NOTE: I wrote this yesterday, but didn't post it until today because I wanted to honor ourveterans yesterday.
In my devotional time today, I read Proverbs 11. I'm reading one Proverb every day, whichever one corresponds to that day of the month.
There is a lot to this book of the Bible. These are words of wisdom. Some constitute absolute promises from God. Others are basic rules of life - generally accepted wise counsel. All of them are intended to instruct us in faith and the matters of faith, and should affect how we live.
When you read a chapter in Proverbs, the verses seem to jump around from subject to subject. So, I try to ask God, "Lord, as I read your word today, let me know what you want me to focus on and show me how it's supposed to apply to me and my life." Today, there were several parts of chapter 11 that jumped out. Here's one of them:
One man gives freely, yet gains even more; another withholds unduly, but comes to poverty.
A generous man will prosper; he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed.
(Proverbs 11:24-25, NIV)
When I read this, I immediately thought about PCC. Like every organization, PCC has suffered the effects of a global financial crisis. People are out of work, have reduced incomes, and prices on things like college and gas don't seem to be going down.
But a number of folks have heeded the truth of this Scripture. People are giving even when it hurts - and they are seeing God replenish, renew and reward them for their faithfulness. This doesn't mean that God will replace dollar for dollar what we give. But it does mean that - when we consider blessing in it's entirety - you cannot outgive God!
October was the best giving month in PCC's history. People gave generously, and it makes our church more healthy. We spend less time worrying about how to make the ends meet and more time focusing on real ministry, which is what our church is all about.
To all of you who give freely, thank you. Thanks for your faithfulness to God and to our church!