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I heard a story some time ago of a missionary in Africa who gave a Bible to one of the African men. When it was given to him, the man hugged it close & expressed great appreciation for the precious gift of Godís Word that the missionary had given him.
But when the missionary saw him a few days later he noticed, much to his dismay, that the Bible looked like it was already falling apart, & that many of its pages were missing. The missionary asked him, "What happened? What did you do to your Bible? When I gave it to you I thought you considered it to be a treasured possession."
The man replied. "Indeed, it is a very precious possession. It is the finest gift I have ever received. It is so precious that when I returned to my village I very carefully chose a page & tore it out & gave it to my mother. Then I tore out another page & gave it to my father. And I tore out another page & gave it to my wife. Finally, I gave a page of Godís Word to everybody who lives in my village."
We may smile at that, but what a testimony! The message of Godís Word was so wonderful to him that he wanted to share it with everyone he knew!
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Here I speak of a special type of giving, the giving of our total selves first to God. It is the giving of body, soul and spirit for God’s use that we may achieve, for ourselves and for others, the higher ends of God. This is not, as you can see, charity giving. This is dedication giving. It is the giving of who and what we are. It is the type of giving expressed in a an engraved picture on one of the ancient cathedrals in Europe where an apostle stands between an altar and a plough, the symbols of dieing and serving, with the inscription, ‘READY FOR EITHER.” This rule of sacrificially giving of ourselves that we might prepare the way of the Lord, is like the case in all the experiences of life. It is a common- sense rule that applies to all the situations of life: Without serving that which we need to achieve, we simply can’t achieve it. Life is a series of givings that we might gain. Only where there is input can we expect an output. Only when we deposit, can we expect return. Don’t participate, don’t expect. No pain, no gain. Nothing comes from nothing, nothing ever could.
Many years ago there was a lonely woman walking home in a cold snow storm. The storm became so intense that the woman decided to lay down in the hollow of a rock. There she covered her tiny baby boy with every ounce of clothing she had on. When the rescuers found the mother she had died from exposure to the cold. However, when the men uncovered the garments, the tiny baby boy was still alive! The mother, realizing that she would die, gave everything she had to see that the warmth of her body and her clothing would save her son. Joy filled the hearts of the rescuers to see the little boy shivering, but alive. Years later, that child, David Lloyd George, grew to become the Prime Minister of Great Britain, one of the greatest statesmen of all time. What are ...