November 17, 2020
A Ministry of Giving
Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils; freely ye have received, freely give. – Matthew 10:8
Did you ever think of “giving” as a ministry? It is! A desire to give to others is certainly part of having a servant’s heart. I have seen firsthand how the Lord blesses giving. I am the youngest of nine children. The oldest child in our family, my brother Lem, was twenty-six years older than me. Lem was handicapped in his walk and speech from birth. When he was a teenager, God saved him and nobody had a question about whether or not Lem loved the Lord. When he sat in church, his was the loudest “Amen” to be heard; it might not have been very plain, but it was clearly from the heart.
When I moved to Woodlake, California, to become pastor of our church there, Lem came to live near us, and I began to understand why he had so much joy. He never had a big income; in his older years, he received a little check from Social Security and a little from the government. When I became his pastor, I found out what he was doing with his money. For one thing, he was paying tithes—and not just tithes, but double tithes. From time to time, he would come to me and ask, “Have you sent the check for Korea yet?” or, “Have you sent my offering for Africa?” An annual youth conference was started in our church in Brooklyn, New York, and Lem would ask, “Have you sent my contribution to the Brooklyn youth conference yet?” How did he do it on such a little income? I do not know. Many of us have a hard time giving from our abundance, but Lem had a spirit of giving.
Some young people in our church congregation wanted to serve the Lord by playing an instrument in the church orchestra, but their family could not afford music lessons. Lem asked me, “Do you think if I paid for it, they could have some lessons?” He did not want them to know who was providing the funds, but when one of those young people stood up in Sunday school and played “Jesus Loves Me,” Lem was thrilled.
Do you have an attitude of giving? Do you have the heart of a servant? There is no greater joy or privilege.