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Faithfulness with First Fruits

Posted by Ron Ring on

For those of you who are a parent and/or grandparent, do you think you know better than your seven year old what is best for him or her?  Well, of course you do.

Why?  Because you have gained experience and knowledge over time that allows you to see the outcome of various behaviors and choices that a child may not be able to see, whether it is touching a hot stove, running into a busy street, eating too much candy, or the consequences for not doing their homework well. 

So when your children disobey, do you correct them for their benefit? If you love them, you will take the time to discipline them to correct wrong behavior for their future good.

When your children suffer the consequences of poor choices, do you delight in seeing them suffer, or do you hurt for them, knowing their immediate pain will hopefully keep them from making the same mistake in the future?

Well, roll the calendar back to when you were a child and ask yourself, “How did you feel when you disobeyed your parents and suffered the consequences?” Did your corrective chastisement affect the relationship you had with your parents?

On the other hand, how did you feel when you made choices that pleased your parents and enabled them to rejoice with you in your success, whether in the classroom, on the athletic field or in the various arts? What was your relationship like in those moments of celebration?

Which scenario did you most enjoy? If you could have known with confidence that staying within the will of your parents would yield the most favorable results, why would you make choices that would not only hurt you but disappoint them?

Using the same scenario, consider the relationship Christians have with their heavenly Father.  “We are most fulfilled and successful when we are in the center of His will”. 

While earthly parents are not perfect and can at times make mistakes that is not the case with our heavenly Father.  We have absolute confidence that His instructions for life as revealed in His Word are perfect and what is best for us from an eternal perspective.   

One area that often gets overlooked is the many passages the Lord has given with regards to stewardship; how He wills for us to handle the resources entrusted to us. Are you handling your resources responsibly according to His Word?

If I’m striving to be more like Christ in all the other areas of my life, why can’t I get a pass on this matter of stewardship?  This is a similar question to what Adam and Eve asked in the garden. You have blessed me Lord with all these things, why can’t I get a pass on this one command?

Ignoring God’s Word is never beneficial, but leads to unfavorable consequences that limit the joy we have in our relationship with Him.  Why would anyone who is truly born again in Christ choose to rebel against His word?

David, while enjoying much success, took his eyes off the Lord and focused on what he wanted, Bathsheba.  There appeared to be no consequences for some time; however, as it is in most cases, consequences eventually come. 

It is one thing to fall short while striving to be more like Christ during the sanctification process, but it is another matter all together to repeatedly choose our way over His word (Numbers 32:23; Galatians 6:7-8; Hebrews 4:13). Knowing when we sin and repenting of it is different than knowing when we sin and deliberately repeating it. None of us are perfect, we all continue to fall short, but thanks be to God for His grace and mercy (Ephesians 2: 4-5).

Enjoying times when family, finances, job, business, etc. are good does not necessarily mean you are fully in God’s will anymore than when times are difficult means you are not in harmony with the Lord.

Whether you are enjoying times of great joy or sorrow, great success or struggle, it is good to check whether you are being obedient in all areas of your life. 

At Wellington we continue to meet the spiritual needs of a growing number of families.  However, our giving has fallen short of budgeted needs for this year.  You can see our weekly giving along with our year-to-date offerings compared to our budgeted income each Sunday in the bulletin handout.

Regardless of how long you have been coming to Wellington, if you are a faithful believer, I encourage you to examine the giving of your first fruits through tithes and offerings, making sure you are faithful in the resources the Lord has entrusted to you. I am confident the Lord will provide through His people the offerings needed to meet all the budgeted goals.

It is a joy for me to serve our Lord together with you!

Ron Ring

Elder Serving with Finance Committee

Tags: giving

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