We pray. We study the Bible. We make friends. We tell our stories. We give ourselves away in generosity and service.
SOME THOUGHTS TO SHARE
It is an important day this Sunday at St. Luke’s, so I put “Some Thoughts to Share” first. This week is commitment Sunday for our Rich In Heart Generosity program. If you are a member of St. Luke’s church, you have received a letter from me and a commitment card in the mail. I hope you have been following each day the prayer guide leading up to this Sunday. Please pray about how you feel called to support St. Luke’s in our work in 2017. Your pledge is important because
1) it is a way that we are intentional about our own generosity, and
2) it helps the church to budget to do ministry.
2017 will be pivotal year for us at St. Luke’s. We are finishing these buildings, and the wonderful new facilities mean expanded costs for maintenance and utilities and insurance and all that boring stuff. We know that these buildings will help us grow, but in order to do so, we need to fill them with ministry! I do hope you will be generous in 2017. We have so much to be thankful for and so much we want to accomplish for the kingdom.
At all of our services this Sunday, October 30, we will bring our commitment cards forward, and use this as a time to recommit our lives to Christ and to the ministry of St. Luke’s. If you no longer have your card, you can make your commitment online here, and there will be cards in the pews as well. If you have already made a financial commitment, or don’t feel ready to do so, please come anyway and spend time in prayer renewing your commitment to Christ. This isn’t simply about giving to God our money. It is about giving our whole life!
We included in our most recent Spire a “generosity update,” that we will share quarterly. It is important that you understand what a difference your giving makes. I am including a link below, as well as a link to a video of Cecie and Kyle Turlington sharing their story last Sunday in worship. It is awesome.
Generosity Update is here.
Turlington Generosity Story is here.
A PERSONAL PRAYER
I am afraid that my financial giving to you isn’t worth much. I don’t mean that I don’t give enough money, although I am sure I could do much more. I mean that my giving isn’t worth much, because I don’t attach much worth to it. It isn’t a gift of my whole heart. There is little real sacrifice in my giving. It is a gift out of my abundance. I don’t want it to be that, God. I want it to mean much more than that. God, when I make my commitment to you, I pray that it will be a sign…
…a sign of the incredible joy and peace there is in putting my whole trust in you.
…a first fruits commitment, a sign that you are the very most important thing to you.
…a sign that I am all in for the kingdom.
God, I will give the church a portion of the financial resources you have given to me. But I yearn and strive to give to you and your kingdom all of my resources – all my time, all my money, all my talent, all my hopes and dreams. I want to dedicate to your kingdom my family, my career, my body and my health, my laughter and friendships, my family. I want to offer to you all that I have. What I want is to be “all in.” Show me how, God. Let this Sunday’s commitment be a step toward that end. And let me trust that the more I give my life to you the more I can rest in your love and provision.
KEY VERSE FOR THE WEEK
“…all of them have contributed out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty has put in all she had to live on.” Luke 21:4
Read the whole scripture passage for this Sunday here: Luke 21:1-4
QUESTIONS FOR CONVERSATION
What part of your life is most difficult for you to give to God? What would it take to make you feel really “secure?” What is the place that is your place of greatest poverty?
Sunday, October 30
Dear God, I know that closed hearts can neither give nor receive. I pray that you might open my heart to the rich life you offer me, a life of generosity. Today, let me not settle for the simple happiness of receiving gifts from you, but know the unadulterated and pure joy of giving them away. Amen.
-Dr. Tom Pace
Monday, October 31
Heavenly Father, be with me as I struggle with uncertainties and resist giving you control over my life. Grant me wisdom to make decisions, and give me peace in knowing that thy will be done. Amen.
-Generosity Committee member
Tuesday, November 1
Almighty God, today I pray for my country. You have blessed me with a great nation in which to live, and I ask for your continued blessings upon this country. Guide me as only you can do, and help me seek justice, love mercifully and walk humbly in your paths. God, in you we trust. Amen.
Wednesday, November 2
Father in Heaven, I thank you for all of the talented musicians and vocalists here at St. Luke’s. I thank you for all of their hard work to create beautiful music in worship each week. Please bless them as richly as they have blessed me. Amen.
Thursday, November 3 – Personal Prayer Day
Make a list of all of the ways that God has blessed you this week. Then give prayers of thanksgiving for each blessing.
Friday, November 4
Gracious God, I thank you for the gift of my family. I confess that I oftentimes take my family for granted and do not always fully appreciate them. Help me show my family how much I love them in my words and in my actions, not only in the good times but in the hard times, also. Amen.
Saturday, November 5
Heavenly Father, Jesus taught me to love you with all of my heart and soul and to love my neighbor as myself. Let me focus on you, God, and let your ways be my ways. Grant me wisdom and discernment to find ways to show your love to my neighbor. Amen.