Before I get into the results of my Lifest questionnaire I thought I would start things off by sharing a story that had, unbeknownst to us, been writing itself for an entire year - since last year's Lifest. We had just finished setting up our interactive evangelical outreach center - a blanket, a hand-written sign and a case of Bibles. We are a pretty low-budget operation.
A mother and her son walked up to us and asked, "Are you the people who were her last year giving away free Bibles?" My ministry partner and friend answered, "Yes, we are."
[Last year we had given away Bibles to those in need. We had run out of bibles on the last day so, when my partner then encountered a young lady who needed a Bible, my friend went out of her way to accommodate and gave her one of her own]
"My daughter's name is Mia and you sent her your personal Bible to my daughter. I just wanted to tell you that she really appreciated that and she reads it every day."
As this lady was telling this wonderful story I looked over at my friend and I could see the tears beginning to form in her eyes. God was in the middle of providing us just what we needed, right when we needed it. And then came this . . .
"But what I REALLY wanted to thank you for was my son. He saw what you did for Mia. The extra effort, going out of your way to get her a Bible. That really touched him. He began reading HIS Bible! He kept asking if we were going to come back to Lifest this year to see "those people with the Bibles." What you did for Mia, changed my son's life as well."
By this point my friend was crying . . . and so was I. Tears of joy. Just that morning my friend and I had been talking about whether or not to even continue doing what we were doing. We were wondering if we were having any effect at all. And then suddenly, just like that, God provided His incredible answer for us. Are you kidding me? God would do this for us? Mhmm. :)
Needless to say, we felt quite humbled after that little encounter and through it God provided encouragement and enough enthusiasm to power us into next year's Lifest. We can't wait! What a blessing to be encouraged in that way and to know that God had used us and what we were doing to touch someone else's life.
How has God encouraged you lately? Have you seen His mighty hand working in YOUR life or in the lives of those around you? He is there. He is at work. We just have to have the eyes to see.
As we walk through this world, we need to carry with us enough "seed to sow" for all those we might encounter as we go. We may never know who our "Mia" is or even if we have somehow touched someones life through our actions or words. The important thing is not what we did. The important thing is our obedience.
We should always be grateful in ALL that we do, even when we fall upon hard times, because we have been called by God. We represent the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. He has called us to witness to others, to "make disciples of all nations" and to love one another "as Christ loves the church." Knowing what we know, the gospel of Jesus Christ, how can we NOT share that incredibly good news with others!
"6 The point is this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. 7 Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, 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 having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work. 9 As it is written,
“He has distributed freely, he has given to the poor; his righteousness endures forever.”
10 He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness. 11 You will be enriched in every way to be generous in every way, which through us will produce thanksgiving to God. 12 For the ministry of this service is not only supplying the needs of the saints but is also overflowing in many thanksgivings to God. 13 By their approval of this service, they will glorify God because of your submission that comes from your confession of the gospel of Christ, and the generosity of your contribution for them and for all others, 14 while they long for you and pray for you, because of the surpassing grace of God upon you. 15 Thanks be to God for his inexpressible gift!" - 2 Corinthians 9:6-15
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