Summary: The woman with the alabaster jar and the widow’s two copper coins show us that sacrificial giver is not determined by much we give, but by a grateful heart.
“Living A Life of Sacrifice: A Matter Of The Heart”
This is the last week of our stewardship “check-up.” I hope that during the past week you have found quiet times to allow the Lord to search your heart, give you insights into His will, and give you the passion to become a godly steward of all that He has given to you. He has given so much hasn’t He? This past week the Lord has reminded me, in so many ways, of the abundance of His blessings upon my life. On Monday I drove to Hydro, OK. to share in the graveside service of Harold Spies. While I was heading back to Oklahoma City I was listening to a sermon by Pastor Jim Cymbala of the Brooklyn Tabernacle and tooling down the road when out of the blue I was overwhelmed with gratitude for a reliable vehicle to make it to Hydro and back. That may seem so strange to some of you, but I remember a time when I couldn’t count on a 90-mile drive with no breakdowns.
Later on in the evening I took my sons to Wal Mart to pick up some things. As we were getting ready to come home Connie called me and told me that an officer had come to our door and told her to stay inside because a SWAT Team was in our neighborhood to pick up some folks. When I got home my heart broke for the children who watched their mother and father taken away in hand cuffs in a police car. My family knelt beside my bed and prayed for each of the children and their parents. Later in the night, after Connie and I had gotten the kids to bed, I was overwhelmed with gratitude for a peaceful home. I told Connie as much before I closed my eyes and went to sleep.
Later on in the week a friend called me to ask if I would pray for him as he was going for a job interview. I hung up the phone and gave thanks for the privilege of lifting up my friends in prayer.
Another friend, Kelly Sullins, called to let me know that she and Jeff’s precious little girl, Lindsey, is going to have surgery on her eyes on January 11th to correct a problem that they have discovered. They asked if we would pray for them. What a blessing it is to have access to the King of all kings – the One who is able to meet those who hurt at their point of need.
I could go on with the list of things that the Lord has shown me this past week, but suffice it to say that I am one blessed man. God has showered my life with blessings beyond number. Who am I to keep those blessings to myself? It is not enough that the Lord has blessed me – I want to be a blessing, to share His gifts with others, and seek to be a blessing to them for the glory of God.
Beginning today we are going to give you an opportunity to make a commitment towards what the Lord is calling you to give. We are asking you to make a commitment because studies show, and our own experience confirms, that when God moves upon our hearts and gives us a desire to serve, to give, and to be a blessing in some tangible way – if we do not make a commitment then we will lose the passion. How many times has the Lord burdened my heart with someone in need that I knew He wanted me to help, but I was on my way to an appointment, I had a meeting to attend, or a Bible study to teach, and so I said, “I will do it later.” How many times has the Lord impressed upon my heart a need that He wanted me to meet, but I said, “I don’t really know if I can do that,” “I don’t have any experience with that kind of situation,” or “I’m not qualified.” As time went on the passion and the urgency faded and I never got around to it. Can you relate to that? Has that ever happened to you?
I am so glad that the leaders of this church are asking me to make a commitment, to say “Yes” to God’s call upon my life. I hope you will join me and my family in saying, “Yes” to the Lord.
I am convinced that for so many of the followers of Jesus today there is a hesitancy to get involved, a reluctance to give, because we don’t think our giving will make that much of a difference or we might mess up in some way in trying to do good for the Lord. I want to speak to you who feel that way today. I want to spend our study time this morning encouraging the “insignificant servants” among us. My prayer this morning is that each and every one of us would recognize that God has blessed each of us with the opportunity to be a blessing in a myriad of ways. Our labor, our gifts, and the sacrifice of our hearts and hands will be used by our King to bring glory and honor to His holy name.