From 26 November to 10 December in Grace Church we held three Special Offering Sundays. On each of those Sundays we looked together at times in the Bible when God’s people came together and gave. Sometimes they were giving for the poor, sometimes for mission, sometimes to build the church. But it was always with joy, always voluntarily given and always with overflowing generosity. In short, their giving was always a tangible expression of their total devotion to God.
At Christmas time we remember how the Wise Men sought out the new king Jesus so that they could worship him. When they eventually found him in Bethlehem it says that they bowed down and worshipped, and then they opened up their treasures and gave gifts.
I have always known that Grace Church is a worshipping church. I see it every time we gather and especially through our worship times on a Sunday morning. But it is particularly humbling and moving to see that worship expressed again through remarkable levels of sacrificial giving.
offering was more
than we could
When we added all that up it came to around £85,000. That was a massive target which exceeds anything that Grace Church has given on previous occasions. Nonetheless, I felt God tell me to set my sights even higher and believe for £100,000. So, with some trepidation I shared this target with the church in September. And then instantly wished I hadn’t – surely a six-figure offering was more than we could achieve?!
Well, the total that the people of Grace Church have given in this Special Offering is this:
I am totally blown away by this. Literally moved to tears. Thank you, thank you, thank you. Beyond gratitude (and perhaps a little sense of relief!) I am mostly excited for what this means for the future. God does not hold back in his Word from making bold promises to his people in the area of giving. He talks about giving back to us “a good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over” (Luke 6:38). He talks about “throwing open the floodgates of heaven and pouring out so much blessing that we will not have room enough for it” (Malachi 3:10). This is what I am excited to see!
So, once again, thank you. Let’s continue to press on together in faith as we move into 2018.