NMC Blog

Nurturing God's Gifts series review

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This week we finished up a series on stewardship. The stewardship theme named the fact, we have been given gifts to worship God and build the kingdom of God. It is our calling, vocation, and work to tend those gifts and to put them to work to make the world a better place! Our time is a gift to worship, serve, and rest. Our money is a gift to worship, provide needs, and to build the kingdom! In our three-week series on money, Lyle Hershey and I argued for giving as a form of letting go and surrender to God.

Giving is a spiritual discipline of gratefulness and faith-building. Giving a ten percent tithe is a weekly discipline softening our hearts toward others and the kingdom. Money is all at once a great gift and can be our most prevalent, tyrannical idol. The world tells us to take, grab, and build great piles of wealth. Giving is the medicine to the disease of the world. Lyle and I left us with a few challenges. We invited a deep prayerful review of spending habits and giving patterns. Did you do that? Another challenge was to pray about intentionally about God’s desires for your giving. Does God want us to give more in our tithe? Does God have a plan for my money? Finally, we named the Biblical truth, supported by secular studies, giving is good for us! Letting go of our money for the sake of others makes us happier, healthier, and gives us more satisfaction for life! Isn’t this outcome precisely what the world tells us money will do for us? Who do we follow? The world or Jesus? We want to hear your giving stories! Let me know via email or a phone call your story of giving and God’s grace, love, joy, and peace!

The series moved on from money to reflect on the hot topic of global climate change and our invitation to care for the earth. In Genesis, Adam and Eve were given co-creator powers with God! What an amazing gift! God created this earth and it was "very good." Dr. Rick Schaeffer, Chemistry Professor at Messiah College, and I challenged the congregation to contemplate the little things we can do to make the earth a healthier place for our children and grandchildren. Human hands tend to disrupt, manipulate and mutilate God’s good plans. Our habits have taken a toll on God’s creation. There is hope, however! We have seen humanity choose to take on the problems of God’s creation and with God’s help, the earth has shown incredible ability to heal. What can we do to help? That was our challenge. Choose one thing to do differently to save God’s creation. Start small. Be intentional!

Finally, we consider the gift of our bodies! Hah! If you are like me, your body does not always feel like a gift! However, we must never forget, our bodies are the very dwelling place of the Holy Spirit. Our bodies are the literal hands and feet of Jesus for building the kingdom of God. Jesus came down from heaven to live in bodily form to show us how it is done! Our bodies are indeed a gift. If you are like me, you have not always taken very good care of it. No better time than the present! The challenge this week is to make one change in your life to be healthier – walk with Jesus a mile a day! Eat smaller portions! Pick things up and put them down (my favorite of course). Help a friend move, feed the hungry, mow your neighbor's lawn, build the kingdom! Be healthy, be intentional, glorify God with your body!

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