Giving What You Have

Well, it looks like I didn’t win the lottery. I guess it didn’t help that I didn’t buy a ticket.

I’m not saying that because I consider myself morally superior, but because I can do math. If ever there was a bad investment, buying a lottery ticket would qualify. I think we all had a better chance of Mark Zuckerberg sending us a seven-figure check than holding that winning ticket.
In our Community Group on Wednesday night, we discussed what we would do, hypothetically, if we won the lottery. Someone suggested they would set their kids up for life. Another mentioned buying a zoo, and taking care of stray animals. Yet another said they would tithe off of it to the church, if we would take it.(We would!)And, of course, someone said if they won the lottery, we would finally get a permanent church building at Shelby Crossings!
Then someone mentioned that they had dreamed of all the ways they could be generous and help others if they ever got rich. As they thought about it further, they realized that you don’t have to be rich to be generous. Generosity starts where you are, with what you have, and even more than that, in your heart.

That reminded me of a story I heard a while back about a Sunday School teacher who asked the children in her class if they would give a million dollars to the missionaries. “Yes!” they all screamed. “Would you give a thousand dollars?” Again, they shouted “Yes!” “How about a hundred dollars?” “YES, we would!” they all agreed.
“Would you give a dollar to the missionaries?” she asked. The 6-year old boys all exclaimed “Yes!” again, except for one little boy. “Eric,” the teacher said, as she noticed the boy clutching his pocket, “Why didn’t you say ‘Yes’ this time?”
“Well,” he stammered. “I HAVE a dollar.”
It’s one thing to talk about what you would give if you had it–when you don’t–but it’s another thing altogether to actually give what you have. The reality is, that’s all God wants from us–to give Him our time, our money, and our talents, from a willing heart. Like the little boy who gave Jesus his lunch, when we release what we have to Him, He uses it and blesses it, and blesses us in the process.
You don’t have to win the lottery to have something to offer the Lord. And you don’t have to have a billion dollars to support the missionaries. But you can give what you do have, and better yet, you can give of yourself. That’s better than blowing two bucks on a lottery ticket, and the dividends on your investment will bring a return for eternity.
l am praying for you, as I trust you are for me, as we seek to live “in the world, but not of it” this week. I look forward to seeing you Sunday.
–Pastor Ken