I was enjoying some conversation with my family about how times have changed in the church in the past 40 plus years since my husband and I have been married. To name a few just to set you on the trail of my stream of consciousness; Song Leaders instead of Praise and Worship Teams, Prayer Requests and prayer over them during the service, Testimonies given by anyone who had overcame something and wanted to share, Altar Call when folks would go to the altar under the awesome power of the anointed Word and give their life to the Lord, no time limits on the service so if God had others plans everyone was very fine with HIS plan. That was yesteryear.
I am by no means implying changes are a bad thing, just that there have been changes. I’m not particularly fond of attending a church where I have to rush to my car in order to clear the church parking lot of 2000 cars in fifteen minutes so the next attendees can get parked, but it is what it is. We are living a fast-paced lifestyle. We want everything instantly, microwaveable if you will, so we can get on the the very next moment with breathless anticipation. We are too rushed to take a slow, deep cleansing breath. We are too busy to take a moment to share a smile let alone a glass of sweet tea with someone in need of that precious moment.
It’s a change in product, just like sowing an acorn if you want an oak tree in your yard. What we plant, bury when it’s dormant, will burst to life in something unrecognizable to the seed we placed in the dirt. That is God’s design. Change comes through HIS plans. The same is true with planting a monetary seed. We rub our hands together so hard it’s a wonder we don’t start a fire in anticipation of a monetary windfall when we make a donation to our church or pay for someone’s groceries in the checkout lane at our local grocery store. We believe donated money begets cold hard cash in our hands. We totally miss the real blessing.
Maybe God wants to change up the seed you planted by allowing that person you gave your money to, to show you their gratitude in tears streaming down their face. Tears of joy over the blessing they received. Maybe a child will walk up to you and offer you a smile filled with joy because you just paid for their school shoes. Maybe someone on the street will sleep better because of the coat or blanket you bought and donated. Maybe the church can put in a ramp and be a blessing to folks for years to come because your donation put them over the top to build one. And maybe you will never know where your money went or who it blessed, and that in itself can warm your heart, because you know it was put to good use. And even if it’s not, it is more blessed to give than to receive (Acts 20:35) and there’s the final word.
Are we more interested in gaining by giving, or storing up treasures in Heaven? Every time you give to others, God sees. I believe ultimately we are rewarded here on earth, because sowing a seed will produce. Luke 6:38 “Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you.” With what measure? A willing heart! A generous heart!
Give and see what the Lord can do. The woman with just two mites gave the most. Monetarily, it was a pittance, but from her heart, she gave generously! You may not have much to give. You may have no money at all. But you can still give. Give of your time to someone who needs help with cleaning, or yard work, or a ride to the doctor. Bake a casserole or a pie for someone who is infirmed. Give a busy mama a break by watching over her babes for a bit. Visit the nursing home, minister to victims of abuse, donate toys to a shelter. And if you have children, pass these giving moments on by involving them at a young age.
Change is good! Change is necessary! Change is God’s plan. Give and expect nothing in return and let God be God. Here on earth or in Heaven, giving does not go unnoticed! Enjoy the produce from the seed God changes! Share a smile and see what happens!
I love you but Jesus loves you even more!