Dear brothers and sisters,
Greetings in the Lord!
Have you ever compared yourself to someone else and felt envious? Have you felt the inner turmoil of wanting the recognition, the status, the wealth, the attractiveness, the comfort, the talent, the anything of another? I’m guessing so. Envy comes to us as naturally as breathing, filling us with frustration and discontentment. But there is a way to kill it. We saw John the Baptist kill it last week in John 3:22-36. John’s disciples notified him that a competitor—the man called Jesus—was stealing the people away from his fruitful ministry. John’s response must have been shocking: “He must increase, but I must decrease” (John 3:30).
John put envy to death by holding fast to three important truths: 1) God is sovereign and good; 2) we exist to make much of Jesus; and 3) Jesus is supreme. When the glory of Jesus becomes the passion of our lives, envy wastes away to nothing. How can we be envious when we are no longer the center of our affections and aspirations? Instead of discontentment, we get a growing joy that flows over into eternity as we behold Jesus, exalted to his rightful place. Ask yourself this week, “What is one area of life in which I am still seeking to exalt myself, rather than Jesus?”
After a fruitful summer of ministry, it’s been a fabulous two months as we launched our second worship gathering in early August! Even so, we’ve been operating at a budget deficit for several months (currently about $27,000 behind budget). That’s simply not sustainable long-term.
If you don’t make a habit of giving, would you invite someone into that part of your life? We’re instructed to not give out of compulsion, but giving to the needs of the local church is a stewardship concern for all believers.
If you do give regularly, would you prayerfully consider increasing your giving slightly? Specifically, would you consider increasing your giving by 5-10% of what you already give (for example, if you give $100 normally, consider $110 instead)? If all who don’t give faithfully would begin doing so and if all who do give would increase slightly, we would catch up on our giving by the end of the year and all of the ministries we enjoy could continue through the year and into the next.
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