Do not let Satan rob you of the joy of giving to the Missouri Missions Offering
Don HinklePathway Editor
August 26, 2003
Shortly before God called me to the Gospel ministry and attend The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Ky., He reminded me — through a powerful experience — the importance of keeping my eyes on him and not the world.
It was during a time in my pilgrimage through this world in which I was going through “a valley.” I was jobless and trying to discern what God would have me do. There were weeks when there was nothing in the refrigerator other than a pack of baloney. God was dealing with me in a powerful way as I prayed and read His Word. I would go to the massive 2,000-member First Baptist Church of Hendersonville, Tenn., sit on the back pew (because I did not want to talk to anyone) and cry through the whole worship service. This went on for several weeks.
Then on one particular Sunday morning, while driving to church, I could sense the presence of Satan in my car. He knew God was about to reveal a powerful truth to me and he wanted to rob me of that opportunity.
All I had was $10 in my billfold and God had already convicted me, prompting me to place it in the offering plate. I was struggling with that because that $10 had to last me for at least a week. Then, while in the car, I heard Satan whisper, “You won’t do it. You can’t give Him all you’ve got. Don’t you know what will happen?”
As usual I entered the church, speaking to no one and taking my customary seat on the back pew. The tears began to flow. In my heart I told God, “Lord this is all I have.” I was not sure what I would do when the offering plate was passed. The teardrops multiplied down my cheeks and my heart pounded as the ushers made their way down the aisles. When the plate finally arrived, I laid the $10 in it. Suddenly the tears stopped and immediately I felt a peace that surpasses all understanding.
I did not know what would happen. I knew there was a little food in the fridge and I had enough gas to continue the job search for a couple of days. But most importantly, I knew I could claim a spiritual victory and was prepared for what God wanted to show me.
It came the next afternoon.
When I got home from a day of job-searching, I stopped by the mailbox. Inside was an envelope from my insurance company. It contained a check for $20.
I was so overcome with the warmth of God’s love at that moment that all I could do is lay my head on the mailbox and cry like a baby. God had reminded me, not only to whom I belong, but that I cannot out-give Him. For it has always been that way. After all, His son, Jesus, gave His all for me on Golgotha’s Hill.
I could share numerous other similar blessed experiences where God honored my faithfulness through my tithe. Perhaps this will cause you to pause and remember one in your own life. Unfortunately we too often make the mistake of getting our eyes on the things of this world (usually money) and off our faithful, loving heavenly Father.
As a journalist, I realize that Missouri’s economy has suffered in recent months (there has been recent signs that the worst may be over). Perhaps you are reading this and have nothing in your fridge except a pack of baloney. If so, I hope this will be a word of encouragement to you.
We have seen stories in recent days indicating that giving to churches nationwide is down. Actually, in Missouri, Southern Baptist giving is up slightly over the same time last year and Missouri gave the second most dollars to the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering of any state in the Southern Baptist Convention. Such action speaks volumes about the commitment Southern Baptists in Missouri have toward missions and advancing the Kingdom of God.
The month of September has been set aside to emphasize the Missouri Missions Offering. Through your generous gifts, Missouri Baptists are able to provide disaster relief, minister to college students, fund Vacation Bible Schools, conduct evangelistic crusades and support historic mission partnerships in such far-flung places as Romania and Iraq.
When your church gives you the opportunity to give to the Missouri Missions Offering, don’t hesitate or doubt. Do not let Satan rob you of the joy that comes to giving to the Kingdom of our Lord Jesus. Please, joyfully join me in supporting this year’s Missouri Missions Offering.