Bible Readings and Devotion for September 26, 2020
Here are the references for the readings. Please look these up in your print Bible, your smartphone app Bible, or your online Bible:
Devotion for September 26, 2020
By Pastor David Tinker
Chapters 8 and 9 of 2 Corinthians are some of the most in depth passages of scripture regarding generosity and stewardship in all of the Bible. Several years ago, I read some articles regarding these chapters. I adapted that information into this article about giving, generosity and stewardship. The readings which cover this information are noted. You will see that the readings are in a section larger than today’s listing from 2 Corinthians. Feel free to read these passages as would helpful to you.
10 POINTS ON STEWARDSHIP FROM 2ND CORINTHIANS
Adapted by Pastor David Tinker from various resources.
- Stewardship means the gift of yourself: It is an attitude. The Macedonians gave to their poorer brethren. St. Paul says, “they gave themselves first to the Lord.” (2 Corinthians 8:5) Nothing – and no amount of money – is pleasing to the Lord until we give ourselves to Him.
- Stewardship is proportionate to income. St. Paul reminded the Corinthians that the Macedonians “they voluntarily gave according to their means.” (2 Corinthians 8:3) Stewardship is not giving to budgets or any other external goal designated to elicit contributions. God asks us to look at our income and give proportionately.
- Stewardship is the proof of the genuineness of our love. The manner in which we “put our money where our mouth is” is tangible demonstration of what is really in our hearts. St. Paul pointed out to the Corinthians that their participation in the offering was the way they would prove that their love was “genuine” (2 Corinthians 8:8).
- Stewardship is self-sacrificing and is based on the self-sacrifice of Christ. Though our Lord Jesus Christ shared the eternal glory of the Godhead with the Father, “yet for our sakes He became poor:” He gave all that up to make us “rich” toward God through His cross and resurrection (2 Corinthians 8:9).
- Stewardship takes people who are ready – “Prepared” – for stewardship. The Holy Spirit makes stewards out of people through their faith. Men and Women must be prepared for stewardship through the Word. “For if the readiness is there, it is acceptable according to what a man has…” (2 Corinthians 8:12)
- Stewardship is a joint venture within the Body of Christ. Our common participation in financial stewardship is the business of the people of God. Stewardship involves me, my brothers and sisters in the Body of Christ and Christ himself. We share with one another our mutual commitment to God and Church. It is sharing within the Body of Christ, as St. Paul pointed out to the Corinthians. (2 Corinthians 8:14)
- Stewardship is honest and honorable among Christians and needs no “Gimmicks.” Many people are extremely nervous when it comes to “talking about money” in the church. Stewardship is more than “money”, but it is also “money”. More often than not, there is a direct connection between a person’s wallet and the heart. St. Paul reminded the Corinthians, “We aim at what is honorable not only in the Lord’s sight but also in the sight of men.” (2 Corinthians 8:21) We do not need all sorts of high-pressure tactics and “gimmicks” to make Christian stewardship work. We do need the Gospel as the motivation.
- Stewardship requires commitment. Our God has given us his full commitment, and we are called to make high commitments to God and his Church. St. Paul talked to the Corinthians about their pledges, their commitment, or their “estimate of giving”, when he talked to them about “this gift you have promised.” (2 Corinthians 9:11)
- Stewardship is a challenge of our faith in the promises of God. That is the answer to the motivation of Christian stewardship. We look to the promises St. Paul held out: “God is able to provide you with every blessing in abundance.” (2 Corinthians 9:8), and “God loves a cheerful giver.” (2 Corinthians 9:7) “You will be enriched.” (2 Corinthians 8:11)
- Stewardship is our way of acknowledging and showing our faith in the Gospel. Living Stewardship is a tangible way to show that we believe the promises that God has given us in Christ. “Under the test of this service, you will glorify God by your obedience in acknowledging the Gospel of Christ” (2 Corinthians 9:13) Stewardship is the acid test of where our faith and our hearts are.
Blessed Lord God, you have caused the holy scriptures to be written for the nourishment of your people. Grant that we may hear them, read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest them, that, comforted by your promises, we may embrace and forever hold fast to the hope of eternal life, which you have given us in Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord. Amen.
Prayer from Evangelical Lutheran Worship. Copyright © 2020 Augsburg Fortress. All rights reserved.