A Generous OfferPublished Mar 01, 2018 | Precious Truths, Bill Jenkin III
Recently, while in one of our supporting churches, I dug in my pocket as the Sunday School offering plate was being passed. I pulled out my money clip, looked, and whispered to the man next to me, “I don’t even have a dollar.”
He was an old friend, and with a smile and sincere offer, he whispered back, “Do you need one?”
“Nope,” I replied, “I don’t need a thing.”
What a precious realization; when it comes to stuff, I really do not need anything. Now don’t misunderstand—it is not because I have everything, or even most everything, yet when it comes right down to it—I do have everything I need.
The empty money clip incident reminded me of when we were first on deputation in a church in Ohio. The fella from our host family took me on a Saturday evening after hour excursion of his lumberyard and hardware store. It was large, extremely well stocked, and impressive. While I walked up and down the aisles with genuine interest, I realized it was modern, yet also had characteristics of an old-time hardware store—I was enthralled! I especially appreciated the fact that he was careful to give God the glory. As we were wrapping up the tour, we went into his office and he reached for a cigar-sized steel box, opened it, took out a $100 bill, and stuffed it in my shirt pocket. He made sure I had his number and made a point to tell me that should I ever have a financial need, all I had to do was call.
Wow, that was a substantial offer! That was 1984 and as a missionary family of six, can you imagine how many times I have called on the generosity of that man? Well, some of you are ahead of me . . . I never had to call him—not even once. You see, while it was a wonderful offer, I have an even better one! Paul says, But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:19). While we can make biblical application concerning spiritual matters, the actual context has to do with physical and material provisions. Peter is very specific: we can trust Him in every area—Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you (First Peter 5:7). The Lord further assures us of His bountiful resources in caring for us: For every beast of the forest is mine, and the cattle upon a thousand hills (Psalm 50:10).
I am certainly not saying that we trust the Lord and never depend on people. It is not an either/or equation. As Terri and I look over our shoulder, we realize the Lord has consistently moved the hearts of people and used them to provide for us. We would never deny that. Further, we understand that He could have used the lumberyard man to help us; there would have been nothing wrong with me calling him and taking him up on his offer.
Yet we must make sure that regardless of the involvement of people, ultimately our trust is in Him and our confidence is in His faithful provision . . . Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment? . . . But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you (Matthew 6:25, 33).