Over the past three weeks, we talked about Forging Our Future. If we are a people of his presence, then our lives will reflect the values and priorities of the King and his kingdom regarding our finances and stewardship.
It is the Lord’s presence that is our great promise, our great inheritance. God promised to be with us, to never leave us nor to forsake us (Joshua 1:5; Matthew 28:20). The Lord has given us great promises, plans, purposes, and prophetic words. But God’s most amazing gift is his presence with us. Calvary, we are a people of the Lord’s presence. The Lord’s presence is everything. If we get God, we get everything else.
So, we are forging our future with God, in God, and through God, and we are forging our future together as the community of his presence. Forging Our Future is done together– with God and with each other.
I want to encourage you to listen to those messages online or to watch the videos on demand. And, I want to invite you to participate in our financial and pledge campaign.
In Forging Our Future Part 1 and Part 2, we talked about forging our future together in the areas of finances and stewardship. In the Scripture, the Lord talks a lot about money, stewardship, giving, tithing, offerings, and resources. We talked about 8 values and principles by which we live as members of God’s kingdom family that help us to align with the economy of the Kingdom of God.
In Forging our Future Part 3, we talked about where we are headed with the Lord. And, we talked about some of the things the Lord is doing currently. The Lord is leading and inviting us to partner with him.
When Joshua and the people of Israel entered their promised land, they faced obstacles, adversaries, and challenges.
The same thing is true for us in our journey. Currently, we face a financial obstacle that we need to rise up and overcome in the months ahead.
In order to tackle our current financial situation, we want to come together through the Forging Our Future Fundraising and Pledge Campaign. Over the next 4 months, from July 11 – October 31, we will seek to raise a special offering to meet some needs. This special offering is over and above our regular tithes and offerings. Our goal for the Forging Our Future Fundraising and Pledge Campaign is to raise $160,000.
The special offering goal of $160,000 includes:
- Addressing our projected shortfall (July – December) of $102,500.
- Tithing to meet Myanmar needs from our special offering. One of our guiding principles is to tithe on special offerings. We have significant requests from the missionaries, pastors, and church planters over the past 3 years.
- Funding some specific needs:
- The replacement of one broken a/c unit in the Prayer Room: $20,000.
- The cost of a replacement keyboard for the prayer room: $3,500.
- Vacation Bible School: $6,500.
- And various other expenses.
In facing this obstacle together, we get a chance to grow in our individual and corporate capacity to dialogue with the Lord, to obey the Lord, and to step out in faith in the Lord.
- Dialogue with the Lord (1 Samuel 30:8; Psalm 27:4 ESV). (See the sermon notes for Forging Our Future Part 3 on inquiring of the Lord.)
- Obey the Lord (2 Corinthians 8:7).
- Step out in faith in the Lord (Philippians 4:14-19; Matthew 6:33; 2 Corinthians 9:8, 11).
Call to action:
- We are inviting every member and regular attender of Calvary to please fill out the Forging Our Future response card. (See the graphic below and my sermon notes for Forging Our Future Part 3.)
- We are asking every member and regular attender of Calvary to please turn in your response card by July 25, letting us know how you will participate in this fundraising and pledge campaign. Let us know if you are giving a one-time amount, or if you are going to give a monthly amount. (Soon, you will be able to fill out this response card online.)
- Please accept this invitation to participate.
- I want to invite everyone to participate in this campaign.
- We are not asking everyone to give the same amount.
- We are asking everyone to listen to the Lord and to give something in faith as unto the Lord.
The power of sacrifice:
Sacrifice carries great power in the Spirit. God’s blessings flow through sacrifice. The whole OT Jewish faith was built around sacrifice. Then, God flips the deck and makes the biggest sacrifice of all—Jesus on the cross. Think of the blessings that the sacrifice of Jesus unleashed on the world and our lives: mercy, forgiveness, eternal life, new creation, new beginnings, and much more. Here is another testimony about the power of Christ’s sacrifice:
When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your sinful nature, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, 14 having canceled the written code, with its regulations, that was against us and that stood opposed to us; he took it away, nailing it to the cross. 15 And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross (Colossians 2:13-15).
David said he would not give to God that which costs him nothing (2 Samuel 24:24). This man after God’s own heart was a man of sacrifice, just like his Father God is a sacrificer. The widow’s mite is another example of sacrifice, which gets the attention of God (Luke 21:1–4). And, remember the sacrifice of the Macedonian churches.
And now, brothers, we want you to know about the grace that God has given the Macedonian churches. 2 Out of the most severe trial, their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity. 3 For I testify that they gave as much as they were able, and even beyond their ability (2 Corinthians 8:1-3).
Sacrifice carries great power and impact in the Spirit. We are Forging Our Future together with God and one another.
Thanks for being on this journey with the Lord and with us. These are exciting times, and we have the opportunity to rise up to the challenge with the Lord helping us.