Friday, September 11, 2015

Bishop’s Note: September 10, 2015 Gifts of the Holy Spirit – Giving

Bishop Eric Menees

As we continue our examination of the Gifts of the Holy Spirit, we look this week at the gift of Giving. St. Paul refers to this gift in his letter to the Romans:

Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith; if service, in our serving; the one who teaches, in his teaching; the one who exhorts, in his exhortation; the one who contributes, in generosity; the one who leads, with zeal; the one who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness. (Romans 12:6-8)

“...the one who contributes, in generosity....” The Spiritual Gift of Giving is an essential gift to the life of the community. We are, all of us, called to follow the biblical standard of giving 10% of all that we have - our time, treasure, and talent - to the Lord through His Church. However, in every generation and in every community, the Lord moves the hearts and minds of individuals to give above and beyond the tithe. These men and women have contributed to building great cathedrals, hospitals, schools, and orphanages, and have made possible the defense of this diocese from the lawsuits levied against us.

The one with the Spiritual Gift of Giving loves to give of their time, treasurer, and talent as a way of blessing others and promoting the Gospel of Jesus Christ. He or she is a person of faith who recognizes that God provides for every need and is willing to offer themselves and their material possessions as instruments for the Lord’s work!  

The person anointed with the gift of giving also gives without expectation of receiving anything in return - no fanfare, no attention, no special favors.  St. Paul said it perfectly in his Second Epistle to the Church in Corinth:

The point is this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each one must give as he has decided in his heart,  not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work. (2 Corinthians 9:6-8)

Pray that the Lord of the Harvest will send givers into the harvest to aid our church plants, missions, parishes, and the diocese in our mission: “To equip, train, support, and encourage the clergy and lay leaders of the diocese to bring people to a saving relationship with Jesus Christ."

I pray you all to truly blessed and joyful week!

Catechism Questions 153 - 155

153.    Why should you pray?
I should pray, first, because God calls me so to do; second, because I desire to know God and be known by him; third, because I need the grace and consolation of the Holy Spirit; and fourth, because God responds to the prayers of his people. (Luke 11:13)

154.    What should you pray?
In addition to my own prayers, I should pray the Lord’s Prayer, the Psalms, and the collected prayers of the Church.

155.     When should you pray?

I should pray morning, noon, and night, and whenever I am aware of my need for God’s special grace. And I should learn “to pray without ceasing” as I grow in knowledge of God’s nearness. (Psalm 55:17; Daniel 6:10-13; Matthew 15:21-28; 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18; Hebrews 4:16)

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