11.14.23 | Discipleship | by David Gernhard


    Dr. Pepper used Queen’s song “I Want It All” in an advertising campaign to sell soda. The song celebrates discontentment and describes what modern economists call the engine of our economy - the consumer. “I want it all, I want it all, I want it all, and I want it now.” Dr. Pepper promised it all - or at least 23 flavors packed into one bold taste. Why settle for anything less?

    But God didn’t create us to be consumers. He created us to be caretakers, cultivators, producers, and stewards of His creation. He provides for His people what we need. In 1 Timothy 6, Paul instructs us: “Godliness with contentment is great gain,” and “set your hope on God, who richly provides us with everything,” and “be rich in good works, be generous and ready to share,” and “it is through the craving [of money] that some have wandered from the faith.”  In closing, he instructs us that instead of grasping for more (wanting it all!), we ought to “take hold of that which is truly life.”

    The call to contentment in 1 Timothy 6 is for us - each of us and every one of us. It's a call to consume less than we earn so that we are able to glorify God through the giving of tithes and offerings. The call is for volunteers who consume less of their weekends and Wednesday nights so that they may give that time to the church body. And it's a call for our ministers and lay leaders, that they might steward the contributions of the church well and manage each ministry’s budget with gratitude and contentment.

    God did not give us the church that we might be consumers of it, conforming it to the image of a Dr. Pepper commercial. The church does not vend worship, discipleship, love, good works, or encouragement to us like a soda machine. God gave us the church that we would participate in it and present our lives as a living sacrifice to each other: consuming less and giving more. 

    We are one body in Christ and individually members one of another. In Romans 12, Paul teaches that we each have been given gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, and these gifts are not for us to consume for our own satisfaction but to be shared. If our gifts are [of] 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.” 

    I am so thankful for the ministry of CPC and for every member as we participate in the life of the church with our gifts. They are a blessing from God and abundant in our church!  All the gifts of time, money, teaching, encouragement, mercy, and love, reflect the glory of Christ. Thank you - and praise be to God!
    And, as for the budget update, here is what God has provided for CPC through the year-to-date (“YTD”) period: 
                   YTD Giving through November 5 -    $1,137,620
                   (Prior Year 2022 Comparable YTD - $1,052,877)
                   Total 2023 Budget -                             $1,720,000
                   2023 Remaining Budget Need -        $582,380
    These numbers are presented to you so that you may thank and praise God for the faithful giving of His church, that you may pray for His continued provision as we near the end of the fiscal year, and that you may consider additional giving above your tithe as we approach year-end.
    May the ministry of CPC always be one of participation, glorifying God, and reflecting the love of Christ to each of us, our community, and the world.

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