There are two reasons that giving is important to me: 1) The church at the corner of Clairemont and Commerce is important to me and 2) I owe a debt of gratitude to Jesus Christ.
I think that it is important for our church to give to Decatur-area Emergency Assistance Ministry, and to Decatur Cooperative Ministry, and to Edgewood Church. I have an obligation to support those of Christ's children who find themselves in a position of need. To me it is important to give to Cooperative Baptist Fellowship: to do my part to spread the good news of Jesus' death, resurrection, forgiveness, and never-ending love both here and far away. For me, these considerations leave no doubt that I want to give as generously as possible. I can’t sit in a pew at FBC Decatur Sunday after Sunday and not care about the work we do on behalf of Jesus Christ. Giving generously to the church at the corner of Clairemont and Commerce is the most important way I can say that Jesus is important to me and that I care about the work that we do in his name.
Do I owe Jesus Christ anything? Do I owe him anything for having left his place of power, honor, and splendor to walk among us to love and heal, only to be rejected and reviled by us? Do I owe the sinless Jesus anything for having been willing to die the shameful death reserved for the vilest of criminals so that I can one day stand blameless before his father? Do I owe Jesus anything? The answer is yes, a resounding yes – I owe him everything! I owe him gratitude for having conquered sin and death so that my last breath on this earth is really not the end. I owe him gratitude for the abundant life he gives me in this life and that continues on the other side. I owe him gratitude for showing me what unconditional love looks like, for showing me what unconditional forgiveness looks like, and for showing me what it means to love the least among us. Yes, I really do owe Jesus everything and when I admit that Jesus means everything to me, I must give generously to his church. Because this church in Decatur really is the church of Jesus Christ. And because this is the church of Jesus Christ, I will do everything in my power to love and support his church.