And God is able to provide you with every blessing in abundance, so that by always having enough of everything, you may share abundantly in every good work. 2 Corinthians 9:8
Dear Friends in Christ,
Of all the spiritual practices available to Christians, one seems out of place, and yet it has been for me one of the most powerful. In some practices, experiences of God’s grace ebb and flow—even in prayer. But for me, I have seen God consistently demonstrate his presence and power in uncanny ways in a more earthly part of our daily lives. Theologians talk about providence and churches teach stewardship, but to put it in practical and concrete terms, I have found dealing with money to be a powerful spiritual practice.
Well, that sounds crazy, doesn’t it? Indeed, many know the partial Bible verse “For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil…” (1 Timothy 6:10a). The Bible has a lot to say about money. But a lot of what it says has to do with how God provides for us what we need. And indeed, the more we trust God with our resources, the more God provides for us. God even provides for our generosity—helping us to be generous to others. I’m not saying that being a Christian will make you rich; in fact Jesus calls us to a life of self-giving and self-sacrifice. But I am saying that when we put our security in material resources, we never seem to have enough. And when we put our security in God, and use our material resources in his service, then we seem to have plenty and to spare.
God even tells us to test him on this: “Bring the full tithe into the storehouse, so that there may be food in my house, and thus put me to the test, says the LORD of hosts; see if I will not open the windows of heaven for you and pour down for you an overflowing blessing” (Malachi 3:10). I have heard many personal stories, and I can tell you some from my own life, when people have stretched to be generous, God has provided for them. And that brings a great deal of peace and joy!
Tithing (giving 10% of one’s income) was commanded in the Old Testament for the care of the Levites (who served in the Temple instead of owning land) and care of widows, orphans and immigrants. In the New Testament, Jesus and the Apostles call us to give 100%! This doesn’t mean signing over your accounts to the church. It means acknowledging that all your resources belong to God, and then honoring God in all of how you give and save and spend.
Pledging, tithing and giving to the church are only a part of the practice of stewardship, but they are important parts. Practically, they help sustain our ministries. Spiritually, for each of us, they set the tone of what money means to us, and they force us to reconsider all our finances from God’s perspective. And the more we entrust “our” resources to God, the more God demonstrates his love and provision for us. This earthly matter of money can be a powerful spiritual practice. How do you encounter God in managing money? Try it and see.
A few timely reminders:
Click Here to see a list of Bible passages about stewardship (some might surprise you).
This Sunday at 9:15am in the parish hall, we will hear a presentation on legacy giving (planning wills and estates in creative ways to honor God). Come join us.
Please make a pledge of financial support to St. Peter & St. Paul for 2025. Click here for more information, or to pledge online.
Join us for a celebration luncheon on Sunday, October 22 after the 10:30 service.
Yours in Christ,