Everything Comes From God

"Who am I? Who are my people that we are able to offer willingly like this? For everything comes from you. What we have given to you came from your hand.”    1 Chronicles 29:14

Did you ever watch the movie Finding Nemo? Whenever the Seagulls spotted some food, they would start calling “mine, mine, mine, mine, mine.” Truth be told, I believe we all think like this at times, not only about our food, but our possessions, our talents, our treasures, our time. We mistakenly think it is all ours. King David reminds us all that everything we have comes from God and that we are to willingly thank and praise God with what he has given to us.

This verse is a part of a lengthy prayer from King David thanking God for generously blessing God’s people and for acknowledging that God is owner of everything. If you remember, God told David that he wouldn’t be the builder of the new temple. Solomon, his son, would be the builder of the temple. While David didn’t build the temple, he did many things to make plans for the temple and he also gathered money and resources to build the temple. He first gave generously of his own money and then encouraged God’s people to give freely of their own possessions to build this house for the Lord.

How generous were these gifts that David and God’s people gave for the temple? It says that David gave, “seven thousand talents of gold . . . and three thousand talents of refined silver.” (v.4) And its says that the leaders of God’s people gave, “five thousand talents of gold and . . . ten thousand talents of silver.” (v.7) While we are not exactly sure how much a talent is and how much value gold and silver had compared to today, it has been estimated that a talents is equal to about 75 lbs. which would mean that David and God’s leaders gave around 900,000 lbs. of gold and 975,000 lbs. of silver. That is literally tons of gold and silver, and this doesn’t even include the precious stones and iron and bronze that was also willingly given for God’s temple. What a staggering amount of generous and willing gifts!!!

No wonder David wrote,  "Who am I? Who are my people that we are able to offer willingly like this? For everything comes from you. What we have given to you came from your hand.” David quickly realized that only by God’s grace and power could something this wonderful happen. He and his people couldn’t accomplish great things like this on their own, but God could and did accomplish this great thing. David knew that he needed to direct all his thanks and praise to his all-powerful and gracious God who gives us all things.

As we read this section of scripture we too can relate to David and Israel. Everything that was used for the building of the temple was provided by God, and so it has been here at St. John. The only possible way that St. John Church and its various ministries can continue to move forward year after year is because God has first given us everything. Have you ever just sat down and marveled at how generous God’s people are here at St. John? Every year the members of St. John give willingly and generously of the financial blessings that God has given to them. Every year around $400,000 dollars are graciously given by St. John members through their thank offerings to support the Lord’s work of going and making disciples of all nations. What a blessing from God!!!

Every year, the sheets with volunteer opportunities are filled out where people can use their gifts of time and talents to do the Lord’s work here at St. John, and amazingly countless hours are willingly and freely given to do the Lord’s work. Every year, we have Altar Guild members, Organists, Sunday School teachers and helpers and those who help with other kids' events, Choir members and other musicians, Adopt-a- highway helpers, Greeters, Food pantry helpers, Church cleaners, Those who help keep the property maintained, Bulletin and Newsletter helpers, Those who help with funeral meals and other fellowship events, Those who make sure there are kitchen and cleaning supplies, Seasonal Church decoration people, Church Council members, Elders, Nancy -- our faithful Secretary and many others who are way too numerous to count who serve God and his people here at St. John. To all these people like David we say thank you God and like David, we can look back at all these many blessings and say,  "Who am I? Who are my people that we are able to offer willingly like this? For everything comes from you. What we have given to you came from your hand.” 

So as King David prayed, we also pray to God that he continues to use each of us with our varied God-given talents and treasures to his glory. We also pray that he helps each of us to recognize when we may support and serve here at St. John with our God-given gifts of our time, our talents and our treasures. We also pray that the Lord would keep this desire in our hearts forever, as we willingly, joyfully and generously give of the many blessings that God has so graciously given to us. So as the Lord gives us opportunity, let us serve him to his glory.

Pastor Mark Gartner

Church News

Bible Classes

Sunday morning Bible classes have resumed. Pastor Frey will be leading us through a study on "The Lord's Supper." We will see what God's Word has to say about the Lord's Supper and we will see the many blessings God gives to us through this sacrament.

Our Monday/Tuesday Bible classes also have resumed. The same class is offered on either Monday at 8:00 am or Tuesday evening at 5:30 pm. Pastor Gartner will be leading a study of God’s Word under the theme: “What Does It Mean To Be A Lutheran?” Have you ever had questions about some of the main differences between all the Christian churches or maybe just have wondered how come we there are so many different types of Christian churches? If so, please come and join us as we explore what God’s Word has to say about some very key teachings that the devil is trying to distort.

NOTE: We do have audio recordings and the Lesson Sheets of these Bible Classes. If you have been unable to attend and would like these sent to you, please email Pastor Frey or Pastor Gartner.

Quarterly Voter's Meeting 

At our meeting on Tuesday, October 22, the revised copy of the Constitution was adopted. Elections were held as Randy Rickert was elected as Vice President, Brian Biettler was elected as Head Trustee and Andy Pevonka ws elected as the Evangelism Chairman. Tim Springstroh was also appointed to another year as our Treasurer. We also thank those men whose terms on the Church Council are being completed. Andy Raschka as Vice President and Kevin Voight and Jason Presteen as Trustees.

Joint Reformation Worship Service

Sunday November 3 at 4:00pm there will be a joint Reformation Worship Service with all the area WELS Churches at FVL. Professor Tom Koch from our Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary will be the guest preacher. All are also invited to remain after the service for fellowship as snacks and drinks will be provided.

Day Light Savings

Please remember to set your clocks back an hour on Saturday night as Day Light Savings comes to an end.

Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary Choir

On Saturday, November 2nd at 7:00 the chorus will sing at St. John in Wrightstown as part of their 150th anniversary celebrations. The next morning, Sunday November 3rd, the chorus will be at Riverview in Appleton at 8:00am and 10:30am as part of their 75th anniversary celebrations.