Saturday, April 13, 2019

Gleanings 19) On the spot 2

At the Church Meeting which approved re- building a specific proposal was made.  Again, the bulletin spelled it out:
'ONE HUNDRED AND SIXTY-THREE PEOPLE met last Tuesday and were unanimous that:
the Minister be available on the Thursday night, Friday night and Saturday morning, October 4th, 5th, and 6th, for the church to give gifts or promises for the building fund.'
With the prayer meeting nearby, I sat in my vestry to receive confidential gifts. This "Sit-In" stirred much interest with the local paper following events which must have seemed bizarrely risky. To go public when so much was at stake. Readers of my earlier postings on the St. A's story 'A Cambridge God event' will recognize a pattern developing because I was to repeat this exercise in Cambridge!
Leaflets gave fuller details and sermons kept emphasizing the theme of climbing the mountain of faith and the need for sacrificial giving.  And what kind of texts and themes would be suitable?  Well a series was called BUILDING FOR THE LORD.

Sermon 1) AT COST (1 Chron. 21:16 -22:1)  I began with a comment someone had made: "Wouldn't it be great if a millionaire donated £100.000 for the building work"?  The story of David refusing the free gift for the land on which to build an altar (from Araunah the Jebusite) comes close to this millionaire wish.  But David rejects the offer completely. "No, I insist on praying the full price. I will not take for the Lord what is yours or offer a whole-offering that costs me nothing."  This is a basic principle - gifts to God must cost.  No party-tickets where one person can pay for the rest.   The story in 1 Chron. reveals that the cost involves REPENTANCE as David acknowledged his pride as well as REAL GIVING when he put theory into practice.  There were other sermons too......

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