Testimonial Sharing: “If one has a willing heart, it will be pleasantly received.” – 2010-08

Testimonial Sharing: “If one has a willing heart, it will be pleasantly received.” – 2010-08

Not long ago, we received a building fund donation check along with a letter in the donation box.  The letter read as follows:

I am a retired new immigrant.  I came to the U.S. to be with my children.  I was very distraught because I didn’t have a job but wanted to give towards the building fund.  As I looked onto brothers and sisters each of them giving one by one, I realized I haven’t had the resources to give toward building God’s home.

One day, I was suddenly inspired by a thought – “my gifting and talents should be used toward the Lord.” I’ve always loved gardening.  When I get a break from taking care of my children and grandchildren, I grow flowers, vegetables, chrysanthemum, tomatoes, etc.  Remember how our church had a fundraising carnival in March?  I thought to myself if I could grow the chrysanthemums and tomatoes then sell them, perhaps I could raise some money toward the church building fund.

It is just a simple thought.  But, it was encouraged and supported by the sisters in my small group.  I raised a check for 100 dollars toward the church building fund.  It was really a very tiny amount compares to the entire cost of building a new church.  But, it is from my heart and the hearts of the sisters.  It is made up of my love for God’s home, my sweat and the love of the sisters – it may seem like just a small tiny stream now, but, one by one joining together, the streams will surely form into a big ocean!”

This letter moved me very much.  It reminded me of Luke 21, the story of the Lord Jesus praising the poor widow’s giving.  The Lord Jesus said: “3“I tell you the truth, this poor widow has put in more than all the others. 4All these people gave their gifts out of their wealth; but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on.”  Worldly people may not understand Jesus’ saying.  But, the reason Jesus said so was because God sees man differently than how man sees man!  For “The LORD does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.” (1 Samuel 16:7) What people value is the outward number, but what God values is the motive of the heart, the loving act and the sacrifice the widow made for God.

The Holy Spirit leads me into self-introspection – the service I provided at church today – was it the giving of the rich owner or the sacrificial giving of the poor widow?  Do I give my best to God or my left-over, whether it be my time, spiritual gifting, or money.  What is the motivation of my financial giving and my serving?  Is it for my own glory, to receive praises from men?  Or is it to please God and to receive praise and blessing from the Lord? Does my giving show my faith toward God?  Or, is it held back by my fear and worry of not having enough left for myself?

When I ponder on these thoughts, God gave me a revelation and a truth: “No one should use the excuse of his or her own lacking to not give, not serve or give less or serve less.”  Pastor Lam taught us in last Sunday’s message: “Where there is a will; there is a way.”  As long as we have a heart that wills to give of itself, God will surely open the door.  As the Lord says, “12For if the willingness is there, the gift is acceptable according to what one has, not according to what he does not have.” (2 Corinthians 8:12).

Praise the Lord for always surrounding us with clouds of witnesses.  It testifies to us that God will certainly help and protect those who believe in His promises and provide enough strength for them to run the race and follow Him all the way through.