Honoring God-Pastor Tom Smith's 3/7 blog
It is getting closer and closer to April 15th... how are your taxes coming? Not exactly a positive opener is it, but it does make us focus on money,wealth, and the responsibilities we have. I am reminded of Jesus's directions in Matt 22:21 to "Give to Caesar what is Caesar's". He continued then "and to God what is God's". So the question arises "What is God's"?
In Psalm 50 Asaph speaks of the Lord's claim of ownership of the "cattle on a thousand hills". Meaning that everything is His and that we honor Him by giving a physical offering of our gifts back to Him through the Church( the Temple at that time), which He first provides to us by blessing our work, our investments, and the like.
Also that we use them privately, and collectively as the Body of Christ, helping others in need. In the Temple the priests acted as a type of "relief and feeding" program for those in need.God says we also honor Him with our thankful hearts... called a "thank offering" and by "fulfilling our vows"-acting with integrity in how we handle our lives. It is also how we handle our wealth and how the Church handles the resources given to it by God's people.
The concept of Stewardship is demonstrated here. It is a responsibility to use the things of the Lord for the purposes of the Lord. With the resources that God provides to us personally and to the Church collectively, our purposes should be to further the work of the Kingdom of God which includes to minister to the poor, the fatherless, the oppressed, and to share the Good News of Jesus Christ.
Proverbs 3:9 says we are to "Honor the Lord with our wealth", meaning that whatever is done with money and property, it must bring Honor to His Name. The promise attached is that our "barns will be filled to overflowing" and the vats will be filled with "new wine". In the context of the New testament, that means the lives of new believers being blessed and the Church growing as a result.
I believe that this is what God desires to do at Westport Federated Church, renewed growth and a use of our God given resources for His Glory. To receive this, we must align ourselves with the truth of Scripture and in our words,thoughts, and actions, do those things which honor God.