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  • Pastor Linda Settles

The Invitation: To Give

“I have no gift to bring that’s fit to give a King,” spoken by the little drummer boy. These lyrics from a cute Christmas song ring in our own heads too, don’t they? How many times have you thought that your gift isn’t good enough? Or worse yet, that you have absolutely nothing, no gift to bring to the Lord? Many times, when sermons are preached or lessons are taught about giving, the focus is on financial giving. Giving of our finances is important, and we are to “bring the full tithe into the storehouse” as Malachi 3:10 instructs us to do. However, there’s more to giving than money. The little drummer boy had nothing but his drum, so he played his drum for Jesus. The ox and the lamb even gave by keeping time! So, we see that there are many ways that we can give to the Lord. Forgive and you will be forgiven; give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap; for the measure you give will be the measure you get back.” Luke 6:37b-38, NRSV Do you see the reciprocal effect of giving? Jesus invites us to give and when we give, we will receive a good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over blessings! Now, don’t get this wrong – we don’t give in order to get. This isn’t a prosperity gospel! But when you give love to others - love comes back to you, running over! When you show compassion, you receive so much more in return. I cannot tell you how many times people have volunteered to serve others and the result was that they were blessed in the process. “For the measure you give will be the measure you get back.” So could it be that if you want to see more love in the world – you need to give more love to the world? What if we were to spread more joy? Maybe more joy would come back! And don’t forget about forgiveness. I know, that’s not something that we give away so quickly, but remember the prayer that Jesus taught the disciples: “And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us” Matthew 6:12. What would happen if we forgave more? What would happen if all of us forgave more, if the whole world forgave more? Violence would decrease, attitudes would adjust, and life would be much more pleasant. Pressed down, shaken together, and running over with joy! So, what do you have to give? ALL of you. Give yourself wholeheartedly to Jesus and look for the “running over” blessing! This Sunday we continue the sermon series: The Invitation by looking at The Invitation to Give. What does it mean to give yourself to Jesus? To register for worship, you can sign up at https://rsvp.church/r/gVufUAP4 . You can also join us via live stream on Facebook at 10:00am. The livestream video will be available at 11 a.m. at www.umcgt.org. September is our month of service. I encourage you to think about the ways in which you can give yourself in service to the Lord through the ministries of Green Trails Church. Then after you’ve thought about it – act on it! You can find our service opportunities on the website at this link: https://www.umcgt.org/lent-2021-service-challenge. The biggest one is coming up on September 25 – Feed the 5000! We weren’t able to do it last year, but this year it is being organized by one of our youth, Gavin Hughes, for his Eagle Scout project! If you haven’t signed up yet, please go to the website or call the office and sign up for a shift. Remember, we will be blessing thousands of families with a simple gesture of a few hours! Can we do it? Yes we can! As I’ve told you before, and I’ll say it again, I am so humbled by the amazingly generous hearts of the people of Green Trails Church! You do so many things behind the scenes that no one knows about – but God. May God’s grace be all-sufficient and may His love keep you and give you “running over” blessings! Blessings, Pastor Linda

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