At our last finance meeting, we discussed WMPL’s financial reports and balances for this year. We then made a comparison between the monthly donations and contributions we have received so far and our operational needs, such as ministry support, allowances, benefits and other items.
During the first eleven months of the year, expenses were greater than the donations received. This is not because we spent more money than we have nor is it unusual. Excess donations from previous years have allowed us to meet all of our expenses this year. My intention in sharing this with you is not to worry or alarm you but rather to encourage you to thank the Lord for his faithfulness and to pray that we become more dependent on God’s provision.
And speaking of excess donations, historically, donations to WMPL during the month of December are substantially higher than other months. This led me to think about why we, as followers of Christ, associate giving with the end of the year and particularly with Christmas. Let’s look at some Scripture passages that can help explain why giving is extremely biblical.
The most famous verse about giving is probably John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” (ESV)
Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 8:9, “You know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you by his poverty might become rich.” (ESV) This talks specifically about Christmas. Christ lowered himself to become a man for the benefit of us all. Continuing in 9:15, Paul says: “Thanks be to God for his inexpressible gift!” This invaluable and generous gift which is full of grace, mercy, and kindness gives us that which we cannot provide or do for ourselves.
The ultimate gift from God is to give himself. First Peter 3:18 reminds us that “Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God.” By giving himself, God becomes our greatest gift and treasure. At the center of Christmas is God gifting his one and only son, Jesus, who suffered on the cross as a ransom for all peoples, including those populations with limited or no access to the gospel.
Now back to the original question, why do we believers give gifts on Christmas? God does not need our money or services to do his work. Rather, we give to show our gratitude, reverence, and affection for God. It is part of our worship to God, trusting him and depending on him for everything we are and have which, ultimately, belongs to him. We are also invited to participate in God’s kingdom. Whether by praying, giving, sending, or going, it is a privilege to serve in the Lord’s vineyard. Thank you for your partnership in the gospel!
GOD’S PROVISION – OCTOBER 2022
|ALLOWANCE: Designated Support:||$43,280|
|BENEFITS: Designated Support:||$65,348|
|Transfer from Estate Fund:||$22,000|
|Donations to Benefits Fund:||$75|
|Number of full-time worker units:||33|
|Minimum allowance provided:||100%|