adisciplespath“Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows (James 1:17).”

Think about that. Every good and perfect gift is from God. The Greek words may also be translated “every good (useful) and complete gift.” Take a moment and mentally make a list of everything and every person that is good around you. These are all gifts from God, and God is good and generous!

From the beginning of the Bible, God desired to create and share good life. God did not have to create the earth, the seas, the creatures, and human beings. God did not need any of those things as though God were lacking something. Instead, God was so full of love and life that God wanted to generously share God’s abundance!

Sometimes when Christians talk about stewardship, they only talk about money and they only talk about tithing 10% of their income to God by giving to the Church. Often, there is no conversation about offering our daily work and time and gifts and activities and relationships to God. And if the conversation about stewardship stops at tithing, what are we to conclude besides “God’s real desire is to make sure I’m following the rules and to make sure to get my 10%.”

One of the most freeing and challenging teachings is that God is really interested in us giving our whole lives to Jesus’ mission! God is not only interested in 10%. God is interested in 100%. And since God is interested in molding our character to reflect God’s character through Jesus Christ, God desires us to become generous as God is generous. God wants us to be so full of God’s love and goodness that we excitedly look for ways to give our time, talent, and treasures to help others become more whole as we live our daily lives in the world.

As for the tithing 10% thing…well, that is a practice that helps us trust God to provide what we need, thank God for all we’ve been given, support the work of Lakeside in the world, and learn to be generous people! If you can’t give 10% regularly, give 5%. If you can’t give 5%, try 2%. The key is to start giving regularly and consistently as an act of thanks to God.

Please prayerfully plan your giving to God and Lakeside in 2016 by completing an Estimate of Giving online at http://lakesidefellowship.org/stewardship/ or at church. This will help Lakeside Leaders to wisely make plans for ministry in the year 2016. If you’d like a copy of the budget, just ask, and we will be happy to provide you with one.

Most importantly, in the words of Paul, “Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God-this is your true and proper worship (Romans 12: 1).”

Pastor Cameron