An Incredibly Generous Teenager!
I shared this in our services yesterday…but wanted to share it here.
Last Sunday after a meeting I walked into my assistants office to read through the things she thought I needed to see. On top of all of the mail was a cash envelope from a bank with a note written on it. Trish (my assistant) said, “You REALLY need to read that!”
Like I said…it was a bank cash envelope with a note written on it…BUT…what was written on the note absolutely blew me away and caused me to be completely overwhelmed. Inside the envelope was a cash gift to our church for $1,000 (which had already been removed!) Here is what was written…
“I am a rising senior in high school. I have saved up all of my job, birthday and Christmas money from the past 3 or 4 years, in this envelope. God has laid it on my heart to surrender these earnings into His hands. Thought it may seem a meager amount to the world, it is all that I have. I give this gift freely and with a light heart; after all, this money isn’t really ‘mine’ to begin with. God can and will provide for me far better than I ever could. And it is an honor to know this money may help even just one person take even just a single step closer to God. That is a gift worth any price.” (It was unsigned…so I have no idea who this was!)
I have a few thoughts on this…
#1 - I literally prayed for this person to become a multi-millionaire. Seriously, several times this week I paused and asked God to radically bless this person in the future financially. Why? Because they have proven that they can be faithful with the little things! (See Luke 16:10-13) If God can trust them with thousands now…He can trust them with millions in the future. This person knows that God has blessed them so they can give!
#2 - Though they thought this gift was “meager,” it actually falls into the “generous” category. I read a few years ago (although the numbers are probably around the same today) that only around 6% of people who call themselves evangelical Christians tithe. AND…the average gift given to a church by an adult is around $600 for a year. (Compared to the fact that each adult also spends and average of $900 per year on coffee drinks…and $1,000 a year taking care of their pets!)
Whoever you are…this gift was generous!!! Thank you!
#3 - God will use people like this to change the world! This gift reminded me of Jesus feeding the 5,000 in John 6:1-14. The part I always focus on in this miracle is John 6:8-9, I believe the miracle actually took place here…where a young boy gave his entire lunch and gave it to Jesus. You see, in his hands it was nothing more than a meal…but in the hands of Jesus it was a miracle. AND…because he was completely unselfish…around 15-20k people received food!
I’ve said it before…and I will say it again…God’s Kingdom’s biggest problem isn’t the evil one…it’s greedy Christians! BUT…when people overcome greed and begin to get generous…amazing things happen. Here at NewSpring Church I am so grateful for the generous giving of our people…because of it we have been able to see thousands of lives changed for Christ…and our best days are yet to come.
#4 - This is radical and extreme obedience in action. Jesus said it in Matthew 6:21, that where our treasure is…that is where our hearts will be…and this young person took a tangible step to demonstrate to the Lord that they fully belong to Him. I once heard Ron Lewis, a friend of mine, say, “Until we surrender our wallet to God—our walk with Him will always contain a limp!”
God asked this young person to cash out…and they did! That’s amazing! Question…has God ever asked you to do something amazingly generous? Do you have the courage to ask Him if He wants you to?
#5 - God changes the world with people like this! Let me say it one more time—generous givers are a key in advancing God’s Kingdom. This gift went WAY beyond a tithe! In Acts 4:36-37 we see the church growing like crazy…and Barnabas comes forward and gives an incredibly generous gift to allow the church to continue to do ministry! AMAZING!
For the person who may say, “Well yeah, this person is a teenager. They obviously have parents who will provide for their needs…so they CAN give like this. But you see…I have blah blah blah…”
Um, here’s the deal…this person probably does have earthly parents who will take care of them. BUT…the Scripture says that we have a heavenly Father who will take care of us!!! Malachi 3:10-12 is a promise from Him, will you trust Him?
I can’t say “thank you” enough to whoever you are (and to all of the generous givers around here!) God is changing lives…and all of you are part of it!