But is it time to hold back from the Lord, to cut back on gifts to our Savior of time, talents, and treasure?
Not if we believe that everything we have and are comes from Him! Not if we believe that gospel ministry matters – for time and for eternity! Not a chance – now is the time to ramp up the use of our gifts for his service. Now is the time for grace-driven stewardship of all of our assets: treasure and time and talents.
Why now? Why not? If not now, when? Is there a “perfect” time to ramp up our personal efforts to serve the Lord in all the ways he provides? Is there a “perfect” time to ramp up our collective efforts to serve the ways through our Trinity Lutheran Church and School family?
As always, consider how God gives to us. Does he ever say, “Sorry, I really don’t have time for you right now…Sorry, I don’t have the resources to keep you moving forward…Sorry, I’m really stressed out; I’m trying to keep the universe from spinning out of control...Sorry, it’s just not a good time right now.”
Instead he says, “I have loved you with an everlasting love. Never will I leave you. Never will I forsake you. I forgive you. I love you unconditionally. I will always be with you.” Quoting Isaiah 49:8, the Lord says, “In the time of my favor I heard you, and in the day of salvation I helped you.” (1 Corinthians 6:2a) Responding to this, the apostle Paul urges, “I tell you, now is the time of God’s favor, now is the day of salvation.” (v. 2b)
Psalm 92 is one of many wonderful Psalms of praise. I especially enjoy reading through a portion of a Psalm in the early morning. Here are words that inspired me early Monday morning:
1 It is good to give thanks to the Lord,
to make music to your name, O Most High,
2 to proclaim your mercy in the morning
and your faithfulness every night…
4 Yes, you make me glad by your work, O Lord.
I sing loudly at the works of your hands.
5 How great are your works, O Lord.
Your thoughts are very deep!
12 The righteous will shoot up like a palm tree.
They will grow tall like a cedar in Lebanon.
13 Planted in the house of the Lord,
they will shoot up in the courtyards of our God.
14 They will still produce fruit in old age.
They will stay fresh and green.
15 Yes, they can proclaim, “The Lord is upright.
He is my Rock, and he does no wrong.”
To God alone be the glory!
Pastor Stephen Luchterhand