Get High on Life

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, August 19, 1998

By Harold Keller / L’Observateur / August 19, 1998

I have been going to church all of my life. This past Sunday, the messagewas one of the best I’d ever heard. Not only was the message good, butalso even more important was the challenge to take action on this message.

The title of this message was: “Freely Giving.” The pastor started theservice by announcing that no collection would be taken up. He explainedthat the reason for this was because the message was not about money or material things, but about love.

The pastor referred to I John 3:16-18, which says: “Hereby perceive we the love of God, because He laid down His life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. But whoso hath this world’s good, andseeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him? My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue, but in deed and in truth.”We were encouraged to demonstrate God’s love through giving. Going onestep further, the pastor asked us if we knew of someone in need or maybe in the past we had trouble loving, to consider giving that person something to demonstrate the love of God through us.

During the talk, he said that the churches have the reputation of wanting your money. He continued by saying, “The only reason we, as a church,should give to the local body is for the money to be funneled into the community to assist the needy. God said that it’s more blessed to givethan to receive. What the churches in America need now, more than ever,is for us to embrace the spirit of giving and defeat the spirit of greed and selfishness. America is now controlled by the love of money.” It wasemphasized that money is not evil, but it’s the love of money that’s evil.

All churches in America would like to have favor in their communities.

The early church had the secret to gaining favor with the people.

According to the Bible, in Acts 2, the Christians sold all their possessions and goods and gave to all men, as every man had need.

The only way for us to have favor in the River Parishes is to demonstrate the compassion and unselfishness of the early Christians.

As the service came to an end, the pastor said, “Now is the time for action! We didn’t have a collection today. God will always take care of thisministry if we demonstrate His love through giving. Today, whatever youintended to give in the collection, I ask that you give it to someone that God has laid on your heart.”What a radical service! We praised God, had a great message, and no collection!

Harold Keller is a regular columnist for L’Observateur.

Copyright © 1998, Wick Communications, Inc.

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