I promise, we will be talking about Halloween tonight. But, there are a few housekeeping things I’d like to cover. In the past few weeks, I have been approached by individuals and ministries with urgent needs, but as First Love Fellowship, we have not been able to help in the way that I believe we should. It was because of a lack of finances. It grieved my heart (no fault to you at all). I take responsibility for that, as I have not pushed the idea of collections. Unfortunately, that’s a disservice to you personally, to those in need, and to the church.
If anyone ever asks, we are First Love Fellowship. And yes, we are a church – a real church. I know we're very informal, but we're not a bible-study, small group, or para-church organization. FLF is the foundation of a network of house churches that exists to win the church to Christ through spirit-led works that foster: Enduring Sanctification, Intentional discipleship, and Missional living. While serving as house churches, we also are committed to supporting other ministries. They are:
While supporting these ministries, I am also committed to supporting you – First Love Fellowship. With everything in me, I want to see you blessed, free, thriving, and making the discipleship of souls your priority. To facilitate this desire, we have, by God’s grace in the past year, secured a place for corporate prayer (which is not free, btw), discipled, counseled, established a private social media network, and financially assisted those in need – and we are dedicated to serving as God provides. Still, there's more.
There are forward-moving visionary goals we currently have, including the one-room schoolhouse, extended night-watch prayer ministry, house-church planting, outreach ministries to nursing homes, and a more comprehensive restorative discipleship program. Further, we want to see new house churches spring up in Tulsa, throughout America, and all over the world. We also want to expand our restorative discipleship program so that we can all be equipped to individually bring people to Jesus and disciple them into a living relationship with Jesus. This vision will move forward with the provision of God as the wind in our sails! I am excited about where we are going and honored that you are in some way, a part of this journey. That being said, this ministry has come at a huge personal cost, as it should – and I will pay that price as God’s grace provides. Still, if you have benefited by FLF in any way, I am asking that you support the furtherance of the ministry's involvement in God's kingdom, through your giving.
Giving is just as much a part of discipleship as prayer. “And said, Cornelius, thy prayer is heard, and thine alms are had in remembrance in the sight of God” (Acts 10:31). In this instance, God memorialized Cornelius’ giving in the same light as He did prayer. In fact, Cornelius’ giving and his prayers was a precursor to God pouring out His Spirit upon his household. Concerning collections, the apostle Paul says: On the first day of the week let each one of you lay something aside, storing up as he may prosper, that there be no collections when I come (1 Corinthians 16:2). The idea was, Paul needed resources that could be stored, so that when he needed them, they would not have to raise funds because the resources would already be there. This is my hope, for FLF.
Finally, God loves a cheerful giver: "But this I say: He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work. As it is written: “He has dispersed abroad, he has given to the poor; his righteousness endures forever.”
God’s response to your giving is GRACE. It is enabling power abounding toward you to have full provision, to accomplish every good work, and enrich you in everything. Yes, giving is part of the big picture of your growth in Christ. Engage here, and you will be a step closer to the place your dreams are calling you to go.
There is so much more I would like to share in this topic, as I believe it would benefit you in your relationship with God, your worship, and the answers to your prayers. But right now, for the sake of the Kingdom; for your own sakes; and for the advancement of the vision of First Love Fellowship, I am asking you to give bountifully. If your family has been impacted; if your children have been impacted, if you find yourself growing in Christ by being here, please help us further that impact to others through your consistent and generous offerings.
You can give cash (I will make space for that on Fridays, going forward), or you can give at the FLF website: https://www.wearefirstlove.com/partners.html.
Join me in making a difference through our giving.
P.S. It would be great if you would engage in 1Body! You'll see that First Love Fellowship is more than just our house-church. There are people on there who are waiting for answers that may come through your own testimony.
Thanks for the blessing you always are!