I successfully avoided temptation yesterday. I’m not talking about the cheesecake left in the fridge at church (although I avoided that too!) I’m talking about an email I received. I had a ten dollar reward certificate to Eddie Bauer that expired today. Additionally, they had 40% off everything! Now, you may not know this about me, but Eddie Bauer is my favorite clothing store, especially during the fall! I saw a new Henley or sweatshirt in my future, just in time for the cooler fall weather! So, I checked our budget and saw that we had to have a plumber out and we had bought Hannah some fall and winter clothes earlier this month. We just didn’t have enough left in our budget, so I reluctantly let my certificate expire.
That is one of several reasons why we pledge. By pledging a specific amount, we include it in our budget like our mortgage, student loans, or utilities. It is a way of putting God into all of our decisions. When we bought a new car this past year, we looked at our budget to see if we can afford it. Our pledge was part of that decision, as it is part of every decision we make.
The bigger reason is that we aren’t giving to God out of what is left. Practically, there often isn’t as much left at the end of the month as we would like and we wouldn’t be able to give as much to the church as we could. Secondly, and more importantly, God has given us so much and God did not give to us out of what is left, but out of the completeness of God’s love!
This Sunday is our Celebration Sunday, and we will pledge ourselves to UPB’s ministry for the upcoming year. As you prayerfully consider what to pledge, I ask that you to prayerfully consider how you give. Does your gift reflect the completeness of God’s love or do you give over what is left?
2 Corinthians 9:7 7 Each of you must give as you have made up your mind, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.