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Weekly Stewardship Meditations

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The Second Sunday in Lent

Then Jesus answered her, “O woman, great is your faith! Be it done for you as you desire” (Matthew 15:28a).

The Canaanite woman wasn’t looking for much — crumbs from the Master’s table would suffice. This is what made her faith great as she understood that even the smallest amount of action from her Lord could accomplish something great. In many ways, this is what LWML believes, too. Through small things like mite offerings, God is doing amazing things around the world in bringing the Gospel light into peoples’ lives. Gifts of Love is a ministry which supports that work, so the LWML can devote more of its time and resources to the mission work they embrace and the spiritual growth they help to cultivate. Prayerfully consider supporting the Gifts of Love ministry now or in the future. Our gift planning counselors can help you with understanding your options. Even small amounts can have a huge impact for the sake of the Gospel so that many more may be called to faith, a faith that sees Christ as the great healer and life-giver.

The First Sunday in Lent

Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil (Matthew 4:1).

In an interesting turn of events after Jesus’ baptism, the God who tempts no one (James 1:13) is led out into the wilderness to be tempted by Satan. One of those temptations was to have all the kingdoms of the world, something with which many are tempted today. Our temptation is to hold on to our things, to garner more for ourselves, and to build our little kingdom on earth. It is a temptation to rely not on God, but on ourselves. This is a temptation that our Lord has overcome, and has even overcome the Tempter as well. Because Christ has overcome, we can face the future with confidence knowing that we do not need to build our kingdom, but can be generous in supporting the building of Christ’s eternal kingdom. Our gift planning counselors can work with you to see how you can care for your family as well as generously support organizations like the LWML who work to bring the Gospel to the world. The Gospel helps all of God’s children to face temptation in faith, knowing that Christ has already won the battle with Satan, and promises us the fulness of His eternal kingdom.

Quinquagesima

And he cried out, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” (Luke 18:38b).

If there is anything that the last year has taught us, it is that when we put our trust in the things of this world, it will surely fail. Many have been left without much to hold on to in their lives and not much hope that things will get better anytime soon. Whether it is a global pandemic or a personal tragedy, Christians always know where they can go for help and mercy: Jesus. Like the blind beggar, we cry out to our Lord who hears and answers us and delivers what we need the most. The LWML seeks to share Christ in all that they do, to point people to the true source of mercy and life. Please consider how you might leave a planned gift through Gifts of Love so that this work may continue. With your help, no one will be left blind on the side of the road, begging for someone to show them mercy. Instead, they will know by faith to call upon the Lord and will see His goodness given to them as they are brought into the riches of the kingdom.

Sexagesima

As for that in the good soil, they are those who, hearing the word, hold it fast in an honest and good heart, and bear fruit with patience (Luke 8:15).

The Word of the Lord endures forever. That phrase was one of the clarion calls of the Reformation, and it is one that still holds true today. In fact, it is why we continue to gather as God’s people, and it is why we seek to spread the Word far and wide: the Word endures and it speaks to every generation of the grace and forgiveness of God. Your life of faith is evidence of God’s enduring Word, a Word that was planted into your heart and fills you with hope. Gifts of Love seeks to support the ongoing proclamation of that Word into all generations, allowing you to share what has been sown in you with countless others. As you think about the future, planning for the benefit of your family and the organizations that are dear to you, know that the promise of our Lord is true when it comes to His Word. When the Divine Sower scatters seed, it will be planted and held fast in honest and good hearts, bearing fruit for the kingdom of God.

Septuagesima

Am I not allowed to do what I choose with what belongs to me? Or do you begrudge my generosity? (Matthew 20:15).

There is no mistaking it: the master of the vineyard is a generous man. His desire is to have people engaged in the vineyard and for no one to be idle. And then, at the end of the day, he gives everyone the same gift — the same blessing. Such is the picture of our God who is always generous, desiring only that all people would enjoy being part of His kingdom so that He might graciously bring them into the life of heaven. The heart of our God certainly gives us pause to consider how we might respond. Do we begrudge His generosity, or do we welcome the blessing for us and all people? God has given us all that He has, including His Son, so that we would be part of His kingdom. In response, the Spirit leads us to respond in generosity as well, and part of that is considering how we can support the work of Christ in calling more people into His vineyard. Our gift planning counselors can help you look ahead and find ways that you can be generous with all that God has entrusted to you so that the work of the Gospel may go forth, declaring the generous nature of our Father who, in the end, gives to us all the same blessing: eternal life!

The Transfiguration of Our Lord

But Jesus came and touched them, saying, “Rise, and have no fear” (Matthew 17:7).

Coming into the presence of the Lord is indeed a terrifying thing. That which is unholy cannot be in the presence of the holy God. Yet, with Jesus, there is nothing to fear. He has made atonement for us, He has returned us to a right relationship with our Father, and He is with us all our days until He says to us, “rise,” in the resurrection. This glorious vision of the Transfiguration points ahead to the time of our own life in the glory of the kingdom of God. Because this future is so certain, we can live, even now, without fear, for the Lord is with us, too. How comforting it is to live knowing what will be ours some day in God’s kingdom! Would that all people lived in such confidence! Through Gifts of Love, you can help the work of missionaries for years to come so that, through the Word and through acts of mercy, the presence of Christ may be known as He touches the hearts of His people. And with His presence, there is then no fear, and there is the promise that we, too, shall rise and be glorified with Christ eternally.

The Second Sunday after Epiphany

This, the first of his signs, Jesus did at Cana in Galilee, and manifested his glory. And his disciples believed in him (John 2:11).

You’ve probably heard a phrase that goes something like, “the signs are everywhere if you have but eyes to see them.” By itself, this phrase could mean just about anything, but when John talks about signs, he is talking about signs which point to the glory of Christ. Water into wine is good, but all of Jesus’ signs are pointing us toward the ultimate sign of His own death and resurrection for the salvation of the world. Now, the signs of God’s salvation and of His love for us are all around us, if we have but eyes to see them and ears to hear them. Such is the joyful task of the Christian, to point people to the signs, and in doing so, point them to Jesus Himself. This is part of what the LWML seeks to do, not only for the women of the Church, but for the world: show everyone the signs so that disciples may believe in Him. Gifts of Love is one component of the LWML’s work, ensuring that the task the Lord has given may be accomplished well into the future, and that the glory of Christ may be manifest among us, too.

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