Pastor's Ponderings

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Pastor's Ponderings

June 19, 2017

Pathway to Discipleship- Generosity and Giving

Still another pathway to a fuller life in Jesus Christ has to do with how we give. Jesus spent a great deal of time talking about money. That may seem strange. Actually, money has a rather strong influence on us. Sometimes the best way to become more faithful as a follower of Jesus Christ is to turn our attention away from the making and spending money.

Generosity is a matter of Christian discipleship. When we learn to use what we’ve been given to accomplish some God-sized projects, we grow in our discipleship. When we learn to share what we have with others, we find that our heart grow larger, not smaller. Generosity comes as we open our hands and our hearts to offer blessing to others in the spirit of Jesus. Generosity is most full and mature when:

  • we practice it regularly, instead of sporadically,
  • when we practice it intentionally rather than just in response to a particular appeal
  • when we practice is persistently over time, rather than just when it is convenient or easy

 Bing more open handed leads us to be more open hearted. When we give, we become more like the One who shows us what true generosity looks like

“God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son so that whoever lives and believes in him shall have everlasting life.”

 Questions to consider:

  1. Do I give regularly or periodically? intentionally or only in response to a particular need? willingly or reluctantly?
  2. What would it look like to give with a more open hand?

 See you in Church!

 -Pastor Steve

Pastor's Ponderings June 12, 2017

Pathway to Discipleship-Learning and study

A few weeks ago, I mentioned here that Christian faith often progresses along five different pathways.  I call them the "Discipleship Pathways."  Two of these pathways I have talked about previously.  Now I'd like to lift up a third pathway of learning and study.

Faith often grows as we read and study the Bible along with other believers.  The Bible is the record of God's actions and words to humanity over time.  Christian have long held that reading and studying the Bible can bring us into a growing relationship with the author and subject of scripture.

        16 All scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, 17  so that everyone who belongs to God may be proficient, equipped for every good work." -2 Timonthy 3:16-17(NRSV)

The fuller meaning of the Bible gets unpacked when we read it with others in a community of faith.  Disciple Bible Study, Covenant Bible Study and other longer study courses have been helpful for many.  These groups help people engage with other people as well as the Biblical texts.  But there are many other opportunities also.  Joyce Dixon's Tuesday morning Bible Study has helped many individuals here at Calvary have a deeper understanding and a more vibrant faith.  Sunday School classes, UMW circles, and youth fellowship are available to help us take the next step.  When we open and read the Bible along with other people, telling our names and learning the stories of others, when we share our questions, our concerns, and our understanding with others, faith grows in us.

We really can't make much use of the Bible by ourselves in isolation. When we participate in a small group where others come to know us and we know others, faith can take root and grow.

Questions to consider:

  • Where do others know you well?  What does it mean to be known by others?
  • How might you find ways to read the Bible and feed your spiritual growth?

See you in Church!

Pastor Steve

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