Since all we have is God’s, we should use it for His purposes. God’s purpose for us in our lives is expressed in the various vocations, or callings, that we have.
Our vocation as Christians, and as members of a particular Christian congregation where we receive the Word of God and His Sacraments, makes a claim on us: on our presence on Sunday morning and on our support for the work of the Gospel. Likewise, our callings in the home make a claim on us. In society at large our vocations are varied, but they all boil down to being a good neighbor no matter where we are. In each place, we are to love our neighbor as we love ourselves. That means being a faithful friend and worker, a kind and generous neighbor and so on.
In one sense, all there is to say about stewardship is this: Live a godly, generous life in your vocations in church, home and society. Love God and serve your neighbor. That’s the whole Law. But we are still left with the details. What does loving my neighbor and being faithful to God look like in my life? What does a generous life of stewardship look like?
For believers in Christ, the Law serves as a guide to how to live a life of thanksgiving for the wonderful gift of eternal life in Christ Jesus.
God’s Law on supporting the Church calls us to support it faithfully from our firstfruits, to do it voluntarily and cheerfully, and to do it proportionally. Does that convict you? Does this Law show your sin? I know it convicts me. I have certainly not been as cheerful or faithful a giver as I should be. That is the bad news of our sinfulness against God’s Law. But the Good News of the Gospel of Jesus Christ is that we are forgiven by Christ’s work on the cross. God loves us and has made us His children in Baptism. He feeds us with His very body and blood for the forgiveness of our sins. We are His and no one can snatch us out of His hands. And that’s the motivation for cheerful, generous giving to the Lord’s work.
Please join us in sharing with others our true motivation for cheerful, generous giving to the Lord’s work!
In His name,
Rev. Heath Curtis, coordinator, LCMS Stewardship Ministry