Tuesday, January 23, 2007

A Certain Man

“Oh, No, Don’t Give Us Anymore Money”

A certain man was cleaning up the outside area of his church one Saturday morning. A small group of the congregation gathered every Saturday morning to sweep, rake, trim bushes and pick up trash to prepare the church grounds for the Sunday service. Following the clean-up the group gathered for a time of fellowship at a nearby donut shop. It was a good way to spend a few hours early Saturday morning.

One Saturday morning as the certain man raked leaves at the church a stranger drove up. The stranger got out of his car and approached the certain man. The stranger stated that he lived in the neighborhood and frequently passed by the church. He said the church looked so nice, so well kept, and the he especially like the ringing of the church chimes.

The stranger went on to say he was unchurched at the time and wasn’t interested in becoming a member of any church. The stranger, in spite of his lack of interest in joining a church said he would like to make a donation to the certain man’s church. You can imaging the surprise in the certain man when the stranger stated that he would like to make a donation of one thousand dollars to the certain man’s church.

But even more surprising was the certain man’s reply to the stranger’s generous offer. You see, the certain man replied….”Oh no, don’t give us any money. You see, we don’t know what to do with money we already have”.

The certain man said it had been over a year since the church had received a very large gift of cash. Although there had been many extensive discussions on what to do with the cash gift, none of the money had been spent. As a matter of fact the money had been invested and a year late the church had even more money it did not know what to do with. The church had not even been capable of sharing or tithing 10 percent of the gift. Some of the money had been designated for roof repair….even if it was ten years before the roof leaked. This would sound funny the certain man stated, if it were not so sad.

So after a year an Ad-Hoc Committee was appointed to try and figure out what to do with the money. The committee only had authority to make recommendations on how to spend the money. It should come as no surprise when the Ad-Hoc Committee’s recommendation was to keep ninety percent of the gift for the churches personal use and to share ten percent with those in need.

The certain man told the stranger that the congregation was a warm, loving, caring congregation. The church had a good pastor, a good growing youth group, a good women’s group, a great choir. The church had held two prayer vigils, started a Monday Prayer Breakfast group, had embarked on a crusade to share 10,000 crosses, had made a generous gift to the “Heifer Project”, and shared with the needy children at Christmas.

The certain man said it was hard to understand why the church had such difficulty in sharing it’s gift with others – willing to share ten percent with those in need and to keep ninety percent for themselves. You see, it would appear that the churches number one purpose and priority had become the structure (the building). Many referred to God’s church as the “Facility”. The term “Facility” made the certain man’s skin crawl.

And so the stranger drove away – puzzled by the certain man’s statement. “We don’t need your money….You see, we don’t know what to do with the money we already have.

Open Hearts, Open Minds, Open Doors.


Matthew 10:8

“Give as freely as you have received” – Jesus gave the disciples a principle to guide their actions as they ministered to others. “Give as freely as you have received” Because God has showered us with His blessings, we should give generously to others of our time, love, and possessions.

2 Corinthians 10:7-9

“You must each make up your own mind as to how much you should give. Don’t give reluctantly or in response to pressure. For God loves the person who gives cheerfully. And God will generously provide all you need. Then you will always have everything you need and plenty left over to share with others. As the scriptures say, “Godly people give generously to the poor. Their good deeds will not be forgotten!”

People many hesitate to give generously to God because they worry about having enough money left to meet their own needs. Paul assured the Corinthians that God was able to meet their needs. The person who gives only a little will receive only a little in return. Don’t let a lack of Faith keep you from giving cheerfully and generously. Our attitude is more important than the amount we give. When we invest what God has given us in His work, He will provide us with even more to Give in His service.

Matthew 6:19-21

“Don’t store up treasures here on Earth, where they can be eaten by moths and get rusty, and where thieves break in and steal. Store your treasures in Heaven, where they will never become moth-eaten or rusty where they will be safe from thieves. Wherever your treasure is, there your heart and thoughts will also be.

There is sense in which our giving of our money to God’s work is like investing in Heaven. But we should seek to please God not only in our giving but also in fulfilling God’s purpose in all we do.

Spiritual vision is our capacity to see clearly what God wants us to do and to see the world from His point of view. But this spiritual insight can be easily clouded. Self-serving desires, interests and goals block that vision. Serving God is the best way to restore it. We should not be fascinated with our possessions, lest they possess us.

-A Certain Man



At January 24, 2007, Blogger Art said...

A powerful message for us all!


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