A man was driving through the countryside when the beauty of a certain farm caught his eye. The fences, house, and barn were clean and painted. A row of shade trees led from the road to the house, which was encircled by a green, freshly cut lawn, lush shrubs, and colorful flowers. The fields were abundant with crops.

When the farmer, who was working one of the fields, got to the end of a row, the man called to him. “God certainly has given you a beautiful place.” “Yes, He has and I’m grateful,” replied the farmer. Then he paused for a moment and surveyed his land.  “But you should have seen it when He had it all to Himself.”

Though it brings a chuckle, this story also carries a special message for us. It tells us that God is lavish with what He gives His stewards, but He expects much more from them in return. Everything belongs to God. After all, He brought this entire universe into existence from nothing. While at our best, we can only make something out of what already exists. So there should be no doubt that our Lord can do anything He wants, or that He can get the job done any time He so desires.

No, God doesn’t need us in order to accomplish anything. But He has created a unique relationship with us. What He wants for us and the world is to know Him in a very personal way. Thus, in His gracious providence, our loving Creator has allowed us to experience the joy of giving and having a part in His work. He has made us His stewards, His agents appointed to supervise His affairs. As such, we manage His property, His finances, and His household.

In Ecclesiastes, Scripture tells us there is a time for everything, “a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted.” This is an important time in our church. It’s the time we plant–the time of year we must intentionally choose to be a part of God’s purpose and plan through our giving. It’s time we keep our eyes on Him and have faith that He can accomplish great things through us.  Let’s heed God’s command, “Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.”

See you Sunday!