(see also GIVING)
Lloyd C. Douglas tells the story of Thomas Hearne, who, "in his journey to the
mouth of the Coppermine River, wrote that a few days after they had started on their
expedition, a party of Indians stole most of their supplies. His comment on the apparent
misfortune was: 'The weight of our baggage being so much lightened, our next day's journey
was more swift and pleasant.'
Hearne was in route to something very interesting and important; and the loss of a few
sides of bacon and a couple of bags of flour meant nothing more than an easing of the
load. Had Hearne been holed in somewhere, in a cabin, resolved to spend his last days
eking out an existence, and living on capital previously collected, the loss of some of
his stores by plunder would probably have worried him almost to death."
How we respond to "losing" some of our resources for God's work depends upon
whether we are on the move or waiting for our last stand.
Lloyd C. Douglas, The Living Faith.
When you go to a doctor for your annual check-up, he or she will often begin to poke,
prod, and press various places, all the while asking, "Does this hurt? How about
this?" If you cry out in pain, one of two things has happened. Either the doctor has
pushed too hard, without the right sensitivity. Or, more likely, there's something wrong,
and the doctor will say, "We'd better do some more tests. It's not supposed to hurt
there!" So it is when pastors preach on financial responsibility, and certain members
cry out in discomfort, criticizing the message and the messenger. Either the pastor has
pushed too hard. Or perhaps there's something wrong. In that case, I say, "My friend,
we're in need of the Great Physician because it's not supposed to hurt there."
Once, a man said, "If I had some extra money, I'd give it to God, but I have just
enough to support myself and my family." And the same man said, "If I had some
extra time, I'd give it to God, but every minute is taken up with my job, my family, my
clubs, and what have you--every single minute." And the same man said, "If I had
a talent I'd give it to God, but I have no lovely voice; I have no special skill; I've
never been able to lead a group; I can't think cleverly or quickly, the way I would like
And God was touched, and although it was unlike him, God gave that man money, time, and
a glorious talent. And then He waited, and waited, and waited.....And then after a while,
He shrugged His shoulders, and He took all those things right back from the man, the
money, the time and the glorious talent. After a while, the man sighed and said, "If
I only had some of that money back, I'd give it to God. If I only had some of that time,
I'd give it to God. If I could only rediscover that glorious talent, I'd give it to
And God said, "Oh, shut up."
And the man told some of his friends, "You know, I'm not so sure that I believe in
God is No Fool, 1969, Abindgon Press.
So when man finds Jesus, it costs him everything. Jesus has happiness, joy, peace,
healing, security, eternity. Man marvels at such a pearl and says, 'I want this pearl. How
much does it cost?"
"The seller says, 'it's too dear, too costly.'
"But how much?'
"Well, it's very expensive.'
"Do you think I could buy it?'
"It costs everything you have -- no more, no less -- so anybody can buy it.'
"I'll buy it.'
"What do you have? Let's write it down.'
"I have $10,000 in the bank.'
"Good, $10,000. What else?'
"I have nothing more. That's all I have.'
"Have you nothing more?'
"Well, I have some dollars here in my pocket.'
"I'll see: Thirty, forty, fifty, eighty, one hundred, one hundred twenty -- one
hundred twenty dollars.'
"That's fine. What else do you have?'
"I have nothing else. That's all.'
"Where do you live?"
"I live in my house.'
"The house, too.'
"Then you mean I must live in the garage?'
"Have you a garage, too? That, too. What else?'
"Do you mean that I must live in my car, then?'
"Have you a car?'
"I have two.'
"Both become mine. Both cars. What else?'
"Well, you have my house, the garage, the cars, the money, everything.'
"Are you alone in the world?'
"No, I have a wife, two children...'
"Your wife and children, too.'
"Yes, everything you have. What else?'
"I have nothing else, I am left alone now."
"Oh, you too! Everything becomes mine -- wife, children, house, money, cars --
everything. And you too. Now you can use all those things here but don't forget they are
mine, as you are. When I need any of the things you are using, you must give them to me
because now I am the owner."
Juan Carlos Ortiz, Call to Discipleship, (Plainfield, NJ:
Logos International, 1975), pp. 42,43.
Commentary and Devotional
I place no value on anything I have or may possess, except in relation to the kingdom
of God. If anything will advance the interests of the kingdom, it shall be given away or
kept, only as by giving or keeping it I shall most promote the glory of Him to whom I owe
all my hopes in time or eternity.