“The Stewardship of Gifts” (2 Corinthians 9:6-15) - Common Ground Contemporary


Pastor Bruce JohnsonNovember 12, 2023All Church, Stewardship

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Passage: 2 Corinthians 9:6-15

On Sunday, November 12, 2023, Pastor Bruce Johnson preached on “The Stewardship of Gifts” (2 Corinthians 9:6-15) . The Gospel Lesson was Matthew 25:14-30.

Pastor Bruce Johnson's sermon on November 12, 2023, focused on "The Stewardship of Gifts" based on 2 Corinthians 9:6-15 and the Gospel Lesson from Matthew 25:14-30, the Parable of the Talents. He explained how a master entrusted different amounts of money (talents) to his servants according to their abilities. The servants who received five and two talents doubled them through wise investments, but the servant who received one talent buried it out of fear. Upon the master's return, the first two servants were praised for their resourcefulness, while the last was reprimanded for his inaction.

Pastor Johnson connected this parable to a personal story of a friend who found a significant amount of money and chose to return it, demonstrating a change in character and faith. He highlighted the importance of being a cheerful giver and using God's gifts to serve others. The sermon emphasized the transformation in one’s life through faith, from self-interest to generosity, mirroring God's abundant provision and generosity.

The Common Ground Praise Band, under the dynamic leadership of Patrick King on keyboards, brought an electrifying atmosphere to the service with their soul-stirring performances. The band, featuring the talented Jane McKee, Megan Parker, AJ Rios, and Arlet Williams, expertly navigated through a series of contemporary Christian songs, each resonating deeply with the congregation.

Their set began with "Shalom to You,” a melodic invocation of peace that gently enveloped the audience in a serene embrace. The energy then escalated with "The Great I Am," a powerful proclamation of God's majesty, leaving the audience in awe of His omnipotence.

"I Give Myself Away" was a poignant moment of surrender, as the band's harmonious voices and instruments conveyed a deep sense of devotion and submission to a higher calling. "I Will Follow You" further captured this sentiment, inspiring a spirit of steadfast discipleship and unwavering faith.

The crescendo of their performance was "I Have Decided to Follow Jesus," a timeless declaration of commitment to the Christian faith. This rendition was both uplifting and moving, compelling the congregation to reflect on their own spiritual journeys.

Throughout the service, the Common Ground Praise Band's musical offerings were more than just performances; they were profound experiences, weaving a tapestry of worship, devotion, and communal unity.

During a vibrant Moment for Ministry at Pender's Contemporary Worship service, Cherie Kronimus shared some exhilarating news and heartwarming stories. Pender was joyously celebrated for its decade-long partnership with Operation Christmas Child, a global initiative by Samaritan's Purse, dedicated to spreading God's love through shoebox gifts. These aren't just boxes; they're vessels of hope and faith, carrying the gospel message to children across the world, often leading them and their families to embrace Jesus as their Savior.

During the Children's Time at Pender's Contemporary Worship service, Worship Leader Jane McKee shared an engaging and interactive story with the kids, weaving in the theme of Cherie Kronimus' Operation Christmas Child Presentation. Jane called the children closer with excitement, ready to share a fascinating story about Jesus, but with a twist!

"Alright kids, gather around! I have an amazing story to tell you, and it's about a rich man with lots of money, just like the coins you might have in your piggy banks. But this story has a secret message!" Jane said with a twinkle in her eye. She told them about the rich man who went on a long trip and trusted his money with three of his servants. She playfully asked the children to count their pretend coins and imagine being the servants in the story.

The first servant doubled his five coins to ten by working hard - Jane playfully helped the kids count to ten on their fingers. The second servant also doubled his money from two to four. "Can you help me count?" Jane asked, turning the story into a fun math lesson.

But the third servant, oh, he was a bit scared. He buried his single coin in the ground. Jane mimicked digging a hole, making the children giggle. When the rich man returned, he was happy with the first two servants but not so much with the third. "He buried his talent! Can you believe that?" Jane said with a gasp.

Then came the twist. "This story isn’t just about money or coins," Jane revealed. "It’s about you – yes, you! God has given you special talents and gifts, just like He gave talents to those servants. And He wants you to use them to make the world a better place, to help others and spread His love, just like we do with our Operation Christmas Child boxes."

She invited the kids to pray with her, asking God to help them use their talents for good. "Dear God, help us to be brave and use our gifts just like the first two servants, and not like the one who buried his coin. Amen."

With a warm smile, Jane concluded, "Remember, you are all special and capable of amazing things with the talents God has given you. Now, let's go out there and show the world how wonderful you are!" The children left feeling inspired and ready to discover and use their own talents, just like in the story.

Sunday marked the Twenty-Fourth Sunday after Pentecost.

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