Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Asking for more....

The other day I was able to hear what was going to be one of the most touching stories I have heard in awhile. I heard the story of a pastor friend of ours that really hit home. I have heard his story before, but not from him so this time it resounded with my soul.

The first time I heard the story it went something like this: our friend, was planting a church and found a piece of property that he thought would be a good location for his church and wanted to learn more about. He contacted a real estate person to do the investigating. They asked the owner if he would be interested in selling the land. After some negotiating, the owner offered the property at 50% less than what it was going for. Our friend, was touched by the idea that the owner would offer less, but it still was not enough for him to afford it. He told the owner that after careful thought, he would not be able to buy the property for this price. After the owner thought about it for a couple of days, could have been a week, he came back and said, I won't be able to sell it to you for that price any more, the IRS would tax me to death, the only way I could be safe, is to give it to you for free!!

Great story huh?? Well, I heard it first hand the second time, and if you thought that it couldn't get any better...

The story begins with the same intro. Pastor friend, nice piece of property, great Church location, real estate guy, contact owner, owner offers at 50% off going price. Here is the difference and it is an important one; On the way to sign the papers for this awesome deal, my friend is praying in the car, when he hears God speak to his heart and say,"Ask for more"! My friend appalled at the thought says "How rude", aloud. Then God says, "I want you to ask for more". My friend debated with the Lord for a little while, when he finally felt like he needed to be obedient and do just that, even though, he said, it is hard to take up your cause.

He meets the real estate guy at his office and they proceed to have a conference call with the owner. After some time passes, he asks the real estate guy to leave the room, so that he can talk with the owner in private. My friend then begins to apologize for what he is going to say (apologizing for Gods boldness), " I know this is going to sound bold", he says, "but on the way over hear I was praying and I felt like the Lord told me to ask you for more. Now I understand if you can't offer that to me, I just feel like I need to be obedient at this point and time and just ask". I think he said there was some silence on the other line for a second or two. "Uh..I appreciate your boldness, but I don't know if I could actually give you more than 50% off", the owner says,"but how about if I pray about this and get back to you later". When he did get back, he had told my friend, that he couldn't give it to him for any less than free.

Moral of the story, obedience then blessing. I loved this story the first time I heard it, but I really loved it the second time much more. The whole story changed with the offer of obedience to God. What if my friend refused to ask for more, he was too embarrassed or shy, or really didn't want to look stupid in front of the owner.Two people would have missed out on the blessing, well actually three, my friend, the owner, and the church body!! Obedience is everything!!!

Which brings me to the second part of my story! A couple of days after hearing that story, another friend of mine sent me a brilliant idea for a fund raiser. It begins with Luke 12:33, it says we are to sell our possessions and give to the poor. She argues that the orphans in Ethiopia that we are going to adopt are most definitely poor. And they have the opportunity to meet Jesus in a wonderful loving way in their new home here in the US.

As you already know adoption is expensive and it requires a lot of work. James 1:27 says, that we should care for widows and orphans in their time of need. The call is to everyone not just us. We may not all be called to adopt, but we are all called to care for them in their time of need.

So we would like to ask "more" or challenge you today. Would you consider finding one item that you could sell for at least $100 on Craig's List? Sell it and donate the money toward this adoption. This is a good way for us to exercise obedience to the Lord's command in Luke 12. And we will find that our obedience is followed by an incredible blessing.

May we also encourage you to not only think of things you no longer use or want, but also to look at items of personal value to you. Jesus always asks for our "first-fruits". When purposefully watching what people were putting in the treasury, he commended the widow who put in all she had to live on. He did not commend the others who gave out of what the did not need. In 2 Chronicles King David says, " I will not sacrifice to the Lord that which will cost me nothing".

Remember Christ never said being his disciple would cost nothing. Following him comes at a personal cost in this short life, but great gain in the next. Christ doesn't tell us to sell our items at top dollar, give to the poor and follow him. Sometimes it is hard to part with our "stuff" because we know who much we paid for it. But lets focus on what Jesus did say, Sell your possessions, give to the poor, then come follow me.

Today is a day of worship, when you look around your home as an individual, couple or family, take time to pray and ask God what it is He would like you to sell. It may be an item worth far more than $100. Ask God, and then listen. When you have listened, heard, and come to an agreement, then obey!!

Just as my friend felt, it is hard for me to take up my own cause, but is it my own? This is Gods cause, these are His children, "we" (we all) are just the vehicle He has chosen to accomplish His will.

I have also decided to be obedient to this call of selling our possessions and giving to the poor. I have several valuable inherited things from my grand mothers, that will do me no good here on this earth, but will do good investing into Gods kingdom.

May God bless you as you seek Him for "more" and we all bring Glory to His name!!

5 comments:

praisinyahweh said...

How often we bow a knee and ask God to bestow "more" upon us ... "more" of a job when one is lost, "more" money when we run short, "more" time when our to do list is longer than there are hours in the day, "more" patience when our nerves are frazzled, "more" ... "more" ... "more." Not that this is a bad thing ... we are told to ask ... to pray ... to go to our Father for out needs and our wants ... BUT what if we went to Him with a request for "more" opportunities to give and serve others, "more" of a desire to give than receive? The who go hand in hand. Our cup is supposed to run over. Too often we try to make the cup bigger to hold more. When we do this ... we rob ourselves of the blessing of "running over." We end up feeling that we need "more" of something to fill that cup. What we should do instead, is strive to make the cup smaller. If we did this, it would be running over all the time!

So let's make out cups smaller. Let's pour out the blessings that God has filled us starting here with this cause. It is not "your cause" Drea, it is God's entrusted to you ... to us.

I am pouring out a dream that I have held onto for a few years ... a pond in my back yard. I have the kit. I have the wiring in. It is all ready to become a reality. I will be selling it on Craig's list with a heart that is overflowing with joy that I can be a part of something that God is doing. :)

Lisa

praisinyahweh said...

I meant ... The TWO go hand in hand! not "The WHO go hand in hand!" :)

drea said...

Thank you my friend, your words are so true and convicting. I am blessed that you are giving more of yourself for such priceless treasures, orphans.

Jesus, knows that when we give all of ourselves as a sacrifice, we need nothing else, because we are then walking in His perfect will. When we give our "first fruits", we are blessed. Like Abraham and Isaac. The Lord could have asked for a lamb, Abraham would have offerd 10, but God asked for his son, the one whom He promised. Abrham obeyed and brought his "first fruit", God blessed.

I am so excited for what the Lord is doing, I am praying for miracles, not just concerning these little ones, but for orphans right here and all over the world. Can you imagine, if we all lived this scripture, selling possessions and giving to the poor, lives would be changed for Christ!!!

Love you girl

amyb777 said...

Amen! Amen! and Amen! I try to read the book 'In His Steps' at least once a year. In the story the Christians long to suffer something for the cause of Christ. To sacrifice their own comfort in order to follow Jesus. This sounds weird and totally foreign to most people. But what a blessing! What freedom to be able to let go of something that actually costs you something in order to be obedient to Jesus. What a way to walk in close fellowship with Him! Paul wrote in Philippians 3:10-11 "I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead." Who in their right mind says that? Who says I want the fellowship of sharing in anyone's sufferings? But I do! I don't want to be comfortable. I want to dare great things for Christ man. Really, what can we take with us to heaven? The cause of the orphan is something we are all called to. If we are not called to be adoptive families ourselves we can all support families who are. We can all participate in caring for the orphans. Count me in my friend!

Ok, sorry for the sermon and ramblings. I get so passionate I just start preaching. ... and that concludes my message for today, go in peace. ;)

amy

Susan said...

Wonderful post. I have been praying and asking God to make me uncomfortable. So now I will pray and ask Gos what he wants me to do to help your orphan children. I am already looking at things I can get rid of.

P.s. Can you give Amy Lundberg a message for me. Let her know that I e-mailed her and it sent it back to me that the address was not correct. She can e-mail me at blessed_6@msn.com. Sorry for making you a messanger.
Thanks, Susan

Also where do we send money to for this fund. Thanx

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