For you were bought at a price. Therefore glorify God with your body. (1 Corinthians 6:20 –EHV)
We are in the middle of two Sundays where our lessons focus on financial stewardship. Stewardship is a topic that brings up many negative feelings and thoughts. You hear phrases like, “all the Church talks about is money” and “they don’t really care about me, they care about how much they can get from me.” These, of course, are excuses that come from our selfish sinful nature.
Financial stewardship is only one aspect of stewardship. You may often hear about stewardship of time and talents. Stewardship is really about the way we take care of all the blessings and gifts that God has given us, for we are merely caretakers of everything that really belongs to God. As David wrote in Psalm 24, The earth is the Lord’s and everything that fills it, the world and all who live in it. The use of our finances is only one piece of the Stewardship puzzle, which is really about using the gifts God has given us (whether they are time, gifts and abilities, possessions, our physical bodies, his beautiful creation, or so on). Stewardship then, is all about how we live our lives for God.
After all, our lives are not our own—they belong to Christ for it is Christ who purchased us with his own blood. And if we belong to Christ, then we are to live for Christ by living according to his Word and to give him glory. The sinful nature lives for itself, and it wants to use whatever earthly things it has to benefit itself. So money is used to buy the newest and the greatest; our time is reserved for working more, having fun, or sleep; our gifts and abilities are used to advance ourselves and our lives; and we wrongly think that we are free to do what we want with our own bodies and that this world is created to serve us and our desires.
Again, since stewardship involves the use of all the gifts God has given us, stewardship is about much more than what I put into the offering plate, rather it’s about how I live my life. Stewardship involves everything we do; it is using all that God has entrusted to me and I can use that in a way that serves and honors him. We use what he has given us to meet the responsibilities he places before us. This means, giving graciously back to the Lord as he has given to us; it also means caring for our personal needs and those of our family, it means paying taxes and helping the poor; it even means spending some resources and rest and relaxation—all of this falls under umbrella of stewardship.
Stewardship of our lives takes hard work and requires dedication. The challenge we constantly face is how much of God’s blessings do we channel into various areas entrusted to our care—how much do I give to the church? How much time do I spend helping those in need? How many hours do I spend at my job vs. with my family? How much resources should be involved in my hobbies and recreation? God doesn’t answer such questions in his Word—he leaves that up to our management as wise and faithful stewards of his gifts. He tells us to avoid selfish attitudes and practices, to live for others instead of ourselves, and to use what we have for his glory and honor. This is something that we will struggle with our entire lives—our selfish sinful nature constantly needs to be beaten back. But we also have the joy and confidence that Christ purchased us with his own blood, removing our sins, and covering over our offenses! May his grace, mercy, and forgiveness be your guide and motivation to use your gifts and live your lives for him.
Pastor Andrew Frey
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 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. We also have the audio file of Pastor Steven Prahl's Bible Class from this past Mission Festival Sunday.
Quarterly Voter's Meeting
Tuesday, October 22 at 7:00 pm we will have our next Quarterly Voter’s Meeting. Since we revised our Constitution, this meeting is now our “Elections and Finances” Voter’s meeting, which means that we will be having elections for Vice President, Head Trustee and Evangelism Chairman. We will also be making decisions about other financial matters for this coming year such as salaries and amounts sent to FVL and the Synod. All Voters: please make plans to attend this important meeting.
We will not hold our a work day this coming Saturday. As you know, we canceled the Adopt-A-Highway because of weather this past Saturday. However, a few members braved the weather and took care of it anyway; we sincerely thank them! Plus, since all the leaves have yet to fall, there isn’t much that can be done outside; therefore there is no need for an outdoor work day at this time.
As what happened with Adopt-A-Highway, the barn movie at the Levich farm has been postponed until this coming Saturday, October 19th. All are welcome and invited to attend, W7154 Newland Rd., Black Creek, WI. Come at 5:00 p.m. to enjoy the farm; movie starts at 6:30 p.m. Bring your own beverages, blanket and chairs. No RSVP necessary. Any questions, call 920-525-5410.