Terry Wilkinson, Pastor
CrossPointe Church, West Des Moines
Being ready for the unexpected is one of those disciplines required in organizations like the military, EMS, fire and police departments. When important issues are on the line we don’t want to be found wanting. Serious people hate being embarrassed but they delight in being prepared.
Over the years I have noticed a wonderful quality among the godly people I admire. It seems they are always ready to give, whether it was a praying grandmother with a little “butter and egg” money tucked away in an old sock or a godly businessman who, above his tithe, would put back some money each month to be ready for a God sent opportunity to meet a crisis. Each one modeled the kind of giving readiness that the Apostle Paul challenged the Corinthian church to emulate in 2 Corinthians chapter eight.
The people in the church at Corinth were rich in spiritual gifts, ability and enthusiasm! They had a desire to give to others, but what was lacking was their ability to finish it off by preparing the offering beforehand. Being a preacher’s kid, I have heard of offerings being taken by the congregation coming down to the altar family by family to give during the time of the offering. To come unprepared would be embarrassing to say the least!
In case I have lost you in the memory of some embarrassing moment in your life, come back for a final thought! Remember those praying, serving, Bible believing and giving saints that have blessed your life? Remember how they seemed to always do the right thing at the right time? These qualities are needed more than ever in our churches and in our communities. Adding to our other spiritual disciplines, we need to build into our lives the habit of being a ready giver.
The needs of God’s Kingdom funded through the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering, The Annie Armstrong Easter offering and the Bill and Garlinda Hyde State Missions Offering are depending on people who both desire and are prepared to give. God also needs givers who are ready to meet the needs of people in short-term crisis He desires to send our way. One godly woman I know sets aside unexpected monetary provision and her odd change and dollars on her dresser to be ready to meet the needs of others.
Joy in giving comes when we prepare what we want to give and are overjoyed when we have the opportunity to give it! While God gives grace to those believers in the church who always seem surprised and unprepared to give, He delights to see others preparing weekly and monthly for a day of giving. After checking my memory bank of embarrassing moments in life, I think I will move to the ready giver variety of Christian. How about you? Does anyone need a sock?