Day 18 – ‘We are travelling together to guard against any criticism for the way we are handling this generous gift’ (2 Corinthians 8:20, NLT).
Hadrotes is the word which means a number of gifts pooled together to make this abundant, lavish or generous gift. This is the cumulative offerings brought together into one pot demonstrating the church’s cumulative giving over a period of time.
Father, on the authority of Your Word, we know that You will provide that which we need to do your will. The provision will be given to us; good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over shall it be poured into our bosom so that we as a church can continue to grow, be generous, and fulfil the vision and ministry You give to us.
For with the same measure we deal out, it shall be measured back to us. Grant the wisdom to be above reproach in all our financial dealings.
We remember that it is written in Your Word that he who sows sparingly and grudgingly will also reap sparingly and grudgingly, and he who sows generously [that blessings may come to someone] will also reap generously and with blessings.
Lord, remind us always, and we purpose to remember, that it is You Who gives us power, within the moral boundaries set in Your Word, to prosper by ethical means; You do it to fulfil Your ancient promises and because of Your righteous and gracious nature.
We will never feel that it was our own power and might that brought about Your provision. Enable us to be thankful as a church in how You bless us so we can do Your work and bless others. In Jesus’ name. Amen
Day 19 – ‘They begged us again and again for the privilege of sharing in the gift for the believers in Jerusalem’ (2 Corinthians 8:4, NLT). Gift here is diakonia, the same word for a church ‘deacon’ or a ‘servant.’
Here it means the practical serving of others – this is giving which is practical in its origin for a practical purpose such as supporting ministers or the day by day running of the church and its ministries.
Also, in the same verse, ‘sharing in’ is koinonia which is the word for ‘fellowship.’ A willing, loving participation – and offering of oneself or what one has to the service of the church, and those in need often done through financial offerings; literally, ‘our delight is in giving to our brethren in Christ.’
Father, when You call us into the fellowship of a local church – You call us to a willing, loving service in that church. We pray for Your wisdom, grace and provision to be such practical, giving people in true fellowship with one another. In Jesus’ name. Amen
Day 20 – ‘On the first day of each week, you should each put aside a portion of the money you have earned. Don’t wait until I get there and then try to collect it all at once’ (1 Corinthians 16:2, NLT). ‘Collect’ is logia – an offering which is the opposite of a tax.
Paul was concerned that if the collections were taken when he was there then these may have been seen as for his own private use. He wanted the church to freely take up weekly offerings as non-legalistic forms of giving, and these to be seen as above reproach, and for the benefit stipulated when the offering was taken up.
This was a collection – not a tax imposed on the believers.
Thank You, Father, that as You bless us and we bless others, they will praise You and give You thanks and bless others – the circle of Your love, provision and blessing will go on and on bringing honour and glory to Your beloved Son.
Lord, in accordance with Your Word and Your promise to us – I ask that You will supply all our needs according to Your glorious riches from and by Christ Jesus so that we can be equipped to do Your will and fulfil the vision You have given us.
As a people we commit into Your hands all our own bills including mortgage, rent, council tax, weekly grocery bills, fuel costs, heating and electric, telephone, insurance, Income tax and NIC, holiday costs, clothing, and all other bills that we may have.
We also choose to regularly set aside our tithes and offerings for Your work. These will help supply the needs of the running costs of the church, its ongoing ministries, and to acquire the larger church venue.
In Jesus’ name we ask that You will supply our daily provision, and teach us to be trusting, faithful and prudent with all our finances, our duties, and our calling. Amen
Day 21 – ‘When I come, I will write letters of recommendation for the messengers you choose to deliver your gift to Jerusalem’ (1 Corinthians 16:3, NLT). Gift here is the wonderful charis – the word we render as ‘grace.’
It was a free gift, freely given from a loving heart. He did not compel them to give – God was at work in their hearts motivating them to give.
Father, as we have reflected in prayer on these nine words – may You open our hearts and minds to Your word, and enable us to live with a more generous attitude to life, church, Your service, worship and witness to Jesus than we presently have. To fully grasp that You are willing to provide that which we need for life, ministry and mission – if we will walk in obedience to Your word, in faith, and doing that which You call us to do. In the name of Jesus. Amen
Day 22 – Pastor Leslie has also written Days 22 -28: Father, it is possible to ask, ‘why do we need a larger church building?’ Lord, it is because You call us to be good stewards of all You commit to our care, protection and work – including the vision You give to us to be Kingdom Builders in partnership with You.
If we are to reflect the nature of Christ – then generosity of soul is at the heart of our worship and sharing of the Gospel about Jesus with other – and thus when we give the truest reflection of who Jesus is.
Father, enable us to give a good reflection of the Lord Jesus in and through our lives and our church, in person and online, and how we go about acquiring the larger building, and in expanding our ministry base.
In worship, witness and following Jesus, we acknowledge our humanity with its limitations – we do this by the humble attitude of our hearts, living sacrificially as we come to You, giving to Your Kingdom work, sharing with others the Good News about Jesus, and working to bring about Your will and purposes in partnership with Your Spirit.
Anoint and empower us to live this way 24/7, and to step into the new season You are opening up before us. In Jesus’ name. Amen
Day 23 – Father, in worship we also release that which is dearest to us – our faith, obedience, desires and true selves, the real us, not just our mask or persona – we release everything to You – God our Creator, Saviour and King – and acknowledge our dependence on You our Father, Jesus our Saviour and the Holy Spirit our Advocate.
True worship comes from the true us, rooted in Christ; in order to be accepted by You – we can come no other way. If we come any other way – then it is us choosing the place of our own offering rather than coming as You have demanded of us – in and through Christ.
If we truly worship – You then pour into us Your Spirit’s power to witness and live daily as living sacrifices putting everything, our talents, time and treasure, on the altar for Christ – the One who is worthy and who redeemed us to You, Father, by His own precious blood.
We pray that many more people will come to this realisation and take up this lifestyle – we ask that You will anoint and empower Telford Elim, in person and online, to proclaim and minister this truth so that many more will surrender all in this way to Jesus our King and God. Amen.
Day 24 – Psalm 37:21, ‘the godly are generous givers.’ The Psalmist David knew this great truth – after all it was part of his life.
Father, the godly are generous givers of worship and witness precisely because they are godly. Godliness is manifesting the life of Christ from within – reflecting His character and nature in life, worship and witness.
Father, godly people know the truth that whatever one sows – one reaps. Therefore, the godly sow godliness, the Gospel, and their very lives; and reap the benefits of righteousness, Spirit-anointed witness – dead to self and alive to Christ.
They give generously because they have received generously Your provision from Christ, including sharing in His death, resurrection, ascension and glorification. Anoint and empower us to proclaim, minister and live out this message so many hear, see and are led to the feet of Jesus and saving encounter with Him. Amen