Sermon on the Amount
The budget for 2022 is completed. John Jones works closely with the deacons and other ministry leaders to come up with a workable budget for the church. It’s a lot of hard work. It’s a tough job. When working on a personal budget, it’s usually a bit easier since we typically know our weekly income. With a church the challenge is coming up with a budget based on a projection of giving.
As with any budget, the goal is not to spend more than you take in. During the past couple of years COVID presented the church with some financial challenges along with everything else. Although we out spent our giving the past two years, we stayed in the black. Because of everyone’s generous giving in previous years and because of some special gifts, there was a buffer in the savings account. It’s anticipated that there will be a shortfall again this year that will be supplemented once again by the savings. While this process can keep us going for the next couple of years, it’s not a viable long-term plan.
The 2022 budget is $5000.00 each week. You have been so generous in your giving. This church supports six full-time preachers which consumes most of the budget. Your giving directly supports them along with everything else we do.
Our giving says so much. As King David gave, he said to God, “But who am I and who are my people that we should be able to offer as generously as this? For all things come from You, and from Your hand we have given You” (1 Chron. 29:14).
This reminds me of when I was an adolescent with no money. When it came time for my mom’s birthday, my dad would hand me some cash and say, “go buy something nice for your mother for her birthday.” I got to go and pick out just the right thing that let her know how much I loved her. Obviously, it was my father’s generosity, but I got to participate.
When we give, we must recognize that our generosity is the result of God’s generosity. God allows us to give Him what is His and be blessed. Like King David, we should be so swelled with gratitude for God’s blessings that our thanksgivings, praise, love and generosity just pour out. Giving is truly a worship experience. It’s a moment with God to reflect on how good He is to us. We give because He first gave.
What does our giving mean to God? The OT sacrifices that were totally burnt up, were “a soothing aroma to the Lord.” Does God like the smell of burnt meat? No, but He sees the heart. When we give, our hearts say “I love you”, “thank you”, “I’ve been blessed”, “God, you are so good.”