Remember: there are only TWO SERVICES THIS WEEK, both at 9:00 AM to allow for our Congregational Meeting from 10:30-12:15, at which we'll elect Church Officers and vote on our Senior Pastor candidate! Click HERE for details.
Steve Hartman on 1 Chronicles 29:6, 9-18
Third Sermon in a Series on Generosity in the Life of the Church
Jesus Christ has called us into His story, and being part of His story means we have also been called into a journey towards generosity as our Lord shapes generous hearts in us. Indeed, the mark of a Christian is being radically generous, and generosity should be the measure of our giving. But what is generosity? How do we measure it? How do we know when we are making giving decisions that are generous in the eyes of God? This week we’ll consider these questions as we study of 1 Chronicles 29 in light of the wealth we have in Christ.
Why do we take four weeks to focus on generosity? Because it is central to God’s message for all of us as followers of Jesus. Think of His generosity starting in Genesis 1 when He gave us everything on the earth. The Psalms reinforce His generosity, as well. But we see God's character most clearly in His act of ultimate generosity, giving us His Son who died that we may have eternal life. His generosity should be our generosity, through all of our resources: time, talents and finances.
As we learn more about God’s generosity through the sermons of visiting Haitian pastor Leon Dorleans, Steve, and Corey; stories from members; videos; and our celebration of Commitment Sunday on November 2, we pray that you will feel blessed by God’s generosity and trust in His faithfulness.
1 Chronicles 29:6, 9-18
“Then the leaders of families, the officers of the tribes of Israel, the commanders of thousands and commanders of hundreds, and the officials in charge of the king’s work gave willingly…. 9 The people rejoiced at the willing response of their leaders, for they had given freely and wholeheartedly to the Lord. David the king also rejoiced greatly. 10 David praised the Lord in the presence of the whole assembly, saying, “Praise be to you, O Lord, God of our father Israel, from everlasting to everlasting. Yours, O Lord, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the majesty and the splendor, for everything in heaven and earth is yours. Yours, O Lord, is the kingdom; you are exalted as head over all. 12Wealth and honor come from you; you are the ruler of all things. In your hands are strength and power to exalt and give strength to all. 13Now, our God, we give you thanks, and praise your glorious name. 14 “But who am I, and who are my people, that we should be able to give as generously as this? Everything comes from you, and we have given you only what comes from your hand. 15 We are aliens and strangers in your sight, as were all our forefathers. Our days on earth are like a shadow, without hope. 16 O Lord our God, as for all this abundance that we have provided for building you a temple for your Holy Name, it comes from your hand, and all of it belongs to you. 17 I know, my God, that you test the heart and are pleased with integrity. All these things have I given willingly and with honest intent. And now I have seen with joy how willingly your people who are here have given to you. 18 O Lord, God of our fathers Abraham, Isaac and Israel, keep this desire in the hearts of your people forever, and keep their hearts loyal to you.
“Every day a Christian is somebody who gets up and says, 'I’m rich. I’m rich. I’ve been adopted into the family. I’ve been accepted in the beloved. I have a guarantee to rule and reign forever. I have his holy power living in me, that will inevitably overwhelm all my flaws, all my weaknesses, all my sadnesses.'” Martin Luther
“I am not commanding you, but I want to test the sincerity of your love by comparing it with the earnestness of others. For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich” (2 Corinthians 8:8-9).
“Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life.”
If you'd like to see the prayers and hymns offered in the service, you can view and download the Worship Bulletin for each service by clicking the service name, below.
In the Sanctuary service we will be singing some classic hymns from ancient to contemporary. The Choir and Alleluia Ensemble will be combining to present one of Music Director John White's favorite newer hymns, "O God Beyond All Praising," set to the "Jupiter" theme from Holst's "The Planets" by Dan Forrest. It will be accompanied by Ron Klipp at the piano. The congregation will be singing Kim Taulbee's setting of the ancient hymn "O Love, How Deep, How Broad". Other hymns are "Praise to the Lord" the Almighty", "In Christ Alone" and "O God Our Help in Ages Past."