Tuesday, January 10, 2006

sowing seed

2 Cor. 9:6-12 Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. [7] Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. [8] And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.
Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness. [11] You will be made rich in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion,

Last month I was audited by the IRS. Can you believe it? On December 22nd I went in for the dreaded examination. They wanted to go back a couple of years because they thought I had too many deductions. Here is what happened.

A couple of years ago our congregation was experiencing financial difficulty. We had just expanded our facility and remodeled the building in expectation of numerical growth. We had also increased our staff to be better prepared to minister to those who would be coming in the near future. Money became very tight for a season and I felt God leading me to give back my salary. So I did. For three months I took a part time job making next to nothing. Each month, I would receive my salary from the church, deposit it in my account, and then turn around and write a check back to the church for the same.

So, over the next three months I gave thousands to the church. I learned a new lesson in God’s faithfulness. I had never seen anything like what I was about to experience. We bagan to receive gifts from every conceiveable direction. A previous mortgage company owing us a good size some, partner churches sending us gifts, friends giving money, I could go on…I began to go out to the mail box during those three months looking for what God was going to do next. I wrote down each time something would happen. The list grew longer and longer.

When the church came through the difficult time and it was ok for me to start receiving my pay again, I added up all that God had provided during the three months, it was more than I would have earned had I not given my salary back. Shortly after that, we were offered to buy a friend’s house that was moving to Georgia. They thought that they were selling it to someone else but then the deal fell through. They called me and offered me the house at a great price for a quick sell. I agreed and sold my house in two days. What I did not know was that I would make $100,000.00 profit throught the appreciation of my house.

I could tell you more but I think you see my lesson. God says that our giving is like sowing seed. Sow it in faith. Sow it in love. If you give generously, your Father will bless you for it. I have seen this over and over again. May God bless you as you give to Him.

I was young and now I am old, yet I have never seen the righteous forsaken or their children begging bread. They are always generous and lend freely; their children will be blessed. Psalm 37: 25-26

By the way, remember the IRS? The guy sat there going through all the checks that I had written over the years and I waited and waited, He added and added. He left the room and then finally came back. He said, “Mr. Bennett, we owe you money”. Great Christmas present huh?


No comments: