"Let us not be satisfied with just giving money. Money is not enough, money can be got, but they need your hearts to love them. So, spread your love everywhere you go." —Mother Theresa
A few years ago, a young couple started coming to our church. At the time, God was using money to get the husband's attention. Big time. He'd started a company and kept it going for about five years before it crashed. They were really struggling financially, and it was getting worse and worse each week.
Shortly after they came to our church, he went to his refrigerator and opened it up. It was dark and warm and the food was all spoiling. Now, there wasn't even a place to put the food that they couldn't afford. It was the straw that broke the camel's back. Desperate with nowhere to turn, he called the church. Soon he was meeting with one of our staff.
"So what's going on?" our staff guy asked.
"Well, my refrigerator broke an-"
"No, what's really going on?"
The man paused and then said, "Well, what's really going on is my business failed, and I'm out of money, and I have nowhere to turn and I don't know what to do."
A great conversation ensued—lots of heart-to-heart stuff and practical brainstorming. The man left with a check for two month's living expenses—enough to keep them on their feet while we worked together as a body to figure out a longer-term solution.
After church not long ago, he came up and said, "Pete I'd only been coming here two months. No one even knew me. I hadn't given a penny to the church, hadn't joined any small groups, yet the church kept me afloat in desperate times. I was blown away. I went out into the foyer and leaned against the wall and I just burst into tears."
Remember, we are more blessed when we give than when we receive. But it's not just about us. It's about everyone. I don't know if you've ever been stuck like that family was, where you're at the end of it and you don't know where to turn and you're in desperate need. When all of a sudden God provides through the Body, it's powerfully humbling and nearly overwhelming.
That feeling of receiving His grace—there are few things like it. When we give, we get to be conduits of that grace—and there are even fewer things like that.
Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. —Philippians 2:3-4
Lord Jesus, I stand before You with open hands today. Everything You have entrusted to me I hold loosely and raise up as an offering of Your grace whenever and wherever it is needed. I ask You to give me the ability to hear the voice of Your spirit and the willingness to obey Your written Word, so that I might have the blessing of being a conduit of Your grace in a needy world. Amen.
Listen to Pete, Jill & Stuart Briscoe on the Telling the Truth broadcast at OnePlace.com
A Countercultural Life: Living Well in a Broken World
It’s a challenge for most followers of Jesus Christ to live in a culture driven by values and views that run counter to our faith and to the truth of Scripture. And we wonder how best to relate.
Should we isolate ourselves from such a world, trying to keep ourselves “unstained”? Should we be intimidated by what our secular counterparts believe because we feel “out of step”? Then again, maybe we should identify more closely with the values of our world in order to win more people to Christ.
Stuart Briscoe takes you on a journey to discover how to live as a Christ follower in our fallen culture in his new small book, A Countercultural Life: Living Well in a Broken World. By looking at the life of Joseph (Genesis 37-50), Stuart shows you an excellent model for how we should indeed live in our world!
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