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Pastor's Column 3/5/2023

PASTOR’S COLUMN

“You know that these hands of mine have worked to supply my own needs and even the needs of those who were with me. And I have been a constant example of how you can help those in need by working hard. You should remember the words of the Lord Jesus: “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” Acts 20:34-35, NLT


2nd Sunday In Lent - “Blessed Giving!”


The notion of giving anything of one’s self is intimidating for some people. In a world where people have become comfortable with others doing for them, there’s a harmful expectation that personal responsibility is not intended for them. While it is true, Jesus taught us to ask the Heavenly Father for daily provisions; such a petition does not invalidate, as the Apostle Paul said, “our need to engage in meaningful work as an act of personal responsibility.” (See, Ephesians 4:28, NLT). One of the great principles of Lent, is being responsible with our resources so we can share them with others. The prophet Isaiah says one form of fasting, is to help the homeless and impoverished persons. We are withholding excess and some essentials from ourselves, to help persons who truly are in need. God has not called us to give handouts to those who could help themselves; but a hand up to others who have fallen. To help people who lack the capacity to do so themselves, can only be done when we are responsible with what we have, and accountable to those persons for whom we exercise stewardship. Paul says this in effect, as he was preparing to leave a group of elders whom he had appointed to oversee churches in their region. Paul said in order to help others, we must place ourselves in a position where God provides us with the resources to benefit others. Paul mentions one of the oral sayings of Jesus that was being circulated in the churches. Namely, the Lord said, “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” Truly, when we obey God and are good stewards with what He gives us, we become “blessed” when we use what God has given us, to “bless” others. Giving is the self we share, which blesses us more!

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