I don’t know about you, but I often struggle to figure out what God wants me to do. Whether it be with my time, my relationships with others, my career path or my spiritual gifts; I’m not always sure what God is calling me to do. I do know with absolute certainty; that running my own life without regard to God’s will, always and without fail, ends in disaster. (I know because I’ve tested this theory on multiple occasions.)
Thankfully, we serve a loving and faithful God. He loved us enough to send His son to live among us, to teach us, lead us by his example and ultimately give up his life to save ours; and He was faithful enough to equip the generations of Christians who came after Christ with instructions for successfully navigating our way through this world, so that we may live with Him for all eternity. My Bible, or as I like to think of it, my Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth, is God’s manual for my life.
“Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners – of whom I am the worst. But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his unlimited patience as an example for those who would believe on him and receive eternal life.” 1 Timothy 1:15-17 (NIV)
As the cooler weather approaches, we enter a time of planning and preparation, budgeting for things like gifts and celebrations. The church, too, must start planning for the year ahead. As members, we will be asked to pledge our financial support so the church can budget for all types of things from utility bills and building maintenance, music and worship, children’s education and youth programs, to local and global mission work, and more.
When I receive my pledge card I will inevitably think about whether or not my budget will allow me to pledge. There are so many bills, so many things the kids need, the unexpected car repairs. How can I possibly afford to give to the church? Surely the church can manage without the small amount I might be able to spare. Why should I pledge? So to find an answer, I turn to my manual for instructions.
“Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of life that is truly life.” 1 Timothy 6:17-19 (NIV)
God instructs us to be generous with our wealth and lovingly reminds us that all we have comes from Him. I could choose not to pledge, but why would I? None of what I have is mine anyway, and keeping His gifts for myself, won’t help anyone else. Not pledging would be ignoring God’s will, and nothing good ever comes from that.
By pledging my financial support to the church, I am committing to return to Him just a portion of what He has given me. I pledge my support because, simply put, the Bible tells me to. But even more than that, I pledge because I know that whatever He does with the money I give will be infinitely better than anything I could possibly spend it on myself. I pledge because I want to be as faithful to God as he has always been to me. I pledge because I want to share His love and His gifts with the world, and I pledge because I want to invest in both this life and the next.
We hope you will join us on November 1-2, 2014 for Commitment Weekend. Your pledge plays a key role in determining what FPCB can do – what God would have us do in the year ahead.
Staci is a Lehigh Valley native and long-time member of FPCB who has served on various committees over the years, including the Whole Life Stewardship committee where she currently serves. Staci has a passion for local outreach and ministry and has committed many hours to volunteering in the local community through the church and other non-profit organizations to share God’s love with others.