Lead Pastor Michael J. Paris

 

A child of God, Husband of Sue, Father, Grandfather, Pastor and friend.  Pastor Mike longs to lead men and women to live like they are God’s most treasured possession and grow in their faith all for the Glory of Him who is the Author and Finisher of our Faith.

 

Hey Church –

We have successfully completed our discipleship series on GIVING and stewardship of our time, talent, treasure,  truth and relationships. For 5 weeks we have considered what the Bible has to say about simplicity, partnership,  mission and sacrifice in our decisions to invest and increase our God-given resources for kingdom purposes. We have only scratched the surface of the 2300+ verses about money and wealth! We have had a full month of  concentrated study on the topic.  

But now as we begin to move into advent, I don’t want us to lose the conviction and challenge that has been ours  in the past weeks. I want all of our preaching to move us to think, feel and do things differently (this is a great  simple way to say “grow” spiritually). The change that is easiest to measure is the practical application of the  lessons learned. How has this series changed your perspective on resources, or fortified your intention to be a  cheerful giver, or caused you to give differently? I would love to hear about those wins and celebrate them with  you! 

In pursuit of a biblical quality and quantity of giving (both individually and corporately), I have come up with a  series of questions about giving that helps make the theoretical more practical. As you consider giving, maybe these questions will help you make good decisions about your stewardship: 

  1. Do I have something to give? Has God lavished physical blessings on me in order that I might pass them along as His ambassador? 
  2. Has God put this opportunity in my life as an answer to a prayer for further spiritual growth? Is He inviting  me to serve Him at a deeper level?  
  3. Am I convinced in my heart that I should give? Is my hesitation revealing an idol of my heart?
  4. Will this gift significantly further the gospel, or the cause of Christ? Am I building my own kingdom?
  5. Will this gift allow the church or my brother to thrive or survive?  
  6. If this gift blooms, blossoms, succeeds, who will get the credit? Am I okay with anonymity?  
  7. Do I count this opportunity to give as a privilege, a joy, an honor? Is the gift and the act of giving a blessing  to both me and them? (Acts 20:35) 
  8. Is this an opportunity to minister to the weak, oppressed, or vulnerable? (POWS) Have I considered if this  gift will relieve their stress or prolong it? 
  9. Am I willing to forego personal niceties to meet the necessity of another without any strings attached?  
  10. Are these gifts genuinely motivated by thanksgiving for Christ’s indescribable gift(s) to me? Can I pour  them out without a second thought? 
  11. Is God asking me to be a leader in giving? Will this gift be an example of godliness sparking others to  growth in giving? 
  12. Is this gift being given in the power of the Spirit (as opposed to the flesh)?  

I have found that during the advent/year end season, there is an increase in the number of requests and  opportunities to give. There is a reason why the Salvation Army employs its red kettle campaign during  December. People are generally more ready to give during the holiday season. I hope this is true of FBC@A. I also  hope that it is not limited to December! May God bless you as you consider your response to these requests and  make the glory of God shine. May they see our good works and glorify our Father in heaven (Mt 5:16). May God  consider your giving commendable and may we all hear “Well done, good and faithful servant” (Mt 25:21, 23) in  the end.

 
 
 
Blessings, Pastor Mike pastormike33@yahoo.com, 607.220.9911, 99 East Ave, Attica NY 14011