Stewardship Communications Blog
Sep 7

Written by: Melissa Holmes
9/7/2016 2:34 PM 

 I have heard that JOY can stand for “Jesus, Others, and You.” When you think about this, following this acronym is a great way to prioritize your living and your giving. Jesus provides us examples of this in his teachings. Jesus tell us in Matthew 6:33 to “seek first his kingdom and righteousness and all these things will be given to you as well.” Jesus states that the two greatest commandments are “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, . . . and love your neighbor as yourself (Matthew 22:37, 39).”

We are called to give as a part of living as a disciple of Jesus. As one article notes, “A strange phenomenon happens when we give. The greater the generosity and the greater the sacrifice, the greater the joy. Joy, according to some authors, is impossible without generosity. And as one author states, joy is the infallible sign of God's presence.”

Generous people have joyful and grateful hearts and know that all they have is from God. I read this in one article and agree with it: “Find a generous person and you will find contentment, gratitude, humility, love, joy, and compassion. The person cannot help but be generous because everything he/she is and has is tied up in relation to God.”

What really brings you joy? True, lasting joy is not found in material possessions, wealth, power, status, or many of the other things the world chases after to find joy and happiness. True joy is ultimately found in our relationship with God developed through loving, knowing, trusting, and obeying him, and living as a disciple of Jesus by following his example of serving others and giving generously. True joy involves a life of giving - giving of our time, talents, and money so we can be a blessing to others and make a difference in this world. 

In October, we will have an opportunity to give to God a portion of what he has given to us to demonstrate that we not only believe in, but also live a life of joy. You will receive further information in the mail about this opportunity in late September.

In the meantime, please use the following prayer each day to prepare your hearts for living for and giving to God.

Heavenly Father, help me be content. Whether I have little or much, help me to always live generously in a greedy, selfish world and to find my greatest joy in following and serving you. You are my Provider and you meet all my needs. Every good thing I have in life comes from you. Lord, help me to live faithfully and share joyfully and generously with all you have given me, including the money you have entrusted me with. In Jesus’ precious name, Amen.