Wednesday, October 25, 2017
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We were far from home in Phoenix, Arizona, living in New Jersey, when my wife had a gall bladder crisis. In fact, she was going to have to have her gall bladder removed. Well, I wasn't too happy about that happening so far from home, but God was in it. Because our friend who we were there with at a conference said, "Well, I just had this surgery not long ago, and our doctor here is one of the few in the country (at that time anyway) who is an expert at doing gall bladder surgery with lasers. Really? Well, instead of the six weeks that I thought my wife was going to have to recuperate in Arizona, why she was up and around in a very few days, because of the amazing power of a laser. Think about that. I mean, lasers can penetrate steel. They can help you get better eye sight, or take care of a gall bladder that needs to come out. It's pretty amazing power. Now, diffused light can't do that; only the focused light can do it. If my wife had been under just diffused light all that time, it wouldn't do anything about her gall bladder. But it took the focused light - that powerful energy - to really change things. There's awesome power when you focus the energy on one thing.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft, and I want to have A Word With You today about "Laser Giving."
Our word for today from the Word of God comes from Philippians 1 beginning in verse 4, where Paul says, "In all my prayers for you I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the Gospel from the first day until now." Imagine being partners with the spread of the Gospel through a dynamo like the Apostle Paul.
At the end of his letter in chapter 4 and beginning at verse 13, he writes about their support. He says, "I can do everything through Him who gives me strength, yet it was good of you to share in my troubles. Moreover, as you Philippians know, in the early days of your acquaintance with the gospel, when I set out from Macedonia, not one church shared with me in the matter of giving and receiving, except you only: for even when I was in Thessalonica, you sent me aid again and again when I was in need. Not that I am looking for a gift, but I am looking for what may be credited to your account."
Now these people found a piece of God's work, the Apostle Paul, and they invested heavily in it and they received great dividends. They lasered their giving on this one missionary. All of his fruit, all the people Paul reached; all that was credited to their eternal account. See, you and I live in a world that hits us with more causes than you could ever support. Think of that stack of mail you get from Christian organizations. Now, there's a pattern. You're like, "I don't know how I can possibly support all these things." Well, you cant. Isn't it a better idea to get a lot of stock in a few eternal investments?
I remember when my wife's grandmother went home to be with the Lord. Her Grandma had all these records that we went through and we found her list of "Giving and Praying" it was all about the organizations she really believed in. It started out in real tiny script. That list probably went back to the 1940's and then the print got larger as her eyes began to fail, and at the age of 99 she was still praying for and giving to the same ministries. God laid that on her heart and here was 50 years of praying and 50 years of canceled checks to match. She was a partner in the Gospel.
Now in our self-focused generation, we've lost that excitement of sharing stock in Eternity, Inc. My friend, Jeff, a baby boomer said, "I have decided I am drawing a line in my checkbook and that's all we really need to live on and from thereon I'm putting it into the work of God."
Would you ask the Lord for a piece of his broken heart for this broken world, for a particular need, for some group, for some area of the world? I encourage you to ask God for a few spiritual works or people who you could really believe in, and pray for them and stick with them and give to them. Laser your giving!
The way to have a winning part of God's work on earth is to have a lot of stock in a few eternal investments. See, diffused energy doesn't make much of a difference, but lasered energy changes everything. You know what? You laser your giving, you'll be reaping dividends forever.