Words of Wisdom – Encouraging Word – May 2017

Christian Stewardship is about Our Relationship with God

“Money management and godly giving are integral parts of sanctified living, not at all optional or even peripheral. The focus is squarely on the relationship of Christ’s people to their Lord and his revealed will—not only or even primarily their relationship to their money, their church, or their neighbor. To ignore this facet of the Christian’s continued existence on earth or to address this subject only occasionally is to fail to minister properly to the needs of our people. Christians need to know that they have been saved and how they have been saved. They also need to know they are called and enabled to serve God. God expects faithful stewardship, dedicated serving. What a tragedy it is if the person who has learned the way of salvation either has never grasped or has been sidetracked from his mission of living for God in a conscientious and competent way!”

Forrest L. Bivens. Seizing the Opportunities: Ways to Encourage Godly Giving. Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary Essay File. Page 2.

Words of Wisdom – Encouraging Word – November 2016

The Secret to Being Overwhelmingly Grateful, Part One

“As sinful human beings, we tend to take God’s blessings for granted. We often don’t notice the amazing gift of air conditioning until it breaks down in the middle of summer. We aren’t aware of how much we depend on electricity until the power goes out and we stare at one another, wondering what to do without our TVs, cell phones, and computers. A wise, old pastor once told me, ‘The secret to happiness is not getting what you want; it’s wanting what you’ve got.’ We spend so much time focusing on what we don’t have, on what other people have, on what we want to have, that we lose sight of what we do have. The secret to being overwhelmingly grateful is to recognize what you have.”

Schroer, Andrew C. 364 Days of Thanksgiving. Milwaukee: Northwestern Publishing House, 2015.

Words of Wisdom – Encouraging Word – September 2016

Overwhelming Gratitude

“The point of the story of the ten lepers in Luke chapter 17 is not that the other nine were ungrateful. The point is how overwhelmingly grateful the Samaritan was. He put off the one thing that he had desired for so long—to be told by the priest he could go home—and put off being reunited with his family and friends to first return and thank the person who had healed him. The Samaritan understood that thankfulness is not some nebulous, vague feeling. Gratitude cannot exist where there is no giver. You can’t be thankful without having someone to thank. The Samaritan realized it was God who deserve the credit. He recognized it was Jesus who he healed him. So he ran. He cried. He fell at Jesus’ feet and thanked him with overwhelming gratitude.”

Schroer, Andrew C. 364 Days of Thanksgiving. Milwaukee: Northwestern Publishing House, 2015.

Words of Wisdom – Encouraging Word – July 2016

The Secret to Happiness

“Are you depressed? Are you frustrated by the problems and struggles in your life? The secret to happiness isn’t to rid your life of problems. The secret to happiness isn’t getting what you want. The secret to happiness is recognizing what you have in Christ.”

Schroer, Andrew C. 364 Days of Thanksgiving. Milwaukee: Northwestern Publishing House, 2015.

Words of Wisdom – Encouraging Word – March 2016

The Sacrifice of Christ Encourages Our Offerings

“Why will [the Corinthians] want to ‘excel in the grace of giving’ just as the Macedonians are doing? ‘For,’ says Paul, and then he gives the reason why the Corinthians will want to do this. They have personally experienced the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ . . . ‘For your sakes,’ says Paul, Christ, though he was in a continuous state of being rich from all eternity, became poor. Paul uses a form of the same word he had used to describe the abject poverty of the Macedonians (2 Corinthians 8:2). But it was a much deeper poverty than that. With these words all of Christ’s state of humiliation is projected before our eyes, culminating in his suffering and death. Its purpose? ‘So that you through his poverty might become rich.’ ‘We are rich, for he was poor. Is not this a wonder!’ Christ, who traded unparalleled riches for abject poverty so that we might become rich, is a wonderful example of giving for the Corinthians; but he is much more than that! He is first of all Savior. We love, because he first loved us. We give, in fact, we cannot help but give, because he gave first.”

David J. Valleskey. Laying the Foundation: The Scriptural Basis for Godly Giving. Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary Essay File. Pages 6-7.