We now come around the time of giving, if your new here today welcome, there are envelopes on the seats and anyone who would like to give electronically we have an eftpos machine up the back so as Pastor Matt says tap and go is the easy way to sow, or if you are like myself and Amanda you can do a direct deposit each week.
Do you know what I love about this church? There is no pressure to give but plenty of opportunity. 2 Corinthians 9:6-7 (NIV) is about Generosity Encouraged it says
Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.
Let me tell you a little story about a trip we had to Italy a couple of years back, we had decided to go to Pisa to see the leaning tower, there is also a massive church right next to the tower, called The Piazza dei Miracoli (Italian: Square of Miracles), formally known as Piazza del Duomo so we had decided to check the church out too.
Now I want you to picture a big cathedral with paintings on the ceilings and walls, huge statues of saints, stained glass windows and more gold than you can poke a stick at. Sounds impressive right? Well it was but at the same time, to me it was sickening. We along with hundreds of others had to line up to make a time and get a ticket to go in to see this impressive building, this wasn’t the sickening part. The part that disgusted me was that here was a huge cathedral surrounded by five star hotels and restaurants but not five minutes away there were women living in poverty prostituting themselves on the side of the road and beggars all around the town and even on the steps of the church. remember the name of this place? the Square of Miracles. I just couldn’t and still can’t understand how so much wealth and prestige and so much poverty can be so close to each other especially when one is supposed to be helping the other, and don’t get me wrong wealth isn’t bad but greed is.
Church we are blessed, we could be the beggar, living on the street with no food or shelter, some of us have been! but God has provided for us and lets us keep ninety percent of our income. It doesn’t matter how much or how little you can give, even if you only started with one percent and over time, even years worked up to ten percent and more, blessings will follow
Let’s not be a church with a big building with beggars on the doorstep, let’s invite them in feed them, pray for them, and bless them
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