Praise God, From Whom All Blessings Flow

If you’re older, like me, you might remember singing the doxology in church. We would sing it after the offering was taken, and the ushers were carrying the offering plates to the front of the sanctuary. We were reminding ourselves that every offering, every gift, is a gift from God! It was sort of a weekly reminder in song of the goodness of God, and the faithfulness of his people.
The other day I was reading our church’s financial statement through the month of May. In my heart, I was breaking out in song… Thank you, Lord, for the faithfulness of your people, and your bountiful provision!

So let me praise the Beacon family for a few minutes. We have, in our church family, so many generous and faithful givers! Week after week, year after year, we have been blessed financially, and that comes in part, from a people whose hearts are overflowing with gratefulness to the Lord, who have a commitment to exercise diligence in giving, and are generous. We have people who are disciples of Jesus. That means we are learners, a people who want to do what the Lord tells us to do.

In a few weeks will be having a service of believers baptism, that’s a step of obedience in following our Lord. Likewise, so too, is the discipline of giving. The Bible talks about setting aside portion of our income to be given to the work of the Lord. It’s called tithing, and while there are other avenues of giving mentioned in scripture (special gifts, gifts to the poor, free will offerings, etc) the majority of Christians have settled in on the 10% tithe being consistent in what scripture calls us to do. As your pastor, I have chosen since the beginning of my own ministry, not to know what any of you give. My reasoning for that has been a simple one. Given human nature (of which I am sadly not exempt) I may be inclined to treat you differently, based on your giving. That would not be a good thing. Having said that, seeing that year after year the church has shown incredible generosity, I know that many of you are giving faithfully. I’m sure some give sacrificially, that some probably give above the tithe, and that others have excelled in what Paul terms the “grace of giving”. So I’m writing this blog to say - well done Beacon family!

I’m also writing to encourage y’all to continue in the grace of giving because it is clear that the Lord is pleased with it, and I know it brings joy to the giver as well! And a word to those who don’t yet grasp how good it is to give to the Lord and to the work of the ministry, it is a discipline and joy that I hope you discover! There’s no magic to it. Just start praying about it and giving, and see how our Lord works! The rewards come in a wonderfully mysterious way. Our Lord tells us through the Old Testament prophet Malachi that we can in a sense, test God in this (in offering the tithe) and watch as he throws open the windows of heaven. He blesses in ways we never see coming!

Mainly though, as I said at the outset, looking at our financial report simply made me say once again, thanks God! All blessings do flow from him. He provides. Always. In 2 Corinthians we read this, "Let each one decide in his/her heart what to give not reluctantly or under compulsion for the Lord loves a cheerful giver." Grateful, joyous giving… one more way we are loved by God!

Pete Nelson