Stories are powerful. They inspire, encourage, and capture us. They draw from us a myriad of emotions. I remember as a child, my mom reading The Chronicles of Narnia to my brother and me every morning at the breakfast table. I was instantaneously transported to a land of fantasy and intrigue over a bowl of Life cereal.
Today, we read stirring stories in the Bible of God’s provision and faithfulness. We hear of God providing food and water for Moses and the wandering Israelites (Exodus 16-17), delivering Daniel from the mouths of hungry lions (Daniel 6), and producing oil for a widow to sell so her sons would be saved from slavery (2 Kings 4).
We personally hear amazing stories of God providing for people in truly miraculous ways. We have listened to people tell their stories of how they received an unexpected check in the mailbox, or a refund in the exact amount needed for an unforeseen expense, or how someone had an available refrigerator at the exact time that theirs went out.
But just like listening to a story about Narnia, we have only heard, we have not experienced. A lot of us do not have our own stories of God’s faithfulness and provision that we can share.
The potential for the writing of some our own stories is one of the main reasons I am excited about the “40 Days of Giving Challenge.” If you missed last Sunday, it is based out of Malachi 3.8-10. The people had not been faithful in bringing their tithes and offerings to God and were guilty of robbing Him. For the first time in Scripture God tells them to put Him to the test by giving to Him what is rightfully His. He tells them that if they do this, He will “pour out a blessing until there is no more need.”
We have the opportunity to do a few things through these 40 days. First, we have the opportunity to become the kind of sacrificial, cheerful giver that God loves (2 Corinthians 9.6-7, 2 Corinthians 8.2-3). Secondly, we have the opportunity to grow in our trust of God through giving (2 Corinthians 9.8). And thirdly, we have the opportunity to become part of the story of what God is going to do in these 40 days (Malachi 3.10; Proverbs 3.9-10).
We have already begun to hear stories of God’s blessings in the lives of those who have committed to becoming a more God-honoring and trusting giver. God is already demonstrating His faithfulness and we wait with anticipation to see how this chapter of the story of The River Church is going to be written. We invite you to contribute a page to this story… to God’s story… to your story… to our story.
Let us hear your story of how God blesses you in these 40 days. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or drop us a note in the offering basket or in one of the black boxes located at the rear of the auditorium.