Last year, we decided to give up our wanderings in the motorhome and find a more permanent winter location. Coincidentally, some of our friends were selling their mobile home in our park. We bought it! The purchase included almost all the contents, and we found ourselves with at least two of everything.
At the same time, a sweet lady who did maintenance in our park needed to move out of a bad situation and had no furnishings for her new apartment. Mike and I invited her over to take whatever she needed from our bounty! Sheets, towels, dishes, glasses, silverware, pots and pans, a coffee maker, a toaster oven—whatever she needed, we gave her. Since then, she has become a dear friend and has come to church with me several times. We were blessed to be a blessing to her! As Andy Stanley says, we turned our “stuff into a story of God’s goodness and provision”!
Last weekend, Josh shared a parable from Luke about a shrewd manager, which Jesus used to illustrate one of the ways you can have money instead of it having you.
1 Jesus told this story to his disciples: “There was a certain rich man who had a manager handling his affairs. One day a report came that the manager was wasting his employer’s money. 2 So the employer called him in and said, ‘What’s this I hear about you? Get your report in order, because you are going to be fired.’
3 “The manager thought to himself, ‘Now what? My boss has fired me. I don’t have the strength to dig ditches, and I’m too proud to beg. 4 Ah, I know how to ensure that I’ll have plenty of friends who will give me a home when I am fired.’”
The story goes on to tell how the manager reduced the debts to ingratiate himself with his master’s debtors. He did this so they would perhaps look more favorably on him when his master let him go. His master even congratulated him on his shrewdness. Now, Jesus is not advising us to be dishonest in our dealings with others, as it may seem on the surface.
“Here’s the lesson: Use your worldly resources to benefit others and make friends. Then, when your possessions are gone, you will be welcomed to an eternal home.”
We can take what we have here today and invest in something that is eternal. Our resources can impact eternity. God can take money, which is neutral, and turn it into saved souls!
Our method of giving is an indicator of how we view God. Whether or not you give the first of what you have been given reflects whether “you have money” OR “money has you.” When we give to God first, whether with money or what money buys, we are showing him (and ourselves) that we trust him to meet our needs through his provision! He is so very generous to us—let us adopt that attitude of generosity toward others!
How can you turn your “stuff into stories”?
What has God blessed you with that you could use as a blessing to others?
Where might you be experiencing “holy discontent,” a situation where God is calling you to become involved and make a difference?
This week, take some time to think about how you could use your gifts from God to bless someone else. It may be as simple as offering to babysit, providing a meal, or just lending an ear to someone who’s lonely. Maybe God is inviting you to give your time by participating in a Group, or even leading one. Perhaps he has placed a certain need on your heart that only you can fill through your specific gifts. Answer the call!
My Jesus, thank you for all your gifts. I know they are not for me alone, but rather, mine to share with those you put in my life. Help me hold them with open hands, Lord. They are only mine to steward, as they have been given to me to further your kingdom here on earth, as it is in heaven. Your gifts multiply as I share them! Give me a generous spirit, Lord, and I will give you all the glory! In Jesus’ name, amen.
This post was written by Lauri White. Lauri is one of the 25 people that God used to start CedarCreek in the Fall of 1995, and was on staff until 2013. Lauri loves Jesus, and loves helping people, especially women, live out of the truth about who we are in Christ. She and her husband Mike live in Oregon, but now spend winter months in Florida near daughter Kelda and her family.
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