2140 Crystal Beach Road, Winter Haven, FL 33880

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Sacrificial Giving (by Stephen Simpson)

This coming Sunday is April Faith Day. Our Capital Campaign will come to a close. Most of you know that for the past three years our church has been raising and saving money in order to build and expand our facilities. You may recall the desserts that we held three years ago. Pastor Osborne gave presentations and asked us to consider making a pledge towards the campaign. One thing that stuck in my brain was the concept of sacrificial giving. Pastor explained that gifts toward the Capital Campaign were to be extraordinary gifts. They were to be gifts over and above our regular giving.

At the time of those desserts, Nicki & I were very newly married. We both worked full-time jobs. We prayed individually and together about what God would call us to pledge. God brought both of us to the same amount. We agreed on that grand total and decided to break it down into equal monthly contributions, in addition to our regular tithes. We were certain that it was going to be a huge sacrifice; it was definitely stretching our “budget.”

Fast forward three years to the present time. Much has changed! We have been blessed with two girls and have moved into a larger house. Nicki went from her full-time job, to stay-at-home Mom, back to working a few hours a week. All this means our “budget” was stretched even more than planned. I’m sure many (if not most) of you have also experienced some significant life changes these past three years.

This month, by the grace of God, we were able to send in our final monthly contribution. PRAISE THE LORD!! We have been so excited to look back and see what God has been able to accomplish. We certainly could not have done it on our own! But, as I have thought about our pledge, I have thought again of the concept of sacrificial giving. I have asked myself, “Was our pledge a sacrificial gift?” What did we have to sacrifice? What did we give up in order to give more? I can honestly tell you that our pledge truly felt like a sacrificial gift. There were times when we worried about how we would meet our monthly commitment, and it felt like we were sacrificing tremendously. But, if I’m honest, I can’t really look back and provide a list of the specific things that we sacrificed. We never went hungry, and we were able to pay all of our bills. In fact, we were even able to pay off some of our debts early. We never ran out of clothes to wear. We still went on vacations. There were still Christmas presents under the tree each year, and we still exchanged birthday presents.

My point is this, God has blessed us tremendously. He has provided above our needs! I don’t know about you, but I feel like I have truly grown spiritually through our giving. I look forward to the next Capital Campaign because I want to grow even more. Maybe next time I’ll come closer to the true meaning of sacrificial giving.