Summary: Do you love that material object more then God? Do you allow your excuses to win out, instead of being obedient? Matthew 25 starting at verse 32

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I remember once a friend had told me that she had scrimped her pennies to purchase a heavy wool winter coat. Financially she was struggling at that time, so to put a few dollars away here and there was a bit challenging for her. But the day finally arrived and she had successfully amassed the amount she would have for the coat. She had told me how excited she was to have had a new coat. Since many things in her wardrobe were either from thrift store purchases or hand me downs from other people. This new wool coat kept her pretty snug throughout the frigid winter months. And as soon as the weather warmed, she carefully stored her coat in a plastic garment bag, placed it back into the closet where it would be ready for her to wear again next winter. And winter of course rolled in again.

The year was 1994, when Philly was socked with a major snowfall. I remember how deep that snow was, my daughter was not even 3 yet and we took her out side, and she took a step and sunk straight in the snow and disappeared. It was comical to see her surprised little face and her first experience with snow. But I digress-back to my friend. Amazingly enough that same night of the major snowfall, that halted the city her church was open and having a worship and prayer service. So she bundled up in her wool coat and walked to the church, and she said she was surprised to have seen so many faces in the church when she arrived. During the time of worship my friend took notice to a woman who was sitting across the way. My friend said this woman was dressed wearing very thin summer like pants, a short sleeve shirt and a coat that was made more for like spring. And when my friend noticed the coat that the woman had, she heard God say; “Give her your coat.” Of course now at this moment you can imagine the struggle that was going on inside of her. How many here know what I am talking about? When God asks you do to something, but you can come up with 20-reasons why you cannot or will not do it. As my friend had put it, she wrestled with her flesh for a few minutes, because all she could think about was how she scrimped and saved to get this coat. And how she could not just go out and purchase another so easily. But her love for God won out, so she waited for the right timing to approach the woman. That timing came right after when the service was over. Before the lady could leave, my friend quietly and discreetly gave the woman the coat. Of course, naturally the woman wanted my friend to keep the coat, but my friend looked at the woman and said; “I believe the Lord would have me bless you with this, because He wants you to know how precious in His sight you are at this very moment.” No one that was in the church knew of this exchange. Only two women and the Lord. . My friend quietly slipped out of the church, wearing now only her winter slacks and turtleneck sweater. She said the entire walk home she never felt any of the cold. I can only imagine that Jesus wrapped His arms around her to keep her warm.

To finish this story-it was about a few days later a friend of hers came by for a visit. Now keep in mind, my friend never told anyone about her good deed. So on this day when her friend stopped in she had a large shopping bag with her. She said; “I was out shopping for a few things and I felt God say to me to buy this for you. So I did and here you go.” My friend looked inside this bag and there was this beautiful long wool coat with silk threads of colors embroidered through. This coat was a hundred times better then the one she gave a way.

It is so wonderful how God takes care of His children. But I want to point out a few things here:

My friend loved the Lord so very much and wanted to be obedient to His will, and did as His Word commands us. Yes she had to overcome the struggle of what her flesh wanted. But giving over anything that you may hold dear will always rub your flesh the wrong way. But the question is:

Do you love that material object more then God?

Do you allow your excuses to win out, instead of being obedient?

Matthew 25 starting at verse 32

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