October 31 through November 15, we will begin a three-week stewardship emphasis titled “Experiencing the Joy of Generosity”.  This will be an exciting and beneficial three weeks of sermon messages and Bible studies.  We believe this program will be a blessing to those who already are experiencing the joy of being generous with the gifts God has given to them, and we hope and pray that this effort will help many more experience the joy that comes from giving faithfully and generously.

When we give to God through giving to our church and others, we experience one of the true joys of being Christians.  Jesus said, “It is more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35).  God doesn’t need our gifts, but He asks us to give them.  He accepts and uses them and gives us joy in sharing them.  As we respond to God’s love for us by giving back to Him part of what He’s given to us, He reacts by giving us even more.  “Give, and it will be given to you.  Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap.  For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you” (Luke 6:38).  Although we don’t give so that we will receive God’s blessings, God’s Word promises us that, when we give faithfully and willingly, we will receive an abundance of spiritual blessings and, for some, material blessings as well.

Have you ever wondered why you are left with such a joyful feeling when you are able to give a gift to your church or to help a person in need?  The answer to that question may be rooted in us as Christians who are being recreated in the image of God.  To be made in God’s image means we are made to be like Him whose nature is to give.  Giving helps us feel fulfilled as we reflect His nature.  Although the image of God was lost by sin, as those converted by faith in Jesus, we “have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator” (Colossians 3:10).  Our Creator empowers us to give joyfully to our church and others according to His will.  With this attitude of joyful gratitude, God keeps us close to Him, and others see His image through us.

Our pursuit for fulfillment and joy culminates in the discovery that we receive those things when, by God’s grace, we respond with eagerness to God’s directive to give.  Like David, we exclaim, “But who

[are we]…that we should be able thus to offer willingly?  For all things come from You, and of Your own have we given You” (1 Chronicles 29:14).

We hope and pray that the emphasis “Experiencing the Joy of Generosity” will be a blessing to you and your family.