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Weekly Stewardship Meditations

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Stewardship Meditation 9/25/2022

The Sixteenth Sunday after Pentecost

The poor man died and was carried by the angels to Abraham's side (Luke 16:22a). 

The Lazarus of Luke 16 (not the same as Lazarus of Bethany from John 11) is a powerful example of the grace of God at work to bring about a great reversal. Poor Lazarus had nothing in this world, no means to provide for himself, no benefactor to provide for him, and his only comfort was found at the end of dog’s tongue. Certainly, he had nothing to offer to God when his end came to merit the gift of heaven. Yet the promise of God is that everything has been paid already in the blood of Jesus and the kingdom of heaven and all its riches belong to the poor in spirit and to the least among us. Through the years, the women of the LWML have been collecting their tiny mites — things that seem insignificant in the eyes of the world — and yet these mites have added up to accomplish great things. In supporting missionaries and Gospel proclamation and mercy work, the riches of heaven have been showered upon those in need.  Many more have been called to lives of faith living in the hope of joining Lazarus at Abraham’s side in presence of God eternally. Gifts of Love seeks to help the LWML carry on its work for years to come through careful gift planning and legacy gifts. Please prayerfully consider utilizing and supporting this ministry so that, in Christ, the riches of heaven may be shared with many more for years to come.

Stewardship Meditation 9/18/2022

The Fifteenth Sunday after Pentecost

And I tell you, make friends for yourselves by means of unrighteous wealth, so that when it fails they may receive you into the eternal dwellings (Luke 16:9).

Material wealth, whether in great abundance or in small amounts, is a tremendous blessing from God. And yet, it is also a great source of temptation. Those who have are tempted to have more; those who do not have are tempted to get more. In this way, a blessing from God is changed into an idol that our sinful hearts pursue. We can either spend our lives chasing after material wealth, or we can use our material wealth, however great, in service for what is most needful. That, perhaps, is what our Lord means by these strange words today. As we seek to make use of our blessings in service to the kingdom of God, we are assured that when the end comes there will be those who have benefited from our generosity and will join us in the great company of saints in the eternal dwelling of heaven. The Gifts of Love ministry can work with you to examine your material blessings and guide you in how you might use them to be a blessing to your family, and to organizations like LWML who seek to bless the lives of those in need with the Gospel and mercy of Christ. Reach out to one of our counselors today and see how you can be a blessing through all that God has blessed you with as, together, we look forward to the eternal dwelling our Lord has prepared for us.

Stewardship Meditation 9/11/2022

The Fourteenth Sunday after Pentecost

‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep that was lost’ … ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found the coin that I had lost’ (Luke 15:6b, 9b). 

These two parables of the lost sheep and the lost coin set the stage for the capstone of the parables about the lost son (often called the Prodigal Son). In all of them, we see the joy that our Lord has, along with the whole company of heaven, over the lost being found and returned. Indeed, the Church on earth rejoices in welcoming home the lost into the family of God. This is part of what motivates the LWML in the work they have done for the past 80 years. Our zeal for the lost compels us to find ways to get the Gospel out into the world and to support those who have been called to serve as missionaries. There are sheep who have strayed and there are precious coins who are tucked away in the dark, dirty corners of the world who need the Lord to find them, to turn their hearts, and bring them into the life of the kingdom. As you consider ways to support the proclamation of the Gospel beyond your life on this earth, prayerfully consider working with one of our gift planning counselors with Gifts of Love. They can help you find ways to support Christ’s mission to seek and save the lost through organizations like LWML by leaving a legacy gift. As the Gospel goes out into the world, we are assured many more will be found, and that heaven will be filled with eternal rejoicing!

Stewardship Meditation 9/4/2022

The Thirteenth Sunday after Pentecost

“Salt is good, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored?” (Luke 14:34).

This is another tough set of words from our Lord. He talks about hating our family (v. 26), taking up a cross (v. 27), and putting aside everything for the sake of the kingdom (v. 33). While hard to hear, the truth is that with Christ, we have everything we need here and eternally. He seasons our life with His presence and He preserves us by His grace. And then, as Jesus says in Matthew, we are made to be the salt of the earth, seasoning those we meet with the Word of life and salvation. The warning, however, remains — without Christ, we are like salt that has lost its saltiness and our witness is equally tasteless. Through your support of LWML through the Gifts of Love ministry, you can assist in seasoning the world with the good salt of Christ for generations to come. Your gift will support missionaries, will aid in providing opportunities to be in the Word, and will encourage women and men to live lives of service, bringing salt and light and Christ Himself into the darkest of hearts and those in need of divine mercy. In this way, all may taste and see that the Lord is good (Psalm 34:8a) as they come to see that with Christ, they have everything they need eternally.

Stewardship Meditation 8/28/2022

The Eleventh Sunday after Pentecost

But when you give a feast, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you. For you will be repaid at the resurrection of the just” (Luke 14:13–14).

Throughout His earthly ministry, Jesus constantly showed his care for the least, the last, and the lost among the people of Israel, and beyond. While the populous may have forgotten them, the Lord always remembers. In this opening of the Parable of the Wedding Feast, He once again points out the least likely of recipients as those who deserve not just an invitation, but even the places of honor. While earthly returns may not be realized, Jesus promises a great repayment at the resurrection of the just. One of the ways that we can participate with Jesus in caring for the least among us is by setting up a charitable gift plan through Gifts of Love. Even after we have been called home to heaven, through support of organizations like LWML, we can continue to aid in bringing the mercy of Christ to bear on the least among the nations of the world, so that they may know His love. While we may not see the tangible evidence of such work now, God can use such gifts as a blessing to His people well into the future. The repayment for us will also not be in terms of monetary reward, but the privilege of sitting with the least, the last, and the lost ones like us at the wedding feast of the Lamb in His kingdom, which has no end!

Stewardship Meditation 8/21/2022

The Tenth Sunday after Pentecost

And people will come from east and west, and from north and south, and recline at table in the kingdom of God (Luke 13:29).

What a glorious promise this is from our Lord! On the great Last Day, we will find ourselves sitting at an unending feast with the multitudes of saints from around the globe. By God’s grace, the LWML rejoices in being part of our Lord’s work in the world as we joyfully proclaim Christ and support missions here and abroad. Through the Gifts of Love ministry, we seek to ensure that this work can carry on for generations to come, until that day when Christ returns to bring this promise to its fulfillment. Contact our gift planning counselors today, and allow them to assist you in putting a charitable gift plan in place. Also, prayerfully consider including LWML as part of that plan so that we may continue to serve the Lord with gladness as He has called us and may see many more saints around the table with us in the kingdom of God eternally!

Stewardship Meditation 8/14/2022

The Ninth Sunday after Pentecost

For from now on in one house there will be five divided, three against two and two against three (Luke 12:52).

One of the hardest things to witness surrounding a funeral is family members fighting over who gets what out of the deceased’s estate. One can almost see the words of Jesus coming true before their eyes as families are divided over stuff rather than being united around shared memories, familial love, and the comfort that their loved one is with the Lord. This is part of the reason why prayerfully considering what will happen with your blessings is so important. The Gifts of Love ministry was established to assist families with making these kinds of plans so that families are cared for, and if desired, ministries such as LWML can be supported. Additionally, our gift planning counselors can help you in crafting a Christian Preamble which can be added to your will so that you can leave behind a testimony to your faith in Christ and the hope of life eternal in His name. As the Lord wills, perhaps this can aid in avoiding division among families, and unite them to the living hope we have in Christ, our Lord.

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