As I write this in early August, your Board of Elders and Finance Committee are preparing the financial reports to present at our Annual General Meeting. Due to the faithful giving of our congregants, and stewardship of our staff and advisors, we will be able to report that Foothills came out in the “black.” We covered our salaries and expenses while living through a pandemic. Praise the Lord!
There are many reasons that move people to give, and God is concerned about our motives. In our New Testament reading today the Macedonians gave because their hearts were moved by the grace of God. The apostle Paul says their severe test of affliction and their extreme poverty, instead of being a cause for not giving, actually became an additional cause for giving. The Macedonians understood what people felt like going through severe poverty. They had been so blessed that they wanted to give, and give abundantly. They not only gave "according to their means," they gave "beyond their means”.
I am so thankful that during this pandemic, with many having financial and other afflictions, our congregants have been willing to give and give abundantly. Proverbs 22:2 reminds us that there is no difference between the rich and the poor – “The LORD is the Maker of them all”.
While the Old Testament reading today in Isaiah describes the great destruction that will be brought upon the kingdom of Israel and Judah due to their sins, there are promises of comfort for those that feared God in those dark times. These refer especially to the days of the Messiah (Isaiah 9:6). As we start the 2020-2021 school year with so much uncertainty due to the pandemic, we are reminded that God promises comfort for those that put their trust fully on Jesus.
Thank you, Lord, for the generosity of our congregation. Generosity not only helps others but changes us. When we give, we become more gracious, more generous, more relaxed, more open, more loving people. Thank you for the generous giving of many in our congregation. May we learn to give, for it is more blessed to give than to receive. We ask this in the mighty name of Jesus, Amen.
A fantastic Foothills Elder who has written and memorized most of our church by-laws and policies!