Dear Tabernacle Family,
For nearly the past two years we have been on a JOURNEY – a spiritually focused Capital Campaign designed to help each of us individually and all of us corporately to become better stewards of the time, talents, treasures and testimony with which we have been entrusted. I love that word – entrusted! Whenever I hear it, I immediately contrast it with another word – entitled. We’ve all come across people who feel they are “entitled” to certain benefits that don’t belong to the rest of us. They see themselves as superior; as “a cut above,” and more privileged than those who make up the common herd of humanity. You know them. They park in the fire lane at the grocery store because, they’re “just running in for a few things.” Aren’t we all? Speaking of grocery stores, I heard of a man who was unloading his full shopping cart onto the belt in the “15 items or less” checkout line. He told the clerk, “Sorry, I’m not certain how many items I have.” She responded, “Don’t worry, sir. I’m certain everyone waiting in line behind you knows exactly how many items you have.” Entitlement.
Contrast the actions of those who feel entitled with a biblical understanding of what it means to be entrusted. As followers of Jesus, we understand we are not entitled to anything (Luke 17:7-10), but instead, God has, of His own generous heart, made a rich deposit of His grace and gifts into each of our lives. Clearly, He has not done this because any of us have earned or deserve these blessings, nor are any of us entitled to them. Instead, The LORD has given us more than we could have ever earned, and treated us better than any of us deserve (Rom. 3:23-24). Out of the abundance of His riches, God has placed that which is His into our hands, expecting that we will rightly manage what ultimately belongs to Him (Mt. 25:14-30). May each of us be found faithful (Lu. 16:2).
As we are nearing the end of our Capital Campaign, I hope you can look back over these many months and see how you have grown in your understanding of what it means to be a faithful steward. While I too look back, I also look forward to seeing what will be entrusted to us next as we JOURNEY together into the best days that are still ahead.
Pastor Jim Ruddy