Giving 2

12/28/2006

speech bubble representing person 5 talkingBut there’s a certain place where they can keep…I mean where giving money for food can be done? Anytime, you can give, there’s a place where you can go and give?

speech bubble representing person 4 talkingThat’s how we’ve done it, yes.

speech bubble representing person 3 talkingIt’s very easy for someone to slip in and slip out of where the boxes are with no one noticing, no one caring, and no one keeping track of who’s there and who’s not there. There is no one place that everyone goes to; it’s scattered. If no one showed up at this home to give money, no one would say, “Oh, they’re not giving this week.” They wouldn’t think that because they’d just think they were giving at somebody else’s home. God can lead everyone to be sacrificial. That’s their job, to be sacrificial like the widow with her two mites. They need to give because that’s a statement of their faith. It’s not anyone else’s business to tell them how much they should give or what exactly it’s supposed to be used for. We do “lay by in store,” but we do it for specific spiritual opportunities. As God lays out all the opportunities, He lets us know which ones He wants us to give to.

We may get a letter from some folks in a small country and they’ll say, “There are many Saints down here starving. Would you pray for us?” So we’ll let everyone know to be praying for them. They never mentioned any money, but God puts it on the hearts of several people to give towards their needs, and we’ll send that money to the Saints there to try to help. God opens the doors again and again for us to be faithful, but there’s no peer pressure. There’s no one looking over our shoulders, no one thinking we’re doing the wrong thing or not doing enough, because no one knows what the other hand is doing. So it has worked out very well.

Another category of giving is, “Let he who receives instruction in the Word share all good things with his teacher.” Let’s say John or Fred or whoever has been very beneficial to my family and to our neighbors, and we’ve seen Jesus exalted in his life and in his teaching. He is winning people to Jesus and we see something really precious there. In that case, I might actually put some money in the box and write his name on it and say, “Hey, this student has received instruction and I want to share all good things with my teacher.” He may not know who it’s from, but all of a sudden, some envelopes with some money start showing up from people who have been touched by his life. He’s just being a faithful Christian. That’s all he is. He’s not on a salary. He’s not on staff. He has no title. He’s just a Christian, but he has some special gifts.

The next thing you know, he says, “I guess I can quit my job, because I want to be devoted to prayer and service with the Word. I’ve got this other money coming in and I don’t know where it’s from, but at least for now it’s paying my bills. So I can spend more time in prayer and service with the Word.” Well, perhaps he becomes somewhat less faithful and all of a sudden that money starts drying up. He never knew where it came from and he doesn’t know why it’s gone now, but it causes him to repent and to seek God and to go get his job back. So God can “sit down” or “raise up” people any time.

In Africa there might be unfaithfulness going on and we wouldn’t have any way of knowing it because it’s 8,000 miles away. We’ve been sending money to them, and different saints have felt like God had put it on their heart to send money to Africa. And then all of a sudden, God is redirecting people to do another thing and they just don’t think of Africa. For a while we didn’t send anything to Africa because the Spirit of God didn’t say to send anything to Africa. It turns out they had some things they needed to repent of, and we had no idea of that. This did happen. We had no idea what it was they needed to repent of. All we knew was that God wasn’t motivating us to help them anymore.

They had to be a little bit introspective, to examine themselves to see if they were in the Faith, because all of a sudden we weren’t helping the different villages that we had been helping. There were some sin issues that needed to be resolved, and we didn’t know what they were, but God did. God was spanking them, and we didn’t have it in our mind that we were supposed to send so much money to help the saints in Africa. We simply let God generate the supply and dry up the supply. God can not only raise up and sit down people, but he can raise up and sit down whole countries. It’s a good and beautiful thing. The Holy Spirit, Jesus, is Head of His Church, and we’re not giving His resources to anyone that God doesn’t want us to give to. And we’re not withholding His resources from anyone He does want us to give to. That is true on the local level too, with meeting people’s needs. It has been a really simple and freeing way to handle the finances without getting ourselves in the way very much. This all sounds crazy, right?

speech bubble representing person 1 talkingNo, not really.

speech bubble representing person 2 talkingIt makes sense. Only sounds difficult.

speech bubble representing person 6 talkingBecause we are free from any rules.

 

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