Thankful Stewardship

2 Corinthians 9:6-9 (NASB) Now this I say, he who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each one must do just as he has purposed in his heart, not grudgingly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that always having all sufficiency in everything, you may have an abundance for every good deed; as it is written,

He scattered abroad, He gave to the poor,

His righteousness endures forever.”

God is our provider, forever and always.  The work that we do, the income that we earn, blessings bestowed by God.  One of the many things God would see cultivated in His children is a heartfelt desire to give.  However, this is not something we are to do out of duty or obligation.  This is something He would have us do because we have been blessed, by Him, with the means and opportunity to do so.  This is something that He would see carried out by a loving heart desiring to do the most good with the blessings He entrusts us with.  

This is a matter of the heart, but it’s also a matter of stewardship.  God entrusts us with the responsibility to manage these resources that He provides.  Those resources can and do consist of our money, time, joy, encouragement, wisdom, joy, faith and an unquantifiable host of other things.  As Paul imparts on us in this passage, we reap what we sow.  If we do well with what we have been given, He will continue His blessings upon us.  It’s that simple.  However, notice that there is an important clause in there.  It’s not what we do, the quantity or the material value that is the imperative, it’s the motive of the heart that matters.  Whether you’ve been blessed in fortune, time, personal associations or what have you, the motivation behind the stewardship and application of these resources will determine the measure of blessing you receive in return.  God would see in us a cheerful giver, an attitude of gratitude that leads to the desire to spread the blessings.  He would see in each and every one of us a desire to bless others whenever, with whatever, possible because we love Him and we love them.  The act itself becomes a blessing for the giver often times more so than for the receiver.  

The point is, we give not to get, but because of that attitude, the desire to do all we can with what we’re given, we continue to be blessed so that we can continue to be a blessing.  Be a thankful steward, show off your attitude of gratitude and have a blessed weekend.

In full pursuit of the greatest Trophy,

Scott Pace   

 

Please Pass the Bread

The older I get, the more I like food.  When I was a kid, I ate most everything my mom made, which was mostly meat and potatoes, and soup, and toast, and pancakes, etc.  I do recall an aversion to peanut butter, strawberries, as well as cooked spinach and Brussel sprouts when I was younger.  But at different times, I eventually overcame these aversions, when I tried some good examples of these foods, which tells me most food can be good when done right.  I like most every vegetable best when raw or steamed, even Brussel sprouts, which I grew in my garden one year.  There has also been a movement in recent years away from mass produced produce and canned/processed food toward more flavorful, locally grown things for your dinner table.  For the past 5-10 years I planted several varieties of heirloom tomatoes that I enjoyed trying and sharing each year.  What do you most enjoy about food?  Do you live to eat, or eat to live? 

This is what I have observed to be good: that it is appropriate for a person to eat, to drink and to find satisfaction in their toilsome labor under the sun during the few days of life God has given them—for this is their lot.  Ecclesiastes 5:18

Cooking is definitely an art.  There has also been a boom in the amount of cooking/baking shows on television since the days of Julia Child, Justin Wilson, and Emeril Lagasse.  People don’t just like to eat, they like to watch others prepare and eat good food as well.  You can go out to eat almost anywhere and visit a local greasy spoon to one of the top restaurants in the world.  If you are like me, you may find it fun to explore new restaurants and discover new ways that others prepare food.  My wife doesn’t like to experiment too much with recipes, but can follow one well and makes great meals at times.  We signed up for a menu plan called emeals and for several years tried 2-5 new recipes each week without repeats, except when specifically requested to try a favorite again.  You could go through a cookbook and try a new meal every day, or eat your favorites for the rest of your life and still be happy, so long as you don’t start to worship or become addicted to what you eat and drink.  Is there anything, besides water, you feel you could not live without? 

Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.  Matthew 4:4

I could share with you the best food experiences I have ever had, some in my own home and some in far off countries, but it would probably mean nothing to you, as you were not there to experience it with me.  One of the best pizzas of my life was made a month ago by my wife and included fresh roast beef and blue cheese.  The best steak I had was grilled with some friends on a farm near Centerville.  I met some strangers in Louisiana who shared with me some fresh boiled shrimp they caught that morning.   I think back to the Thanksgiving and Christmas feasts I shared and enjoyed with my family over the years.  When I think about it, most of my favorite food experiences were those I shared with others.  Maybe it makes us appreciate the experience even more, despite the quality of the food.  When we take communion, it is not just about the food we consume, but sharing in the experience with those around us and with God himself.  What is the best meal you can remember? 

And the angel said to me, “Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.” And he said to me, “These are the true words of God.”  Revelation 19:9

Is there more to life than what you put in your mouth?  God gave us our senses, not just to survive, but to occasionally stop and appreciate and enjoy the life we have been given.  Not just to constantly chase after our next meal, but to be thankful just for having a meal each time we stop to consume it.   When you give thanks and slow down to enjoy each meal, like it was your last supper, you start to appreciate all we have been blessed with, just a little more.  When we start to have reverence for each meal or glass of water as if we were taking communion, God does a work in you, not just in physical sustenance, but in your spirit as well.  We shouldn’t just revere food and drink like so many do, but to revere the One who made it and is the ultimate Provider for all things.  The next time you sit down to dine on whatever you have been blessed with, give thanks not just for the food in front of you, but for the ability to commune it with the One who made it, and you, and all those around you as well.  Make sure you don’t just satisfy the desires of your belly, but make sure your spirit is fed as well.  Enjoy your meal!

Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.  John 6:35

Yours in Christ,

Clark

Thank Those Who Have Served

John 15:3 New International Version (NIV)

You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you.

Today we say, “Thank you!” to all the men and women who have served our nation in the military, so that we can be a free nation. Since the beginning of the United States on July 4, 1776, every generation has been called to defend freedom. Over the years there have been more than two million American men and women who have served our nation in the time of war. 

Our freedom has truly been bought with a price. This past week, I had breakfast with a good friend who owns a company and employs over 75 men and women. She shared with me about a military man who had passed away and a motorcade would pass by his place of business. He had everyone at his business stop work and stand next to the highway as the motorcade passed by. 

That is a true patriot. What a great example of showing respect and honor. This man also pays respect and honor every Monday at his business by sharing the Good News. Love Jesus and love people.

Today, I hope all of us take time to tell a veteran, “Thank you!” 

Allow the Holy Spirit to work through you as we are called to love people.

Strength and Courage

Michael

 

Vital Ministries News

Have you ever heart it said, “Leaders Read”?

What are you reading that is challenging in your life?

Here are 5 books that are great reads:

The Last Arrow by Erwin Raphael McManus

The Naturalist by Darrin Lunde

Xealots by Dave Gibbons

Sun Stand Still by Steven Furtick

Wild at Heart by John Eldredge

Vital Ministries News

I am excited to announce our new teaching series for Vital Men in January. We will be studying the Book of John. The Gospel of John presents Jesus as the Son of God. We will go in depth in studying Jesus, and his life with the Power of the Spirit will transform our lives.

Every Sunday at 8:30 AM

Listen to Mike Sereg on kBOE 104.9FM

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