Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Giving BIG. . .

Sunday night we were blessed to be part of an AMAZING experience. We have a monthly service on Sunday nights at our church. Last month we were told that this month we were going to have a "party" at our next Sunday night service. It was not the kind of party anyone expected---it was BETTER!!  We actually lived out the verses in Acts 4---"All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of his possessions was his own, but they shared everything they had. With great power the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and much grace was upon them all. There were no needy persons among them. For from time to time those who owned lands or houses sold them, brought the money from the sales and put it at the apostles' feet and it was distributed to anyone as he had need."


It was incredible---people who had needs over $2000 were asked to stand, then those who had needs under $2000. Those who remained seated were asked to pray about who to give to and how much to give. There were also baskets of cash up at the front and several leaders of the church standing up there ready to give it away!! The people standing were asked to come to the front and make lines to be prayed with and receive from the baskets----and when they started walking out of the aisles to go down to the front, not ONE of them made it very far because people all over the church started standing up and walking towards them to hand them cash and checks. There was hardly a dry eye in the place. It was the sweetest experience. Several gave testimonies afterwards---some were not even members of our church but just visiting! Can you imagine?? One lady said, "I needed $500 for bills and before I left my seat a lady handed me a check and it was for $500!"  Our "homework" for the month was to be givers and pray about opportunities to give. 

What a precious God we serve---He meets our every need! Sometime even to the exact PENNY! And it wasn't just money that was given away---if anyone had ANY need---need for healing, prayers for struggles they were going through, etc. people were there to pray and ask God to meet those needs as well. It was such a great faith booster and a reminder that "My God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:19

So I encourage anyone stumbling across this blog today---many who already have a personal relationship with Jesus, but possibly some who do not---if you have ANY need---Jesus not only wants to meet it, HE WILL meet it. Not always in our timing or in the ways we think He will. In fact it is usually in circumstances we could never have imagined on our own. Also, I want to encourage you, blog reader, to join me in praying that the Lord will lead you to give extra big this month---not necessarily of money either. I believe He will provide plenty of opportunites of TIME for us to give to others. How we would ALL benefit from someone giving their time to us---a listening ear, encouraging word, a phone call to let you know you're being thought of and prayed for, a note in the mail just to say hello. : ) 

I am extra thankful this week, as Easter is just a few days away, of our most precious gift of all--"Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God." Hebrews 12:2

 



15 comments:

Courtney said...

Definitely tearing up thinking of how precious it must have been to experience that service. It reminds me of Matthew 10 when Jesus is giving instructions to the apostles and says that "if anyone gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones because he is my disciple, I tell you the truth, he will certainly not lose his reward." How is is that we always seem to be even more richly rewarded than the one to whom we give? That's a good verse for us moms to remember in our tiredness. Are we doing all these small tasks for our little ones in His Name? That too is constant giving. What a precious Lord to pour blessing on each of us so that we have something to give to others!

Julia said...

That gave me chills! What an amazing experience for all who were involved! It is such a gift to learn how to give - and I know the Lord continues to work on me on how to give even more than I could imagine - in all those ways you described. I am so thankful that you guys are at a place where you are learning & growing & being blessed and being a blessing. Love you my friend!

Ross said...

Shelly that is so darn exciting I almost jumped up and ran around in the middle of class!! (yeah, I should be paying attention) That's so cool. I can't get over it. What if Christians everywhere started doing this????????

Paige said...

Thank you for sharing...what an amazing lesson for all of us.

jettybetty said...

Such a wonderful example of what we should be doing all the time! Thanks for sharing!

Thompson crew said...

That was awesome! What a great idea. I was just watching Oprah's big give the other day & thinking about that. What a wonderful thing to experience & be a part of!

Kylie said...

That is so amazing. I'm just picturing it now. What a great post!

Anonymous said...

stumbled across your blog, don't know you but your post REALLY blessed and encouraged me today!!! thank you and blessings...

mindy said...

Wow - I have chills! I can just picture this scene in my mind and I think of how many people are in need "right next to me" that I never see. How powerful that your church was bold enough to do this. I have a little plaque that just says "when is the last time you gave a cup of cold water in My name..." - Each day I look at it and am reminded that someone is in need. I may not be able to do much financially, but I can pray over people, fix meals, rock babies...so much more.
Thanks for sharing such a powerful testimony of how the Lord works in people's hearts.
Love you!
Hugs!

daughteroftheking said...

We missed the service because we were out of town. I heard it was awesome! Thank you for sharing it in blogland! What an awesome God we serve!!

Marketing Twins-Randy said...

Shelly,
Kelly told me about your post and I immediately wanted to read about it. This is amazing! Thanks for sharing. It certainly challenges us to give more generously - even receive freely (depending on what state we are in at the time). I suspect those who received will be eager to give to others even a few dollars.

Kelly Vaughn said...

Shelley,
I had actually heard about what happened at Gateway through a client of mine. Her Aunt goes there and told her about the service wishing that she had been there. She is in great need and it opened the door for some good conversation about trusting God with her overwhelming needs. I was so blessed to read the details of the service here on your blog.
God is SO good and He works in us and through us .... His eyes roam the earth searching for hearts to strengthen and bless! He always responds to trusting hearts!
love and blessings,
Kelly

Leilanni said...

That is amazing! And I love how you tie it to Easter - God gave big so if we're called to be like Him then we need to give big also. Some of your words spoke right to me about God wanting to meet my needs . . .such an inspirational (and inspired) post! Thanks for sharing!!

Kendra said...

Great post, and what an awesome experience and lesson for everyone . . .and you are so sweet to share it with anyone who "stumbles across your blog" - I will tuck that one away and ask the Lord to remind me of His willingness and His power when I need to have eyes to see it! Blessings on you guys . .

Kylie said...

Hey Shelly,
I've set my blog to private, will you email me at dkmmiller@yahoo.com and I'll send you an invite! Thanks