From the Blog...
No law required him to do it. Nor was it standard practice for the day. Yet, meeting Melchizekek as he returned from victory over five marauding kings, Genesis 14:20 tells us, “Abraham gave him a tenth of everything.” Apparently he did so, for no other reason than this was a high priest and Abraham desired to be involved in his work for God.
Since that time, giving has been an identifying mark of the people of God. In Genesis 28:22, Jacob made covenant with Jehovah and promised a tenth of all he owned. This practice was later incorporated into the Law of Moses. The Children of Israel, over the generations, continued to offer a tithe to the Lord. While a tenth isn’t specifically mentioned in the New Testament, as the church began, the underlying principle remained the same. That, of course, is why we still, today, hold regular contributions in our assemblies.
The work at Parkway requires giving. I pray each member will take this responsibility seriously. We need consistent givers, not those who search their pocket, Sunday, to see if they happen to have anything to offer, but who purposefully plan their contribution. We are grateful for Christians who, even when absent, due to travel or illness, make it a point to see their gift does not falter. This spirit of reliability shows they are truly committed to Christ.
Of course, not all offerings need be placed in the collection plate. Where did the money for the work on the back lawn come from? How is the new A/C unit going to be payed for? Someone cared enough for the cause of Christ to make these things happen. We recently had out of town Jones family visit worship and leave a sizeable check, simply for the love of God. Blessings upon them! What about me? What have I given? In truth, the Lord sees every kind of gift, be it eggs, kindness to needy brothers, volunteer work at the church building, bible class teaching, or even, Jesus said, a cup of cold water. As II Corinthians 8:7 exhorts us, let us excel in the gracious work of giving! Monty
It wasn’t on purpose! I definitely was embarrassed and even sad, over what I had done. I wasn’t paying enough attention. It made me miss something important, evening worship. Arriving at the building, services were over.
I had gone deer hunting with my brother-in-law, Sunday afternoon. I left them in plenty of time to get to Lubbock and church. I even had the correct key. However, pulling up to the pasture gate, I couldn’t get the padlock unfastened to leave. I fiddled with it for half an hour with no success. I dialed for help, but my phone wouldn’t call out. Finally, I resigned myself to wait for the others, who would be along in a little while. When, at last, they showed up, it turned out there were two gates exiting this unfamiliar property and I had been sitting at the wrong one!
Perhaps my mishap wasn’t so bad. Yet, Jesus once spoke of two gates, one leading to life; the other to destruction. He said the wide gate is easily found by many, while only a few would do the searching necessary to find the gate to life. Sunday, I found myself at the wrong gate. Let us all strive to be at the correct gate come judgment day!
A SPIRIT OF INVOLVEMENT
We’ve all heard the story of the Little Red Hen. She decided, one day, to make some wonderfully delicious bread. She asked her fellow barnyard animals who would like to help pick the necessary grain. Each had a different excuse and turned her down. She did it herself. Next, she invited those same friends to help thresh the grain. Once more, all were far too busy. Having finished that stage of the project, she begged for help to grind the grain into flour. No takers! By the tale’s end, she had baked a beautiful fragrant loaf with aid from no one. “Are there any, now, who like to help me eat this bread?” she inquired. Immediately, everyone on the farm volunteered! “Sorry,” she replied, “this loaf is only for me and my little chicks.”
Sometimes the church is little different from that barnyard. Many are eager to enjoy the benefits: few to do the work! I’ve always appreciated the attitude of God’s people in Nehemiah’s day. They faced a huge task of rebuilding the walls and gates of Jerusalem. Still, it was accomplished in world record time, because each inhabitant of the city volunteered to work on the small part immediately next to their home. It’s amazing what can be accomplished with 100% involvement!
We need that level of involvement at Parkway Drive. VBS is coming! Regular bible classes need to be taught. Many other chores clamor for someone willing to work. Besides these, there must be a thousand opportunities for outreach. Will I be the member who sits on a pew each Sunday profiting from the labor of others, while contributing little of my own? Or, can I truly say I am doing my part? The choice is yours and mine! May the Lord bless! Monty