Adapted from “God’s First Responders” by Michelle Cobb.
Every day our attention is grabbed by news stories of public servants who respond to emergencies. They are known by their well-recognized garb: hats, boots, and coats that identify these persons as first responders in times of great need.
In the local church community, we also have the opportunity to be first responders—of a different kind.
God’s generosity was revealed when God gave the world Jesus Christ, who expressed the ultimate depth of God’s generosity. In turn, God calls us to follow Jesus’ example and be fearless in our living, our giving, and our service.
The local church community is a perfect place for cultivating an attitude and practice of generosity. It is the place where we are taught what it means to be stewards of all that we have, and how to offer the time, spiritual gifts, skills, and finances with which we have been entrusted.
When the soil of the heart is fully responsive to the message of God’s generosity, the result is abundant, fearless living (Mark 4:8). Fearless disciples who live their lives with this belief create fearless and generous congregations.
God also works through us to reveal God’s generosity to others. Paul reminds us that we “cannot begin to think or imagine” how this God in whom we trust will work through us and through the church to accomplish God’s will in the world (Eph. 3:20). So let us live, give, and serve fearlessly as God’s first responders. May we be easily recognized as carriers of God’s grace-filled generosity in a hurting world.
Michelle Cobb is a district superintendent for the United Methodist Church. This story was published in full in the most recent edition ofGiving magazine, a timeless resource produced by the Ecumenical Stewardship Center and distributed by the Church of the Brethren. Order complimentary copies of past issues at www.brethren.org/givingmag , and watch your church mailbox for the 2014 edition, coming in April!
(Read this issue of eBrethren)