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The Need of the Giver to Give

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The first focus of giving is God! The second focus is the need of the giver to
give for spiritual growth. Growth in giving is not related to a church budget
but rather discipleship growth in our hearts. Giving is a response to
TRUSTING GOD’S GOODNESS. Our motive in giving should not be meeting
a budget but rather to give to God which we do through the church!

As we prepare our 2020 commitments, how do we know if we are being
faithful to the Lord? The best place to determine how much to give is to
follow the guidance of the Bible. Below is a variety of bible teachings about
giving, generosity, the state of our hearts, and obedience to God.

  • We cannot out give God. Everything we have already belongs to Him. The
    Psalmist says “The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof” (Psalm 24:1).
    Think how absurd it would be to offer God what already belongs to Him.
    Yet God chooses to make us stewards of all in the world.

  •  A tithe (10 percent of our income) is the most measurable standard of
    giving in the Bible. The tithe honors God above all with the first ten
    percent of what we have. Most tithers speak of tithing as a blessing that
    impacts every area of life positively as well as a needed spiritual discipline.
    “Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my
    house. Test me in this, says the Lord Almighty, and see if I will not throw open
    the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not
    have room for it” (Malachi 3:10; NIV). If you have never tithed, I invite you
    to test it out for the first 90 days of 2020.

  •  The willingness to make sacrifices helps us grow. When we sacrifice, we
    are able to worship more fully. King David said “I will not sacrifice that to
    the Lord my God burnt offerings that cost me nothing” (2 Samuel 24:24).
    The amount is not as important as the heart. If we have very little, we can
    still be commended by God. The widow who gave the mite was
    commended by Jesus for she gave all she had as condescending onlookers
    gave out of their abundance. Jesus also said “where your treasure is there is
    your heart also” (Matthew 6:21). Our heart is the focus when we give
    treasures in Heaven.

  • A spirit of generosity is also commended in the Scripture as “whoever sows
    sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap
    generously” (2 Corinthians 9:6).

  • God loves a cheerful giver and joy is the right spirit in which to give. “Each
    of you should give what you have decided to give, not reluctantly or under
    compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver” (2 Corinthians 9:7).

    These Biblical principles are solid and offer a great foundation for our
    growth in giving to the Lord. I would invite us all to take the next step in
    growth by giving to God through the church. If you are going through
    financial hardship, please do not let that prevent you from participating in
    the church. There are other ways to give until you can get to a financially
    better place. Please call on us to help.

    Thank you again for giving to the Lord!

    Shalom, 
    Philip
Posted by Philip McVay with

Can I Get a Second?

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Imagine, if you would, a meeting of people with calendars to reconsider expanding the
observance of Thanksgiving Day. The idea would be to observe Thanksgiving 364 days a
year and designate one day for griping and complaining. Wouldn’t that be
great? We could celebrate Thanksgiving all year long! This would offer the time
needed to list and give thanks for all our blessings!

On the day designated for griping and complaining, we could just stay home and get
our sour attitudes out of the way. If someone started to lose sight of blessings, we
could just kindly remind them there is a day for that. We could even cook food we
don’t like and drink expired milk to really do the day up right! As a side note,
our service for that day would be filled with slow, sad hymns and we would lament
all that is wrong with everything. We would hear this message “ain't it awful?”

On the other hand, we could spend the other 364 days focusing on the Psalms! “Taste
and see that the Lord is good” (Psalms 34:8a) or “Enter into His gates with
thanksgiving and into His courts with praise” (Psalms 100:4). Also, “Give thanks
to the Lord, for He is good; his love endures forever” (Psalm 106:1). We would say
in worship often “God is good all the time and all the time God is good.”

We would spend those 364 days listing our blessings and praising God! We could give
thanks for all He has done for us. The evil one would not have a chance! It has
been said Satan cannot live in the heart of a grateful person. We would see
unity, enthusiasm, and accomplishing the impossible on the rise, as we glory in God 364 days a year!

Well, the chances of changing the calendar for the new 364/1 rotation are not very
realistic, but there is good news. We can make this change in our own heart! We can
choose to be grateful every day! Can I get a second?

Shalom,
Philip

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Around SUMC

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Shalimar UMC has really been involved in the community! We give thanks for last Sunday as more than 1,000 children and adults gathered on campus for our annual Trunk or Treat event! This Saturday, November 2nd, Shalimar will host the Block Party at the Shalimar ballfields. We give thanks to our Fun & Fellowship and Mission teams for these outreach events. On Monday and Wednesday of next week, our pastors will partner with other community pastors as well as local businesses for the annual “Blessings of Workplaces.” This is an annual event that impacts businesses along the Emerald Coast.

Sunday, November 3rd is All Saints Day. On this day, we remember those from our congregation who have gone on to the Kingdom of Heaven. This gives us a chance to give thanks for All the Saints that have gone before us. We will also preach about the Saints in the Bible from Hebrews 11. This chapter is nicknamed the “Faith Hall of Fame.” As we gather to learn more about our faith, we will also be invited to receive Holy Communion.

Our next service of prayer and healing will be on November 10th, at 12:30 pm in the Sanctuary. This service is open to anyone who seeks healing of body, soul, or spirit. Each time we gather, we claim the promise in James 5:13-14 “Is anyone among you in trouble? Let them pray. Is anyone happy? Let them sing songs of praise. Is anyone among you sick? Let them call the elders of the church to pray over them and anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord.” We will gather with all those seeking prayers and healing next week.

On November 17th, Shalimar will host its annual Charge Conference at 12:30 pm immediately following the 11:00 and 11:07 worship services. District Superintendent Dr. Tim Trent will preside over this annual meeting that will help prepare the church for upcoming ministry opportunities in 2020.

You want to know what I never grow tired of doing and have done hundreds of times? I love reading the 23rd Psalm and am so excited to spend the next three weeks studying about it in our next sermon series! We will be preaching from the six verses of this Psalm during this series and it is going to challenge us to trust God completely in all circumstances.

Look forward to seeing you this Sunday!
Shalom, 
Philip

Posted by Philip McVay with

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