Summary: Simple truths about supporting the local church.

Characteristics of a Good Church Member:

1. Spend time with God in prayer.

1 Thessalonians 5:17 - Pray without ceasing.

2. Give with a cheerful heart.

Malachi 3:7-12

7 Even from the days of your fathers ye are gone away from mine ordinances, and have not kept them. Return unto me, and I will return unto you, saith the LORD of hosts. But ye said, Wherein shall we return? 8 Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings. 9 Ye are cursed with a curse: for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation. 10 Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it. 11 And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, and he shall not destroy the fruits of your ground; neither shall your vine cast her fruit before the time in the field, saith the LORD of hosts. 12 And all nations shall call you blessed: for ye shall be a delightsome land, saith the LORD of hosts.

Mrs.Baughman was my 6th grade Sunday School teacher. One morning,

she brought a pan of brownies to our class. As the goodies sat over by

her chair, she gave each child a slip of paper marked with a household

expense: house payment, utility bill, phone bill, entertainment, etc.

My slip had a car payment. Before long, Mrs. Baughman picked up the

tray of brownies and began naming the expenses written on the papers.

As we gave her our expenses, she redeemed each one for a brownie.

"Car payment" she announced. I jumped up to get my brownie from the

pan. Finally the last brownie had disappeared. But one boy named Donald

still held his unredeemed slip.

"God!" called Mrs.Baughman. Donald came forward hoping the teacher had

one more brownie hidden some where. With a knife Mrs. Baughman scraped

the crumbs from the bottom of the pan into Donald’s napkin. He got a pretty

raw deal, I thought - just crumbs.

"The brownies represent your money", the teacher explained to us. "If you

don’t give God his share right away, He probably won’t get anything except

maybe the crumbs."

I never forgot that illustration. The day my friend Donald got only the

brownie crumbs, even as a child I learned that God should have the first

right to everything I have.

In the years since Mrs.Baughman class I have struggled with giving and

priorities, But whenever I recall the "Crummy Sunday School Lesson",

I know who should and must always come first in my life!

Philippians 4:17

17 I am not trying to get something from you, but I want you to receive the blessings that come from giving.

3. Attend church regularly.

Hebrews 10:25

25 Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.

4. Find a job in the church.

Mt. 25 - Parable of the Talents

5. Encourage others.

1 Thessalonians 5:12-15

12 My friends, we ask you to be thoughtful of your leaders who work hard and tell you how to live for the Lord. 13 Show them great respect and love because of their work. Try to get along with each other. 14 My friends, we beg you to warn anyone who isn’t living right. Encourage anyone who feels left out, help all who are weak, and be patient with everyone. 15 Don’t be hateful to people, just because they are hateful to you. Rather, be good to each other and to everyone else.

6. Take care of your family.

A Sunday school teacher was discussing the Ten Commandments with her five and six year olds. After explaining the commandment to "honor thy father and thy mother," she asked "Is there a commandment that teaches us how to treat our brothers and sisters?" Without missing

a beat one little boy answered, "Thou shall not kill."

1 Timothy 5:8

8 People who don’t take care of their relatives, and especially their own families, have given up their faith. They are worse than someone who doesn’t have faith in the Lord.

7. Take care of yourself.

1 Corinthians 6:19,20

19 You surely know that your body is a temple where the Holy Spirit lives. The Spirit is in you and is a gift from God. You are no longer your own. 20 God paid a great price for you. So use your body to honor God.

8. Actively participate in worship services.

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