Sunday 21st October, 2018 [Induction Service for Rev. Daniel Lawson]
Hymn of meditation: PH 341
Precious living Truth of Jesus,
It has been hidden from us,
What men teach are Your commandments,
The commandments none can keep.
Faith is not stressed in the teachings,
Nor is call to trust in Christ.
Death of Jesus not emphasized,
We’ve forgotten grace of God.
I am extremely grateful to God for how far He has brought me. I am grateful for His mercies and goodness and provision through the years. I also thank the Presbyterian Church of Ghana, the Ga Presbytery Council, the La District Council and the Nativity Congregation for the opportunity to serve in this congregation. I am confident that since the Lord remains with me, no matter how challenging the situation is, He will see me through. “He who has called us is faithful” and His faithfulness will see us through.
The theme for today is; “Witnessing for Christ through giving.” Let your giving be witness unto God.
Witnessing is about testifying of what you have seen and experienced. So, you cannot be a good witness if you have not experienced Christ for yourself. A critical condition for proper witnessing for Christ is an experience with Jesus the Christ himself; that is having a personal relationship with this Saviour of the world.
In this same vein in Acts 1, Peter, when calling for another person to be appointed to replace Judas, also stated that the one to be elected must be one who has been with them from the beginning right to the ascension of Jesus.
The primary goal of the baptism of the Holy Spirit is to be a witness of Christ wherever we find ourselves. Today we have been asked to consider one of these ways of witnessing for Christ; and that is through giving. Witnessing is not just a one-day activity but a way of life.
TWO TYPES OF WITNESSING THROUGH GIVING
Giving to the Poor
It is one way of showing the love of God to the world. In Acts 4:34-35, we are told that some of the early disciples even had to sell their personal properties to give to the needy amongst them and so there was no needy person among them. This is indeed practical witnessing of the life of Christ, for He gave Himself to us for our salvation. Beloved, giving to the needy amongst us and out there is a form of witnessing that can draw many to Christ.
There were no needy persons among them. For from time to time those who owned lands or houses sold them, brought the money from the sales and put it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to anyone as he had need.
What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save him? Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to him, “Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it?
As you give, the receiver would give the testimony of how he has been helped and the benefit he derived from it, and this may impress the one who hears the testimony to come to Christ to experience such love for himself too. Let us learn to give, help and support each other.
When God blesses you financially, it is not only for you but for the whole family, extended and the entire body of Christ. Do not limit yourself to people around you only but help all who come your way.
GIVING TO THE CHURCH
Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything–all she had to live on.”
The church of God needs the resources God has blessed us with to enable it reach out to the unsaved. Giving to the church biblically should follow among others, these three principles
- That all that we have belong to God and we only give what belongs to God back to Him for His work
- We should give as we are able, and willingly; not out of compulsion.
- Giving to the Church will enable the church fulfil her mandate of witnessing to world.
In 1 Chronicles 29:1-2, although David was told by the Prophet that he will not be the one to build the temple, he provided all the materials needed and also urged everyone to bring and the people obliged.
Then King David said to the whole assembly: “My son Solomon, the one whom God has chosen, is young and inexperienced. The task is great, because this palatial structure is not for man but for the LORD God. With all my resources I have provided for the temple of my God–gold for the gold work, silver for the silver, bronze for the bronze, iron for the iron and wood for the wood, as well as onyx for the settings, turquoise, stones of various colors, and all kinds of fine stone and marble–all of these in large quantities.
1 Chronicles 29:14
“But who am I, and who are my people, that we should be able to give as generously as this? Everything comes from you, and we have given you only what comes from your hand.
Maybe per your work, you are not able to go on mission and evangelism outside of your vicinity, but your financial contribution and support can help push the Gospel to the rest of the world.
The most important aspect of giving is: giving of ourselves first to the Lord and then we will have the right intent for our giving both to the poor and to the Church. Remember, there is more blessing in giving than receiving. Give the poor and to the church as a form of witnessing and the Lord who knows our hearts and knows our thoughts will bless you.
May God grant you good health and prosper you as you give.