To Whom Much Is Given…

Behold, to the Lord your God belong heaven and the highest heavens, the earth and all that is in it—Psalm 24:1-2

Our budget year at Cornerstone begins in July and runs to the end of June. This means that we’re nearing the end of our current budget year, and we are planning our 2012-2013 budget. Since we became an established congregation in November 2011, this will be our first full budget year at Cornerstone.

I would ask that you pray for our elders and deacons as they seek to wisely steward the resources God gives for effective gospel ministry. As you know, this is a very important spiritual responsibility that the leaders of Cornerstone bear, and I’m thankful for the faithfulness with which they carry out this work (I Cor. 4:2).

Along these lines, it is the commitment of Cornerstone leadership to communicate openly and regularly to you on the financial health of our congregation in the years ahead. We want to keep you well informed of our regular inflows and outflows, new costs that may develop with an expanding membership and ministry, as well as particular mission or benevolence needs within our church and community. These communications will primarily come in written form from the finance committee, supplemented by church family meetings where we will present and discuss together. If you ever have questions regarding the financial picture at Cornerstone, please contact the church office. We may be able to help you directly with your question; if not, we will point you to the elder(s) or deacon(s) that can.

Presently, let me underscore just how blessed we are as a congregation. God has provided for all our needs through the planting phase, particularization, and the recent purchase of the chapel. For a young congregation, a lot has happened in a short amount of time and with each step God has steadily provided.

But let us be warned: it is the sinful tendency of man to turn God’s good gifts into presumptive entitlement. Biblical and church history is littered with examples of men and nations who have failed to respond to God’s gifts of grace with consistent, generous, and cheerful stewardship of their time, gifts, and resources. Jesus makes it very clear, “Everyone to whom much is given, of him much will be required” (Luke 12:48). This means that our blessing is for sharing. Our receiving is for giving. In God’s loving kindness, He has positioned us for great service. Woe to us if we squander God’s grace by either withholding or being stingy with what He’s given!

For our own spiritual health as a congregation, I’m going to take the next few weeks in the pastoral notes to discuss with you the Bible’s teaching on Christian stewardship. As we consider God’s Word together, let’s ask God to enlighten our minds, expand our hearts, and enliven our wills to give of our time, gifts, and resources in a manner worthy of Christ Jesus.

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