Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.
(Luke 6:38, NIV)
Friend to Friend
I am on a mission. I have been thinking about and carefully planning every step of this mission for over a year. I have gathered the required supplies, notified all parties concerned, issued warnings, and marked strategic dates on my calendar.
It is “Go” time for Operation Purge!
I am systematically purging our home of every unnecessary, unused, or no longer wanted item. My husband is on board as well. Just to be safe, I said, “Honey, if you really, really want to keep something, it would be wise to put a yellow sticker on it, or it is outta here!” I think the gravity of Operation Purge began to dawn on him at that moment, but he solemnly nodded his head in agreement.
Operation Purge is going to be brutal! Why? I am simply over “stuff.” We have moved and downsized three times in the last ten years, so I know how to eliminate and donate. Operation Purge goes far beyond anything I have done so far.
God has called me on the carpet and convicted me of the truth that if something is no longer serving a purpose in our lives, it could very well be meeting a need in the life of someone else.
Take my Coca-Cola dishes. At one point in my life, I was an avid collector of all things Coke. Part of my collection was an eight place setting of ceramic Coca Cola dishes. Our family used them for a couple of years until I got tired of them and moved on to something new. I carefully packed the dishes and stored them in our attic. We moved those very heavy boxes of dishes three times without using them. Never unpacked them. Just moved them.
During a spring-cleaning frenzy, I found the dishes and realized I did not want them anymore and certainly did not want to move them one more time. Neither did our son and daughter. So I gave them to our church thrift store that sells just about anything you could imagine to help fund our mission work in downtown Kansas City.
A few weeks later, a friend who works in one of our missions said, “I have a story to tell you about those Coca Cola dishes. We gave them to a woman who is a single mom. She has worked very hard to complete our program and get a job. When she was ready to move into her first apartment with her three children, we told her she could have the set of dishes you donated. She burst into tears and told us it was the first set of dishes she had ever owned in her life.”
My possessions are nothing more than resources loaned to me by God for me to disperse. They are not earned rewards or deserved pleasures. Every spiritual gift, every financial resource, and each possession has been given to me by God as a way to serve others.
“Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others” (I Peter 4:10, NIV).
I have said it before and I will say it again. I want to live my life with open hands, dusty feet, calloused knees, and rolled-up sleeves. I want to be a generous giver. I may not have much money, but I can give what I have.
Let Operation Purge begin!
Father, thank You for reminding me that what I have is temporary but that who I am is eternal. Give me a heart that loves to give. I pray that others would see You in the way I give myself away in service and that I would never count on earthly possessions for the peace and contentment only You can give.
In Jesus’ Name,
Now It Is Your Turn
- Make a list of your ten most prized possessions.
- If you lost them all, how would your life change in ways that really matter?
- Set aside time today to review your list. Surrender each possession to God.
- Give one of those possessions away this week as a secret gift.
- Pray for an eternal perspective of earthly “things.”
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