During the Together Initiative, we referred to 2 Corinthians 8 and 9 regularly. Why? Paul expertly paints the picture of the role of generosity in the Christian life and how we can look to Jesus as our example in generosity. But we have more connections to these chapters than just a general theological connection. We are now in the same position as the Corinthians.
It Was Time to Finish What They Started
The reason Paul was calling the Corinthians to generosity was that Jerusalem was being hit with a severe famine and the churches there were suffering from hunger. The Corinthians were eager to give and had committed to do so. Paul wanted to make sure that the Corinthians would see their commitment through: “And in this matter I am giving advice because it is profitable for you, who began last year not only to do something but also to want to do it. Now also finish the task, so that just as there was an eager desire, there may also be a completion, according to what you have” (2 Cor. 8:10-11).
It Is Time to Finish What We Started
Mercy Hill, it is clear from the statement of our commitments that want to be involved generously in the mission of God. Through the Together Initiative, we have seen around 800 people take a move up the generosity ladder; 300 of those people are giving to Mercy Hill (or to any church for that matter) for the very first time. Praise God for what he has done in our hearts! He is taking the gospel message and using it to chisel down the still-stony parts of our heart and replacing them with flesh that is moldable to his will. That is what God constantly does in a Christian’s life, and we have seen it first hand at Mercy Hill.
Yet, our commitments of over $9.8 million are just that: commitments. It is now time for us to “finish the task, so that just as there was an eager desire, there may also be a completion.” This means we need to keep our commitments in the forefront of our mind and put in place guards on our finances so that we can honor those commitments. Whether that means the simple things like making a budget, eating beans and rice, cancelling unnecessary subscriptions, etc. or big things like selling the things we want but don’t need or toning down our Christmas gifts, our goal for the next two years is to not only complete our commitment, but to do so with eagerness. Two years is a long time, and there are going to be many “emergencies” that will try to excuse us from giving—some legitimate, others not so legitimate. Let’s put the safeguards in place now.
This past weekend’s services were entitled “Big Give Weekend.” This was the kickoff for people that wanted to start giving to Together early and for those who had committed one-time gifts. This is just the beginning of our generosity. Let’s see it through.
-Alex Nolette (Community Groups/Equip Coordinator)