Monday, June 22, 2009

God's Math

To put it mildly, I'm not at my best when thinking out loud in front of a group of people. So when I walked back up front to offer the blessing and was given $100 to give away to "anyone who needed it," I was scrambling for the best way to have someone get the money without everyone seeing. I ended up putting it in the prayer request basket on the stage and someone was able to take it after worship without anyone else noticing. But my verbal stumbling aside, being able to pass along a gift of $100 right on the spot was one of the most amazing things I've ever experienced during worship.

And I'd communicated pretty effectively up to that point. When I'm ending my message and can tell that a lot of people are wiping tears from their eyes, I know I've made a connection. I was having trouble keeping from crying myself. You can hear the message here. The story I shared (that just so happens to be one of the most significant stories of my life) starts at 28:37. Just the other day, the person to whom we gave that gift said it's one of the most amazing things to ever happen in their entire life.

We live by God's math when we give to God and others first. When we live according to God's math, everyone is taken care of.

In Sunday's survey, we asked for stories of "God's Math." Here are a few of them.

"Just on a regular basis I am always worried about how I will make ends meet – but when I tithe or give first out of each paycheck, God has always provided for me – or given me more than I need."

"Many times I have been asked to “sell my field” give up jobs, living arrangements car, people in my life – God always provides, He has been faithful to a promise from Psalms, “Lord, do not let me be disgraced.” My past two years have been surrender and sacrifice and learning to trust God, having nothing, God is my everything. And he is faithful! My life is simple but God’s love is extravagant."

"We helped out a homeless family not too long ago. It didn’t go very well but we know we did everything God asked us to do. We would do it again in a heartbeat. We had everything we needed."

"When we gave to 98.9 charity a month or so later I got a phone call from my brother, who makes quite a bit more money than we do and over Christmas we had been telling our family about our Dave Ramsey plan and my brother called me a month or so late and said they had been “called” to give money to help us out and they wanted to pay off our credit card! They more than doubles the amount we gave away! God is good!"

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