GIVING EVERYTHING WHEN YOU DON’T HAVE ANYTHING
As I sat and watched this story of this Ethiopian woman’s faith and faithfulness this past Sunday in church, I couldn’t help but weep. I was overcome with tears of joy, thankfulness, awe of God, and deep conviction from the presence of the Holy Spirit.
This woman, Aregash, was so resolved to be obedient and glorify the God who gave his life for her! In shameless faith, she left what she called home to move to a new city and rent a house just so a church could be planted where people could meet Jesus. What a beautiful picture of the incarnation of our King Jesus who stepped down from his home and humbly gave himself! This reminds me of how God the Father gave—that God loved the world so much he gave.
WHEN HAVE I WEPT FOR SINNERS?
I was also struck at the end by Pastor Werku’s passion to see churches planted all over Ethiopia by the power of the Holy Spirit, and to see those trapped in sin without hope transformed to know Jesus. As Pastor Werku wept for Ethiopia, I asked myself these questions:
- Do I really trust or even believe that God is powerful enough to save sinners?
- Do I pray for God to save sinners?
- Am I serious about Jesus’ mission to seek and save those who are lost?
- When was the last time I wept for the salvation of a sinner?
IF WE HAVE ANYTHING . . .
Young couples and singles, you may think you’re too poor to give anything. You might think you don’t have anything to give—that’s probably not true. I know I have way more than this Ethiopian woman. If we really did not have anything to give, we would be homeless. Yet every day we purchase little things here and there like coffee, music, new movies, or not-so-new movies from a friendly red machine.
There is nothing wrong with enjoying any of those things, but at the same time, Scripture says that what we truly love is seen by what we give our money to (Matt. 6:21). What do I treasure and love most? Do I really have nothingto give, or do I just not want to? From what we heard others say in this video, this Ethiopian woman truly treasures God above all else—that is so humbling! It’s a great opportunity for me to respond in repentance.
. . . WE HAVE SOMETHING TO GIVE AWAY
All we have belongs to God. It was gifted to us by God. It’s not about how much we give—the why we give is of most importance. God is asking us to give of what we do have, not of what we do not have.
This story of God’s work in Ethiopia reminds me of the church in Philippi (Phil. 4:14–20). The financially depressed church understood giving out of what little they had, even helping fund the Apostle Paul on his missionary journeys. Because of this, they made a big difference for the kingdom of God, and they were known by the Apostle Paul and many others for their joyous, humble, and sacrificial generosity.
THE JOYFUL SACRIFICE
Not giving is a lack of understanding of the gospel that God graciously and humbly gave so then now we give. Giving is costly. Giving is hard. Giving is a sacrifice that produces much joy (Heb. 12:2). When we give, we have the opportunity share in the financial burden (Phil. 4:14) and serve with our church family.
I pray that by God’s grace we all will give sacrificially as Jesus does and join with our church with a crazy, explosive joy to pray for new people to meet Jesus.
GIVING FOR GENERATIONS
I keep thinking about the legacy of this faithful woman and pastors in Ethiopia and all God will do for generations through their obedience. I deeply pray that my future kids and grandchildren will one day say that our family serves a gracious God who gave his life graciously to us, and that with every breath left in our lungs, by God’s grace, we will proclaim the unsearchable riches of Christ!
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By: Deacon Jevon Washington
This post is republished material from Mars Hill Church for teaching and archive purposes only.