Ever since most people were farmers, who relied on an annual fall harvest for most of their income, October has been a time when churches talk about giving. Lots of pastors hate talking about money, perhaps because they learned as children that money is private thing, not to be talked about. I learned that as well, but I’ve changed my mind. Money is a measure not only of how much we possess, but also of who we are and what matters to us. So it’s definitely important enough to preach about! I’m not going to spend the weeks of October talking about money, actually: I’m going to talk about the character of faithful people, in five messages:
October 2: Thankful
Psalms 138 and 136 tell stories of God’s goodness and faithfulness, and like many of the Psalms, they do something we’re not all good at doing: they praise God! The beginning of praise is recognizing what God has done that is good and life-bringing, as Paul points out in 1 Thessalonians 1:3-4.
October 9: Generous
Here we are in the most powerful nation, with food always available on the supermarket shelves, and yet we all, to some degree or another, are hoarders, in fear that tomorrow will not provide our daily bread. Is it an irrational fear that stifles our generosity with our time, our money, our love? Or something deeper? Philippians 4:10-20, 2 Corinthians 9:5-12.
October 16: Committed
Colossians 2:6-12 tells us to live in Christ the same we received him–which was with open hearts and a willingness to go all in, serving the God who loves us. Ephesians 2:17-22 describes us as a temple, dedicated and standing firm for God. How are you doing according to these measures?
October 23: Sacrificial
Often it seems as though being a Christian should fit into a couple of hours on Sunday morning. That’s not the biblical picture at all! What have you given up for Christ lately? Galatians 6:14-18; 2 Corinthians 12:8-10; 4:7-11.
October 30: Joyful
Need more joy? Giving is one of the best ways to find joy, in the connections that we make, stretching our lives into others. Romans 15:5-13 is a reminder that a joy-filled life is founded on giving.
October 30th will also be our “Pledge Sunday.” We’ll have a celebration for the day, for all that God does for us. You’ll be receiving a separate letter about that.