“But we have a true hope: we wait for it eagerly. We will be made right with God through the Spirit. How? By faith!” Gal 5:5 (Simple English Bible)
They were an elderly couple in their 70’s. Grace walked with a cane and was vision impaired. Her husband was tall and stooped but together they lived quietly in a small cabin near a wine farm in the mountains. Neither had any form of medical insurance. They didn’t own a car, TV or kitchen appliances but they were happy. One of Grace’s dearest wish was to have her eyes fixed so she could clearly see her husband again. She prayed for it daily, believing that God would answer her prayers.
When a donation was made to restore her vision at a hospital three hours away through the mountains, Grace was overjoyed. But her children thought that the money should be used for them! Their mother was very old and what was the use if she was at the end of her life. But Grace’s husband insisted that his wife’s wishes be granted. Grace was driven to the hospital and returned with bandages on her eyes a few days later. A local doctor visited the next week and removed the bandages. Grace couldn’t believe her eyes! There was her husband, as clear as day, the man she’d been married to for over fifty years. And every day since, she thanked God for His mercy and kindness until she was called home.
Perhaps we like to use our faith for the big things. Maybe we think that righteousness has its limits. Some Christians don’t want to ‘bother’ God too much. Yet, we are His children. He is our Father, not just any father, but our Heavenly Father who empowers us through the Holy Spirit. Shouldn’t we exercise our faith in all situations and under all circumstances?
“Life is tough but a whole lot tougher when you’re stupid.” Anon wise man
Susan was a Christian girl, freshly graduated from High School with excellent marks. She had enrolled in medical school at an excellent university. Graduation night was one of celebration and joy. Her best friend, Julie, asked her to go along with a group to splash around in the ocean. They’d been drinking but she decided to accompany the carload anyway despite her misgivings. She didn’t drink or smoke and didn’t like being with people who did but she thought that one night of a little craziness wouldn’t hurt.
The driver of the car hadn’t had his license very long. And he’d been drinking. The car slammed into a row of trees and killed all six occupants. At first, Susan’s parents refused to believe that their daughter had been in the car! She’d never partied like that before. They were stunned to learn that she’d died along with the others. It left a bitterness in their hearts for a long time.
There are times when our spiritual instincts warn us in certain situations and when we ignore them, it turns out to be exactly what we’d expected. I think there are circumstances in which Christians are too polite, too willing to go along with the crowd, too will to make an exception to what they know isn’t right. Our faith should lead us.
We must follow the footsteps of the Master. He will never lead us astray because He isn’t lost!
“There is always trouble with men who have polluted minds. They don’t have the truth any more. They think that religion if a way of making money.” I Tim 6:5 (Simple English Bible)
Tommy owned his own business and his wife was his secretary/office manager. It was a successful little company with few employees and they enjoyed a good lifestyle. They supported their local church as best they could and their sons and daughter all attended good colleges. That was until Tommy discovered quite a number of anomalies in the company’s books. Thousands of dollars had been donated to a religious group based in a city far away. When he confronted his wife, she admitted that she’d been providing the donations secretly. The little monthly newsletters she had were filled with spiritual homilies and boasted of helping the homeless, old age homes and other charities.
When Tommy tried to call the group, it was difficult to get anyone on the line who knew anything. He flew to the city and discovered that the ‘group’ consisted of two sisters who were scamming their contributors. He told his wife about it but she refused to believe it. This caused enormous problems in their marriage, so much so that he fired his own wife from the company!
There are always those who use the name of Christ for their own purposes. Any reputable organization would open their books to their contributors and those who are secretive, might be hiding something. As good stewards of God’s resources, it is up to each Christian to ensure that the gifts and offerings are used correctly to benefit those who are in need.
After all, one day, we’ll have to account for it!