Being a Christian is an amazing privilege. If you call it any less, you are mistaken. The life of Christ and the gift of him as God's only son was such a story that it can never be repeated. I am blessed that this is my destiny, to be a Christian. I hope that words I say, lives we touch, gifts we give, and prayers we prayed bless those around us.
When we attended a church in Oklahoma City during our early years of marriage, Pastor Mark Crow would spend time each Sunday going over the testimonies of those whom God was meeting their needs. As those needs got met, the expectation was that they would take from the abundance of the storehouse and give a greater gift for the gospel of Jesus Christ to be shared throughout the world. The motto of that church was reach our city, change our nation, and touch the world with the Good News! They were firm believers in the power of giving and this rubbed off on us early in marriage. Anthony and I were POOR. We had a baby 10 months after getting married, he had no visa to work, I worked nights in the ICU, I had school debt, he had no income, we had hungry mouths and ends barely met...what we learned is that His grace was sufficient for us and that the money had no value. Tithe when it seems to hurt and giving will become a way of life.
This morning we were able to impress on our home church the value of the seemingly over-giver. How God wants for you to not just give money through tithe but to dare to stretch yourself and see if you really "go without"...2 Corinthians 9:7- Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.
We gave the Faith Promise Program its rightful start for the year and it was well received. Each person took home a solar garden light. Why this? Well as God was speaking to us in the program we learned that our light (the one that is not to be hidden but to shine on the hill) is powered by the Son. Just like the solar garden light is powered by the sun! Also, it comes with a stake for putting it into the soil...it isn't a shallow stake that can be easily pulled out with wind or that water can wash it away from it's place..it is firmly rooted in the soil, just as the light was firmly rooted so our lives must be grounded in the soil of God's word and rain will come and water our hearts and grow us as Christians...Oh can you see I am a visual learner? Well in reflection the service was awesome!
Then this afternoon we headed to Marseilles, Illinois. We were invited to speak on our mission to Malawi. This church is an amazing reflection of the beauty of giving. Watching their congregation from the pulpit was a ministry. Their eyes, their amazement, their faith it was unchartered and unabandoned love for our Savior. They are holy devoted to the Great Commission and this was seen in their actions and words as well. Often you go to encourage and share and walk away with a fresh perspective and a new anointing. This was one of those nights and it was great. We were able to share and give information and hopefully picked up some prayer partners along the way. A shout out to Sam, the soundman, he did a great job running our various slides and presentations and never missed a beat! Thanks! We felt the love...it was beautiful!
I want to close with this prayer. It is liturgical, which may not be what you are used to, please take no offense. It is the prayer we prayed for many Sundays and through dark periods that the Lord was molding our marriage and our life...it is now a prayer of praise:
Lord, here we stand,
as we bring our tithes and offerings unto the Lord,
we are believing for jobs and better jobs, raises and bonuses, benefits,
sales and commissions, growth in business, settlements, estates
and inheritances, interest and income, rebates and returns, checks in the
mail, gifts and surprises, finding money, bills paid off, bills decreased, blessings
and increase, thank you Lord for meeting all my financial needs that I
may have more than enough to give into the kingdom of God and promote
the gospel of Jesus Christ, hallelujah!
Similar to pressed down, shaken together, running over...
God is the God of more than enough. Thank you for blessing us so that we can give more and be in Malawi for the fall of 2012.
Anthony and Jesika Moore