Archive for February, 2012

February 1, 2012

Lent (February)

We recently finished a sermon series on Christian Giving as a church.  We took note of how our God is a giving God.  God gives us our lives, a beautiful world, food, family, friends.  God gives us Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit.  Certainly, God will give us all things (Romans 8:31-32)!

This generously giving God then makes a people of generosity, called the Church.  We emulate our Father in Heaven by living lives of generosity.  When people see us, they should be able to see a generous God.  Examples of this generosity abound in Scripture.  We see Christians like Barnabas (Acts 4:32ff) who sold their possessions to give to those in need.  We also see Christians like those in Macedonia (2 Corinthians 8 ) or the widow (Mark 12:41ff) who gave out of their poverty so that they help others.  These Christians can be examples for us as we seek to live lives of generosity.  Certainly, Jesus is the greatest example of all, who gave everything, even his very life, for us.  How can we not give in response to this!

I have given two challenges for this year of 2012 as we seek lives of generosity.  First, live more simply.  Generous giving is often connected to simple living.  One who lives simply is able to give more generously.  Find something in your home, sell it and give it to the poor.  Or simply give it to OCIM, The Salvation Army, Good Will, or to someone you know who needs it.  Second, give more generously.  Whatever you gave in 2011, beat it.  Give 10% if you didn’t last year.  If you gave 10%, give 20%, or 30%, or 50%.  Be a people whom the world takes note of because of our generosity!

Americans like to make New Year’s resolutions, and perhaps these can be resolutions for you.  Christians throughout the centuries have made resolutions during Lent, the 40 days before Easter.  Lent this year begins on February 22, Ash Wednesday.  Christians come together and re-center their lives around Christ, vowing to live more simply and emulate the character of Christ in their lives.  Sounds like the challenges I gave above, right?

I pray that during this season of Lent we as Mount Hermon Baptist Church may re-center every aspect of our lives, including financial, around our Savior Jesus Christ.  May we encourage one another as we journey together with Jesus.

Pastor Rich