The Lord does not let us forget his wonderful actions; God is kind and merciful. The Lord provides for those who honor him; God never forgets the covenant.
-Psalm 111: 4-5 (Good News Translation)

I gave a homework assignment for most of July and August to the church based on my sermon series about the 4 gifts God grants the Church to help us grow in our faith journey: (1) worship and prayer (1 Thessalonians 5:17), (2) service in doing good (Ephesians 2:10), (3) Fellowship (Acts 2:42), and (4) Bible Study (2 Timothy 4:2). The assignment was in each of these areas —

  • attend worship more regularly and participate in it,
  • do good for someone who cannot repay you
  • increase your fellowship with someone in the church that you don’t like or know well, and
  • attend a Bible Study

Show hospitality to all strangers, for some have hosted angels unaware they were being tested.
– Hebrews 13:2

What a time we live in - upheaval and intrigue, political division and hostility. How do we find our way, how do good Christian folks stay the course? Hebrews was written to a church in similar times - uncertain economics, threatening and savage barbarians on the borders, a culture that seemed at odds with the church, shrinking religious convictions overall, and a political system that seemed best suited to self-destruction and turmoil. The author of Hebrews is writing practical advice to the church, ways to not only give voice to Christian values but to actually live it out. The author appeals to Christian ideals and the teachings of Jesus to admonish the church to live correctly. And what does he say - Read the whole section from which the above quote is taken -

Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. Command them to be good, rich in good deeds, and generous and willing to share.
-1 Timothy 6: 17-18

I was at the nursing home for Bible Study the other day and we were talking about ways to follow God. One of the residents had a question—“Pastor how do you tithe if you have no money?” After telling her that was a good question, I asked them if money was the measure of how much God loved us or we loved God. They agreed that money and God’s love were not the same thing. “But God wants you to give to him. What is at your disposal is at God’s if you follow that. So I have to give what I have to God.” We talked some more and looked at some examples like Ananias and Sapphira from Acts 5 who sold a house but held some back and fell dead from lying about it. “Sounds like it is money again,” said one resident. “Not true,” chimed in another, “it’s about greed. You see they had all that money at their disposal—that is they weren’t living off of it. It was extra. That you give to God. But greed isn’t just about money. It’s about hording other things for yourself too."

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