Grateful Living Director (NNSW Stewardship)
Welcome to a whole new level of Christ-centred, abundant living! To celebrate the Biblical fact that faithful stewardship is about more than just money, we’ve changed our department’s focus to Grateful Living.
Yes, we’ll still share about tithe and offerings, because our management of material blessings is often an indicator of how the rest of our commitments to God are going, but we will also be attempting to ensure that we all experience an even broader and more abundant understanding of stewardship.
True stewardship accepts Jesus Christ, not only as our Saviour, but also as the Lord of our whole lives.
The mission of the NNSW Grateful Living Department is to inspire and equip every member to, "Experience the joy of whole-of-life giving so that we can impact the world for the glory of our God, who loved us so much that he gave.”
“If there is anyone who should be continually grateful, it is the Christian. If there is anyone who enjoys happiness, even in this life, it is the faithful follower of Jesus Christ.” Ellen G. White, Child Guidance, p.147
We believe that God invites us to be faithful managers of everything that He so generously gives us, and we do this by dedicating every aspect of our lives to His service. An easy way to remember this is by the eight T’s of Grateful Living:1. Time – dedicating time every day to God and His work (Psalms 90:12; Ephesians 5:15-16)
2. Talents – using my God-given abilities to serve Him (Matthew 25:14-30)
3. Treasure – tithes, offerings, donations and investments (Malachi 3:8-2; Matthew 6:19-24)
4. Temple – caring for my mind and body for God’s service (1 Corinthians 3:16-17)
5. Testimony – faithfully sharing what God is doing in my life (Luke 8:39; Revelation 12:11)
6. Tribe – caring for family at home, church and worldwide (Deuteronomy 6:6-7, 20-25)
7. Territory – caring for my land and the environment (Genesis 2:15; Revelation 11:18)
8. Truth – faithfully protecting and sharing God’s Word (Matthew 28:19-20; Romans 1:16)“Nothing tends more to promote health of body and of soul than does a spirit of gratitude and praise.” Ellen G. White, Ministry of Healing, p. 251
Faithful through fires & COVID by Dick Duerksen
Abundio Reyes is 76 years old, a farm labourer who came to the United States many years ago, a faithful member of the Medford Spanish Seventh-day Adventist church in Southern Oregon.
Abundio is single, 76 years old, an immigrant who speaks no English and has never attended school. A good farm worker. A Seventh-day Adventist who learned about God from an Adventist friend who taught him to read by studying a Spanish Bible.
“It’s been hard being a church member this year,” Abundio says. “COVID made it so we couldn’t have services, and I do not have a way to Zoom the videos. But, I have studied and prayed much.”
On Tuesday, September 8 of this year, a small fire started near Abundio’s mobile home. With perfect timing, a 75 kph wind blew up from the southern mountains, fanning the fire like a blowtorch, its swirling flames consuming everything for 8 miles between Interstate 5 and Highway 99. That blaze, now known as the Alameda Fire, burned through the communities of Talent and Phoenix in short order.
Abundio lived in Talent, in a mobile home beside Highway 99. The fire took everything he owned – except the clothes he was wearing. His mobile home? Gone. His clothes? Gone. His hat and jacket? Gone. His medicines? Gone.
Church members immediately made a temporary home for him in the church, worked out his medications, brought him bags filled with necessities, and made sure he had a new jacket and more than enough to eat. “Abundio was,” they said, “very sad.”
A couple days later they had found a small apartment that Abundio and a friend could stay in. That afternoon Abundio found Pastor Cuenca at the church and handed him a fat envelope. “My tithes,” Abundio told Pastor Cuenca. Inside the envelope was $920 in crisp United States cash.
“I have not been able to come to church this year and so have been keeping my tithe in the bank waiting for when I could bring this money to the church. Is it OK to give this to you today?”
“Yes, I have lost everything and have many needs, but I read in the Bible where Jesus says we are to give to God what is His, and my tithe is His Holy Money. It is not mine.” “Do not worry Pastor. I belong to God. He will take care of me.”
(Source: Oregon Conference of Seventh-day Adventists – accessed 28 October 2020)
One of the most amazing promises in all the Bible is found in the third chapter of Malachi, where God invites us to literally test Him. He wants us to try Him and see whether He is faithful. He invites us to cheerfully return 10% of our increase (a tithe) to His storehouse, as our acknowledgement that He is the supplier of all that we have, and then to watch as He blesses us in many areas of our lives. It’s as if God is placing a signed contract on the table and saying, “I promise to open heaven to you, if you will just sign this contract by faithfully bringing your tithes and offerings into my storehouse.” What an amazing God we serve!
This simple, animated, three-minute video is an excellent way of letting your church members know where their tithe goes.
This is Abraham. He is a Maasai cattle owner from Tanzania. He can’t read or write but he decided he would be faithful with his trust and miracles followed!
Want some more short videos about tithing to show in church?
Our weekly offerings are a sign of our thankfulness towards God. They show our desire to use a portion of His material gifts to advance the growth of His kingdom. John Wesley summarised the Biblical principles of Christian money management when he said, “Christians should work as hard as they can in order to earn as much as they can, and then spend as little as they can in order to give all that they can.” When we begin to understand the incredible gift that God has given us in Jesus Christ, our hearts are touched and we want to do all we can to show our love for Him by supporting His mission.
Grateful Living Leads to Cheerful Giving
“For God so loved the world that He gave …”