Another year is coming to an end, and as we look back we can say that the Lord has richly blessed us, some more than others. As a country, we have had a few years of economic prosperity, and conditions look much better than they did five or six years ago. Of course, some of our families are hurting. Some are unemployed. Some have had to retire early. Some are living on a fixed income. On the other hand, some of us have an abundance from which we can supply what is lacking in the lives of those who don’t.
In the early church, no one thought of possessions as belonging to him, but they had everything in common. There was not a needy person among them. If anyone was in need, the church leaders made sure they had a roof over their heads, clothes to wear, and enough to eat (Acts 4:32-37).
The early church under the apostles was extremely organized. From 2 Corinthians 8-9, we see that they 1) purposed what they would give in their hearts (9:7); 2) informed the leaders what they had decided (9:5); 3) performed what they had promised (8:11).
Purpose Sunday is about following the scriptural precedent set by our forebears in the New Testament. Today we are asking our members to inform the leaders of this congregation what they have decided to give. These numbers will be tallied to decide the budget and the work that we will do for the Lord next year. Of course, after Purpose Sunday, we must work hard all year to perform what we promised and give as we have prospered.
I am convinced that we can do more for the Lord then we are now doing. We are currently investing and working enough to get the results we are currently getting. To do more, we have to give more, work more, pray more, and trust more. We have enough resources and energy to grow and to spread the gospel throughout this community. The only thing that is stopping us is where these resources are located. They must be moved from our hearts and pockets to the Lord.
Of course, nobody thinks money alone grows the church. Real growth comes from dedicated, faithful Christians who put their faith in God, and God responds by giving the growth (1 Corinthians 3:6). But money is part of it. Just a little makes a difference. Try increasing what you did last year by just a few dollars. If every one of our families does this, our potential will increase dramatically.
Pray for us. Our leaders need wisdom from above to carry out the Lord’s will. Our members need committed hearts to remain faithful in a new year.