Enter By The Narrow Gate
As I’ve been reading through Matthew in my quiet time, I reflected on two verses that I tend to rush past, because I’ve heard them so often. In Matthew 7:13-14, Jesus said, “Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.” I have chosen the narrow gate, but I often overlook a key word in the passage: “hard.” Jesus promised my path would be hard, because I must submit to Him.
Sacrifice Through Giving
As followers of Christ, we are asked to make sacrifices for God. We sacrifice things such as time, activities and relationships. We also sacrifice through our financial giving. There are many things we could have done with the money we have put in the offering plate (such as vacations, projects at home or new vehicles). But in obedience, we have chosen to obey God and give back to Him what He has given us, so that He may be glorified.
Stories of Blessing Abound
One of the greatest blessings of being a deacon at Calvary is getting to see the many ways the money you give is used to glorify God. I hear story after story of people receiving needed financial help through the benevolence ministry. I see lives changed through the various ministries and programs. I watch people come back from mission trips with a renewed passion for spreading the Gospel.
The elders and deacons rejoice at what is happening through your sacrificial giving. We again celebrate that we ended the last fiscal year (in July) with a surplus! We are trusting God to provide for our financial needs this year with a budget that is 5% higher than the last. We rejoice that as of December 31, your giving has put us ahead of fiscal year-to-date projections.
Humbled By Your Generosity
Thank you for your obedience to God. The elders and deacons do not take you for granted. We are humbled by your generosity and praise God for what He is doing. We trust that God will continue to provide what is needed for our budget even as we are asked to give beyond our regular giving towards the Grace Beyond project. May God bless you for your sacrifice as you walk the hard path.
Stephen Baab, Treasurer