Dear Crosspoint family,
His words still echo in my mind: An elderly gentleman, a saint, a former “official” leader in our church. Visiting him one day, I realized he was still a leader by example and soft-spoken words of wisdom. “There is no such thing as sacrificial giving,” he said. “When you learn to give joyfully, it’s never a sacrifice!”
To me, sacrificial giving means giving that costs beyond my “normal” giving, giving that requires me to give up things to invest in both urgent and important issues or projects now, giving that makes me “sweat.”
But I am slowly learning the meaning of this old gentleman’s words. Sacrificial giving has much less to do with an amount of money (or time or talent or resource) and much more to do with my heart, my attitude, my relationship with Jesus.
My surroundings impact my heart more than I know. I want more stuff. I need more things. I deserve more extravagance. Hardly without noticing, I am drawn further down into a materialistic culture, less into a deepening heart for God.
Our last stewardship campaign did something to loosen my heartstrings and my billfold. We found that we could give sacrificially and it didn’t hurt, it didn’t feel like a sacrifice. Jesus DID NOT say, “Where your heart is, there your treasure will be also!” He DID say, “Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also!” My treasure won’t always follow my heart but my heart will always follow my treasure.
If you’ve stayed with me this far, you’re probably struggling–along with the rest of us–with a decision about this present campaign. If you have never learned to give, your struggle might be fairly intense. If you have learned to give, this struggle may be about sacrifice. If you have given sacrificially, you may have left the struggle behind and find yourself anxious to give, again, to this campaign and far beyond.
The Apostle Paul wrote two passionate chapters to the church at Corinth about giving, using the word grace ten times. Four of those verses refer to giving as an act of grace. His words fuel my desire to encourage your growth in this grace of giving, not merely for this campaign, but in your godly lifestyle as you walk with Jesus.
May you know his grace abundantly as you learn to give graciously, generously, and joyfully wherever and whenever God’s Spirit moves your heart to give.
Because of His Grace,
Pastor Don Pahl