As the faith promises continue to pour in from our staff missionaries around the world, as well as those who were out of town this week, the new total now stands at $103,230 (over $930 from last year’s). But it is hard to get excited over something it you don’t even know what it is! On a few of the Sundays leading up to missions conference, John Pearson and Pastor Gardner helped teach our church just what faith promise is.
The faith promise offering is the amount of money a church promises, by faith, to give over the coming year to the cause of Missions throughout the coming year. This idea, which was first started by J. Oswald Smith in the mid-1900s, has spread to many churches. But, as pastor reminded us several times, there are two important things to remember about faith promise:
1. There are no rules.
2. If anyone says there are rules, see #1
A Biblical example of faith promise is found in II Cor. 8. At this time, there was a severe famine and financial hardship in Jerusalem. So to help relieve the saints, Paul had been collecting money from some of the other churches. The church at Corinth had made a promise, in faith, of a certain amount they were going to give towards the church. Several important things are to be noted about this offering:
1. The amount they said they were to give was given according to what they were able to give. They looked at what God had blessed them with and said, “We can give this much based on what we have”.
2. There is no obligation. They wanted to give. The gift was based on their love for the Lord and other Christians. There is not going to be someone who comes demanding their gift and punishing them if they do not give.
3. Before they gave their offering, they had already given themselves to the Lord.
The promises you made this year are between you and God. They were promises made out of a deep love for him. This coming year, let that love and dedication show brightly in everything you do.