Be generous to God.

The word “belief” is a contraction of the Old English phrase “by my life.”  In other words, we show our belief in Christ through the actions of our lives. Jesus said in the Sermon on the Mount, “Not everyone who says to Me ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of My Father in heaven.”
 BUMC is blessed with those in this congregation who, by their lives, live out their gratitude to Christ by giving of themselves—their time, talent, and treasure.  We give because “God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him may not perish but may have eternal life” (John 3:16).  We receive and then extend the love and help of Christ through word and deed.
 Why can’t our time and talent cover it? Why is treasure included? Well, 16 of Jesus’ 38 parables are about money.  One-sixth of the verses in Matthew, Mark, and Luke are about money.  Jesus addressed money more than sin or love because it is our chief temptation to idolatry—putting something other than God in the place of God.  
 Even if we had no financial needs here at BUMC (which is not the case), we still would need an annual generosity campaign to help us wrestle with the temptation to turn money or things into God.  Investing our assets faithfully helps us have our hearts in the right place.  Jesus said, “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matt. 6:21).  We come to resemble that to which we give ourselves in devotion.
 We do not ask, What does the church need to pay the bills? but rather, What is God calling us to give to keep or get our lives in order and fuel Kingdom purposes?  We give humbly for all the bounty God has given to us.
 Be generous to God.  Be generous to others.  Build the Kingdom of God.
 By now you should have your 2018 Generosity packet in hand.  Please complete your response of support for 2018 either on-line or by returning your completed estimate of giving card one of the next two Sundays.  We’ve got this – for Christ!