August 1, 2009
There was not a needy person among them, for as many as were owners of lands or houses sold them and brought the proceeds of what was sold and laid it at the apostles' feet, and it was distributed to each as any had need. Acts 4:34-35
Some of the happiest years of my life were spent in small towns.
Pam and I truly enjoyed many of the pleasant differences, which come from living in a place where like the television sitcom, Cheers, "everybody knows your name."
Of course, some things stay the same no matter where you live.
I remember once, it was early on a Monday morning, the community's only bank called us. They said they were making a request of all the local churches.
And what was the request? Simple, they said, "Could you bring in Sunday's collection as soon as possible? We're out of one-dollar bills."
Now I want you to think about that a bit. Why did they come to the churches for one dollar bills? They made that request because they knew that quite a few people begin -- and end -- their charitable activities with a single dollar bill placed into the collection plate.
Now, at times that $1 represents a great deal of money to some church contributors. On the other hand, it's tough to see a person give a regular series of one dollar bills when they go out every Saturday night and drop a bundle on partying.
I give thanks to the Lord He isn't so miserly in giving to us.
Understand these thoughts aren't confined to the area of church contributions. I'm referring to how poorly we sometimes respond to the needs of others -- others who may be having physical, mental, and spiritual difficulties.
If God's people are always trying to do the least they can do, they are hardly paying proper respect to the Savior who did everything necessary to win their salvation.
On the other hand, when the Holy Spirit challenges us to do great things in honor of our gracious God, everyone benefits. We are filled with a peace in knowing we did what we could; others are blessed by our work and, more importantly, the Name of Jesus is recognized as being a blessed motivation for good.
This is why I'd like to say that in the Name of Jesus, do all you can, whenever you can, and for whomever you can. You won't regret it!
From a devotion originally written for "By the Way"
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, thank You for all the good things You have done for us. Most of all I acknowledge my salvation which is undeserved and unearned. In the Name of my Redeemer help me remember those whose needs are greater than my own. This I ask in the Name of Jesus, who gave His all for my redemption. Amen.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries