New Apostolic Church USA


"A Season of Thanksgiving" from the Autumn 2019 Vision Newsletter

 As we move further into this season of harvest and gratitude, we naturally set aside time to focus on the goodness of our heavenly Father and all that He has given to us. While we reflect on His kindness, let’s also contemplate how we can share with others what we have received from Him. How can we cultivate this season of Thanksgiving in our families, congregations, and communities through our own giving?

Consider the following during the time leading up to our celebration of Thanksgiving Sunday.

1. Giving is love. (An excerpt from the 2017 Autumn Vision Newsletter)

Our desire to give begins and ends with God. John wrote in 1 John 4:16, God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him. It is love that has brought us from the brink of despair into fellowship with God. It is the love God has shown us that fuels our passion to share with others what we have been given. When we recognize that we are unworthy to receive all that God has given us, we must respond in love towards our God and our neighbors. This love prompts us to give freely from what we’ve been blessed with.

How have you experienced God’s love this year?

2. Giving is faith. (An excerpt from the 2018 Spring Vision Newsletter)

Our willingness to give demonstrates our faith in God and our confidence that He will always care for those who have surrendered their hearts to Him. In Luke 12:48, as part of an answer to Peter, Jesus said,

For everyone whom much is given, from him much will be required; and to whom much has been committed, of him they will ask the more.

Jesus is emphasizing here that great privilege brings great responsibility. The greatest privilege given is to be children of God. When we believe that we received that title through faith, then whether we have a little or a lot, we will be led by the Holy Spirit to utilize what we have in the service of Him. Giving is faith because it is out of our confidence in God and our devotion to Jesus that we obediently share what we have in full knowledge that our God will always care for us.

How is your faith expressed through your giving?

3. Giving is joy. (An excerpt from the 2018 Autumn Vision Newsletter)

Consider the words that Apostle Paul wrote to the Corinthians in 2 Corinthians 9:7 – So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver. When we mature in the mind of Christ, we will no longer give grudgingly or of necessity, but rather intentionally and with thought. Our giving becomes our decision, and because it is what we want to do, we give joyfully. Joyful giving is done freely, not grudgingly. This is where giving becomes faith, love, and joy intertwined.

When believers are united in their joyful giving, then the congregation becomes a foretaste of the kingdom of God.

Pray that God will enable us to see the world around us in such a way that we can clearly recognize the needs of others and act upon the prompting of the Holy Spirit to share what He has blessed us with.

4. Giving is mission. (An excerpt from the 2019 Summer Vision Newsletter)

As believers grow spiritually and mature in their faith, they gain the understanding that all they have is given by God and belongs to Him.

With the guidance and inspiration of the Holy Spirit, believers learn to trust in God and recognize how they can use what they have been given to give generously to others and to the church through their offerings, so that all people may come to know Jesus.

This means we don’t just give to missions, but that Christian giving, in and of itself, is the mission to which we are called: to give a portion of that which we have for the sake of the gospel. Jesus Christ gave life to the dead, both spiritually and physically; Christians humbly follow His example by giving of themselves to the spiritual and physical welfare of others.

How do you contribute to fulfilling Christ’s mission on earth?

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