with Christ,” we also have a connection to each other in Christ. St. Paul records that as we are “like-minded” in
Christ and as we show the “same love” as Christ, and we function as “one spirit and purpose,” then our joy is made complete.
May the Holy Spirit restore and complete our joy as we worship, serve, and grow together at Our Savior Lutheran. Let’s Connect to Christ: Experience MORE!